Here’s a lot of pictures and videos, mostly from the late teens in July.  However, there’s a video that got lumped into the egg pictures and didn’t make it into an earlier update.

Here are a few extracted pictures to let ya know what to expect later.

This is that misplaced video. It’s nothing too exciting, but it’s just the light shimmering in the leaves, with what I think are American Goldfinches in the background. It’s from July 8,  I think.

And on to more recent stuff.

July 16 has pictures of Jewel Weed, the flower on one side, and a developing seed pod on the left.  It’s interesting, but this year I think that the majority of these flowers have bloomed a lot later than last year (well, yes, duh, any flower blooming in 2017 is blooming later than one that bloomed in 2016 but I’m pretty sure you get my gist).  I’ve also noticed that the insect population for some critters seem a bit lower, such as some of the butterflies.  And some of the trees and other plants seem to be a bit confused about when to flower or leaf out this year.  I’m wondering if it has to do with the several vast temperature swings we had this spring, where it was late spring temperatures one week or even early summer temperatures and then just about next week it was cold again, and we might have had a bit of fleeting snow… so stuff thought “good, winter’s over, time to go” and then got smacked in the face by freezing temperatures again, and had to try to recover and start over.

Also in this next set of pictures is a hazel shrub next to the one I’d been watching which seems to be loaded with nuts(!), what one of the remaining May Apples looks like now, some pretty light patterns on a Sassafras tree, and an attempt at getting what I think to be a Downy Woodpecker (might be a Hairy, but it just looks a tad too tiny) in a picture… I took a bunch more pictures and videos of this and some other birds in the same area, but not many came out well enough to even bother including.  I wanted to get some good pictures and video because these birds were I think, demonstrating a mixed flock behavior thingy.  I know when I grew up in Wisconsin, we often would get groups of birds, usually Black-capped chick-a-dees, nuthatches (usually white breasted), and one or another woodpecker (Hairy or Downy).  I can’t remember if I’ve read/seen much on this behavior, but it’s probably beneficial in one way or another for them…or they wouldn’t do it?  In this case, and not much to my surprise, I spotted a nuthatch, one or two woodpeckers (probably downy, like I said earlier), and instead of chick-a-dees, what I’m pretty sure were Tufted Titmice (which are birds, not rodents).

Here’s a quick video of the nuthatch, which although it’s not superb, does give you an idea of how these guys move on a tree trunk…it’s a bit different from how a wood pecker does.  Also, I think the flittering, twig-tip-perching birds might be the titmice making that sort of …attention getting hard to describe noise.  I tried getting a video and pictures of these guys in a previous update, and actually managed to get something, and I’m pretty sure it was some younger ones begging from an adult (probably their parents) which actually did feed the youngsters.  I’m not sure, but that might have kinda been what was happening here, too.

And here comes some stuff from July 18. A quick view of my solar hot water heater thingy for making shower water without turning on the stove or firing up the grill.  It kind of works if we get good sun and it’s hot all day.  However, now that I’ve made a picture of it, the solar water fountain pump thing (from Harbor Freight) has mysteriously stopped working today (the 20th).  So, I might get a new one eventually, or look for a better one with similar concept.  The thought was the pump pushed water up into the hose, and it flowed through the hose (which needed all bubbles burped out before it worked at all) getting warm in the sun, then returned back to the tub.  Occasionally I hand filter the water by scooping it in a small bucket-cup thing, and pouring it into one of those little clam-shell box thingies that grape tomatoes come in lined with these filter things that are for air vents, but work well enough to trap the debris in the water, and the cleaner water drains out the bottom holes back into the tub (provided of course I hold it over the tub).

Also included are before and after pictures of the wood sheds after I did a bit of chopping.  I also did some secondary great stuffing of the gap between the two sheds, and into the little holes in the roof of the chicken run and the wood run roof, I hope it helps instead of making a mess.  We’ll see.

If you watch this video to the end, you’ll actually see the little ripple-shadow things that happen when light passes through turbulence in water…in this case it’s the warmer water flowing out of the exit end of the hose!  It works (…worked!!! sad face for the pump-speaking of pumps though, the ram pump is still working, that’s way more important!).


And July 20. I’m going to break this into a few bits.

For starters, here’s some stuff from the pre-jog walk. It’s some daisies, with some pollinators who are neither bees nor butterflies. Also, what I think is probably a kind of dewberry (which is a group of plants really close to the blackberry…they basically kind of look like viney-low growing-trailing blackberries…).  Or, they’re blackberries which have been mowed, but I think they’re to trailing for that, I think they’re dewberries.  Also some Queen Anne’s Lace, and the second (only to the one I think I saw in the same spot yesterday, so probably also the first) Monarch butterfly caterpillar.  It was munching until I brushed the grass near the milkweed which made a noise and wiggled the milkweed, so I didn’t get a video of it munching.


Here come a lot of plants and some of their flowers, I’ll ID some of them, but might not do them all, I’m getting sleepy. For starters, the tall yellow flowers that look rather like daisies in shape are interesting to me because I thought they might be “sunchoke” also known as “Jerusalem artichoke” but a bit of research, and they’re not.  That’s fine, they’re something else native (sunchoke is too), I’m pretty sure they’re something called Green-headed Coneflower, Cutleaf Coneflower, or Golden Glow. Rudbeckia laciniata is their scientific name.  Coolies, I learned something! Also, I’ve done a bit more snousing on the purple flower thingies I knew were “Heal-All” or “Self-Heal”, but I wasn’t sure what specific kind.  Now I’ve done a bit more reading, and I’ve found a few new things out.  So, what I’ve got here probably is the native subspecies, which some people call Common Self-Heal, or Heal-All, and is scientifically Prunella vulgaris lanceolata. The other subspecies is the European one, it has rounder leaves, and is called Lawn Prunella.  It’s in the mint family, and does have the 4-sided square-ish in cross section stem.  It’s also pretty medicinally useful, if you’re into that sort of thing and do your research first. I have two groups of pictures of this stuff, it’s the purple flowers in little cones or tubes or trumpet looking things, not the tufty ones with spiky leaves.  I’m not sure what those are,they look like some sort of thistle but may not actually be one.

The red Bee Balm flowers are still blooming (I’m pretty sure they’re also somewhere related to mints). The stem with the long serrated-edged leaves on really short dark stems are from Joe Pye Weed, but I don’t know if it’s the Spotted one of the other types.  I think some of them are also called Boneset. And then I took a few pictures of the plant next to it, because it has interesting leaf structures (the way it sort of clasps and actually grows all the way around the stem!), so when I’m not so  wanna-go-to-bed, I’ll try looking it up and see if I can ID it.  Also, I’ll try to remember to see what it looks like if it flowers, that will help narrow things down a lot.


And here are some pictures of butterflies.  I learned last time I was researching for one of these updates that the Tiger Swallowtail butterflies is one of my FAVORITES!  But I didn’t know it.  I did know that the yellow and black semi-kind of like a monarch but definitely not definitely yellow with little swallow tail tabbies on the end of the rear wings were Tiger Swallow Tail butterflies….but then I learned that those ones that looked kind of like them in shape but were a beautiful black with blue blush along the trailing edge of the rear wings were Tigers, too!  It’s just that in this kind of butterfly, the females can be one of two color patterns.  The first is like the male, yellow and black, but with blue along the trailing edge.  The second is that beautiful blue and black butterfly I love so much!  Coolies.  It’s Papilio glaucus scientifically.  And now, I think here comes a huge dump of pictures! And a few videos.  The red-orange and black butterfly I think is a Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly… I just looked it up, and I don’t know anything else about them.  They’re just one of those I see which don’t hold still long enough to get a good look usually. I’ll try to remember what they look like when I see more.

I think these might be some kind of Azure butterfly… the quick look I had didn’t get a lot of results, and I’m getting tired so that’s close enough. I just have to say they are a lovely powdery color when they open their wings, it’s somewhere between indigo and lilac.  I like them!

And here are the rest of the pictures from today.  The white flowers which look like the red ones above in shape only a different color are related to them, only these are White Bergamont…it’s a kind of Bee Balm…but it’s white… as you can see.  And of course, they have square stems too… mint family!!  Some people also call the White Bergamont Basil Bee Balm, but others apply that to another similar related plant, so I’ll try to use the White Bergamont as what I’m going to remember it as. Plus, hey it’s white and looks like the Bee Balms I already know!  I found these a bit behind our chicken coop.  And that’s a look at how well the corn is growing down near where I turn around when I jog with Kyle.  And there’s Gnarly doing a cat thing, napping comfortably in a box which looks uncomfortably, but not wanting to be pictured doing so.


And lastly, here’s a video of Kyle for Ryan.  Yeppers, Kyle likes his chance to “get wet” when we jog on warm days.  He even willingly swims!  Wow!  (and of course, he misses you Ryan we all do! Hope you are doing well!).  And for the rest of y’all watching / reading / looking at this, thanks for visiting, hope you had fun!