Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

We remember them all, men and women. 

Revolutionary War
Civil War 
French and Indian War
War of 1812
The Great War
World War II
Afghanistan, Iraq, et al

Too many wars, too much loss. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Weekend Roundup

Well, not quite the whole weekend since it's a holiday. 

It's easy to lose track when you are retired. 

I spent Friday at the Ag Hall front desk... but I took the dogs out for a bit 
on Friday evening and saw this huge tree down on our daily route.  They had already topped it. 
It is still there today. 

The nest appeared to be empty that day... the young hawks are huge now.  
I really thought they had fledged.  

That faint line in the photo is the barbed wire I was shooting through. 

This big girl was in our front yard on Saturday morning.  
I did not want to help her... she is a snapper... because she was moving steadily along. (not because she was a snapper but because she was taking care of business!) 

Up the ditch she went... 

And off across the road.  She was actually moving quickly... and at the end of that cross street... is a large pasture with a pond.  She was very close, so I left her alone. 

I saw another just a little bigger than this today on a road, got out of the car to lift her over the curb there... and discovered that I had left my shovel out of my car when I went to the recycle station on Friday.  I could have screamed in frustration, she rounded on me and I had no way to help her over the curb... it was a paved street in farmland, and she was maybe four feet from a pasture that was perfect for babies.  She was too snappy to try to pick up. 

This boy crossed a gravel road ahead of me... and disappeared into the hay. 

That day I could make out maybe one hawklet through the treetops. 

I took this somewhat blurry picture to show you what the fields around parts of Tongie look like right now.  Stranger Creek is out of it's banks.  I did not have a way to take pictures on the levee... There are acres and acres under water.  

You know the beautiful bluffs I have showed you so often? 


If you look at the above picture and see where the water (the road) curves to the left... the bluffs are at the treeline in the distance.  It is ALL underwater, and of course, the road and bridge are closed.  (unless you are a duck). 

My favorite birds are going to have a feast when this all goes down. 

Today, we were to have a family Memorial Day breakfast. 

Jace and little Hayden were here... 

and middle brother Carson, who was not feeling so hot.  

Paiton and Jax had spent the night, but had already had breakfast and 
passed the boys coming in as they left. 

However, Grandpa was not feeling well and did not get to visit with 
his "boys"... but had to lay down, so we had a short visit and 
they promised to come back soon.  Amber and Jesse and the boys live 
50 miles from us, so we don't get together as often as we would like. 

I would show you Amber and Jesse but my pictures were HORRID. 

Jax had gone out to the deck early this morning... he loves to watch the hummingbirds come to the feeders.  Paiton loves them, too. 

He took this picture of his sister.  I know what I am getting him for Christmas now. (camera) 

I took the dogs to walk late this afternoon, but ... Lilly had a time getting back into the car. 

The time is coming when she is not going to be able to walk at the park. 

She loves to ride in the car, so maybe we will just do that. 

We saw this pretty little girl as we came around the corner for "home", and back to the car. 
She was in a large park with a running stream, near a deep creek.  She was in GOOD shape and I left her alone.  I say "little" but she was a decent size. 

The kids and I saw a big one there the other day, down in the water... we left her alone, she was doing great.   No picture of that one. 

Here's our buddy on our way home from the park tonight.  He no longer takes off when I stop the car... and he is so photogenic! 

Everyone please have a safe holiday! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

And Four Days Later....

I honestly do not know where the weeks go. 

And the days. 

Jax and Paiton spent their days with me this week, 
as there is a gap between school and summer camp. 

Tomorrow, their dad will be off with them. 

So many birds are still coming to the deck to eat jelly. 

I don't know what is going on with this house finch, but he's rocking a great 'do. 

I have not seen any with the eye disease... yet.  House finches suffer 
from a terrible eye disease that blinds (and kills) them. 

They love their jelly !

As does Mrs. Finch. 

Yesterday, before it stormed, Paiton, Jax and I went to the Deanna Rose Farmstead, in 
Johnson County (Kansas). 

We had a good morning walking around and looking at the animals and old-timey things. 

However, schools are out now, and the place was crowded and crazy. 

There is a place to mine for jewels.  

Paiton got pretty intent. 

Part of the "fun" of going to the farmstead is that the kids get to see baby animals from the farm. 

I noticed there were two milk cows and FIVE calves.  I finally realized... the calves were there for the kids to see calves.  As Keith suggested, they were probably donated and replaced by others when they got too old. 

Oh, look. 

A plug for the near and dear! 

Here I interject that not just my grands but kids everywhere 
get sick of having their pictures taken.   There was a veritable flood of 
grandparents and parents snapping everywhere, and I had to fight my way through 
the crowd to get mine. 

I am going to try to be much more understanding in the future... 

You know I loved watching the ducks. 

Jax did not like the Pekins, he thought they were bullies. 

Then we went to the pony ride.  Jim is my oldest son, dad of Jax and Paiton. 

That pony's name was Jimmy! 

There were only two girls leading  ponies, and there were three ponies 
standing in their stalls, eating hay.  I think it's good of the farmstead to give ponies a break and 
not work their hooves off all day. 

Paiton's pretty pony was named Annie. 

I cropped out the two teenage lead line ladies, as 
they looked exceedingly bored.  I hate to see what they are going to look like by two months from now. 

From ponies to baby goats.  1.00 for a bottle with a half ounce of milk. 

Jax kept feeding and feeding, and I finally looked at his bottle... there 
was no hole in the nipple.  I took it to a young man working in the goat 
pen... but he appeared to be totally clueless. 

My guess is it went back to the counter to be sold again. 

This was our second trip to the farmstead.  The last time there, 
I asked an adult working there about the goat kids. 

Of course, they must be replaced regularly, too, so it is another sad thing. 

In fact, I could not stay there. 

I saw two that looked ill.  I know someone is responsible for them, but 
I could not stick around there and after ten minutes, 
I moved the human kids along. 

It has been 3 years since we had goats, and Paiton and Jax were little kids... they barely remember them.  I miss them. 

This wonderful meadowlark was singing on the fence when we got home, but 
storms soon descended on us. 

The meadowlark was replaced by the mockingbird in short order. 

Today started out with beautiful clouds after an early morning storm. 

The kids and I jumped into the car with the dogs, to go the park very early this morning. 
We made a run through Daylight Donuts to fuel up, and then turned for the park. 

Unfortunately, before we had gone five miles, dark clouds came over and we 
made our run toward home, and got in the house just as the deluge dropped. 

The rest of the day was like that. 

We spent it inside. 

Lilly does NOT like storms, and these were thunder boomers. 

We got lots of rain. 

She was one foot in the upstairs and one in the down, in case she had to run to the shelter. 

Actually... we did go to the storm shelter... the kids and I.  I took the dogs down twice, 
but they were so excited by then that they kept running back and forth. 
Our tornado sirens went off, and then went off again. 

A firetruck and a sheriff's deputy stopped at the end of our street, 
watching the skies. 

I was worried about my son, who delivers goods all day... and then 
I heard from him and he was on his way home through the storms. 

He picked the kids up and then got home safely. 

Since then (5 PM)... we have had two other big storms go overhead. 

We are expecting more tonight. 

Lilly and I will have a foot on the stairs, because I am hearing yet more thunder. 

Incredibly, as I finish proof-reading this... it is pouring again, and thunder and lightening booming!  Our forecast for the next six days has more of the same, so we are going to have a wet Memorial Day weekend. 

Everyone be safe! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

National Turtle Day et al

It's National Turtle Day today. 

Maybe INTERnational, now that I think of it! 

Little Alligator snapper.  Even though it was so small, 
I moved it with the shovel.  I do not want to be on a country road with no one around with a snapper hanging off my hand. 

Here is a link to some wonderful information about moving turtles from the road.

Go, turtles! 

We had a fun walk at the park today early, since we were expecting rain. 

Lilly led Jax way off the path.  That tree line covers a steep bank to a creek though, so 
I called them back. 

Lil was in her element. 

This was taken with my phone through my bedroom window. 

We have bunnies all around the house this spring. 

I'll show you tomorrow what Jax and I discovered in the backyard this afternoon. 
We started working outside about 30 minutes before it began to pour. 
I have a project for us inside tomorrow, just in case. 

They are trying to earn spending money for their first family vacation trip, 
that they are taking to Branson in a month. 

I shot pictures at the ballparks all weekend at the baseball tournament and a few at the T Bones. 
I forgot to re-set the camera, remember, I have to shoot in manual now, since I broke the auto setting. 

I think this still came out okay early this morning, but really, very dark. 

You will have to look hard in the middle of this wildflower strewn pasture 
for a coyote that is looking at you.  He crossed the street in front of me last week, and I was so stunned I stopped the darn car in a crazy place and took it's picture.  I couldn't focus quickly and didn't really get him.  That's at least the fifth coyote I have seen in broad daylight in the last few weeks. 

A few minutes later, I saw a vulture eating on the side of the road. 
I went around the corner to my gravel road with the little pond... and realized there were MANY vultures. 

The funny thing was, after we walked, an hour later we came back by, and not a vulture was in sight! 

Western Kingbird, this morning.  I have the camera settings changed and will try to get one tomorrow. 

This is a Boston Terrier who is very intent on getting a mouse. 
HOWEVER... we have declared war on the mice, and 
today, an exterminator came to our house.  Yes, we are 
killing them.  The nice young man even climbed into the 
attic, and downstairs to Keith's area... 

I am going to be watching the dogs like a hawk.  

We have to do it, though you know I don't like to kill.  

And Gorges, if you are reading this... I looked it up, the towhee has a 
white chest, though they look so very similar to the orioles! 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Our Weekend

How can it be five days since I posted? 

I looked at Keith today and asked him where the days were going. 
To think we both worked full time, how did we get everything DONE? 

I will have Jax and Paiton this week; their school ended Thursday and 
there is a gap week before summer camp starts. 
So, Monday to Thursday, they will come here and help me. 
We are also expecting rain for five days now, so we will see 
how much we get done around here. 

This is what happened on Thursday night, the first regular season game of the season for the Kansas City Tbones, an independent league baseball team.  We have a half-season again, and 
are considered season ticket holders.  We changed our seats from our long term 
fifth row down behind home plate, to two accessible seats up on the concourse that are 
easier for Keith to access, and I LOVE THEM. 

There were actually about 5000 people there on a chilly night. 

We went again today, it was a beautiful day for a game at 1 PM. 
We had a great breeze and we are under the overhang, so, no sun. 

I had these guys on Friday, and they went to work at the Ag Hall with me. 
My sister in law came to get them with her grandsons at noon, and 
went to get pizza, and then stayed for them to have some playtime. 

I cannot tell a lie, I'm bragging about Jaxton.  He got the 
MVP for the first game of their tournament this weekend. 
I have had five baseball games in four days! 

He pitched for the first time, and did a good job.  He wears that 
cap with elan! 

Yes, I took some nature pictures. 

In the field where I saw the egret last week, I saw some geese eating. 

Look what was with them! 

This was a white fronted goose, which I have not seen here before. 
It leads me to believe the Canadians were travelers, and not local 
residents, there were only about six, including the white-fronted. 

That same day, this dickcissel posed for me in the grass.

An eastern kingbird sat on our fence that evening... 

Along with this robin. 

I did not know that house finches liked grape jelly! 

They are competing with the orioles for it. 

It think this might be an immature Baltimore. 

They like the sugar water as well as the hummers!