Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I knew that our new home in the woods next door would require a different gardening approach. Native woodland flowers and other shade growing plants. Surrounded by giants oak trees and white pine there was really no place for a vegetable garden.
I was pointing this all out to Mrs T. Our days of growing, canning and freezing our own crops were over. We would find and patronize local farmers markets. That would be just as good and a lot less work. I especially noted that I would not miss all the hoeing and weeding. Thirty years of that was just about enough!
"I have 14 acres of corn on the west side of your woods. Use whatever you need for your garden." Mrs T lit up like a Christmas tree. "Oh how wonderful" she enthused. "Well ah... I’m sort of retiring from that field," I noted cautiously. Getting the "look" I piped down quickly. "Then I’m going to do it," she added..... We were back in the vegetable growing business.
The garden angel!
It wasn’t till a couple of weeks later that it became apparent that the tomatoes, peppers beans etc. seemed to be in a permanent sulk. Not exactly dead but with leaves curled tightly and not growing any more. Consulting my farmer friend I received the third degree. "Did you hold the sprayer nozzle within two inches of the ground? Was it very windy the day you sprayed.?" Oh oh...
Drift can be a serious problem with herbicides. Apparently one should read the directions on the container.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
There were several long uphill stretches. Hopefully by the end of the summer, I'll be in shape to better tackle those!
That same evening I got a chance to go flying with neighbor Dick. Here is part of the new trail, and the creek. Hopefully you can spot it from the air. It's not very wide as it winds through the countryside
What do you say? Lets go biking!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
White Throated Sparrow
As few weeks ago I was invited to join Top Minnesota Birders John Hockema and Ranger Alex from Forestville State Park to check out the rare, in Minnesota, Henslow Sparrows nesting in the Hvoslev Wildlife Management Area.
There are at least 35 bird species of sparrows in North America. Species of these birds can generally be located in five areas of North America. There are 15 species of sparrows, that can be found in most areas of North America, some more abundant and widespread than others. These are the American Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Harris's Sparrow, Le Conte's Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and the House Sparrow, which is now a common bird, first introduced to a New York City Central Park around 1850.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
As you can see here, some members of the Audobon Society had to place themselves strategically on the trail to avoid stepping in horse manure. This does create a technical problem for the group. Watching the trees and shrubs fore birds and keeping an eye on where you are stepping, all at the same time, can be rather difficult.
"Horse manure generates so much heat as it decomposes that large piles of it have been known to spontaneously combust." - Little Book of Horse Poop by Becki Bell.
As you can see in the above quote, beside the issue of dog versus horse equal rights, is the danger of horse apples causing forest fires in our beloved parks. I rest my case. :-)
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Maybe you know???
Saturday, July 4, 2009
The rookie birder (me) got an invitation to join the Zumbro Valley Audobon Society's outing to Forestville State Park. Top Minnesota birder John Hockema led the tour. It was definitely an eye opener. Here is how it went.
The old fishing path along the stream, on which I had spent many many hours accessing my brown trout hotspots, had been upgraded to accomodate the horsey people. It definitely made walking a lot easier!
The stream itself, as you can see, is gorgeous. It must be, at least partially, the reason why there were so many birds along its woodsy corridor.
So where are the pictures of all the birds? Well , to tell the truth, both the photographer and the camera were inadequate to catch the little rascals flitting amongst all the heavy cover. Maybe next time! Canfield Creek, in Forestville Park - a great place to visit regardless of what your looking for!