Autumn Walk

I love the way the light shines through the trees and how the shadows dance across the road. Beautiful night for a walk.

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.
Michelangelo

shadows

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Litterbug

I am not sure what I am most upset about.

1. That we have a litterbug living in these here parts
2. Their cholesterol levels or
3. Their very poor taste in beer. 

Which would you choose?? 

All of this was collected on one very short walk yesterday. I couldn’t carry anymore. Didn’t take a bag – the walk was to be a walk, not a cleanup day. 

litterbug

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Pokeweed

Some people don’t care for this plant but pokeweed has always been a favorite of mine. These delicate little blossoms will lead the way for the dark purple berries to form and become a wonderful food source for the birds. This plant can absolutely take over but I do love to see it’s distinctive color and style growing on the edges of the woods – it can get big, over 6 feet. The adult plant, roots and berries are toxic so it is important not to eat any part of it. In the past the young shoots may have been eaten after being boiled twice (with water discarded between each boil). I am glad there are easier and better choices for us to eat today. One other fun fact is that the berries were used by Native Americans and early settlers for ink and dye.

This is a picture of Pokeweed early in the season. The berries are now a lovely deep dark purple.

pokeweed

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Pears!

We will have a pretty good pear crop this year!
I will make pear sauce & use it for baking.

Don’t tell Uncle Joey. He light-heartedly teases and says I should leave them for the deer (they have 100 acres to roam, and they have eaten plenty already. They are good.) 

pears

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Tussock Moth Caterpillar

We don’t have much milkweed around here (something I am working on). Milkweed has a hard enough time and this little one isn’t helping matters at all. Tussock Moth Caterpillars will eat an entire milkweed plant, taking it away from our very special Monarch Caterpillars. The Tussocks will also eat dog bane so they can gently be relocated.

tussock

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Crisis Averted

My adventures of living life in the woods are not always flowers & butterflies. 

Heading to work early one morning and I came across two crows on the road. They were cleaning up an unfortunate incident and having their morning meal. One of the crows was off to my passenger side and kind of hidden in the shadows. As he took off up and over my car I saw something in his feet. It was all slow motion after that and the words “No, No, NO!!!” came from my mouth as he dropped what was in his feet over the roof of my car – MY SUNROOF WAS OPEN!!! I did not hear it hit the roof of the car and was now completely freaked out that the intestines of something were in my car and more importantly near my one and only cup of coffee! I pulled over to find that his aim was off by only about a foot. 

crows

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Rose of Sharon

Our Rose of Sharon are really starting to bloom!
Someone that came to our property a few years ago said, “The first thing I would do is rip those out.” I get it. They take over and can be a pain. What this person didn’t know is that they were one of her favorites. They were bought for her by her son as birthday presents. She is the reason we are here. I will trim them and pull any stragglers – as long as we are here, they are not going anywhere.

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Hickory Tussock Moth

I was collecting some Black Walnut leaves for the Luna Moth Caterpillars I am raising (that’s another story!) and I came across what I thought was mold. After taking a closer look – they are caterpillars! A lot of them! Turns out I think they are Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillars and will only eat the leaves from black walnut, pecan, hickory and butternut. They can cause mass destruction and if they eat too much earlier in the season, they could cause permanent damage to the tree, even killing it. Most research says to kill them but I will keep my eye open for more masses and spare them for now. I have only seen this one patch.

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Cranefly

Pretty Cranefly resting on some grass. Don’t worry, these big insects to not bite like a mosquito and are harmless. They only live 2 weeks or so in the adult stage, some feeding on nectar and others on nothing at all.

Fun fact: when you find the larvae in the creek it is always fun to watch the reaction of kids (and adults alike) when they realize that the gills are located on it’s back end. Therefore … It breathes out of it’s butt. 🙂

cranefly

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