Friday, May 23, 2008

Wisconsin Wildflower - Trillium


Large-flowered Trillium (aka White-flowered Trillium)


The Trillium is finally blooming. This flower is 2-4” on an 8-18’ stalk. It’s a protected flower here which always strikes us as funny because it is extremely abundant. Just about any wooded area sports this pretty white blooms, sometimes so many the ground looks white with snow.


Pileated Woodpecker

As we were driving down the road a few days ago, in a residential neighborhood, I saw a Pileated Woodpecker on a stump, right by the road! I was so excited and Dennis pulled to the curb while I grabbed my camera. But the huge honkin’ lens poking out of the window must have been pretty scary as the bird flew to a tree a little further away.

pileated woodpecker

We saw him a few more times while driving. . . Ok we chased him, but that’s the closest I got. Still, it’s a little better than last time.

pileated woodpecker

Wisconsin Wildflower - Bloodroot




This one reminded me of an egg with the yolk showing.


So of course I had to peek at the little yolk. Hi chicky!


Bloodroot is one of Wisconsin’s wildflowers; it’s in the poppy family. It’s not very big, the bloom is about 1 ½ inches on a 5-10 inch stalk. It blooms rather early and if you pick one the stem looks like it’s bleeding. Some people use it’s red orange juice for a dye or as an insect repellent.

I saw some of these last year, but didn’t know what they were.

pop up


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Graduating Amy

amy's graduation

This past weekend we watched our son’s girlfriend graduate. Mikal and Amy are celebrating 4 years being together this coming Saturday as we are celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary. She can now do something architectural (sounds like I need more schooling).

amy's graduation

I got distracted momentarily by this precious baby setting a few aisles ahead. Isn’t he precious?! Since he was sitting with grandma and grandpa I assume his mommy was graduating.

amy's graduation

Congratulations Amy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When animals attack

A few nights ago my mom got up at 3 am to let her dogs outside to do their business. Now, she didn’t just decide 3 am was a good time for this venture, one of them woke her up demanding it. I can’t remember which one.

Background for the story: My parent’s have 2 Yorkies and 2 Chinese Crested (hairless). Hobo is the male Yorkie and the oldest, then Tessie the female Yorkie, Tinker the small female Crested (Naked Bimbo) and Willow the male CC. Willow’s the biggest and he doesn’t need a middle of the night potty break so he stayed in bed with my dad.

So, mom took Hobo out and noticed what she thought was a gray cat in the small fenced in yard (they have several acres but only a small area for the pups). She figured Bo would chase the cat out and as she turned to get the girls out she heard it thud against the fence. She thought, “silly cat”, normally the cat would jump up and over the fence, but this time not.

As she turned to look again at the mystery animal, she discovered it was a raccoon. A rather big raccoon, and it got Bo down. Mom, in her nightgown, shoeless and weaponless, used the only thing she could to try to save her beloved Hobo. She doubled up her fist and beat the coon on the back a few times. As the coon raised up to get her, she used her other hand to pull Bo to the safety of her arms.

She headed for the door, when Tessie saw the coon and the coon saw Tessie and before she knew it the coon had Tessie down. Mom could not see Tessie at all and she still had Bo in her arms so she kicked at the coon with her bare foot until she saw Tessie’s butt. She yanked Tessie out by her butt fur, poor thing hanging upside down. She barely had Tess in her arms when. . .

Yep, Tinker saw the coon and the coon Tink. Mom thought, “uh-huh” and stuck her hand in Tink’s “mane” and twisted, lifting Tink’s feet off the ground. She quickly made it to the door before she dropped any of them and fell into the door with a thud, still yelling for dad.

She had been yelling for my dad this whole time but he slept through the commotion. Finally, he woke up and stumbled in to find the heap of mom and dogs. The raccoon managed to get away and none of the dogs were hurt. Tessie had a bite on her belly but no broken skin. Mom has a bruised hand but all is well.

I probably laughed harder than I should have over it all. It could have been really bad. But since I knew they were all safe, the whole scene sounded rather funny. And, get this, as I told Dennis the story, I hit with my fist - yes, I talk with my hands - and hit the computer and cut my knuckle. So you see this raccoon was really bad to have hurt me from that many miles away!


baby bunny

Yesterday evening we had a baby bunny fall down into the area by the basement window. It’s a good three foot drop. The poor little thing was skinned up and frantic. He kept hopping the perimeters and banging himself up more.

baby bunny

Haden and I examined the situation and the best way to get him out safely without getting bitten.

baby bunny

Finally, Haden brought the pitcher I use for my birdseed. We tried to catch him without him hurting himself further and finally was able to scoop him up. He sat in the pitcher even after we laid it on its side a ways out into the yard.

free at last

Eventually, Haden slanted the pitcher and the bunny slid out. He stayed still for a bit then happily hopped away, yelling, “Mom, I’m free! Do you wanna buy some portraits?” and his mother grounded him for causing her to worry so.


We leave on Friday, heading to Colorado and then to Missouri. We need the break. Really looking forward to the vacation! It’ll be great getting some new photos (like I don’t do that anyway LOL), and sharing them. I will be sharing photos from our trip on the nights we’re in a motel but a few nights we will be camping so I’m working on some bird posts for those days. I will come by your place when I can, but please understand if I don’t make it by until we’re back home. This is our first vacation since my cancer diagnosis in 2005 and we are celebrating our 5 year anniversary on May 24th.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Intriguing Killdeer


I have always wanted to see a Killdeer because in the bird book they look so cute. But they had always been elusive, until Saturday. As we pulled up to a dead end road in Wausau, near the interstate, believe it or not, we were greeted by this neat surprise. I took this shot right out the window of the car, he/she (males and females look the same) paused nicely didn’t he. I didn’t crop it at all, btw.



Cute little fellow, isn’t he? The way he was flopping around I thought he was hurt. But in that next shot he looks like he’s asking me if I’m following and of course I obliged him.



After I got home and looked him up in the Birds of Wisconsin Field Guide, I found that the way he was acting was not an indication of him being hurt. Nope, he, or she, act that way to draw intruders away. They build their nests on the ground, often in gravel, so their broken wing impression is a type of protection of the nest.


I also read that their babies look like yellow cotton balls on stilts. Maybe I should go in search of a yellow cotton ball. . . .

Monday, May 19, 2008

Birds, birds, and more birds

I promised some bird photos. I took a short walk along a local pond a few evenings ago and snapped all these photos.


Some sort of little flycatcher.


Thanx to a birding friend I know this is a Warbling Vireo. I don’t think I had ever seen one before. And I had the pleasure of watching two play in a tree. I spent a couple of days looking through my bird books and I had narrowed it down to a warbler or vireo, so I thought it was really funny when Gwen told me what it was.

gray catbird

Gray Catbird - I had never seen one of these either. This pretty little thing just sat there and let me snap away. I only took three shots and they all turned out good, little poser! From what I’ve read they are good mimics, like mockingbirds.

american goldfinch

Can you find the Goldfinch? He just cracked me up!

baltimore oriole

Baltimore Oriole - I saw my first oriole last summer while paddling around up north. I was so surprised to see several right here. Just goes to show that it‘s worth it to zoom in and see what bird is up there. I figured it was one I see a lot of and was so surprised and excited.

rose-breasted grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak - These little guys seem to be every where right now. You will get to see a few more of them later.

This week is a little crazy as we are preparing for a vacation. So please be patient with me if I don’t make it around as quickly as I normally do.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fun Monday Collections

fun monday

Mariposa would like to see our collections.

my collection

What?! It’s a collection. I collect photos, tons and tons of photos.

But if this doesn’t do it for you, I recently told you about my collection of enamelware coffee pots and copper tea kettles.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wooden you?

wood photo challenge

Time for another Round Robin Photo Challenge. This time Kiva suggested anything wooden. I knew immediately what I wanted to share.

wood photo challenge

We bought these huge antique snowshoes at an auction about 4 years ago. They look nice on the wall.

wood photo challenge

This is a German sled we bought at an Antique Store when we were building the house. I had thoughts of suspending it from the ceiling above the island in the kitchen as a sort of pot rack.

Amish Car Wreck

Why wooden wheels aren’t so great.

I’m sure I could have come up with a few more wooden items but I have been really distracted by birds lately. I have seen a few that I had never seen before and even a few that I had only seen once before. . .You’ll see them soon, promise. Was that a teaser? ;)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's Just Ducky!


I am such a Dummy! While photographing my “D” photos, I Dropped my camera! How Destructive! Luckily, for me, everything still works or it might be my ghost typing now. Also, luckily for me, it was the Xti with the macro lens and both are insured. Whew!


See my Dinky Dog, Daisy, Defending the Dime?


My Demanding Dog’s Dumb squeaky Duck being Dented by my Ditzy Duck.


Delightful Divided Dice in a Dingy Divot on a Date book.


Duck Diving in Dandelions.


Dancing Designer Ducks.


Demon ant Delving into Dandelion to Diagnose why it has Dandruff.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Every Sunday I anxiously read PostSecret.  They update the blog on Sundays and the post is only there for a week and then it's changed.  SO I really should have told you about this sooner but it has weighed on my mind all week and I just have to tell you how deeply I was touched by one postcard.

If you're unfamiliar with the site, people send in a secret on a postcard anonymously. Often there are cards that touch me, make me laugh, gasp, or feel less alone. This past Sunday one made me cry. I couldn’t even read it aloud to Dennis for my tears and I am tearing up as I write this now. Here’s what the card said:

I’m not going to try to cope when

my mom has lost her battle with cancer.

I’m going to kill myself.

I hope there is an afterlife.

Go to PostSecret to see the actual card. And maybe take a moment to pray, appeal to your higher power, send this person good vibes or whatever you believe. Let’s change her heart.

Cancer Sucks!

A Zoo Trip

The photos I showed you yesterday were taken at Animal Haven, a small zoo in Weyauwega. Thought you might like to see some more of the animals. It was a very challenging trip, trying to shoot through fences is fun, yeah!


Bet you didn’t know hoods could be used for more than your head.













One brown eye, one blue.