2023 · Days of The Week · In Our Garden · On Our Property · Wildlife Wednesday

Pearl Crescent Butterfly (Phyciodes tharos)

The Pearl Crescent is a butterfly of North America. It is found in all parts of the United States except the west coast, and throughout Mexico and parts of southern Canada, in particular Ontario. Its habitat is open areas such as pastures, road edges, vacant lots, fields, and open pine woods. Its pattern is quite variable. Males usually have black antenna knobs. Its upperside is orange with black borders; postmedian and submarginal areas are crossed by fine black marks. The underside of the hindwing has a dark marginal patch containing a light-colored crescent.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_crescent

2023 · Days of The Week · Flower Friday · In Our Garden · On Our Property

Dutch Iris

Dutch iris (Iris × hollandica) is a hybrid bulbous iris. Its name does not reflect its place of origin but rather the Dutch people who hybridized it. Iris xiphium, the parent species associated with the Dutch iris comes from Spain and Portugal. The 3- to 4-inch flowers are usually multi-colored. Blue, bluish-purple, white, bronze, rose, gold and yellow are the most common colors.

https://www.thespruce.com/growing-dutch-irises-5101138

2023 · On Our Property

Squirrel Appreciation Day 2023

Originally a creation by Christy Hargrove, National Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21 is a day to learn about and celebrate the world’s cutest rodents. Here’s the thing about squirrels: some people hate them and say that they’re an “invasive species.” But can those people leap across a space ten times the length of their body? Didn’t think so. 

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!

2023 · Days of The Week · Flower Friday · In Our Garden · On Our Property · The Greenhouse

Garden Pansy (Viola × wittrockiana)

The garden pansy (Viola ×wittrockiana) is a hybrid, one of whose parents is V. tricolor, which is a weed of European grainfields, the other parents being V. lutea and V. altaica. The tufted pansy, or horned viola (V. cornuta), is the parent of numerous forms of bedding pansies. The wild pansy (V. tricolor), also known as Johnny-jump-up, heartsease, and love-in-idleness, has been widely naturalized in North America. The flowers of this form are usually purple and yellow and less than 2 cm (0.8 inches) across.

https://www.britannica.com/plant/pansy-plant

2022 · In Our Forest · On Our Property

Foggy & Rainy Weather On New Year’s Eve 2022

This morning was extremely foggy. And the fog stuck around when it began to rain around noon. It was wet. But it wasn’t cold. Our neighbor made sure all the critters were fed in his yard. As soon as he poured some bird seeds, the Black-capped Chickadees and White-breasted Nuthatches arrived in his yards. We had a lot of fun watching them. I guess, it is time to get more seeds for the small critters and apples for the ‘possum and deer.

2022 · Days of The Week · In Our Forest · On Our Property · Wildlife Wednesday

Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

Eastern chipmunks are found in forests, but also in suburban gardens and city parks, as long as there are rocks, stumps, or fallen logs to provide perching sites and cover for burrow entrances They dig complex burrows with many entrances and chambers as well as short escape tunnels, and each chipmunk defends a small area around its burrow, threatening, chasing, and even fighting with a neighbor who invades the space The chipmunks spend the winter underground, but venture to the surface occasionally on mild, sunny days They enter torpor for a few days at a time, and then arouse to feed on stored nuts and seeds Life expectancy in the wild is slightly more than a year.

http://fieldguides.eol.org/

2022 · On Our Property · Winter Wonderland

December Winter Weather In New England (1)

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Yesterday around noon, it started to snow. The snow covered the trees and grounds. But it didn’t stick to the asphalt yet. So, the streets stayed pretty clear until dusk.

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This morning looked completely different. We have a Winter Wonderland in December. And it looks so beautiful. All night, the snow plow trucks kept cleaning up the streets. Kevin was up and cleaned the driveway at 5 o’clock. Sara couldn’t sleep and she took over for Kevin. He needed to get ready for work. Sara had a 2-hour school delay. so, she kept pushing snow off the driveway until it was clean.

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2022 · Days of The Week · In Our Garden · On Our Property · Wildlife Wednesday

Seven-spotted Lady Beetle (Coccinella septempunctata)

Ladybirds are perhaps the most well-known and popular of all European beetles, and the seven-spotted ladybird is one of the most common species. The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle is native to Europe and was successfully established in the U.S. in 1973. This rounded beetle has bright red wing cases with seven black spots, although some individuals may have more or fewer spots. The thorax is black with patches of pale yellow at the front corners. The common name of this group of beetles, ‘ladybird’, was originally given to the seven-spot in honor of the Virgin Mary; the red wing cases symbolize the Virgin’s red cloak, with the seven spots representing her seven joys and seven sorrows. The larvae are blackish in color and are active predators of aphids.

2022 · Christmas Season · On Our Property

A Relaxing December Evening ~ 2022

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This evening, we had a nice sunset of pink, purple, and orange. The surrounding sky had pink and blue as well. It was so pretty. Since I had the camera in my hands, I also captured a few Christmas photos.

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2022 · Beautiful Colors of Autumn · In Our Forest · On Our Property

Autumn & Winter In November (1)

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The leaves hang on to the last moments of Autumn before they will give in to the wind, the cold gets too strong and they’ll drop. Yesterday, we had our first light snowfall in Connecticut. Winter sure is coming soon. Maybe we will have a white Christmas, again. 🎄☃❄

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2022 · Beautiful Colors of Autumn · In Our Forest · On Our Property

Fog In The Naugatuck River Valley (3)

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This week it was unseasonably warm during the days in Connecticut. The nights were cold, which brought a lot of moisture. And therefore, we had to deal with some fog in the morning. The forest looked very enchanted; especially with celebrating Halloween/Samhain and Dìa de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead in the same week. A lot of leaves have been falling, and some of the trees are bare and look dead, which adds to the spooky appearance.

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2022 · Beautiful Colors of Autumn · In Our Forest · On Our Property

Our Yard & Forest In Late October 2022 (1)

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Autumn

When the trees their summer splendor
Change to raiment red and gold,
When the summer moon turns mellow
And the nights are getting cold;
When the squirrels hide their acorns,
And woodchucks disappear;
Then we know it is Autumn.
Loveliest season of the year.

~ Charlotte L. Riser ~

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2022 · Beautiful Colors of Autumn · In Our Forest · On Our Property

Our Yard & Forest In Mid-October 2022

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Every day, the colors change in our yard and in our forest. I love how everything turns to gold, orange, and maroon. Colorful vines creep along the tree trunks, mushrooms grow on the fallen trees, berries become ripe and their skins split open. The colors of Autumn are so beautiful. 🍁🍄

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2022 · On Our Property · The Greenhouse

Our Greenhouse & Harvest In Mid-October 2022

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The temperatures seem to be perfect for the greenhouse garden, this October. We still have quite a few snacker tomatoes. The beef-steak tomatoes are still green. And the flowers seem to do well. I also could harvest a banana pepper, a bell pepper, two eggplants, and half a bowl of cherry tomatoes and golden sun tomatoes. This Summer I started late because I waited for the greenhouse to be built. Therefore I will have a late harvest in Autumn.

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2022 · Beautiful Colors of Autumn · In Our Garden · On Our Property

Our Yard In Early October 2022

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Autumn has arrived. Our yard and forest become more colorful as the season goes on. We had cooler nights, just above freezing, which help the leaves to turn into their beautiful colors. Just in time, the Autumn berries begin to ripen for the cold days ahead. Birds and small critters will need all the nutrition they can get before Winter will arrive in New England. Most birds have left for the South, where they will over-winter until Spring comes back.

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2022 · Beautiful Colors of Autumn · In Our Garden · On Our Property

The Remnants of “Ian”

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While Hurricane Ian was causing a lot of damage in the Caribbean, Florida, and Carolinas, it began to fall apart as a tropical storm in Virginia last week. Now, the remnants of Ian linger in the northeast causing temperatures to drop, high winds, and a lot of rain for the last three days and nights. I’m tired of the rain. Tomorrow, the weather is supposed to warm up into the low 70s with some sunshine. This will hopefully be a much better opportunity for some Autumn photos.

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2022 · Beautiful Colors of Autumn · In Our Garden · On Our Property

My Scandinavian Autumn Gnomes/Tomte Nisse (1)

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🍂🍁🍂🍁 Happy Autumn! 🍁🍂🍁🍂

Last year in July, Kevin bought me a set of Autumn Tomte Nisse (Scandinavian aka. Swedish Gnomes). I was so excited and could barely wait for Autumn. I remembered that I wanted to do some photo shoots with these little guys. Here are the results of the first shooting. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do. Either way, I had a lot of fun with Sven, Christopher, and Gunnar. Yes, I picked some Swedish names for my gnomes as well. 😉

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2022 · On Our Property

Autumn Rain In Connecticut (1)

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This rainy weather is so refreshing. We had a high of 64℉ (13℃), today. I opened our bedroom window, washed the sheets, and did more laundry while I had some beef cooking in the slow cooker. This is perfect house chore weather. It has been steadily raining since late yesterday afternoon. and we still expect more rain overnight. Nature keeps soaking it all up. As you can see in the photos, the leaves are still green. But it won’t take too long anymore before the trees wear their crimson and golden dresses again.

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2022 · In Our Garden · On Our Property

National Hummingbird Day 2022

National Hummingbird Day is celebrated on the first Saturday in September every year. Some communities celebrate this day with activities that include educational programs, hummingbird viewings, and field trips. Hummingbirds share the raising of the chicks and males live a lot shorter because they use so much energy in defending their nests. They use a lot of energy in flying and need to rest every 15 minutes, so we must make our gardens hummingbird friendly.

Happy National Hummingbird Day!

2022 · On Our Property · The Greenhouse

Our Greenhouse Garden In Early September 2022

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This morning we had cool temperatures in the low 50s (11℃). The greenhouse door and windows are open. But the plants are still protected from the cooler wind. Everything begins to produce after the warm summer temperatures in August. It’s nice to visit the greenhouse and snack on some cherry tomatoes, while we wait for the beefsteak tomatoes to grow and ripen. This morning, I snacked on a bush bean as well. Hmmm! Homegrown food fresh from the vines is so tasty.

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2022 · In Our Garden · On Our Property · The Greenhouse

The End of Summer 2022

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August is almost over; Sara is ready to go back to school. Summer is coming to an end, and it is time to get prepared for Autumn. The garden needs to be prepared for the Autumn/Winter season. A lot of crops love the cooler days, like cabbages and carrots. That’s also a good time for weeding the garden, since the mornings are not so warm anymore. Soon, the migrating birds and insects will visit the yard. It will be good for them to have a welcoming place where they can rest, before they have to move on to travel south. In the meantime, I’m sitting outside with a cool drink in my hand and enjoying the last days of Summer.

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2022 · In Our Forest · In Our Garden · On Our Property

Our Yard/Forest In Late August 2022

I love going outside when nature is covered in heavy morning dew. While Kevin did his morning walk, I captured some photos in our yard. So many beautiful dew droplets were hanging off these berries and leaves. When Kevin came home, he said he saw a doe with her fawns, and several rabbits out there. The dew will hydrate them. Maybe they will leave our neighbor’s tomatoes alone. Well, there is hope. The squirrels and chipmunks are quite sneaky. 🍅🐿

2022 · Beautiful Colors of Autumn · In Our Forest · On Our Property

Thunderstorms & Early Signs of Autumn In New England

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This afternoon, we finally got the welcome rain we needed so desperately. And we still could use more rain in New England. We had a nice thunderstorm. Once the sun came back out, I could see the rainbow in the distance. The drought took a toll on the trees. There is a chance, we might get an early Autumn display this year. Some of the trees and vines have changed their colors significantly over the last couple of weeks. Hopefully, not all leaves will turn in September. It would be nice to have an Indian Summer throughout October.

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2022 · On Our Property · The Greenhouse

Our Greenhouse Garden In Late August 2022 (1)

Last week, I fertilized my greenhouse garden with fish emulsion. And the garden shows, it gets some TLC. The banana peppers, bush beans, squashes, and zucchini grow fruits. Our Foxtail grass and “Red Fox” coleus plants grew big and bloom nicely. We had several blossoms on our eggplant. But they fell off too early to form a fruit. Now that it is cooling down, I hope I have more luck with the plant. I also made another friend. Harvey, the Harvestman spider, moved into our greenhouse. However, since Harvey moved in, Button is MIA. Hmmm?! 🤔🤨

🌻 Happy Summer Gardening! 🌻

2022 · Days of The Week · In Our Garden · On Our Property · Saturday - Caturday

Ozzy, The Garden Inspector

Two years ago, Ozzy came out to join Chewbacca in the backyard in Texas. Once he was tired of pouncing to catch bugs, he enjoyed a stroll through the raised bed garden. He had a lot of fun playing “Hide and Seek” with Chewbacca. Ozzy played garden inspector next. The pumpkin leaves make nice umbrellas for shade; the potatoes and tomatoes show another set of nice leaves to hide behind them. And the bird feeder is refilled for the delicious “food” to show up in the garden. Everything is perfect for a young cat to explore the yard. When Ozzy decided to sneak over into the neighbor’s yard, the exploration was over. He had to go back inside. Exploration makes a cat very hungry. It was dinner and then nap time for our little “Meatball”. Ozzy loves meatballs and he looked like one.

2022 · In Our Forest · On Our Property · The Greenhouse

August Summer Storm In Connecticut (1)

This afternoon we had a nice thunderstorm coming through the Naugatuck River Valley. It cooled the air for a little bit. Therefore, it was comfortable sitting inside the greenhouse and listening to the raindrops hitting the roof. Button, my little greenhouse spider, seemed to like the break from the heat as well. She was hanging in there 😁. Now that the sun is back, it seems like nothing ever happened. And it is muggy, again.

2022 · In Our Garden · On Our Property

Our Yard In Early August 2022 (2)

While photographing a few plants in my yard, a black animal crossed my path. Is this Bruno, the Black Bear everyone is talking about in our neighborhood? Okay, when I looked again, I noticed, we have a black cat in our yard. This was not my first encounter with this cat. My neighbor tried to get that cat out of his yard to dig holes and take a crap in his garden. At first, I thought it was Trixie, he tried to shoo her out of his yard. The second time I saw that cat, I knew it wasn’t Trixie. Chewbacca and him/her got into a fight. And this was the third time he chased a hummingbird across the yard. Naughty cat! Maybe I need to put a spell on him/her. I went back to capture photos of the yard, once the cat was out of sight.

2022 · Days of The Week · In Our Forest · On Our Property · Wildlife Wednesday

White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

White-tailed Deer have long, slender legs, prominent ears, and large liquid brown eyes set off against thick white eye rings. Whitetails have a shiny black nose contrasting with a whitish nose band. The chin is white and edged on either side with a wide band of dark hair. The throat area is also white or grayish.

The deer’s prominent ears are edged in a dark color contrasting with white hair on the inside. The ears are often in motion; they can swivel independently of each other to capture sound from multiple directions and pinpoint the sound’s exact location.

The deer’s underparts, including its belly and the inner portions of its upper legs, are white. The rump and underside of the tail are also white. When alarmed, the deer flashes its tail, and the white hairs on its rump flare out, giving rise to the name “white-tail.”

https://wildadirondacks.org/adirondack-mammals-white-tailed-deer-odocoileus-virginianus.html

2022 · On Our Property · The Greenhouse

Our Greenhouse Garden In Early August 2022 (1)

Yesterday morning, I checked the plants in the greenhouse. After I added some fish emulsion to the watering can a couple of weeks ago, everything looked great and green, yesterday. The tomato, basil, and zucchini plants grew much bigger. My eggplant fruit didn’t grow much. But it has two more blossoms. Hopefully, our sunflowers will take off soon. They would provide some shade for me to sit in the greenhouse in the afternoons.