Monday, April 28, 2014


 Just as we need to see with both of our eyes in order to capture all of the nuances of an image, we need to gather information from both "big picture" and "detail" perspectives in order to fully understand.

 Like a puzzle, you don't get the "whole picture" until you have all the pieces.
 Right now the moss is emerald green, lush and fresh with new growth.
Often times when I'm in the timber I see some rather large terrestrial snails  and there are not a lot of good guide books for identifying land snails

But I'm going with the
Striped whitelip

This species is also known as Helix multilineata,



Here's an older shell without the snail    The Iowa Pleistocene snail is an endangered species.
These snails live in the leaf litter of special cool and moist hillsides called algific talus slopes. Cool air and water, from underground ice, flow out of cracks in the slopes and keep the ground temperatures below 50 degrees F in summer and above 14 degrees F in winter.  I keep looking but I have yet to find one.

It's always tough to find that first mushroom of the year. 


but once you've got them in your sites and you put a knife by them there easy to spot.

When you take the time to focus on the smaller details thing just seem to become more clear.

I spent the next fifteen minutes trying to track down a bird which was calling.  Just to see a Cat Bird, high in a tree top.   Then just a few minutes later I was rewarded with seeing a Scarlet Tanager.

Look beyond the obvious.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Discreet Beach Combing.

 Six hive installed on the Iowa side and two across the river in Wisconsin.
Having to check in on the bees progress gives Susie and I the opportunity to visit Lauren, Debbie and Steve a little more often.

Happy EASTER  !!
 We got the garden tilled with a tator trough ready for potatoes.
 It's been a long time coming but I got the cone built for the "Moon Hawk" sculpture.   Ace was a good helper.
 I made it out to the timber for a hike with the dogs.

No mushrooms but I found this little shed  It made my day!

Next time I'm going shed hunting I hope to find some morels.

Saturday we ran into Milwaukee to make some tough decision for the future health care of Kendo.

The girls love him and want nothing but the best for him.

I am that stone of simple beauty in silence I sit and wait....

To decompress, a trip to Lake Michigan always helps.  No matter, how crappy the weather is . 

A little discreet beach combing early in the morning with Easterly winds does wonders for the body and soul!

Looks like we're having asparagus for supper this evening!


 I was right,  yum!

Sunday, April 13, 2014


 Friday evening B0B Playtex and I cruzed into CR to the Indian Creek nature center to pick-up our bee packages, 14 all together.

That barely put a dent in the horse trailer load of bees that Doug brings to the Nature Center in mid to late April from California.

 Checking out the Queen Bee before we uncork her to introduce her to the hive.
The guy are eager to learn about how to set up a hive and install a package this was my third of six for the day.
I was interested in checking out their sugar shack.
It was very comfortable, well planned  and high tec.
The girls were all fired up to check out the new kids on the block.  The girls were named after jazz singers and the little boys were named after guys from Starwars.
Looking forward to some fresh chèvre  in the future.
The next package went out to Todds.  I was really impressed with his cabin set up.
And what a great place for bees.

You can see the hive at the lower end of the garden to the right of the post just under the cedar trees.
The urban bees have a great home too and what good timing.  After last night rain shower Spring is ready to burst and the bees are ready!
What a great back yard to sit back and enjoy the bees and a beverage.

I finished up the day by setting up my hive at home and wouldn't ya know it...  I got stung right under the eye.   Oh well.  

Some scientific studies have shown that bee stings may have medicinal benefits.  It is a fairly accepted fact that bee venom possesses anti-inflammatory properties.