Saturday, July 17, 2010

acting natural

Oh sweet heaven, the humidity finally broke with the thunderstorms! We never turned on the AC, preferring to torture ourselves until this sweet moment of cool breezes through the window screens. I even stayed up late last night to make raspberry jam--when the kitchen was a mere 82 degrees instead of 84. And now I type without the gleam of sweat on my face.


It's wild outside. Since July 1st I have seen the following in my back yard: rabbits, bald eagles, robins, barn swallows, one hummingbird, yellow finches, sparrows, blackbirds, one woodchuck in a hurry, mice, a fawn frolicking in our back yard like some character out of a Disney movie and a raccoon. Mr. D reported seeing a coyote carcass on the other side of the creek.


The prairie is in bloom, Black Eyed Susans, Queen Anne's Lace, clover, purple coneflowers, asters, Blazing Stars, Butterfly Milkweed, Joe-Pye Weed, False Sunflowers and Ox Eye Sunflowers. Insects swoop and hum, the colors mix in the breeze, the sweet smells float in the air. Even my skin itches. A feast for all the senses!


The biggest surprise of all this summer (just when we thought we'd seen everything this property has to offer): Mr. D and Mr. T were driving along the road between our neighbor's cornfield and our woods and discovered wild blackberry bushes growing right along the treeline! You bet I'll be out there (after marinating in OFF!) with my gallon ice cream buckets. (We've filled so many gallon buckets with beans that I need to buy more ice cream...) Provided the creek recedes enough--after the torrential rain we've had, it's swollen nearly to the point of washing out the road. Perhaps if I don scuba gear I can swim to the blackberries. Or maybe I can lash together some fallen trees and build a raft, ala Huck Finn. Even if I can't reach them this year, I'm so excited! Wild blackberries! How divine!


Spill it, reader. What natural discoveries have you made in your back yard this summer?

15 comments:

  1. We had lots of black berries up north last year and made jam. The property we're about to close on also has lots of black berries. My boys love black berries!

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  2. Nothing like what you've got. I do get to listen to coyotes kill things in the canyon behind my house--I cannot stand the yipping and then the sound of the poor cat crying. Why people have outdoor cats in this neighborhood.

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  3. "...We've filled so many gallon buckets with beans that I need to buy more ice cream..."
    oh...HECK! More ICE CREAM!!
    * ; )

    ...a smooth green garden snake revealed itself in the coils of the hose one evening when we were watering...we just stood very still and watched it wind its way across the patio up into a crack betweewn the railroad ties and back into the garden soil...

    ...and I planted some succulents, hen-and-chicks...one of them produced an amazing flower! like a crazy space-flower, man! I can't get a good-resolution picture for show-n-tell...

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  4. We have a tiny little fenced in back yard, so I have to be happy with goldfinches and cardinals and butterflies and I adore them all. Your photos are awesome!

    It's still hot here with no relief in site. We didn't get those storms. :(

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  5. the humidity is killing me here in kansas too. uggg.

    and i like your blog header...very cute!

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  6. Most nature in the backyard is forcefully manicured or domesticated except for the birds, bugs, and a lizard rescued from the girls' bath tub last night to be released onto the patio.

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  7. Ground squirrels, ground squirrels, mice, grounds squirrels and one real ladybug. I haven't see a real one in years.

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  8. Um....dog poop is about it for us. Wish things were different.

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  9. We were happy to finally have rain but now all my plants look like someone has trampled all over them.

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  10. Nice excuse to buy more ice cream, and a very valid one I might add.

    We have had bear, skunks, foxes, gray squirrels, red quirrels, flying squirrels, chipmunks, mice, a variety of woodpeckers, hummingbirds, gold and purple finches, eagles, a turkey, a crane or two, and morning doves.

    And mosquitos. They are worse than the tics.

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  11. Oh, I love you. I'm crazed for the beautiful flowers this month, too. Our strawberries came in well but are played out now...I'm so with you in the joys of berry picking; it's serious therapy, that.

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  12. Not much wildlife in the city, but we have a HUGE raccoon livng in our courtyard.

    I also saw a gorgeous black snake with a red ring around his neck. I can't remember what they are called. MANY, MANY squirrels.

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  13. I wish I could live at your house. LOL

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  14. I'm laughing at the idea that you need to buy more ice cream so you have enough buckets for beans! Did you read the report of a wolf sighting in Oshkosh? In my small city yard, the most interesting critters are opossums and woodchucks. We're close enough to the Fox River that we see an occasional eagle, too.

    I made mixed berry jam Sunday morning. Delicious!

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  15. Bunnies! We live on the edge of the woods, and this little guy just keeps running across the back. They're so CUTE!

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Spill it, reader.