Thursday, May 26, 2005

Butterflies are beautiful

I was working on my history of Brookside school when a email from Chip came in with these two pictures. I decided these were much better than my writing. It is amazing how beauty comes in such small packages.

Great Spangled Fritillary, Speyeria cyblele - wingspan 2.5-4 inches -
larvae feed on violets - 1 generation per year - widespread -some
adults may live three months

 Posted by Hello

American copper -Lycaena phleas- wing span 7/8 to nearly 1.5 inches
- known from only 6 counties in KS - females lay eggs on curly doc,
sheep sorrel, and members of the smartweed family - has 2- 3
generations/yr in KS.

Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I took this picture last night on our wildflower walk. Trouble is I didn't know the species. I took the lazy way out & emailed Chip. He sent the following response: The butterfly is a newly
emerged American Painted Lady - Vanessa
virginiensis - the larvae feed on species of
pussy toes or pearly everlasting. It is easy to
find the larvae as they make conspicuous nests at
the tops of the plants. They are quite abundant
right now and I saved a bunch from the mower on

So, watch for them---

 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The tour was about over, but I had to catch my friend in her perfect hat. Posted by Hello

Wildflowers & Friends

The past several weeks we have been working on spring cleaning on the house & yard. It needed to be done badly, but also I had scheduled my SHARE group to meet here for dinner and a wildflower hike.

Tonight was that event. We didn't get everything done, but it looks so much better than it did--I felt very good about having guests. I am hoping this weekend to continue working on the front cedars. They need a haircut--you know, just a little trim up with the clippers.

The wildflower tour was mostly a success. We invited a Shawnee County Master Gardener and his wife to guide us. He was knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The only reason it wasn't a total success was many of the plants needed about a week longer to bloom It was interesting to learn about the plants as well as the flowers, though. It is surprising how many we actually tasted. There was one (I don't remember the name) that tasted like celery. One of the members told me she picks leaves off the plant in its early growth and uses it in her deviled eggs and potato salad. Cool!

We had a light dinner before going out on the tour--sandwiches, deviled eggs, chips and cookies. I made a fresh spinach salad from my garden crop. The following recipe is from the Kansas 4-H cookbook. My sister-in-law makes this salad so I credit her with the find.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seed
1 tablespoon poppy seed
1/4 teaspoon Worestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
mild onion cut in very thin rings
Mix together and stir occasionally while preparing the spinach.

Fresh spinach
1 qt. fresh strawberries
1 can mandarin oranges

Place spinach, strawberries then oranges in bowl. Then right before serving, pour dressing with marinated onions over salad and toss. The recipe says this serves 6 however, I had 13 people here and I just added more spinach. There was enough dressing.
I carry my camera with me most of the time. However, this morning I did not have it. All the way to work I watched this awesome cloud formation and actually considered turning around and returning to get it. I continued on to work, but when I checked my emails after work this afternoon, Chip had also noticed & took this shot. I considered turning the picture upsidedown & posting it. It looks so much like the ocean.  Posted by Hello

Monday, May 23, 2005

I am writing this between itching. I think poison ivy and I had a meeting yesterday. We hauled three hay trailers of limbs out of the yard. I still have the shrubs in front of the house to trim and mow the yard again. The SHARE group is meeting here Tuesday night. It has been a good incentive.

We were invited to dinner in Kansas City last evening. It was wonderful food, conversation and stories with friends we've known for over 30 years.. The perfectly grilled, marinated salmon was excellent as well as the home made coconut cream pie.

Today is our first grandson's sixth birthday. It was after holding the tiny red haired grandchild that we realized the old saying was true--if we had known grandchildren were this special, we would have had them first. Happy Birthday, Aaron.