Friday, June 17, 2005

This n' That

It's been a busy evening. We ran to town after work to look for yard art for Salina Family. We are visiting tomorrow evening and Sunday so I wanted it for a "yard warming" gift. We found it. I thought of posting a picture, but they might read this and then it wouldn't be a surprise. I love it--hope they do too. (Colorado Family--we bought you one too)

Wouldn't you know since we are leaving tomorrow evening, the green beans are ready. I hope SF is hungry for green beans. Actually, it sounds really good--with some ham or brats, new onions and new potatoes. My friend Sue calls it Green Chili. (I'll save some beans for you, Sue)

Oh, and the cherries. They pick fast. Don't make a dessert, SF.

Our telephone has been out for over two days. I've called SBC twice. Their automated message assures me they are going to fix it. So far, no SBC. I worry about our elderly neighbor who is without a phone also.

I was stung on the mail route today. It reminded me of my daily confrontations with mailbox inhabitants. I have a few pictures--look for the post Sunday or Monday night.

I'll put up a picture of the yard art and with our grandboys. Sorry CF, yours won't be a surprise.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Cherry Tree

Several years ago our hybrid cherry tree blew over. Since it was in a corner of our yard, we decided to leave it as cover for rabbits and birds. Instead of dying, the cherry tree has flourished. This year it is loaded with cherries. Last weekend we picked enough for a cherry crisp and another gallon pail for our kind neighbor who mowed our yard.

Tomorrow night we must pick the rest before the birds find them. My cherry crisp recipe is a good one. Here is the recipe as well as little extra things that make it especially tasty.

Early American Cherry Crisp

3 cups pitted tart cherries (I add about 1/4 cup sugar)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal (old fashioned)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teas. salt
1 stick butter (important to use butter)
Combine cherries and almond extract. Place in greased 8 inch square pan. Combine dry ingredients and add butter. Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over cherries. Bake 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

American Painted Lady

This is an American Painted Lady. The butterfly is a little out of focus, however, it is sitting on my one of my favorite wildflowers. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

Regal Fritillary

Yesterday I posted a picture of what I thought was a Monarch Butterfly. Last night I received an email from Chip identifying it as a Regal Fritillary, a relatively rare species that is in decline over most of the country.

There is a large amount of information on the internet about this butterfly. I learned it is a member of the Nymphalidae family which also includes monarchs. The Regal Fritillary lives in tall-grass prairies of North America, primarily west of the Mississippi.

An article on the Regal Fritillary on the Great Plains Nature Center of Wichita site was written for the lay person. Jim Mason listed possible reasons for the decline of this species. Herbicide and pesticides in agriculture and decline of the tall grass prairie were obvious reasons. The most interesting, though, was the Regals reproduction behavior. Most butterflies lay their eggs on the host plant that the caterpillar will consume. Regals, however, just wonder around laying their eggs here and there in their grassland habitat rather than next to the birds foot violet that they will need to feed.Then the eggs hatch before winter but don’t start feeding until spring. It helps that they may lay up to 2,400 eggs, but good luck finding those violets.

Fortunately, we have those violets in our pasture and I feel privileged to have found these beautiful little creatures near by.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Butterflies are finding the milk weeds in our pasture. Posted by Hello