Sunday, August 28, 2011

Strolling on a summer's day

While our friends out east deal with the wind and water from Hurricane Irene, here in our southwest Michigan summertime "the living is easy".  A short stroll through the yard revealed a number of interesting items to share with you.  C'mon!

Down on the septic prairie, the prairie dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum) is in glorious bloom.  How I wish the entire mound was covered in these plants this time of year! 

The leaves are impressively large and rough as sandpaper.  When I first saw them I was convinced the plant was a weed.  But when it sends up a red stalk...

...of these bright, dancing daisy flowers, well nothing is cheerier!  Just look at them!

I hope they're going to set seeds and spread up the mound for next summer.

Now we take a peek into the barn and find Barnard resting in the dog crate.  I tried to get Barnard fixed this week, but it turned out he was broken -- in the form of an upper respiratory infection that must heal before he can have surgery.  So he's been taking it easy in the barn, sneezing and sleeping.

He's a little bored.  You know how it is when you have a cold.  (BTW, he does NOT use that box for his bathroom needs.  I still have not discovered how he's taking care of that part of his hygiene.  Am moderately concerned to figure that out!)

The chickens are outside in their run, which is full of tall weeds giving them shelter from any predators.  They just love to take a dust bath in the sun.  I'm really happy that they're getting daily fresh air again.

Ulani waits patiently outside the barn door when I go in.  As a known chicken killer, she's not allowed inside.

Peeking into the backyard I saw this lovely swallowtail on a clover plant.  I only snapped this one picture before it flew off.  Then, looking back across the field behind us, I saw some white movement in a tree.  Suddenly I realized an egret was flying directly towards the barn!

There it is!  Need help?

Lately I've seen one Great Blue Heron hanging around with six egrets in various field pools.  They always startle me, and I wish my camera could do more zooming.  But seeing them in person is the most magical thing and I always stop whatever I'm doing, or slam on the brakes, so that I can enjoy them.  Before long the birds will begin their migration, though one heron remains here year round.  Until then, I'll keep my eyes open.

Hope you enjoyed our little stroll around Busy Solitude Farm.  Come back again!


greelyrita said...

I loved the stroll! Thanks!! You can pretty much stroll our 1/3 acre by standing in one spot and just turn around. Short of the barn (maybe the shed suffices), we have (in small scale) what you have. I wish it were more. Perhaps one day when my daughter moves to a piece of property, I'll get to stroll more land this way.

MaryEllen Schneider said...

Ahhh, I feel renewed. Great way to start a Monday. Thanks, Johanna.

The JR said...

I enjoyed strolling with you.

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