Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Favorite Wildflower + (and color) - Shooting Star




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First time saw Shooting Stars in a field across a hillside, was speechless with how beautiful they were. The fragrance was wonderful and uplifting.  


This is my desktop, for a few years, just finally noticed, a beetle where thought just pollen heads -the dark purple.                 






They are so many shades of pink to orchid to almost white.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Monarch butterflies and using native instead of non native milkweed.

Monarch butterflies (along with Swallowtail, sulfurs, whites....) vist our yard. We dont have any milkweed plants and just read here https://monarchjointventure.org/resources/faq
That is better not to grow non native milkweeds for the Monarch butterfly. Also had a page with videos and 1 on growing mildweed. Harvest when seeds are brownish (press slightly on crack in pod) but dont collect a pod that is open and had Milkweed bugs on it as they also feed on the seeds and might collect non viable seeds. They used onion bags as they are breathable. The fun part is seperating from the fluff, which can stuff pillows with. Might try spinning with it but heard need the young fibers for that to work. It is very silky shiny.

Friday, August 25, 2017

PEACH tree on the patio

  Thought had wrote about the peach tree months ago, as it was planted about 2 yrs ago in a large pot as was any other outstanding tasty item with a seed I ate. SO wasnt sure it it was an almond or peach. The avocado died during several repeated blistering heat. They were from a small no fiber fruit with a small seed!
This year the peach flowered, it is about 5 feet tall and 17 fruit were ripening. We ate them and were pretty good. Were a yellow fruit and was surprised as usually get white peaches/nectarines as less acidic. 
  So we had this miracle of seed growing , up to age to flower, then low chill hours needed for fruiting.
The last one fell off into a pot next to tree and found partially muched. Then it disappeared, no other trouble with 'varmints on peach. They were quite frequent on the Royal grape vine.



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Strange insect

Son found 2 strange bugs today. One is a beetle, about inch long and white with stripes. Think is a False Potato bug.
The other is about 3/4" and can fly , is brownish and seems to have a tongue it moves out.

Bug on screen door
































Am wondering what it does, and lives (and if bites). Woke this morning with itch and bump on leg, so put baking soda on it then later benedryl and Epsom salts but kept itching and see it has a blister. (first tried iodine on it). Figured was from walking out to grape and maybe a flea from coons or squirrels that try to eat grapes. Usually put mint spray on shoes sock legs and pant cuffs but forgot that time.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

music with birds and cicadas

Cicadas that release from pupae every so many years. http://www.radiolab.org/story/292987-septendecennial-sing-along/   whales ,
videos of  https://www.bugmusicbook.com/videos
http://www.davidrothenberg.net/
Have been hearing cicadas lately, strangely , not everday.


natural dye resources

 Found so many nice web pages where people share what they learned or developed.  This one is using soy milk to paint or print on fabric. They soak overnight soy beans, bleander and strain and add (think only in tiny amounts of pigments of what will be used in day or 2 as it can go bad and really smell.
http://textileartscenter.com/blog/painting-with-earth-pigments-and-soymilk/     they also added gum tragacanth.    Also listed things learned the hard way, and presoaked fabric in soy milk.

  This has beautiful pics of yarns/fabric dyed with honysuckle berries
https://forestandthespirit.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/black-twinberry-honeysuckle/

Friday, June 9, 2017

Our water ways and streams

  While looking for artists pictures and websites online, found this website group who goes to schools and helps people learn about their streams and what is in them.
https://www.streamofdreams.org/   Which we had in our area. Someone started trying to save the local trout salmon as the many times dry streams/rivers(kinda) are mined for sand. Think it is a big group of people who care and have accomplished quite a bit. Will go look it up.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXfKTJ4vOvA

 Image may contain: plant and outdoor


Gopher snake and

While walking back into house at back patio , heard a rattling sound.
Looked over towards sound and saw a long snake hurring away from near corner towards block wall. About 4 feet long (was told it was longer). Was so shiny new. Think is this 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Hummings, Natural dyes

Heard a tiny tap on window or something metal just outside kitchen and looked up. There was a hummingbird flying from area of window to mid patio and hovering there , then took off to NW.
Maybe after bugs or spider webs or fiber on fabric sample for natural dye project drying (tiny bit of red of pomegranite flower that pressed into fabrics. Am sampling to see if useful to use old rehydrated powdered milk or egg white or yolk (found a cracked egg in carton so decided not to eat it). Used on cotton, organic cotton and also a lin/cot.  Is very foggy and chili out at 8am.
    This weekend saw a few black bugs (true bugs) that were black on top and tan under, about an inch long. Still havnt id'd.
  Another day and when opened a slider (glass door) to let warm air in thru the house, saw a small blue tailed
Skink directly under the slider and looking to hide again. Wanted to catch and put in back so to be safer for, but it went out and into the dryer vent. Cleaned some of the lint stuck to flap on vent and turned on dryer to shoo it out. This time it went next door. Hope they treat it well.
   Just saw several mourning Cloaks sitting, 1 closed and other open in sun today.
Have been trying to paint with some of the natural dyes and think a thickener for some would be helpful. Black bean soaking water, purple carrot cooking water.....
   This morning while almost light and dark, heard a bird start up , then a cricket, then back to bird. Wonder if the cricket sound was really the bird  (Mockingbird).

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sounds, fly and ...

Had a power outage other day for a very short time and realized no battery run clocks around to reset time on stove by. Called the electric company to see if was fixed or might keep repeating (and she gave me the time). Had in the mean time found some dark spot on the bed and figured had tracked in on feet from kitchen? or , so since just light from window and not wearing glasses , picked it up and it moved/wiggled.
So dropped it and looked for a container and cover, put it in and figured when day was bright enough, would try to id it. Thought looked like a half a fly with narly legs or a weird crickett.
Took a pic, is a fly. Any ideas what kind, and what doing in the house?

Also this morning at (old real time) heard an owl screeching. Will check online to hear if any id bird sites have sounds listed also.
Did see a Barn owl last week in our tree. Took a fuzzy pic.

Barn owl about 16' up in tree, she stayed about a day. Worried that she might be well but was gone next day.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Spring has sprung, hear see lizards, birds collecting fibers.

Heard  rattling in the grass starting last week. The heat is bringing out the lizards. Heard 1 a few days ago, it had fallen into a bucket near the block was. Heard the skittering sound on the metal. Time to lizard proof  turn over or put lid on containers/ empty pots... Mostly the fence lizards have come out near door on patio.
  This morning heard many little birds, as looked out saw 1 small one bracing her legs as they are splayed out and pulling greatly on threads of a torn rag on the ground. Later, after found a camera, it was by door and picking up scraps of yarn and flew off startled.  Hope they are safe for it.
 Earlier saw Ravens collecting twigs and heard all week hawks ( banded tails ). A couple we saw looked like Sparrow hawks and had long narrow tails.