Friday, July 28, 2017

Summer is Here! July 28, 2017

Summer is finally here ~ I do believe.   We have had some pretty hot, humid days lately.  Plus, we have had more than one day in a row without rain and gloom.   Wow!  Things are sure growing tho, like the excellent crop of radishes in the garden with the rain we've had.   The wild flowers are some of the best I have ever seen them.   I'm getting out on Lake Superior kayaking since it hasn't had big waves every day now ~ or fog ~ or both!   Wow.  
Then, I have had another issue lately.  See that plant.  It is a water hemlock.  Google it or look it up in a plant book.  The description starts out about it being one of the most violently poisonous plants in North America.   I got 'em.  Am I happy ~ no, I am not.  I am also not happy with Cook County's take on it.  It is considered a native plant, not an invasive.  So, they are all but totally ignoring my issue.  After I got about a 100 samples in to them to look at instead of just photos, they decided I had a good eye and was correct.  They are water hemlock.  This one was 8' high.  It was in the ditch in the county right of way near my driveway.  Because it is a native plant, they absolutely seem unconcerned.  I had filled out the noxious weed report.  Of course, our weed man had just resigned.   I was told to try Diane Booth.   First email got no attention.  I got a bit more "bitchy" about it and she did answer and wanted the  real samples, not just a photo.  I obliged her.  It's a batch I didn't have to burn or dispose of.  I had disposed of quite a lot already.   I was told I can eradicate the ones on my land but she wasn't so sure about the ones on public land.   She was going to confer with someone and get back to me.   I couldn't frikken believe it!   They pay people in this county good money to keep a handle on nasty plants.  I get one of the nastiest there is and they don't even want to come and look!   I am mighty unhappy with some of these paid hotshots right now.  The deer are thinking it's just fine to nip the tops off of them.   They keep popping up by the ditch.   What the heck ~ do I now have a full time job trying to keep on top of them?   So ~ anyone else know of any of these around.  I've always been in to plants and critters.  I will be 65 in November.  I have never seen these before and was having a hard time to ID it when it came up.   Once the flower head appeared, I had more to go with and had no problem.   So ~ people ~ do we really want these things getting hold in this area just because they are "native" plants!!
Ok, back to happy thoughts!  Rant finished, temporarily anyway.   Here is from yet another beautiful day on Lake Superior this week.  We were fishing on this trip.   And, we got trout.  It couldn't have been a more beautiful day.  Period.  What's more, a more perfect day on Lake Superior.   We had also finally gotten in a camping/fishing trip over by Isabella, which was fun.  Bugs were a bit friendly ~ but, outside of that, we had a good time and got fish.  I got my first crappie ever.  They are pretty tasty too.  We live in a mighty beautiful area.   But, it still is fun to go explore a little elsewhere now and then.
I'm sure it won't be too long and garden projects and vegetables will keep us busy.   Meanwhile, I'm going to enjoy what summer we're getting!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

July 6, 2017 Summer is here!

The Hovland Arts Festival is done for another year.   That is always a nice feeling ~ no matter how much you love it!  It's a lot of work.  Still a few bills to pay ~ but, mostly ~ the loose ends are tied up.
Now, we have had a couple of days of sunshine mixed with the rain ~ so, it's hot and humid out there.  Boy, having grown up on Lake Superior ~ when it's 85 degrees and humid ~ it's HOT!!
Tuesday, I took my sister and a friend to the bog.   We all love the cool flowers that grow in them.  They had never been there ~ while, I go on a regular basis.  We had a fine time and the flowers did look amazing.  There are more pitcher plant blossoms every year.  It really is something to see.
Here is on of the "big picture" views of the bog.   Looking west, rather than north, you saw more of those pitcher blossoms sticking up.   There is some cotton grass here, as well, to add interest.
Here's a grouping of sundews.  I was rather proud of this.  I have tried, for years, to get a good shot of those tiny little plants.   With hairs glistening and pads facing all directions, on a close-up, it's hard to get it all in focus.  But, I did it!   These little carnivorous plants can eat all the bugs they want.  Plus, all the pitchers out there.........maybe that's why I am never bothered by insects out there!  :)
Of course, here's another of my favorites ~ the dragon's mouth orchid.   There are a lot of these growing in this bog now.   I have never come upon these anyplace else in Cook County.  I'm sure there are some ~ some place.  But, I don't know about them.   They are so colorful and cheerful.   They are just a joy to see.  Plus, I did find a few tight groupings that had all of the favored items in one little area and got them all in one photo.  
A lot of people tend to think of bogs as just wet sloppy places that are a pain!  However, when it's warm out ~ I don't mind getting wet to go out and find all these treasures!   There was also buckbean, cranberries, potentilla (just starting) and iris out there.   I also was able to show them the only wild lilac I have ever found in the county.   It was well budded and ready to start opening ~ but, hadn't opened any of the blossoms yet.  
Pitcher plants, on the other hand, I have found around a number of the shallow, swampier lakes in the county.  This spot has no lake ~ it's just near Lake Superior.  But, there is always water standing at least ankle deep.   Lot of moss.  Beautiful!
So ~ next time you get bored and don't have anything special to do ~ go find a nice bog and go for a walk!