Monday, August 26, 2013

Heron Again.

8-26-13 VERMONT: We had a brief shower late last night, but only got 0.2 inches of rain. Today is overcast and threatening, hot and muggy.

The pond is now down by 4 or 5 inches after almost four weeks of syphon drainage. That translates into about 3800 cu. ft. based on a quarter acre surface area. It should have taken only 16 days to drain that much, but rain and the springs that feed the pond have replaced water at about half the rate at which it’s draining. It doesn’t look any clearer.

Speaking of the pond, the heron was back yesterday at midday and caught a frog, a big one. Pix and details of the hunt are below.

In the pasture, the pasture the mint is in full bloom. The stalks are four feet tall and topped with a cluster of purple flowers. Usually at this time of the season, the mint flowers are covered with butterflies, all different species. There are lots of bee pollinators, but almost no butterflies this year.

The clematis looks like a big, white blanket hanging from the deck.

Well, he got one good sized frog. He [she] snatched it up while standing in the shallow water. He was seemingly frozen in place for, perhaps, ten minutes and then struck in the blink of an eye. He carried the frog up on the grass and stabbed it with his steely knife-like bill

Just before he swallowed it whole.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Farmer's Market.

8-24-13 VERMONT: We went to the Norwich, VT, Farmer’s Market after the dump run this morning, so Judy could look for a couple presents to bring back to NJ. The day is a beauty, as the last several have been. There was a full parking lot, big crowd, live music and all the booths and stands were busy. Congrats to the director, our neighbor Steve. Judy found what she needed plus bread and lunch.

On a different note, our local bird population is not the usual mix of species that we get. This summer we have no robins, grosbeaks, woodpeckers, catbirds, blue jays in the yard or at the feeders. We have lots of goldfinches and doves, some red finches, sparrows, chickadees, nuthatches. We are moving a lot of sunflower seeds to the customers we get.

New blooms: purple leaf ligularia.

The Farmer's Market with live music...

Veggies and Fruit...


And a very busy sheep cheese stand.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Heron Goes Hunting.

Great Blue Heron, immature, lacks the head plumes of the adult. This on is still learning and scares frogs at about 5 sec and 30 sec in the video. You can hear the first frog croak a warning and see the splash. The second frog startles the heron jumping in the pond from near the heron's feet.

You can see the video on YouTube or my Facebook page also.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


8-18-13 VERMONT: Judy did it again. Another acclaimed dinner party, in attendance: Pam and Angel, new roadsters, Steve and Diana, Katie and Andy, Roger and Ann, Ned and Lou, Donna and Bruce and us. The weather cooperated enough so the deck was in play as well as the house. Last night we did an anniversary dinner at Elixir in WRJ, and tonight we go to the BBQ in Thetford Center with Ken and Jane.

Today was the first day when we picked tomatoes while there were still uneaten tomatoes in the kitchen. We now have one large bowl full. Thus begins tomato season—tomato pies, gazpacho, BLT’s, tomato sandwiches and then they go in the freezer, along with the gallons of blueberries from the last few weeks.

New blooms: white lobelia, white-star clematis, pearly everlasting.

Tomato storm begins.

Tomato with tomatoes.

The right color shirt.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Finally Veggies.

8-16-13 VERMONT: The last rain left 0.6 inches of precip and left us back in the cold. We had another fire two nights ago. Now it’s warming up again.

We have been eating corn for a couple days and tomatoes for about a week. Both crops are late, I guess there hasn’t been enough sun and too many cool days. There’s certainly been enough rain.

New blooms: catmint [forgot to mention], mint, first aster.

More of the hybrid daylilies, the native daylilies finished the beginning of August.

Good colors...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

He's Baaack.

8-14-13 VERMONT: Yesterday it rained all day and was fairly cool, but that didn’t stop our intrepid blue heron. He [she] was back and made it to the water’s edge, hung around looking for sushi, but left without a catch.

This time he [she] got closer to the water.

He stood there like a statue waiting for some frog or fish to appear.

And checked out another spot before moving on.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Morning Visiter.

8-12-13 VERMONT: I was looking out the window at the pond this morning when a huge shadow slide across the lawn. I looked in the direction the shadow went and saw a big bird in an ash tree. I went downstairs for the camera and watched it glide across the pond to a white pine where it sat watching the pond for several minutes. I cracked the screen door to get a couple of pix.

See anything?

Now see anything?

Great Blue Heron flew off after about ten minutes.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Rain Again.

8-9-13 VERMONT: The rain came back last night and continued most of the day today, leaving an inch of precip and a soggy yard. Last night there were a lot of flashes and rumbles. Nick was unhappy. It has also gotten warm and humid again.

Yesterday I was working on the rotted wood under the old house front door. There’s always more inside than there seems to be on the surface.

Judy and I are both getting PT for our right ankles with simultaneous appointments.

New blooms: white phlox, blue lobelia.

The new echinacea admiring their reflections in the pond. Hopefully, they will be happy there.

Red lobelia is also called cardinal flower. Does the flower look like a red bird in flight? It comes in blue and also white. The blue ones are just starting, but white ones still in hiding.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Getting Colder.

8-6-13 VERMONT: The rain has stopped for a couple of days, and the air has been cool and dry. All the swollen doors are starting to be closable. Last night was in the forties, and we had a fire going. Cool spells in August are like warm spells in February, a reminder of things to come.

I have finished three of my four house repair projects, but I discovered more rotted wood below the old house front door. It will have to be dug out and replaced with something pressure treated before I can replace the rotted trim boards.

After my Saturday dump run, I stopped at Brown’s Nursery for the sale and bought five Astilbe arendsii ‘Cattleya’ and eight Echinacea purpurea, coneflower, all for pond side. I have tried echinacea several places without much success. This site offers full sun which, I hope, will make a difference.

New blooms: Indian pipe.

Black-eyed Susan means August.

Interesting sky.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Summer is starting to Wane.

8-4-13 VERMONT: Time slips by, sorry, dear reader that I haven't posted. Whatever. It continues to rain every night, about 0.75 inches over the last few days. It means that I can’t get started on my projects until things dry out each day.

I have replaced that bad sill and siding, but am waiting for dry to glue it and screw it. In front of the old house I pulled off the rotted skirt boards and replaced some, except where the underlying wood was wet. Nothing was badly rotted there. I will need more of the Azek boards, I have used more of it than I expected to.

The days are noticeably shorter and goldenrod and Queen Anne’s lace are blooming in the pasture, summer is showing its age.

New blooms: goldenrod, Queen Anne’s lace, black-eyed susan.

Six water lilies and three green frogs.

Helenium, also called 'sneeze weed'.

Another hollyhock.