Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cicada and Tree Frog gathering

I am documenting the Cicadas to acknowledge this is their big 17th year.  The volume of their sing song mating call is deafening if near a particularly loaded tree.  The other day when I was mowing, they didn’t like the competing sound so they swarmed all over me.  They don’t bite, but those little gripping feet feel like it.

Speaking of gripping feet—the tree frogs on our kitchen window are amazing.  I count eight in this picture, but there were actually ten right before I took the picture. 


For a while each evening, we leave the light on in the kitchen which draws bugs on the outside of the window.  The tree frogs then go to work.  If you look closely, there is a  hummingbird feeder hanging from the eave.  The frogs regularly jump back and forth from the feeder to the window.  Today we saw a little tiny one make the leap.  Last week I washed the window on the outside and within a day it was a mess again.  The little buggers are too much fun to watch so I will not worry about a dirty window.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Four out of Five Isn’t Bad

A recent article listed five outstanding wine regions outside of Napa Valley.  Dan and I have visited four of the five.  Obviously, we think wine trails are fun.

Hermann Wine Trail – I have lost track how many times we have visited this region.  This might be my favorite picture of a spring visit several years ago.


Shawnee Wine Trail – We’ve visited this southern Illinois region several times.  We  enjoy their fruit wine. And, it is especially beautiful in the fall. They may have improved the signage in recent years, but early on this is why it was difficult to find the actual wineries.


Finger Lakes region of New York – This was a beautiful area, but we visited at a time when we were up against a deadline of a birthday celebration in southern Indiana and getting back to work.  So, we did not do it justice.  We stopped at one winery.  This is the only picture I took.  There is a glimpse of one of the finger lakes in the background.


Texas Hill Country – Loved this area in the spring when the Blue Bonnets were blooming.  Would go back in a minute.  We were there looking at the flowers and only visited one winery.  There is a wine trail that looks interesting.  I think we need to get a group and sign up next spring!  Want to come?



Another notable wine trail would be Colorado’s Grand Junction area.  I don’t know if there are enough for a “trail,” but we enjoyed our visit to a winery in Nebraska.  And, what about our trail right here in Kansas?  We think the wine is good and it’s close enough to visit in an evening.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Wildflower Walkabout

I wish we would have kept better track of rainfall this spring.  The total amount has to approach ten inches—maybe more.  Both the brome and prairie hay look lush.  Right now so do the wildflowers.  So, we decided to do a little wildflower tour.

First, just a hundred feet from our house is a big patch of common Sullivant milkweed.  Anytime we drive by, it is humming with activity.  It’s a wonder there aren’t butterflies and bumble bees in this picture as well.  They are all around.


Further up the driveway we have one of my favorites—Black Eye Susan


These are all over the pasture—Fleabane Daisy


The most beautiful of all—Butterfly Milkweed



There is always one mystery.  I think we’ve taken a stab at what it is in the past.  I thought maybe Dewberries, but doesn’t match the online photo.  Help!