Our Garden/Greenhouse In Early May 2013
1) Cucumber Plant; 2) Corn Plant; 3) Snow Pea Blossom; 4) Sunflower Seedling; 5) Avocado Plant; 6) Pumpkin Blossom; 7) Cucumber Plant
National Idaho Day 2023
Happy National Idaho Day!
Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)
Horace’s duskywing, is a species of butterfly in the family Hesperiidae. It is found in the United States from Massachusetts to Florida, and west to eastern South Dakota, the Gulf Coast, southeastern Utah, Colorado, north-eastern Arizona, and New Mexico. It is listed as a species of special concern in the US state of Connecticut.
The fringes are brown. The upper side of the male forewing is dark brown with little contrast and no white over scaling. The upper side of the female forewing is light brown with a contrasting pattern and large transparent spots. The underside of the hindwing is usually without two spots below the apex. The male has a coastal fold containing yellow scent scales; the female has a patch of scent scales on the 7th abdominal segment. The wingspan is 36–49 mm.
There are two generations in the north, with adults on the wing from April to September; there are three generations in the deep south and Texas, with adults on the wing from January to November. Adults prefer open woodlands and edges, clearings, fence rows, wooded swamps, power-line right-of-ways, open fields, and roadsides.
Our Garden/Yard In Mid-May 2023 (3)
1) Privet; 2) Wild Raspberry Blossom; 3) Buttercup; 4) Dame’s Violet;
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge: The Holy City of The Wichitas, Oklahoma 2014
Located in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge just 22 miles northwest of Lawton, the Holy City of the Wichitas stands on a 66-acre area that looks much like Israel during Biblical times. You’ll find numerous full-sized buildings and structures inside the city, including the temple court, the Lord’s Supper building, Herod’s Court, and Pilate’s judgment hall, all built with locally-quarried granite in the 1930s. You can also explore areas designated as Calvary’s Mount and the Garden of Gethsemane, in addition to watchtowers and perimeter walls.
The site is also home to the nation’s longest-running annual Easter passion play, “The Prince of Peace.” American theaters showed newsreel footage, and in 1937 the U.S. government produced a full-length film of the pageant. Attendance reached an all-time high in 1939 when 225,000 visitors jammed Audience Hill for the sunrise performance.
Other on-site attractions include a memorial for the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, a Veterans Walkway, and the World Chapel, which has become a popular wedding locale. This modern-day chapel replicates Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, and features ceiling and wall murals by artist Irene Malcolm.
When we left Holy City, we had a couple of motorcyclists and a prairie dog in front of us. The riders honked at the prairie dog, which sat in the middle of the lane. The Prairie Dog ran over in the grass, turned around, and showed them its tongue. What a naughty little critter??!!!
Beautiful Colors of Spring (10)
The Possum Kingdom Complex is a grouping of four wildfires that have consumed about 148,000 acres (600 km2) in Stephens, Young, and Palo Pinto counties. The complex consists of the Possum Kingdom West Fire (90,000 acres), Possum Kingdom East Fire 11,000 acres (45 km2), Hohertz Fire 40,000 acres (160 km2), and Jackson Ranch Fire 7,000 acres (28 km2). The fire destroyed 166 homes and two churches. 600 more homes were threatened. Possum Kingdom State Park was closed on April 15. Ninety percent of the park was involved in the fire. 450 firefighters, three helitankers, and three helicopters fought the fire along a 270-mile (430 km) fire line.
On August 30, 2011, another outbreak of wildfires ravaged the Possum Kingdom Lake area, continuing well into September and destroying 39 homes by the time of containment.
Our Garden/Yard In Mid-May 2023 (2)
1) Japanese Honeysuckle; 2) Eastern Red Columbine; 3) Wild Strawberry Blossom; 4) Japanese Honeysuckle; 5) Dandelion; 6) Buttercup; 7) Greater Celandine; 8) Fleabane Daisy; 9) Tulip; 10) Pink Honeysuckle;
11) Maple Leaves; 12) White-tailed Deer
Mother’s Day 2023
National Train Day 2023 🚂🚃🚃🚃
National Train Day is observed every year on the Saturday closest to May 10, and this year it falls on May 13. The holiday was first celebrated in the year 2008 and continues to be celebrated to this day. The celebrations were conceptualized by Amtrak as a way to spread awareness about the history of railway networks in the U.S. and why more people should use this mode of transport. Railways are one of the most eco-friendly ways to go from one place to another. Amtrak offers railroad services in countless cities in the U.S. and three cities in Canada. Railways don’t just transport people from one place to another but are also involved in the transportation of goods and certain services.
Our Garden/Yard In Mid-May 2023 (1)
1) Winterberry Holly Blossoms; 2) Fleabane Daisy; 3) Lily-of-the-Valley;
4) Grass Lilies
Mountain Dandelion (Agoseris aurantiaca)
Finley & Joshua ~ 2013
After five months of hissing, fighting, clawing, and “hating” Finley and Joshua took an extended nap on our bed. They must have gotten tired from all the cat arguments and slept where they dropped in the house.
National Washington Day 2023
Happy National Washington Day!
Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)
The Question Mark butterfly is a North American nymphalid butterfly. It lives in wooded areas, city parks, and areas with trees and open space. The color and textured appearance of the underside of its wings combines to provide camouflage that resembles a dead leaf. Its flight period is from May to September. “The silver mark on the underside of the hindwing is broken into two parts, a curved line, and a dot, creating a ?-shaped mark that gives the species its common name.”
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge And The Meers Store & Restaurant, Oklahoma 2014
When Kevin was about Katelynn’s age, his dad was stationed as a soldier at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. Since the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge is lining up with Fort Sill, my parents-in-law took their three boys and went camping and/or hiking in the mountains for the weekends. Many years later, Kevin always talked about going back hiking in the Wichita Mountains. At the Labor Day weekend in 2014, I said: “Okay, the girls are big enough. Let’s pack the camping gear and give it a shot!”
When we made it to Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, we went to the visitor center to get some information, before we drove to the campground. Once, Kevin had set up the tent we traveled to The Meers Store & Restaurant, which is located in Meers, one and a half miles north of the refuge. Kevin, Katelynn, Sara, and I never had Longhorn burgers before. So, there was our chance. The restaurant opened as a burger joint in 1901 and is now known as its “Best Burger in Oklahoma”. Since the place is so famous, we had to wait about 2 hours in line to get a table. The experience was so worth waiting outside at 95℉.
… to be continued …
A Walk At The Cottonwood Marsh Trail In Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA), Lewisville, Texas ~ 2011
Texas Spring In LLELA ~ 2011
A Visit At The Plymouth Reservoir, Connecticut In May 2023 🐟
Kevin, Sara, and I visited the Plymouth Reservoir north of Plymouth after lunch. It is a nice lake, where people go fishing and boating. The bugleweed and violets bloom, which make nice patches of purple in the green grass on the dam. It was warm in the midday sun. So, we kept our visit short. When we walked to the car, there was a family. And their young son, a 3-year-old caught his first fish. His dad had to help him reel it in. The boy was so excited, he almost dropped his fishing rod into the lake. Once the fish was reeled in, the family looked at it, unhooked it, and dropped it back into the water.
Our Yard In Early May 2023 (3)
1) Grass Lilies; 2) Garlic Mustard; 3) Darwin Hybrid Tulip; 4) Dandelion
National Herb Day 2023
It is National Herb Day on May 6! It is usually celebrated annually on the first Saturday of May. The HerbDay Coalition, an organization of five non-profit groups, started National Herb Day to raise awareness about the useful properties and importance of herbs in daily life. They also work towards encouraging people to learn more about herbs and provide a better understanding of the extensive uses of herbs in daily life. Herbs are extensively used in food, medicines, and cosmetics. They also served as the first medicines ever used by humans to cure various ailments.
Our Yard In Early May 2023 (2)
1) Wild Blackberry; 2) Bridal Wreath; 3) Lily-of-the-Valley; 4) Darwin Hybrid Tulip; 5) Juvenile American Robin; 6) Eastern Redbud; 7) Greater Celandine; 8) Morning in the Naugatuck River Valley; 9) Our Forest
National Space Day 2023
We celebrate National Space Day on the first Friday in May, which is May 5 this year. It was created to inspire all of us in the pursuit of knowledge and progress. There’s so much going on in the universe, it definitely deserves a day to reflect on everything! Though it’s unlikely you’ll be able to celebrate in outer space, you can still take part in your own corner of the universe with our gravity-defying facts, figures, and ideas for getting involved this National Space Day
National Concert Day 2023
- Tanya Tucker (American Heroes Festival, The Colony, TX – November 2016);
- The Lumineers (AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX – May 26, 2017)
- U2 -The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 (AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX – May 26, 2017)
- Bret Michaels Band (Lava Cantina, The Colony, TX – October 4, 2017)
- The Oak Ridge Boys (American Heroes Festival, The Colony, TX – November 2017)
- P!NK – Beautiful Trauma World Tour 2018/2019 (American Airline Center, Dallas, TX – May 2, 2018)
- Restless Hearts (American Heroes Festival, The Colony, TX – November 2018)
National Concert Day is celebrated on May 5 every year. It is a musical event created by Live Nation in 2015 to celebrate the fans, artists, and crew behind live concert performances. It marks the beginning of the summer concert season in the U.S. The event features performances from huge industry icons and famous music bands. There sure is a lot of excitement in the air for National Concert Day.
Buddha Purnima 2023 🕉
Buddha Purnima is the biggest day for Buddhists because, on this day, it is believed three essential events of the Buddha’s life took place: his birth, enlightenment, and death, Paranirvana. This day is known as Thrice Blessed Festival.
Cinco De Mayo 2023
🌶️ Happy Cinco De Mayo! 🌶️
Foothill Beardtongue (Penstemon heterophyllus)
Our Yard In Early May 2023 (1)
Star Wars Day 2023
May The 4th Be With You!
Our Greenhouse/Yard In Early May 2013 (1)
Spring In Texas 2013
National Koala Day 2023 🐨
International Wild Koala Day is observed on May 3 in honor of koalas. Koalas, the majestic representative of the wombat family, are mainly found in remote parts of Australia. Recognizable by their large heads, fluffy ears, and tailless body, koalas are considered to be the symbol of Australia. It’s been a rough couple of years for the koalas. Yearly wildfires and rampant deforestation have exterminated more than 10 million koalas within a decade. International Wild Koala Day raises awareness and fights for their survival.
National Montana Day 2023
Happy National Montana Day!
Common Green Bottle Fly (Lucilia sericata)
The common green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata) is a blowfly found in most areas of the world and is the most well-known of the numerous green bottle fly species. Its body is 10–14 mm (0.39–0.55 in) in length – slightly larger than a house fly – and has brilliant, metallic, blue-green, or golden coloration with black markings. It has short, sparse, black bristles (setae) and three cross grooves on the thorax. The wings are transparent with light brown veins, and the legs and antennae are black. The fly’s larvae may be used for maggot therapy, are commonly used in forensic entomology, and can cause myiasis in livestock and pets. The common green bottle fly emerges in the spring for mating.
Lucilia sericata is common all over the temperate and tropical regions of the planet, including Europe, Africa, and Australia. It prefers warm and moist climates, so it is especially common in coastal regions, but can also be found in arid areas.[The female lays her eggs in carrion of all kinds, sometimes in the skin or hair of live animals, causing myiasis. The larvae feed on decaying organic tissue. The fly favors host species of the genus Ovis, domestic sheep in particular, and sometimes lays eggs in the wet wool of living sheep. This can lead to a blowfly strike, causing problems for sheep farmers. L. sericata has been known to prefer lower elevations relative to other Calliphoridae species, such as Calliphora vomitoria.
A Rainy Day In Connecticut (10) 🌧
It rains, again. Joshua decided, he stays in and relaxes on my fluffy blanket on our bed.
Brothers & Sisters Day 2023
Brothers and Sisters Day is celebrated on May 2 every year. It is a holiday meant to honor the bond that siblings share. It’s also a day to strengthen or repair broken relationships. The day was inspired by a woman who realized she had never properly told her brother how she actually felt about him until after his death. Read on to find out more about this amazing day and how we can honor our brothers and sisters!
State Fair of Texas: Fair Park, Dallas: A Stroll Around The Park ~ 2013 🎡
Strolling around at the State Fair of Texas 2013
~ THE END ~
Great Lakes Awareness Day 2023
These five beautiful lakes — Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario — are celebrated on Great Lakes Awareness Day, which takes place on the Monday in the first full week of May. This year, it takes place on May 1. This event is the United States’ chance to honor this series of large interconnected freshwater lakes that (mostly) border us. Celebrations on this day have also taken on themes like water conservation, lake preservation, and other current issues and have included participation by aquariums, schools, governing bodies, and even museums. The annual observation started as a protest against the advancement of the dangerous Line 5 pipeline passing through Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Since 2018, the day is about raising awareness regarding the grave issues that threaten the freshwater ecosystem of the Great Lakes.
Tips Interrogation (4th Tips Procedure)
Since the ultrasound pictures couldn’t be evaluated, my surgeon and I decided to do an interrogation. The surgery lasted less than 30 minutes, this morning. Everything is still in place and looks good. The measurements of my tips are okay. I should be good for another two to three years, again. Unless the ultrasound plays a prank on us again. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Beautiful Colors of Spring (9)
Spring in our Texas Backyard 2011
Beltane Blessings 2023
Fire blend and firelight,
I celebrate Beltane this warm Spring night.
This is the time of the most fertile Earth,
the greening of the land, and new rebirth.
Fire and passion and labor’s toil,
life grows anew out of the soil.
⛤ Blessed Beltane!⛤
National Bugs Bunny Day 2023
National Bugs Bunny Day is celebrated every year on April 30. It commemorates the date this happy-go-lucky bunny made his first appearance in 1938. We are getting ready to enjoy the day in the most fun way possible — by binge-watching “Looney Tunes” throughout the day, eating carrots like Bugs Bunny, and spreading the fun all over social media!
Bugs Bunny, who is also called the ‘Wascally Wabbit,’ appeared for the first time on April 30, 1938, in a short theater cartoon called “Porky’s Hare Hunt.” Many people don’t actually credit that as his first appearance and the reason for this is he was then still called Happy Rabbit. However, he looked like Bugs Bunny, spoke like Bugs Bunny, and moved like Bugs Bunny.
Even though “Porky’s Hare Hunt” was the first cartoon to feature a Bugs Bunny-like rabbit, it was on July 27, 1940, that “A Wild Hare” officially introduced the character called Bugs Bunny to the world. The preliminary version of Bugs Bunny was created by Ben Hardaway, whereas the official version was created by Tex Avery. The preliminary version of Bugs Bunny’s character was designed by Cal Dalton and Charles Thorson (1939–1940). However, the official version was designed by Bob Givens (1940–1943) and then by Robert McKimson (1943 – to date).
The popularity of Bugs Bunny rose in leaps and bounds during World War II. His free and easy attitude became a symbol of hope for people and, soon enough, Bugs Bunny became quite the star. Post World War II, “Knighty Knight Bugs” (1958) won an Academy Award for the Best Cartoon Short Subject. It was the first Oscar for Bugs Bunny.
National Pool Opening Day 2023
National Pool Opening Day is a popular holiday that Americans celebrate on the last Saturday in April. This year, it takes place on April 29. Because swimming makes summers memorable, pool owners must keep them clean and ensure they’re safe for pool parties with family, neighbors, and friends. Besides providing a place to socialize, swimming pools also encourage physical activity. By keeping your pool’s acidity and alkalinity levels in check, you ensure that it’s ready for you to enjoy a swim throughout the summer.
Fog In The Naugatuck River Valley (6)
Our property is encased in a fog this morning.
National Arbor Day 2023
“I love trees! They make me feel safe from other predators. And they provide a lot of shade in the warm Summers. Plant a tree, today. And my friends and I can enjoy it in the future. Happy National Arbor Day!”
Happy National Arbor Day 2023!
National Historic Marker Day 2023
Historic markers all across the nation provide a glimpse into the past and preserve history for future generations. On the last Friday in April each year, National Historic Marker Day invites volunteers and communities to come together to maintain their markers. Unfortunately, weather and time take their toll on these small monuments to history. By working together, we not only ensure these markers tell the stories to future generations, but we also take the opportunity to celebrate the history and culture they preserve.
Oregon Sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum)
Peter Rabbit in our frontyard in April 2013
Our Garden/Neighborhood In Late April 2023
Spring Colors in our neighborhood
Spring Colors in our yard
National South Dakota Day 2023
Happy National South Dakota Day!
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
First brought to North America by Shakespeare enthusiasts in the nineteenth century, European Starlings are now among the continent’s most numerous songbirds. They are stocky black birds with short tails, triangular wings, and long, pointed bills. Though they’re sometimes resented for their abundance and aggressiveness, they’re still dazzling birds when you get a good look. Covered in white spots during winter, they turn dark and glossy in summer. For much of the year, they wheel through the sky and mob lawns in big, noisy flocks.
World Penguin Day 2023 🐧
World Penguin Day on April 25 aims to raise awareness about these flightless birds to preserve their species so that future generations get to see these elegant and remarkable creatures. This day coincides with the annual northern migration of Adélie penguins, a pattern that is inherent and conserved across generations. There are eight species native to Antarctica. Most penguins are monogamous and have unique calls to assist them to find their mates in large groups. Most species lay up to two eggs in a season while the King and Emperor penguins lay only one. Alarmingly though, of the 18 known living species, 10 have been listed as endangered.
State Fair of Texas: Fair Park, Dallas: Midway & The New Top 0′ Texas Tower 2013 🎡
The focal point of the State Fair of Texas Midway was the newly completed Top o’ Texas Tower ride in 2013. The foundation for the super gyro tower was built in summer 2011 and the first two of six shaft components were stacked in mid-November 2012. The remaining shaft components were erected in December, followed by attachments of the gondola and carrier.
… to be continued …
International Sculpture Day 2023
Sculpture is a type of visual art that operates in three dimensions. The word sculpture comes from the Latin word sculpere, which means to carve. Sculptors use a variety of materials to create their sculptures. While many traditional materials include wood, stone, metal, and ceramics, other sculptors specialize in non-traditional materials. They use materials such as ice, toothpicks, and even LEGO. Sculptors also use materials, colors, texture, and size to evoke an emotion or response from the viewer. Their methods vary, too. Sculptors use one of four primary methods to make their sculptures. These methods include carving, molding, casting, and assembling.
Beautiful Colors of Spring (8)
Our backyard in early Spring 2011
🌧 Rain 🌧
Celebrate Trail Day 2023
As the weather warms up, so does the trail season. While many people use them all year long, America’s trail system gets its real workout between April and October when the weather is ripe for outdoor activity. The number of established trails grows every year. Some take the form of well-defined foot or bike routes while others take us onto a beaten path. No matter what kind of path you choose to take, the day encourages you to appreciate the thousands of miles of trails and to bring a friend with you, too!
Earth Day 2023
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
~ Albert Einstein ~
Our Garden/Yard In Late April 2023 (1)
1) Wild Violet; 2) Bugleweed; 3) Wild Violet; 4) Eastern Red Bud;
5) Song Sparrow; 6&7) Contrail; 8) Lilac; 9) Bluets; 10) Garlic Mustard;
11) Dandelion; 12) Wild Violet
Yellow Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)
John Bunker Sands Wetland Center In April 2013
In late March/early April 2013, I browsed around on Facebook. And while I worked on my page, scrolled, and clicked, I saw a few photos of Bald Eagles nesting in the Dalles/Fort Worth area. I did some research about the birds and found out that their nest is at John Bunker Sands Wetland Center in Seagoville, Texas. Just southeast of Dallas. After a bit more reading, it said the center is open to the public every first Saturday of the month. “Perfect”, I said to Kevin. “The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend. I’m going to take Katelynn to see Bald Eagles in Seagoville this Saturday.” He replied he can take care of Sara. She’s still too little for walking around for a long time.
The following Saturday, Katelynn and I packed a couple of snacks and water before we hit the road. It was about an hour’s drive to get to the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center. Katelynn was really excited to get to see these beautiful birds. We both have never seen Bald Eagles in the wild.
When we arrived at the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, I paid our entry fee. The ladies at the desk had a few questions. One was how we heard about the center. I replied: “Facebook.” The ladies were surprised. I explained to them how I found their page … “and now we are here to see some wildlife.” Before we got on our self-guided hike, Ron wanted to show us a few animals inside the center. “Katelynn, are you ready to see a two-and-a-half-foot ‘gator? We’ve got a couple of snakes, too.” Katelynn cheered “YEEAAHH! I’m ready for that!” Ron got Ally, the alligator, out of a fountain. He had to be quick. Ally and her brother wanted to go after his hand. But at the end, he was holding Ally tight in his hand. Ron explained to us the anatomy of a ‘gator, how they swim, hunt, and even chill at the banks of a river. He also told us that Ally’s momma is a big alligator, which lives in the marshy swamps of the center. “So, don’t get too close to the waters”, Ron warned us.
Next, we moved on to see a Western Hognose and a Corn snake. As a child, I was always terrified of snakes, since I had no knowledge of snakes. Over the years, I’ve learned so much more about these animals. And now, I have no problem touching and holding them. The Western Hognose was the first snake I’ve ever put in my hands. It was very interesting, how these reptiles contract their muscles to slide forward. This little guy had a good grip on my hand and fingers. It was very fascinating. After the hognose, Ron pulled out the corn snake out of the terrarium. I almost jumped back. Looking at the snake, I said: “Yeah, this one is a bit too big for me. I’ll pass and watch Katelynn holding it. The corn snake really liked Katelynn. She immediately had to check out Katelynn’s soft hair. Katelynn enjoyed having the snake around her neck and learn the difference between venomous and non-venous snakes. And we found out, how to tell between a boy snake and a girl snake.
Once we were done looking and learning about these wonderful reptiles, Katelynn got equipped with binoculars. We were also advised to walk on the trail and stay away from the water’s edge. On the way to the transmission towers in the west of the center, we saw beautiful yellow Spring flowers and some waterfowl. The American Coots made quite some noise out on the water. And we’ve seen tons of ladybugs along the way.
At the end of that trail, we finally got a good glimpse of the adult eagles. The Bald Eagle couple arrives around October/November in Texas. The female lays eggs in January. Both parents take care of their offspring until early mid-May, before they all migrate back up north. In October/November it all repeats itself again. Due to the marshlands at the center, the Eagles have a lot of food resources. I guess, this is why they always choose to come back to the same place.
On the way back to the building of the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, we’ve seen some footprints (I believe from a raccoon), more flowers, and birds. Once we left, there was a mare with her foal. So adorable! I parked on the side of the road for a moment, so Katelynn could look at the horses from the car.
On the road back home, I noticed that Katelynn had a long morning. She took a short nap in the car. I guess, the fresh air, the walk to the eagle’s nest, and learning about alligators and snakes knocked her out. It was a lot to take in for a 9-year-old. No doubt! 🙂
National Garlic Day 2023 🧄
This stinking rose is a member of the lily family. This family also includes the flavorful onions, leeks, and shallots we use in some of our favorite dishes. Garlic originated in Asia over 7,000 years ago, so it’s no surprise that cuisines worldwide incorporate it into favored recipes. Garlic is quite versatile as illustrated by its many medicinal purposes. The mighty bulb is considered an herbal remedy for colds and may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Modern science has also proven garlic’s antibiotic properties.
National North Dakota Day 2023
Happy National North Dakota Day!
Wrinkled Grasshopper (Hippiscus ocelote)
The Wrinkled Grashopperis a genus of band-winged grasshoppers in the family Acrididae. There is only one described species in the genus, Hippiscus ocelote from North America.
Our 21-Year Anniversary
Every day, every month, and every year… I love you more than the last.
State Fair of Texas: Fair Park, Dallas: A Visit At The Texas Discovery Gardens 2013 (5) 🦋🐸
The Butterfly Garden & The Grand Allee In Fair Park, Dallas Texas
… to be continued …
Beautiful Colors of Spring (7)