New Summer Residents

We’re loaning out a bedroom for the summer – rather a very tiny bedroom, that is. We added a bird house in our front yard and within days a pair of blue birds is building a nest. They’ve been so diligent in their nesting that bits and pieces are coming out of the venting spaces and from the crack in the front door.

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Each day I can look up from my desk and see them flying to and from the bird house, working hard on their new summer home. I think next year I’ll planting a climbing vine of some sort and allow it to climb the pole the bird house is mounted on, but I want to give them their space for now.

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Bird watching is therapeutic and good for the soul.

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Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle

Another new visitor to our back deck – the Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle. Had never seen one of these until today. After some online searching (there are numerous other varieties), I learned what it was and not to pick one up – they bite! They are the most gorgeous color of teal/green in the sun – beautiful little bugs.

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In Bloom

Our Apricot Drift Roses that we planted around the front flower beds of our home are in full bloom. For the last few weeks since planting, we’ve only had a bloom or two and I was starting to worry a bit. This weekend, however, we noticed each of the eight bushes has several full, pink blossoms on display.

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I’ve been really pleased with this type surviving aphids and cankerworms so far. They’ve all got more holes in their leaves than not, but they’re still going strong and are growing fast.

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After the Rain

This weekend, we awoke to a serendipity on our back porch after a terrible thunderstorm had blown through. A luna moth had become overcome with water on its wings and was stuck to the wood on our deck. I had only seen pictures of these but knew exactly what it was. Being afraid to touch its wings or injure it, I tore napkins and used the fuzzy edges to touch to the water droplets to soak up enough of it that it could raise its wings off the wood.

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Once it had shivered a bit, the sun rose and it began to warm itself. Unfortunately, things weren’t looking good for this beautiful animal. Both injured and likely at the end of its life cycle, we had been chosen as its final landing spot.

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Luna moths are so striking, not only due to their size and ethereal appearance, but also as not being something you’re likely to come across often. I held it for the longest time not quite sure what to do for it. It was terribly windy and I couldn’t just let it be blown about; its wings were so wide that it kept being flung about by the strong breezes. I took it into the woods and placed it on a soft patch of moss below a holly bush where it was sheltered from the wind. While I was sad to see something so perfect and wonderful come to an end, I was thankful to be able to hold a luna moth in my hand.

Hail Sense

This was the way things were looking by the time we arrived at the local restaurant in town around 7 last night. We knew a storm was on the way, but per the weather map, it appeared the worst of it had just missed us. While spooky, I loved the clouds and whipped out my phone to snap a shot.IMG_2016

It was like this as far as the eye could see. However, again, per the weather map, we went on in to enjoy some warm food as my other half had just driven in from a long day and the idea of heading out had been on my mind all afternoon.

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The lights flickered in the restaurant towards the end of our meal and that was our signal to pay. (Our town tends to always lose power when storms roll through so this is not new for us). We still headed on our way to a little ice cream treat from a drive through as things weren’t that bad outside, it was still dark and spooky but no rain and our home was just 2 miles away. As we sat in the drive-through waiting our turn, we watched the clouds gather further. Hearing the increasing thunder, the first drops of rain plopped on the roof of the car and I had a sense something was about to happen. “It’s about to hail” I warned my husband.

Not 10 seconds later, we could heard the occasional “plink” of hail hitting the car. I took a moment deciding whether that was the worst it would be; little tiny hail balls would be ok and wouldn’t damage the car. Just a few moments later the first “thunk” of a heavy ball of ice hitting the car was all I needed. We peeled out of drive-through line. No ice cream tonight!

Thinking we didn’t have time before the hail that would damage the car (not to mention at driving speed), we  pulled into a local gas station with a wide cover to ride out the weather. We did a little impromptu shopping for a snack and filled up the tank while we waited things out. Once it had passed, we headed on home. What’s a dinner out without a little weather adventure?