Friday, September 22, 2006

Back Before You Know It

Pin It I'll be gone on a trip to the east coast for a while and will try my best to post some interesting things for you. Be forwarned that I'm terrible at posting when I'm not sitting at my home computer, so if my posts are few and far between for the next couple of weeks, please forgive me. I will be back!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Orb Weaver

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Another sure sign that fall is beginning its reign in my garden is the appearance of the orb weavers. This is the first one I've seen this September and it's fairly small compared to some. I find these spiders and their habits fascinating but it's another thing altogether to walk through one of their webs. Especially when they're having lunch. To see more detail, click on a photo then mouse over the lower right-hand corner. When an orange square appears, click that also.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Moth Or Owl?

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We have a number of different kinds of owls that live here on the north coast. This moth looks eerily like an owl I saw recently, gliding through the air before landing in a tree. Even the color was the same.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Big Eyes

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Photo taken on a double rose Japanese Anemone on 9/17/06.
For greater detail, click on photo to enlarge.

Friday, September 15, 2006

S S S S S S Snake!

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We have these little snakes, possibly garter, that live in our area and they really seem to like our property. Maybe it's because it's not very well-kept at the edges. We keep the area around the house and shop clean and planted prettily, but the rest of it can get a bit overgrown. And that makes for great wildlife habitat. Bringing us back to the snakes.

They're harmless enough. It's just that they're the color of the ground and are not easily seen so it can be quite a surprise to come across one. Especially when weeding by hand. Stick your hand into a bunch of weeds and see a little brown thing skitter across your glove. No matter that they don't bite, it's quite a shock. And now there seems to be a nest of just-hatched babies somewhere, as the yard is fairly overrun with these little guys.

I know from these photos that it's hard to tell just how big it is and, you know, I just keep forgetting to keep a ruler in my pocket! This one is probably 6-inches long and no wider than a very thin pencil. When it coils up, it's about 2-inches square.

No tiny snakes, or large ones either, were harmed in the taking of these photos, and the baby you see here was set free after enduring the photoshoot. We live and let live. Unless you're a non-native slug!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Foxes...

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Our friends who live several creek drainages over had this trio of baby foxes living under their barn. When they were finally big enough to be out and cavorting on the edge of the woods, Ilene got a couple of shots with her camera. With each step that brought her closer to her subjects, a little fox would scamper into the woods until just one was left. Then it, too, was gone!

Photos published with permission.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Chocolate Cosmos

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Somehow, amid the the jungle of Japanese Anemones , a single Chocolate Cosmos plant always comes up and blooms. Lately just one, maybe two, blooms appear and then the plant disappears again, the aggressive foliage of the anemones swallowing it up, until the next year when it will show itself again for one brief moment. This morning was that moment.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

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As soon as the sedum begins to bloom in early September, the honeybees come out in droves. They love this plant and sometimes there are as many as 10 or so bees on one flower head. The variety in my garden is "Autumn Joy", which puts out a single lovely bronze-y pink flower head on each stalk.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Roosevelt Elk

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On Labor Day we drove with friends to Gold Bluffs Beach, part of Prairie Creek State Park, to hike in on Miner's Ridge Trail and see the forest. Gold Bluffs Beach is also where the trail to Fern Canyon begins. Both of these trails link up with others that will take an intrepid hiker inland to the Prairie Creek Ranger Station. Roughly an 11 miles loop, it's fun to begin in the early morning, pack a lunch, and come out again, tired but happy at the end of the day. Redwoods, Sitka Spruce, many species of ferns, trillium, Clintonia, and a host of other plants and trees are easily viewed from the trails as well as beautiful creeks and a few waterfalls.
I love going out to this beach because it's where a herd of resident Roosevelt Elk live. They are such majestic creatures and I never tire of looking at them. This is the first time, however, that I saw a baby up close. Usually they are hidden away in the bushes. This little guy (girl?) looked up in curiosity when I gave it a whistle. Lucky me!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Oriental Lily

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This is one of those beautiful and fragrant Oriental lilies that someone gave to me and I lost the tag and thought I'd never forget the name of it and now I have. Forgotten the name. It blooms in a large terra cotta pot in late August, early September and sits just outside the front door, greeting all who come by with a most heavenly scent.

Monday, September 04, 2006


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On our walk to the beach yesterday, we decided to stroll along the harbor pier to see what was happening. Lots of fishing boats were coming in with lots of fish: salmon, ling cod, sand dabs and another smaller fish I couldn't identify. The gulls were all lined up waiting for a snack to come their way. This one evidently thought I was a likely food source. He never flinched when I got close with the camera. Lest anyone is worried, the red dot on its beak is a normal coloring, not blood. Click on the photo to enlarge. For even more detail, mouse over the lower right-hand corner until an orange box appears then click on that box.

Mr/Ms Banana Slug

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The Banana Slug is a famous inhabitant of the Pacific Northwest. This one, ambling along on the one of the steps to my office, isn't the biggest one I've seen and wasn't fully extended at the time, but it did present itself in such a way for me to take a perfect shot to show you its size.

They breathe through the hole that you see there. They are very, very slimey and you don't want to touch one because it takes forever to get the slime off your hands. I know this from first-hand (ahem) experience. They have the very irritating habit of eating my iris and any other bulbs that try mightily to come up each spring. I'm told that they have some good purpose here on earth, I just haven't found it yet. Still, they are native and rather colorful so I try to leave them be. If only they would leave my plants alone!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Glad Throat

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Couldn't you just sit on your butt and slide down the throat of this red gladiolus?
I should have been born a bug. But then I'd miss that whole opposing digit thing.
Click on this photo for more detail.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Light Through The Fog

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After a number of exquisitely beautiful days, I was prepared to get up this morning and expound, in rosy prose, upon the glories of the coming of Autumn on the North Coast. The tang in the air, the soft colors of the sun... pah! The fog is so thick I get wet walking the 100 feet from my house to my office.
I have found, however, that it does this valley gal no good to be pissy about it. There's an old saying up here (and I'm sure in other places too): "If you don't like the weather in Humboldt county, wait a minute." So I just took up my itty bitty camera and went outside looking for foggy photos...

As I walked through the mist, and spied this beauty, I was reminded of something I wrote a number of years ago. We had just moved up here permanently from the area where I had happily spent most of my life. It was one of the foggiest spring/summers on record and I was terribly sad. The only thing I could hold on to was that I did love my husband, I did. Still do.

Smooth bare feet

Luscious spring wind

A rose shines through mist

Love whispers deliriously

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Sweet Place To Take A Rest

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A second blooming of the deliciously scented wisteria that resides outside my office provided a resting place for not one but two critters. I don't know the name of the moth and I didn't actually know that it had company until I brought the photo into PhotoShop. I love surprises like this.