Friday, July 30, 2004

In the Clover

Two four leaf cloversLucky Clovers
Found these lucky four leaf clovers a few weeks ago but still wasn't expecting the good fortune that came my way when I learned that son John and daughter-in-law Anne are coming to visit the middle of August.

John is coming back to Michigan from Idaho for his sixteen year class reunion at Battle Creek Central. His class is doing reunions in nontraditional years as explained by John on his blog.

The whole family is looking forward to this visit. I'm sure I'll be writing more about it as it unfolds.

Rabbits foot cloverRabbit Foot Clover
One of my favorite plants is the inconspicuous Rabbit Foot Clover that grows sparsely in the back field.

The flowers are grayish with a pink tinge. They are wonderfully soft and fluffy feeling.

When I Googled Rabbit Foot Clover in the hope of finding something interesting to relate about it, I found these pictures which give a much better feel for the beauty of the little plant.

It's a European import, not a native plant. There's nothing impressive about it. I don't think it is the host plant for any moths or butterflies. It appears to have no medicinal uses. It's not very showy. I just like it.

Finished cloverleaf socks in a bed of cloverCloverleaf Socks
Got them done! These are my Cloverleaf socks, the first socks in the Six Sock Knitalong.

They were knit with Canadian Sock Yarn, a worsted weight 80% wool 20% nylon from Halcyon in color Bluejean, a very rich blue.

36 stitches around were knit with 2 circulars, US #5.

The lace pattern has three holes positioned like the three leaves of a clover. If I hadn't of been in such a rush to start and finish these, I would have liked to make them green - like a cloverleaf. But the yarn I had in my stash was blue, so blue they are.

The double decrease in worsted weight yarn made the pattern too lumpy to be worn in a shoe, so I didn't carry the cloverleaf down the instep. I did continue the ribbing down to the toe.

Great fun knitting these. I joined the knitalong late so I was playing beat the calendar to get them done by the deadline.

The August/September knitalong socks, Making Waves are barely started. I'm looking forward to knitting them at a more leisurely pace.

Any clovers in your life lately?

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Regression into SHEness
Canisters on shelf in kitchen
It was a simple, finite task. Take the canisters off the top shelf in the kitchen, wipe the canisters off, wipe the shelf off, put the canisters back. Should take five minutes max.

First, I took the canisters down and washed the lids in the dishwater. Next, I climbed up on a stool to wipe off the shelf. While I was up there, I noticed that the wall over the shelf needed washing off. I found my cloth up there wiping it, but the stool wasn't high enough for me to get all the way to the ceiling.

Climbing down to get a step stool, I noticed a button I'd been meaning to sew on Bob's shirt. I went in the back bedroom to get a needle and thread. While I was there, I remembered I had to send in a prescription today, which meant filling out a form for Caremark. It was very important to have that ready for the mail person, so I sat down and did it right then, put a stamp on it, and took it out to the mailbox.

Now it's fifteen minutes after I started a five minute job. The canisters are unwiped and sitting on the counter, the lids are in the dish drainer, the bulkhead is half washed, the button is still waiting, and I'm standing out by the road pulling a few weeds.

I'm capable of doing housework for two hours and having the house look worse when I'm done than when I started. In fact, many is that time I've done just that.

There's a name for this: SHE, Sidetracked Home Executive. Over 200,000 SHEs, including myself, belong to Flylady, a very special Yahoo group to teach SHEs how to do what's important at home.

Thanks to Flylady, I realized immediately that I'd been sidetracked, got back on track, and finished what I had set out to do.

At work I was never a SHE. I was a project leader. I knew the critical path and I made sure everyone stayed on it - including me. Year after year I was commended for being organized and getting things done on time.

I haven't identified a critical path for housework yet. To my mind, it's a circular, neverending process. Do it and soon it needs to be done again.

Does housework have a critical path?

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Garden Reality

Oak tree elimination progress I started the summer full of big plans for getting the yard back into shape. I divided the yard up into zones and planned to rotate through them a week at a time getting the weeds out and the desirable plants back where they belong.

Now that it is almost August, I find myself still in the front yard, working my way around and pulling out weeds, mostly oak seedlings.

This picture shows how thick they are. The left side of the picture has been de-oaked, the right side of the picture has not. Some of them are several years old and have a tap root a foot long. Others are new seedlings and are still attached to the acorn, making them difficult to pull out of the ground.

My original plan to cut the little oaks off at ground level was a failure. The seedlings I cut off are sprouting new leaves and I'm going to have to go back and pull them out by the roots.

When I started the project, I wasn't in very good shape so I pulled oaks for fifteen minutes a day. Now I'm in better shape and I go out for a half hour a day.

This is not whining. I have come to enjoy the process. I take out a stool, sit down, pull, and enjoy the outdoors, the birds, the insects, and the sense of satisfaction in seeing the ground cleared. I'm starting to plan what to plant in the cleared patches of soil. It's going to be fun to fill in the front yard garden this fall.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Goin' On Vacation
Questions from Sunday Brunch.

1. What is your favorite mode of transportation when traveling?

Private jet.

Have I ever traveled in a private jet? Well, actually I did once. When I worked for Kellogg I got to take the corporate jet to the East Coast.

It was wonderful. We went directly to the hanger, hopped on, and took off. None of the hassles of commercial flying. And, since the jet was used mostly by the top executives, it was very plush, roomy, and comfortable.

2. If you had the means to travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Israel. Where Jesus was born, lived, taught, died, and rose again.

I need the nerve more than the means. I'm not very brave about traveling in these violent times, and it doesn't get more violent than the things that happen in Israel.

3. Have you ever been to another country?
Does Canada count? If not, the answer is "no".

4. If time were not an issue, how long could you stand to be away from home?
If I had Bob and the dogs with me, I could stand to be away from home for several months.

Without Bob and dogs, I wouldn't want to be gone more than a week at most.

5. What is the funnest or most interesting trip you've taken?
The trip to Las Vegas in 1999 for son John's wedding to Anne was very memorable.

John's dad and I had been divorced for 25 years, and now the two families were coming to together for a very special occasion. I mentally practiced being polite ahead of time and promised myself that no matter what happened I would stay cordial.

It turned out much better than I imagined it could. My ex inlaws were very nice. My ex mother-in-law even gave me a hug when we met at the hotel. My ex sister-in-law gave us a tour of the strip. My ex husband and I had a memorable conversation about the wonderful son we produced and how much we approved of his bride.

I'm sure it was our love for John that had us all getting along. And what better reason to behave ourselves?

Did you go or are you going anywhere on vacation this summer?

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Knitalong Sock Status

Cloverleaf socks in processA quick update on the socks that I'm trying to knit quick.

Both cuffs are done, one heel is turned, the other heel is ready to be turned. I am confident that I'm going to get them done by the deadline.

These are going to be great warm socks to wear with my jeans this coming winter.

Cardinal Fledgling Status
Bob says he saw the male Cardinal feeding the junior cardinal in a bush. I'm sorry I didn't get to see that.

The kids have left the nest and are learning the ways of the world now.

Bluebird Fledgling Status
The nest is empty. I believe four out of the five fledged. One died, I'm not sure how. The parents dumped its poor little dead body out of the box.

On one of my walks I saw the dead bird hanging half way out of the nest box hole, so I must have interrupted the clean up process. I was scared that the entire nest had been corrupted, but when I went back later all was well with the remaining four and the corpse was gone. Pappy found it later - a long way from the nest box.

Leave it to a dog to find the grossest thing in the field.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Knit Quick
People on my sock lists have been talking about the Six Sock Knitalong, so I finally checked it out and joined. (Very cute dog/cat picture if you click on this link.)

A knitalong is where a group of people get together in cyberland and knit their own variations on the same knitting pattern during a set time period.

All the knitalongs I've observed have used Yahoo Groups to stay in touch. That means there is daily chatter on what everyone is doing, how they are doing it, helpful hints, a few nonhelpful hints, and new cyber knitting friends to meet.

The best fun part is the pictures. All the knitters post pictures to the Yahoo group. We get to admire each other's socks in progress and finished.

The Six Sock Knitalong is going to do six challenging socks over a year. Two months for each sock. They are giving out prizes for each sock and a prize at the end to someone who has completed all six socks by their finish date.

It appears the prizes are yarn. Knitters with more yarn than they can knit in a lifetime get excited about winning more yarn. I can't explain it.

The finish date for the first pair is July 31. I joined yesterday. There is going to be some serious knitting around here to get done in time.

The first pattern to knit is Cloverleaf Eyelet Rib Socks. I'm knitting the 36 stitch child's version using a worsted weight sock yarn. When I started knitting it this morning, I thought the finished socks would be going to CIC. I'm delighted to find that the lace pattern is very loose and the socks are going to fit me.

Are any Seasons of Violet readers doing this knitalong?

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Black-eyed Susan

Black eyed susans on teeshirtTeeshirt Hoarder
Some people save their good linens for "someday". Other people save their good china, crystal, silver. Then there's the people who get diaries or notebooks and don't write in them because they might mess them up.

I've met all those challenges and conquered them. Instead, I hoard teeshirts.

Since I'm usually doing something casual and/or dirty when wearing a teeshirt, I never wear my favorites because I don't want them to get faded or stained.

This enlightenment occurred to me as I was cleaning out my teeshirt drawer yesterday. I had a serious talk with myself about teeshirt hoarding. Then I pulled the waste basket over close.

First, I got rid of all the nasty ones. Teeshirts are cheap and plentiful. What's the point of wearing a worn and/or strained teeshirt and feeling scruffy? Then I got rid of the large ones that hang like a garbage bag on me. (Do I get to brag about losing 40 pounds again?)

I've had this black-eyed susan tee for ten years and hardly ever worn it. Black-eyed susan is one of my favorite wildflowers so I was saving the shirt for a special occasion.

No more! I'm all done saving teeshirts for special occasions. Especially since I don't wear teeshirts to special occasions.

So I wore the black-eyed susan shirt yesterday, enjoyed it, and threw it in the laundry. I'll be wearing it again soon.

Sometimes cleaning out a drawer is more than just housework - sometimes it helps clean out my brain as well.

Black eyed susans in fieldThe Real Thing
Black-eyed susan blooms in late summer which is quickly approaching. We are fortunate enough to have many little clusters of it - like this one - in the back field where I walk the dogs.

The real thing is prettier than a teeshirt.

Are you saving something you should be enjoying?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

5 day old cardinalsAre You My Mother?
Standing on a chair to peek into the nest, I was able to trick one of the pair of five day old cardinals into thinking I might feed it. The second dove for cover in the bottom of the nest.

A few seconds after I took this picture, the hungry little bird realized I was NOT his mother. It dove down into the bottom of the nest to join its sibling and to avoid having another picture taken.

Leave It!
Last night at doggy school one of our classmates was telling us about training available in Arizona to teach dogs to leave rattlesnakes and scorpions alone.

I have to wonder if the training would work on all dogs. My dog Pappy is a well trained, obedient dog who likes to please. Yet when he spots a rodent, his mind goes completely one-track on rodent chasing.

To trust a dog not to mess with a rattlesnake or scorpion, I'm thinking the training needs to be harsh and memorable. And needs to be repeated at intervals to make sure they don't forget. Not a pleasant thought, but good results are important.

Anyone know more about this?

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Male Cardinal Update
There is a male cardinal and he is helping the female tend the little ones. He brings food and sometimes he even sits on the nest to help keep the little naked hatchlings warm.

It's All About Me
Questions from Sunday Brunch.

1. Do you or should you wear glasses or contact lenses?
I'm very near sighted and have worn glasses since I was ten.

2. What is your favorite type of footwear?
New Balance walking shoes. I have flat feet and really need the cushioning and support. They go on my feet in the morning and come off as I'm climbing into bed.

3. What is your worst habit?
I have no idea. It's not that I don't have any bad habits, it's just that I'm unable to place a ranking on the wide range of possibilities.

I could ask DH Bob who's sitting in the same room with me, but I like to think that he thinks I'm perfect. Why ruin a perfectly beautiful summer evening with a question like that?

Actually, I know what his answer would be: "Oh ah, oh ah . .". After almost twenty nine years of marriage, he knows better than to answer a question like that. He's a very smart man.

4. Are you an average, so-so or very good cook?
Better than so-so, but not in the very good category. I'm a good cook. A few things I make are fantastic, but they're other people's recipes. Does that count?

5. Do you spend more time watching television, listening to music or surfing the internet?
Surfing the internet.

Anybody have any good websites I should go visit?

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Old Shale Anklets

Kimmy's new red socks
Just finished knitting these socks for granddaughter Kimmy. She's seen and approved the yarn, but she hasn't seen the finished product yet so I may wait until Christmas to give them to her.

The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in a variegated colorway called "flame" and solid red.

Old Shale has always been one of my favorite lace stitch patterns because of the pretty scalloped edge it creates.

The sock on the right with the cuff turned down is how the sock looks on the foot.

The sock on the left has the cuff up to show how the sock is constructed. First, the lace was knit. Then, after a purl row to make a ridge for turning the cuff down, there is knit 1 purl 1 ribbing to hold the sock snuggly to the leg. The ribbing stops just before the sock gets to the point where solid red is going to show when the cuff is turned down.

I made this pattern up as I went along and I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I have enough left over yarn to make another pair. The second pair may be for me.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Cardinal Success
Cardinal nest tucked in bushNot very far from our side door - the door we use all the time - a cardinal built her nest in a large Rose of Sharon bush.

The nest is about six feet from the ground.

I spotted the nest a few weeks ago and wondered if the female would stay there with all the human and canine activity nearby.

Cardinal nest with two eggsThere doesn't seem to be a male cardinal around. Male involvement varies between bird species, so maybe that's typical for cardinals. I'd hate to think something happened to him.

This is the first time I've observed a cardinal nest.

According to my reading, there are usually three to five eggs in a cardinal nest. As you can see, this one only has two. Maybe that's a good thing if mom cardinal has to do all the food gathering herself.

Cardinal hatchlings in nestNot sure if they hatched today or yesterday, but here they are! Funny, fuzzy, hungry cardinal hatchlings.

I can't see into the nest without standing on something. And, even then I can't see what's in the nest without bringing the side down with my finger. That's why my hand is always in the bird nest pictures.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

New Links on Sidebar
City Birder
Rob writes about red-tailed hawks and other wildlife observations around Brooklyn and NYC. The pictures on this blog are some of the best bird photography I've ever enjoyed.

View From the Porch Swing
Stacy writes a nice friendly bog about her daily life and thoughts.

Go Ahead: Read My Mind
Melodee writes about her life as a preacher's wife and mother of four. Very upbeat and humorous.

Usually I wait a few months before putting a new blog on my sidebar. I found this blog such fun to read that I read her old posts and then decided to wave the waiting period.

Tah's Blog
This is my son John's new blog. He doesn't have to go through a waiting period because he's got pull on Seasons of Violet.

For those of you who like movies, he's written a thorough review of King Arthur.

What's your favorite blog other than Seasons of Violet?

Sunday, July 11, 2004

In The Work Place
Questions from Sunday Brunch.

For the past twenty-file years I worked full-time as a computer professional. In January of this year I was "severed due to acquisition".

The only job I have now is part-time volunteer work doing botanical inventory at the Kalamazoo Nature Center.

These answers are for my Kalamazoo Nature Center work.

  • 1. Do you work full-time, part-time or do you work a seasonal job? The work is part-time and seasonal, May through October.

  • 2. Are you more often on time, early or late for work? Early. I'm usually early for whatever I'm doing.

  • 3. Have you ever called in sick when you actually weren't? No.

  • 4. How many hours per day do you put in? Two hours once a week.

  • 5. Do you socialize with any of your co-workers? Not yet. We are going to have a get-together of all the volunteers at the end of the season.

Working At the Nature Center
I couldn't be more pleased with my plant inventory partner, Luanne. We match in age, physical ability, and plant identification skills. She's good company, sticks to the task at hand, and has a talent for spotting a species we haven't identified yet before I ever see it.

Fence to climbUp and Over
Our first challenge of the day is to get over this fence. There's a parking lot inside the fence, but it's usually not open during the week.

The first time I tried it, I wasn't confident I could make it over. Now I'm an experienced fence climbing grandma.

Source pondSource Pond
One of our destinations is this source pond. It is a half mile hike through an old field and a hardwood forest.

Someday I'd like to just hike out to the pond, quietly sit, and see what there is to see.

Michigan LilyMichigan Lily
Last week Luanne spotted a brightly colored something off the trail in a pit like depression. Usually when we spot something that's in a challenging spot, we're able to find the same plant growing elsewhere in a spot we can easily access. Not this time.

While I was wondering how we were ever going to get to them, Luanne said, "Will you help me out if I get stuck?"

Well, of course I would.

It was a beautiful clump of Michigan lilies, well worth the effort.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Silly Success

Pappy and me before the Doo Dah Parade
A former work teammate sent me this picture she took at the Doo Dah Parade.

She also sent it to other people we used to work with without much explanation of what we were doing.

Emailing: Marguerite and her dog.jpg


I took this picture of Marguerite at the Doo Dah parade.


I hurried to explain so they wouldn't all think I've gone bonkers since losing my job.

Thanks Barb. Nice picture.

For anyone who doesn't know, we were the Briarwood Beach Bums and we were supposed to look funny and stupid. That's the spirit of the Doo Dah parade. We were so successful at it that our group won second place.

Briarwood is the name of the doggy school where Sunny and Pappy do obedience and agility.

This is Pappy in the picture. He was a good sport about wearing the getup. This is the first time I've ever dressed up my dogs. It's not something I do lightly.

It took over a week and plenty of turkey dog pieces to train him to leave those glasses on. I also had to promise him that after the parade he never had to wear them again.

Hope everyone is well and happy and got a laugh out of Barb's picture.


Thursday, July 08, 2004

Congratulations to Me

Movado retirement watchA few weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to get a letter from Pfizer asking me to pick out a retirement gift.

It just happens that I was in need of a watch to fit my new lifestyle and one of the choices was a very nice Swiss made Movado watch with a leather band.

This is the first expensive watch I've ever owned. When I found out the list price - $395 - I was tempted to stick it in my dresser drawer and put my cheapy back on. The temptation quickly passed, and I've been proudly wearing it for about a week now.

I thought it was considerate of them to let us decline the Pfizer logo on our gift. My eighteen years of employment was with Upjohn/Pharmacia & Upjohn/Pharmacia. (2 mergers, two name changes.)

The night I heard that Pharmacia was acquired by Pfizer was the night I knew I was going to lose my job, so my career was not with Pfizer. (1,2,3 mergers and you're out!)

Does anyone outside of Kalamazoo remember the Upjohn Company?

Question from What's On.....Right Now??

What's On your 'fun things planned for the near future' Right Now??
Tomorrow I'm picking up granddaughter Kimmy and her friend Paul for a day at Full Blast.

Full Blast has an indoor water park with two, 100-foot waterslides, zero-depth entry pool, water play features, lazy river, and jet spa. Even more fun, it has an outdoor water park with two, 200-foot waterslides, zero-depth entry pool and water playground.

This is a special treat to celebrate the finishing of third grade.

We've done it after every school year so I know what to expect.

I picked up an easy read at the library today for my day at poolside. The kids are old enough now so all I need to do is sit, read, and occasionally shell out some money.

I'm looking forward to watching them have a blast.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Swimming Lesson Gone Bad
When Kimmy was three I started taking her to the "big pool" as she called it. Western Michigan University had family swim time on Saturday afternoons. For a couple of dollars we could use the university "big pool" for a few hours.

The shallowest water was four feet deep, way over little Kimmy's head. At first she sat on my hip and hung on tight as we waltzed around in the water. Later she got a little braver and paddled around with a flotation device.

That spring I signed her up for swimming lessons at Western. The students earned money by teaching the kids how to swim. I had high expectations.

Kimmy was willing and excited. I felt no qualms about leaving the pool area when they told the adults to get lost, and she didn't mind that I was leaving. We were allowed to go very high up in the bleachers and watch the lesson, so that's what I did.

She got put in a group with two little boys and a male instructor. The guy was clueless about kids.

The first thing he did was stand them on a small platform out in the middle of the four feet deep water. They could stand on the platform and have their head and chest out of the water. That was good.

Then, for some reason, the instructor left the group. The two boys started throwing water on Kimmy. Lots of water. She couldn't get away. She couldn't make them stop. I heard her screaming, "I want my grandma! I want my grandma NOW!"

By the time I got down to pool level she was semi hysterical. One of the lifeguards brought her to the edge of the pool and we went to the locker room. She cried and cried and cried - horrible deep sobs while I hugged her on my lap.

When she was done crying she said, "I like the pool. I don't like swimming lessons. I don't like boys!" We never went back.

We found other places to swim and gradually through the years she learned how to do all the water basics without swimming lessons.

Kimmy swimming in the deep end.

The Deep End
Kimmy is eight years old now. This is the first year we've let Kimmy go into the deep end by herself. She has fun jumping into nine feet of water and seeing how far down she can go.

In this picture, she's proudly swimming across the deep end. And proud Grandma and Great-Grandma are watching her show off.

I've been freezing in this unheated pool with Kimmy for the past three years. This year I've declared myself too old to swim in cold water. There have to be some advantages to getting old.

Mom not getting some sunThe pool is at Great-Grandma Monette's apartment complex.

This is Great-Grandma poolside and NOT working on a tan.

This summer Kimmy lives in an apartment complex that also has a pool. She gets to swim often and should be part fish by the end of the summer.

How did you learn how to swim?

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Zoo Day
Kimmy pretending to sleep on the tour busWhat Time Is It?
Wednesday Granddaughter Kimmy and I got up at five in the morning, left home at six in the morning and boarded a bus headed to the Brookfield Zoo.

Our bus driver's driving strategy was to get that big bus in the left hand lane and step on the gas. His strategy worked well and trip was completed in a little under three hours.

Kimmy is only pretending to sleep in this picture. Good actress, isn't she?

In reality, she was too excited to sleep. We played hangman for a while and then watched a movie, Stuart Little, on the monitors.

Back of Kimmy in her Brookfield Zoo hatHow Hot Is It?
If you've ever been to the zoo on a warm day, you know that it feels at least ten degrees hotter in the zoo than the actual temperature.

Maybe it is because of all the walking - in the sun and on the pavement.

I had told Kimmy we were going to get the souvenirs last so I didn't have to carry them around all day. She convinced me that she needed a hat right away, so we ended up in a souvenir shop almost first thing.

Everything at the zoo is priced way way more than it is worth. The zoo makes periodic announcements about the excess revenue going to the support of the zoo so we will feel good about overpaying.

I was ready to contribute. I took plenty of money in anticipation of paying outrageous prices. There were numerous opportunities to do just that.

Brown bear that can't be seen at Brookfield zooWhere's the Bear?
The zoo tries to make the animals as comfortable as possible.

Most of the outdoor animals are able to go indoors, which leaves their exhibit area empty for the overheated people who came to see them.

Even when the animals are outside, they are in an environment where it is not always easy to find them.

This is an Alaskan brown bear ripping a box apart behind the log. It would have been fun to watch. It would have been fun just to be able to see the bear.

Hey bear! We came all the way from Kalamazoo to see you. How about coming out from behind that log?

Next let's walk ten minutes in the heat and go see the tiger. There he is! Look! Look! I think that's a tiger ear sticking out from behind that clump of grass.

Kimmy is not impressed by the tiger ear. I'm not impressed either. We go stand in a long line to buy some overpriced ice cream and try to cool off a little.

Lion sleeping at Brookfield ZooIs It Real?
Yes, it is real.

The day wasn't a complete disappointment. The lion was impressive, even though he was sleeping.

The dolphin show was the most fun. It was so much fun that I completely forgot to take any pictures of the dolphins.

Kimmy and her souveniers eating an ICEE at Brookfield ZooCan We Get Souvenirs Now?
Yes. Grandma is ready to shell out more money. What would you like to have?

As usual Kimmy makes a good selection. A very cute stuffed wolf and a very cute stuffed tiger.

Well, if you can't see the real tiger, why not get a stuffed tiger?

After the shopping was complete, it was time for some cold refreshment and sit down time.

Our Zoo is Better
Kimmy and I agree that the day was not the most fun we ever had together. We did enjoy each other's company though, and I was impressed at how maturely she handled the disappointments.

We also agree that we like Binder Park Zoo better than Brookfield.

Where is Binder Park Zoo? It's just south of Battle Creek Michigan and about five miles from where Kimmy lives.

If you like zoos, Binder Park Zoo is a must visit. Plan an spending the whole day. There's plenty to see including a 50 acre African savanna.

Kimmy and I are both members, so we can stop in as often as we like. We've never had a bad time there. When we get too hot, we leave and go swimming.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Bird Report

Four day old bluebird hatchlings Four Days Old
All five bluebird eggs hatched on Tuesday. The little ones are keeping their parents busy bringing food to the nest.

When they're this little, they don't know enough to be afraid when I open the nest box. They just open their mouths and hope that I'm going to feed them.

Tree swallow fledglings Tree Swallows Learning to Fly
There is an electric line running diagonally across the field. Many of the fledglings end up sitting on it while learning the basics of life outside the nest.

When I went out yesterday morning, I got dive bombed by the swallows even though I wasn't anywhere near their nest box. When I looked up there were three of the young swallows on the power line.

Mom and Dad were watching them very closely. Any bird that got near them was chased away. In their spare time, the parents were bringing food and feeding their kids. I'm sure that food gathering is on the lesson schedule, too.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Blogging Vacation is Over
I'm back, rested, and ready to resume blogging!

There's much to write about and pictures to share, but it's late so I'm going to start out with something easy.

Question from What's On.....Right Now??

What's On your clock Right Now??
Kitchen clock with birds for numbers Remember when these clocks were advertised on TV?

This was a Christmas present from my daughter and granddaughter about four years ago.

Each hour a different bird song sings out the time.

I quickly learned that my tolerance for hourly bird songs coming from my kitchen clock was very low. After the first day I turned them off and they haven't been heard since.

Do you have a special clock?