Monday, July 15, 2019

Location ...

Just off the deck at Edie's place House Wrens were, well, setting up house.

A male wren will arrange sticks at several locations in its territory hoping a female will find one to her liking.


That stick seems a little big for the hole ...


... not a problem for this bird brain it seems.


And as there were two birds going in and out with nesting materials, methinks she liked this place.

The birds were very active during our visit, little concerned with us still just a few feet away. We expect there will be baby birds begging for food in the not too distant future.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Gravity Included!

The gate I installed this week included a pre-welded gate, two butterfly hinges, and one gravity.


Just one.

Along with installation instructions.


I didn't need the gravity nor the instructions as it had previously been installed at my yard. Some time ago. Before my yard was even a yard in fact.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

And Now It's An OPOD!

Read about it here: Two-State rare pyramidal crystal halos.

The "Two-State" refers to New Jersey and Delaware, as it was seen in both.


It just keeps getting cooler.

(And for those keeping score at home it seems this is my tenth OPOD. Double digits woo hoo!)

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Location, Location, Location

Some better than others.


This was not a good one.


As I went in and out of the garage, getting tools and supplies while installing gate number two, I noticed a Carolina Wren either just outside or even inside the garage. As I was putting things away today I saw the bird fly to the back of the garage. And then I spotted the nest. 

The wrens in our yard are not the best at choosing nest sites.

That's Two

Gates. One more to go.


This one, as predicted, was a bit more involved. I had to remove the slate edging on the left for the gate post. And unlike the first gate this was not a kit, so I had to drill holes based on how deep the poles sat, the local terrain, and which side the gate would swing.

It took four days, although one was rain day. Install the first post (remove slate, dig hole, use rocks to set post at correct height, more rocks and cement, wait for it to set). Then once the fist post had set, hang the gate (drill holes for hinges and latch bar). Then install the second post (dig hole, set with rocks, attach latch (more drilling), more rocks and cement, more waiting). Once the second post had set, line up the fence panel (more drilling and screwing) and install the third post ( dig, set, rocks and cement, wait).

Two of the holes were dug without any trouble. But for the third post I had roots. Lots of roots. I dug three holes, only the last deep enough and able to line up with the second post (the first hit a four inch diameter root; the second two inches too far apart).


And that's it. The fence isn't tall enough to prevent a deer from jumping over, but we hope they won't want to. If it turns out they do, we'll build an arbor to make it look taller and less inviting to jumpers.

But for now my work here is done.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Bloom Time - St Andrew's Cross

St Andrew's Cross

We've found this flower in our yard for several years now.


A low sprawling sub-shrub it is spreading quite nicely out by the back pond. And is just starting to come into bloom.

Bloom Time - Dwarf St John's Wort

Dwarf St John' Wort

A relative of the St Andrews Cross, both in the genus Hypericum, and another yellow flower in the yard. Yellow seems to have replaced white now; I wonder if that is significant?


These, like the St Andrew's Cross, are growing out back, where we've stopped mowing. This is the first time we've noticed them. But in our defense the flowers are only a quarter inch across.

Patty had been watching them grow, not pulling them as weeds as she wanted to see what bloomed. And she brought me one this morning as we were identifying the Great St John's Wort, since I already had the flower field guides out.


It seems that this is a short lived perennial or perhaps an annual plant. So when and how did it get here? And given that there is a nice sized population why didn't we notice it before?

No matter, it is here now. I hope it stays.