Archive | July 2017

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-31-2017

Happy Moanday! My hubby has been smoke free for two weeks now!! Yeah!! It as been pretty difficult. I’ve stopped eating processed foods and carbs. We’ve been doing pretty good, aside from the bickering

        

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

      

Hemerocallis fulva ~ Orange Day-lily, Tawny Daylily, Tiger Daylily, Fulvous Daylily, Ditch Lily, Railroad Daylily, Roadside Daylily, Outhouse Lily   These two types grow at my house.

Monarda ~ Purple Lace

     

Pelargonium citrosum ~ citronella plant, mosquito plant geranium, citrosa geranium    ||    Stumper.

       

Tilia americana ~ Linden    ||    Unknown Grass

      

Saponaria officinalis ~ Soapwort     ||     Lobelia cardinalis ‘Black Truffle’ ~ Cardinal Flower

Red Monarda ~ Beebalm

Delphinium ~ Larkspur

Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Kayaking Door County, Wisconsin

Last 4th of July, we went camping in Door County, Wisconsin for the second time. I can’t explain the magnetic pull this area has on me, just like Jens Jensen. I totally get why he chose to be here. It’s very strange, as I can’t see myself as a full-time resident here. Winters can keep you pretty isolated, along with down-right frigid temperatures… Not my idea of fun.

Although Wisconsin has a lower housing market than my Chicago suburbs area, Door County has it’s “Cape Cod of the Midwest” reputation and adds a higher percentage to that market percentage. Add on waterfront to the description and tack on 100% to the price.

I’m not in the high enough tax-bracket to achieve a two property household, so I’ll just dare to dream for now…

This post got lost in the drafts folder, as I was looking to add some video from my sport camera… Trying to load it onto YouTube as I write… Got that spinning wheel of death right now. My upload speed is probably at -2% right now. .. I’ll keep you hanging right now as to if this succeeds or not, by posting it at the end… If I can 😉

There are a total of three locations we kayaked in this post.

FIRST: Kangaroo Lake

It is a 1,156 acres (467.8166 hectares) lake that’s only 12 feet (3.7M) in the deep end. Kangaroo Lake received its name from its shape which resembles a Kangaroo with its head (North end), pouch or hands (mid-east side), and feet (south end). The best part about the lake is the fact it is shallow and big boats can’t be on it. The Lake Association has banned them to preserve the easily disturbed, silt bottom. This makes for a kayaker / canoers dream paddle location.

My hubby used to come here and fish when he was a wee lad. You can catch Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. The water is very clear and it’s pretty easy to see the fish below. It ain’t so easy to catch one, though. 😉

There is even a small island in the center that I’m pretty sure is privately owned. There is a beautiful house with wonderful landscaping with boat houses, et all. We did see a young gentleman arrive at the dock from the mainland and waved to him. He tipped his hat back. Clearly, there is activity happening here, I just didn’t put a lot of time researching it. Anyone know???

Mama duck escorted her kiddos across the lake. I hope boaters pay attention to wildlife =-)

Early in the morning, the water is pretty calm.

Next we visited Mud Lake:

While driving around the area, we saw a pull-off area and felt the need to investigate. Turns out there was a launch into Reinboldt Creek, which takes you to Mud Lake. This is from the DNR website:

Mud Lake Wildlife Area is a 2,290-acre property located in northeastern Door County near Moonlight Bay. The property consists of a 155-acre shallow (maximum depth 5 feet) drainage lake surrounded by an extensive shrub and timber swamp. Immediately surrounding the open water is a narrow zone of shrubby northern sedge meadow dominated by sedges, willows, dogwoods and sweet gale. The wetlands and lake provide habitat for the federally-endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) among many other wildlife and plant species. The open zone grades into second-growth wet-mesic forest of white cedar, white spruce, balsam fir and black ash. This is an example of boreal forest habitat which a rare community type to be found in Wisconsin. As a result records of boreal forest species such as Common Goldeneye have been documented to nest on the property which is rare in Wisconsin.

I wish I could tell you that the two below videos were from my sports camera. Nope. Still working out the kinks. The hard part is that the screen will ‘time-out’ and there’s no light or anything that lets you know it’s recording. I think ti’s not recording, hit the button again and then turn it off. Gaaaa! I’m getting better and I do have some longer ones that I’ve uploaded to YouTube. I’ll connect to those when I’ve edited out all the swear words 😉

I wonder why the rocks are so red. Very cool, tho!!

Now we’re at Gills Rock.

This boat launch had plenty of parking and an easy in/out for small boats. There’s a Fleetwing shipwreck to go check out. The water is clear enough to see the cargo, 25 feet below.

The area was originally full of alder (Alnus), willow (Salix) and cedar (Juniperus) which has given way to forests dominated by spruce (Picea) and, then later, pine (Pinus). Mixed forests of eastern hemlock (Tsuga) and hardwoods such as beech (Fagus) and elm (Ulmus) became standard by about 7,500 years ago and have persisted. I saw many birch (Betula) and Eastern red cedar (Juniperus), like the ones in this photo.

There are many animals that rely on the cliffs for shelter and food. The gulls in the photos below soared just above the water looking for fish.

We are starting to get a bit more elaborate with our rock stacks. We’ve been adding levers to the mix. Clearly, mine is the one with the flowers 😉

A recent rock slide.

It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day.

The seagulls were swooping up to see if we were offering treats.

Hieroglyphs of people canoeing.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-27-2017

Happy Thursday!!!   Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

      

Prunella vulgaris  ~ Self-heal       ||       Allium stellatum ~ Prairie Onion

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo’

Heuchera ~ Coral Bells

Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’ ~ Beebalm

Veronica spicata ‘Purplicious’ ~ Speedwell

     

Hypericum perforatum ~ St. Johnswort     ||    Yucca filamentosa ~ Adam’s Needle

Heucherella ~ Stoplight

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Dog Tick ~ Dermacentor variabilis

My poor husband was attacked by a dog tick. He wasn’t anywhere that was a tick haven… He was in our yard. We do live near a forest preserve and have our share of wild furries sharing our space. Luckily, it’s not the tick vector for Lyme’s Disease. Granted, there’s other things he might be able to look forward to, like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Bartonella. Yeah!

The best way to prevent a tick borne illness is to avoid tick bites. If you’re going to visit wooded areas or areas with tall grass, follow these precautions to help prevent tick bites and the risk of disease:

  • Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, boots or sturdy shoes and a head covering (ticks will jump from trees). Tuck your pants into your socks. For extra protection, tape the area where your pants and socks meet.
  • Apply insect repellent to your clothes containing 10 percent to 30 percent DEET. Use repellents containing permethrin to treat any exposed skin. Be sure to wash treated skin after coming indoors. Always follow label directions; do not misuse or overuse repellents. Always supervise children when using repellents.
  • Try to walk in the center of trails so weeds do not brush against you. If your camping area is full of leaf litter, a favorite place for ticks to hide, be sure to sit on chairs, not on the ground.
  • Check yourself every two to three hours for ticks. Most ticks don’t attach right away and rarely transmit disease until they have been attached four or more hours. Don’t forget about your fur friend! Check them for ticks, also.
  • Remove any tick you find promptly and properly! A tick’s mouth parts are barbed and can remain embedded which could lead to infection at the bite site. Do not try to burn the tick with a match, cover it with petroleum jelly or nail polish. Do not use bare hands to remove the tick because tick secretions may carry disease. The best way to remove a tick is to grasp it firmly with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and gently, but firmly, pull it straight out. Do not twist or jerk the tick. If tweezers are not available, grasp the tick with a piece of tissue or cloth or whatever can be used as a barrier between your fingers and the tick. If you want to have the tick identified, put it in a small vial of alcohol.
  • Wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water, then apply an antiseptic to the bite site.
  • If you have an unexplained illness with fever, contact your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor you’ve been bitten by a tick recently.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-25-2017

Happy Tuesday everyone!!!

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

        

Galium boreale ~ Northern Bedstraw

      

Allium sphaerocephalon ~ Drumsick alloim      ||    Stachys monieri ‘Hummelo’ ~ Betony

       

Linaria vulgaris~ Butter & Eggs Toadflax        ||       Hosta

      

Amsonia ~ Blue star      ||   Unknown grass

       

Pyrola asarifolia ~ Pink Pyrola (pretty sure!)       ||      Ailanthus altissima ~ Tree of Heaven (Very invasive here)

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Flat Rabbit

I believe everything cycles. Things go up, things go down. The perfect song that comes to mind is called Turn Turn Turn, by the Byrds. Did you know that the song is word for word the first eight verses of the third chapter of the biblical Book of Ecclesiastes? These tid-bits are what keep my Trivial Pursuit gold metal on the wall 😉

Anywho.

The reason I launched into cycles was to describe the rabbit population around here. I’ve lived in this house for 13 years now. When we first moved in, there were enough rabbits around here to make stew for the whole block! They munched through all my veggies, perennials and had me swerving out of the way of them on my street. Don’t know why I didn’t just mow them down. Turkey vultures need to eat too.

The next year the rabbits started strong, however shortly after June, I barely saw any. I didn’t really notice any correlations, just that there were no rabbits.

Fast forward to living here for 7 years. Six of those years were spent enjoying my life without rabbits! I could grow my spinach, beets and carrots without having to build a fortress around them. The seventh year was the return. My Rudbeckia was decimated. I thought I was having seed failure in my beets. My dogs started digging under the fence. The rabbits came back with a vengeance. Again, they were everywhere.

Later that year, I started to notice how many birds of prey were circling overhead. Many times I would hear the loud chirping from birds during a combined effort of mobbing. The clincher was having fur and rabbit pieces strewn across my lawn on a weekly basis.

Fast forward another 7 years…

As my boys are sight orientated, they seldom notice things that are still. I will normally notice something in the yard before they can get to it. Sadly, my hubby isn’t as observant. After getting home from a long day, he opened the back door for the boys to go out. He propped the door open, and sat down to have a smoke. It wasn’t more that 10 minutes, when Breck brought the last half of a rabbit to him. He just put it down at my husband’s feet and looked up at him.  How nice of him! Hubby took a shot for me (He knew I’d blog this!!! Thanks Sweetie!), scooped it up and put it out front. He then went out back to see what had gone down back there. There was clearly a scene of carnage out there. Only fur and bloody pieces remained. He assumed the bird was able to take off with at least one half. He gathered all the pieces and promptly buried what was left in the front yard, away from the boys.

I titled this post Flat Rabbit, because one of the boys favorite toys is a stuffingless rabbit, called Flat Rabbit. This was a whole nother type of flat rabbit!!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Soulmate

Push aside your long brown hair, through strong thick fingers, across your bronzed face, from your hazel eyes, dripping with confidence. Your luminous gaze flushes my skin, lost in your stare, heart full of anticipation, I turn to see only you across the crowded room. Reach out your hand, draw me into you through melodic verses from upon the stage, you touch my soul. Electricity from your touch, feelings from your heart, true deep emotions filled all my voids, melt us together. Torn by fate, split by lightning, thrown into endless searches, apart too long, our hearts join with pleasurous pain. Subliminal messages only you understand, knowing my thoughts, always sensing your devotion, feeling my passion, true soulmates.

Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

The Big Headed Ground Beetle ~ Scarites subterraneus

I’ve find these gals in my basement occasionally, wondering how she burrowed her way in. Unfortunately or fortunately, she will get returned to the great outdoors to enjoy her life outside of my basement. I placed her on the driveway to get some shots, however she was not feeling the love for the camera and quickly made her way to the nearby mulch.

These are called The Big Headed Ground Beetle, however it’s not really their heads that are large, it just looks that way because of their chests being connected to their heads. Personally, I think they should be called the Sir Mix-A-Lot Beetle… As in, Little in the middle, butt she’s got much back!!!

Adults are about ¾” inch (20 mm) long, shiny black, with antennae slightly paler and very broad, large jaws. They are commonly found in mulch, under stones, around illuminated areas at night, in basements and in damp soil. When discovered, they may play dead, hoping that their thick exoskeleton will protect them. They are easily picked up by their butts, as they can’t turn their menacing mandibles around to bite you. Although these gals are capable of giving a painful bite, the bites rarely break the skin or are medically harmful.

These gals are considered very beneficial, as they eat nuisance insects in the soil as larvae and adults. These girls like the night life and generally only hunt in the evenings.

 

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-19-2017

Hope everyone has a wonderful day =-)

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

What a beautiful combo of daisies and tickseed!!

Campanula carpatica ~ Blue clips bell flower

Centaurea cyanus ~ Cornflower

     

Digitalis grandiflora ~ Big flowered foxglove    ||    Philadelphus coronarius ~ mock orange

     

Dahlia      ||       Lillium ~ Lily

     

Don’t know     ||     Stachys byzantina ~ Lamb’s ears

Hosta ‘Big Daddy   (best guess)

Aruncus dioicus ~ Goat’s beard

Dianthus

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-18-2017

Yesterday is the past,

Tomorrow is not promised

Today is a gift, that’s why its called the present!!

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

     

Rudbeckia ~ Black Eyed Susan, perhaps?     ||     Rosa ~ Wild Rose

     

Aquilegia canadensis ~ Columbine      ||      Dahlia ‘Happy Single Party’

Clueless

     

Convolvulus arvensis ~ field bindweed    ||     Solanum dulcamara ~ Hairy nightshade

     

Lysimachia punctata ~ Loosestrife    ||    Sedum

     

Not sure – Looks to be in Ribes family, tho     ||     Geranium of some sort

 

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl