Tag Archive | cute

Border Collies – The Animal Kingdom’s Meteorologist

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Incoming!!!!!

I rarely have to check the weather to see if a storm is on the way, as Breck let’s me know by becoming ‘clingy’ (Clink-on dog) or hiding. I’ve written many posts about this already…

There is a prediction of 8″ of snow on the way to us. I found Breck hiding behind the boxes in the garage, after I had let him outside and then had a heart attack¬† when I couldn’t find him in the yard. Thanks, Buddy… not. When it comes to snowstorms it’s funny… He knows they are coming, however he doesn’t freak as much since there is no thunder. Rarely, do we get thundersnows, ie, thunder during snowstorms. Watch the video below about a meteorologist and his reaction to the rare phenomenon.

Cliff’s Version: The ingredients necessary for thundersnow are so exceptional that it’s estimated only .07 % of snowstorms are associated with thunder. In a 30 year study of snowstorms with lightning, meteorologists found there’s an 86 % chance that at least 6‚ÄĚ inches of snow will accumulate within a 70 mile radius of the lightning.

I remember the first time we experienced a thundersnow. It had started to snow so we went out to get some energy (anxiety) out before the snow hit hard and filled the yard. All of a sudden a huge, varicose vein of a lightning covered the sky, then a very loud clap of thunder! It was super awesome to experience… well, at least for the humans. The fur kids were high-tailing it for the garage.

Animals might react to incoming weather events and natural disasters wp-1481903109197.jpgby using one or all of their five senses which are usually better than a human’s. Many weather occurrences generate sounds in the infrasonic range, too low for humans to hear, however well within the range of many animal species.

Scientists have observed animals being effected by barometric pressure and sound waves. Sea birds are frequently noted flying inland when the pressure drops before a storm.

I do believe animals can sense many types of weather or natural disasters. Read here about the animals in the area of the Asiatic tsunami of December 2004. Animals don’t think about paying bills, having the latest android, if they should dye their gray hair, quit their job… They only need to think about survival; food, water, shelter, procreation, safety. When that’s all you have to think about, you get good at learning about these things. Stupid humans… why do we clutter ourselves so??

© Ilex РMidwestern Plant Girl

Another Dog Dilemma for the Oreo

Oreo can’t get enough tennis balls. He loves to chew, chase and de-fuzz them!

Normally, we keep all the dog toys in the white rack on the wall where he may be able to see them, however not get to them. He knows they are there, and when he want’s to play, he will sit in front of it and stare at the rack. This time he noticed there was a ball near the rack that he could reach. He didn’t understand it was on a rope!

I’ll have more info about this ‘ball on a rope’ in an upcoming post. For now, just enjoy and laugh at the poor, ‘lil guy!!

Previous Dilemma‚Äôs in a Dog‚Äôs Life¬† 1 ‚Äď 2 ‚Äď 3 ‚Äď 4 ‚Äď 5¬†– 6

 

© Ilex РMidwestern Plant Girl

Bee in Flower

imageI was sad to see this little cutie becoming sluggish from the cold. I gave her a pet, a few hot breaths and left her in a flower near our shed that has many carpenter bee holes. These guys do hibernate. Many folks aren’t too happy about these guys drilling holes into their woodwork. I don’t mind. They make my flowers happy by pollinating them.


© Ilex РMidwestern Plant Girl

Skipper on Agastache

I love Skipper Butterflies!! They are always very friendly and will land on an outstretched finger. Maybe only for a moment, as their energy level is so high, they must skip on to the next flower. The Agastache (Hyssop) I was planting that day had these guys going nuts for the nectar, as there wasn’t much still blooming at the time.

Although the skipper had me thinking cutie thoughts, This post is really about this amazing plant.

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Agastache, also known as Hummingbird Mint, is essential to a pollinator friendly garden. Agastache plants are not on the menu for browsing deer and rabbits. Sometimes known as Hyssop, Hummingbird Mints are a showy, fragrant group of perennial herbs that as their name suggests, attract hummingbirds. Perhaps best of all, they offer color to the garden in late summer and early fall, when many gardens are winding down and getting a bit dull.

Hyssop are an easy group of plants to grow and are native to the United States. They are in the mint family, thus they have square stems. They can take most exposures, if water is adequate, although they do not like wet soils. They grow to about 3′ and can bloom for a very long time, from July¬†through October.

Other facts:

  • Bees are attracted to the late-blooming flower which results in a light, anise-scented honey.
  • In traditional folk herbal medicine, hyssop tea has been used to help assist digestion. Native Americans also used hyssop as a medication to cure wounds, fevers,¬†cough and diarrhea.
  • Hyssop is also effective in relieving pains in the chest, due to excessive coughing.¬†It can help expel mucus, making it ideal for treating colds.
  • A poultice prepared with the leaves and stems of the hyssop plant may be used to heal burn injuries.
  • Put fresh or dried anise hyssop leaves in cheesecloth and hang from the tub faucet, letting the water flow over the herbs. ¬†The scent from the hyssop will help calm agitated nerves.
  • Along with mental calming, it can also provide pain relief to sore muscles via a warm bath.¬† Hyssop is also supposed to curb nightmares.
  • Aside from therapeutic uses, hyssop is also used for culinary purposes. Fresh leaves and flowers can be added to salads and fruit salads as well as use it in the form of a garnish. Alternately, you may use fresh or dried up leaves with chicken, lamb, salmon as well as some vegetable dishes like peas.
  • Hyssop leaves can be used as a substitute for anise or mint.

© Ilex РMidwestern Plant Girl

Unknown Common Brown Skipper

This poor guy was so beat-up I couldn’t¬†figure out an ID for him. I’m going to guess Hayhurst‚Äôs Scallopwing (Staphylus hayhurstii), however I¬†wasn’t ballsy enough to put it in the title. I am confident that he is a skipper of some sort, so I’ll discuss some skipper traits.

The skipper butterfly is part of the Hesperiidae butterfly family and is subdivided into seven subfamilies: Hesperiinae (grass skippers),  Coeliadinae, Euschemoninae, Eudaminae (dicot skippers), Pyrginae (spreadwings),  Heteropterinae (monocot skippers), and Trapezitinae (found only in Oceania).

Skippers wings appear small because of their much thicker body. The typical skipper butterfly shape is a thick body, large head and short triangular-shaped forewings.  Antennae are separated at the base and the tips appear very bulbous and curved.

They are called skippers¬†due to their pattern of flight¬†fly. They skip from flower to flower in a quick, erratic manner rather than a graceful flight pattern like other butterfly species. Kind like me when I’ve had too much coffee!

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Skipper on trillium.


© Ilex РMidwestern Plant Girl

The Prince Who Watches Over My Mint

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Every year I grow mint for my Mojitos. I tend to just put it in a pot so it doesn’t go crazy and take over everything in my yard. The past few times I came out to water, this little Prince has been snuggled up under the rim. He must really like it up here as the first time I saw him, I thought he was stuck and moved him just outside the pot. He can clearly jump pretty high to get up here and since he fought so hard¬†to get back up here, here I will leave him.

Isn’t he adorable?

American Toad ‚Äď Anaxyrus americanus


© Ilex РMidwestern Plant Girl

Treat Time!

imageDog spelled backwards is god.

I did not get my first dog until I was 17.

I was first trusted with the guppies I found in the nearby pond. Then, goldfish. Next, I had hamsters and a lone guinea pig, but had missed out on the companionship of a canine. My parents loved dogs. My mother grew-up with a train of chihuahuas, all named Pepe. My dad didn’t have a pet directly, but his aunt’s chow-chow was next door most of his childhood.

When I was a child, my dad worked for United Airlines and we did have lots of opportunity to travel. He didn’t want to have to kennel a dog and my mom really didn’t want to get stuck taking care of it either.

imageNow after having Breck & Oreo in my life, I seriously cannot live without them. They are so fulfilling to be around. Oreo isn’t the brightest bulb in the box, but he sure is full of gumption. Breck is a very smart boy. However, he only learns things for his own benefit.

He has my Monday through Friday routine down pat. He learned it by learning each step, backwards, from the time I gave him the treat. He knows I open the curtains directly before going to the treat door. Previous to that, I’ve put my coffee cup in the dishwasher, after brushing my teeth. While I’m brushing my teeth, he’s dancing with his tail swinging wide. Fwap, fwap, fwap! (Any other activity at the sink is ignored). Before that I was fixing my hair and dressing. Preceding that I showered. Breck loves the fact I use coconut oil before I dry off. He loves it. I have to wipe it on his paws so he doesn’t lick me. He’s usually wandered off to lick off the coconut and leaves me alone to dry off and dress.

Weekends are a whole nother schedule. He still gets confused, however knows how to work the system pretty well and still get what he wants.

 

© Ilex РMidwestern Plant Girl

Dark-eyed Junco – Junco hyemalis

The Dark-eyed Juncos are my little winter friends. They visit my Midwestern area for the mild weather.. Giggle. Considering these guys love the Canadian woodlands, my area would be a nice, mild place to winter.

Dark-eyed Juncos enjoy inhabiting the ground.  They are often found in coniferous forests including pine, Douglas-fir, spruce, and fir, but also in deciduous forests such as maple, aspen, cottonwood, oak and hickory. They hop rather than walk about the bases of trees and shrubs in forests looking for fallen seeds.

imageDark-eyed juncos are unique sparrows that nest on or near the ground in forests.

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© Ilex РMidwestern Plant Girl