sunday stills ~ mornings

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

~ Henry David Thoreau ~

see more mornings on sunday stills


sunday stills ~ looking up

What's not to love about a "looking up" photo challenge?!! You miss out on half of this beautiful world we live in if you don't take those words to heart. 

I had planned on shooting the solar eclipse 
(a partial eclipse for my location, during sunrise) that happened this week. I had a location all picked out, and even someone to go with me. Then I remembered, that you need eye protection and an appropriate camera filter. Too late. Sigh.

Bubbles (and Brad) to the rescue!! I waited until sunset, and found out the little cheapo handheld bubble blower I purchased for under $4 didn't work. Go figure. It is hard enough to shoot moving elusive things, without trying to create them yourself. As the evening light dwindled, my hubby saved me. I ran inside to get a bubble wand and he blew the bubbles, while I looked up.

After the fact, he told me he used the bubble machine solution with the wand, which must be thicker. It created some amazing colors!! Click to see them. 
Just like potato chips, I could not choose just one:

I changed the direction I was shooting the bubbles, to get more of a sunset background. I didn't get the sky color I was hoping for, but the bubbles made up for it. 


oak galls

Well after saying a few choice words, I wanted to share what those green balls are that I posted about. They are called oak gallsThere is tons of info online, now that I know what they are. 



One sources says: Oak apple galls look like small, round fruit but they are actually plant deformities caused by oak apple gall wasps. The galls generally do not damage the oak tree host.

Other sources didn't have good news: 

Should you remove oak galls?
Very small insects, notably gall wasps or gall flies, cause abnormal growth on leaves and twigs. ... Something you can do now - and I heartily recommend it - is to remove and destroy any galls you can find on the trees. There probably are many on twigs and branches; look for knobby and hard growth. Chances are it's a gall.

Will oak galls kill my tree?
An infestation of the galls can kill oak trees. It is the height of irony: mighty oaks being killed by tiny wasps. ... The galls are the result of infestation by gouty oak gall wasps, a tiny insect that lays their eggs on oak leaves. It will take several years, but the galls can eventually kill trees. If the Oak is Infected with Galls.

What do you do with oak galls?
1) Prune and destroy gall-infested twigs and branches.
2) Burn or step on the galls to kill the developing larvae.
3) Place gall remains in a tightly sealed baggie or trash bag and discard immediately.
4) Rake and destroy gall-infested fallen leaves.

It would be difficult remove all the galls. Some are up high, and the trees have leafed out. We have oak trees everywhere on our property, altho only certain oak trees have them. Not sure how many trees. 

I also plan to look through the resources the DNR guy that assessed our woods last summer gave us. If there isn't anything in there about oak galls, I might just email him to find out how serious I should take them. Of course, my friend google will have more to say about the oak galls. Never a dull moment.  


wandering has willy dwindled

It is hot. It is humid, and it is buggy. Three things that make wandering our property less than appealing to me. My daily hikes have dwindled to a couple much shorter walks a week. If that. It is willy pathetic!! Sadly it happens every year, but usually not this early. The calendar says it isn't even technically Summer, but Ma Natures says differently. Early mornings are better, but even those are warm. I do not do well in the heat, makes me feel all kinds of yucky.

The pines are actually still really nice to walk amongst ~ but ~ you have to get there by crossing dry scalding deserts ('er fields) while swatting non-stop bomber attacks ('er flies and other nasty flying pests). They are vicious and relentless!! I am already covered in bites. No thanks. 
Of course it would help if I was more willing to apply this thing they invented called bug spray.

Do you feel sorry for me yet? Nope, didn't think so. Most of us are stuck in a similar dry hell weather pattern. The dogs are missing our walks. Me too. I will resort to wandering, by sharing some random finds from distant cooler days. Maybe it will inspire me to sweat it out, and even use bug spray?! 


wasn't able to get a decent shot of these super tiny purple & white flowers
(even with my good camera)

Update: I was able to ID the little purple flowers above, using a WI wildflower website Val emailed me (thank you!) They are a type of toadflax. Tiniest flowers I have ever seen. So happy to finally find out what they are!

surprised to find transplanted white bleeding hearts & daffodils blooming
(far end of wild thing area)

I have often wondered if this old den is used by coyotes? fox?
I really want to set a camera up and find out!

Also noticed two newer dens in our wild thing area. 

course white hair just outside entrance
(shedding? supper?) 


transplanted clematis

this one used to grow by our pond


found growing on our oaks, about the size of a walnut 
(any idea what they are?)

 our sand (?) toads are back, mostly by the barn area
(there is NO water near us...)

first peony bud


Coral Sunset peony

I have only purchase two perennials since moving here. Nothing short of a miracle. Last year I finally found the peony above (long story). A yellow peony jumped in my cart at Costco the year before. It also only gave me one bloom, shortly after Coral Sunset. I failed to get a photo of the Itoh yellow bloom. It is hard to wait, but they do take time to establish. Note to self; fertilizer would help. 


this pretty flowering weed caught my eye
(they get huge dandelion-like seed heads)


Tree face, looks kinda sad

wonder why faces randomly appear to me?
guess I am just weird, but truly - I am not looking for them
 Do you see it? 

Tank waiting to head into the pines
taking cover in the shade

there was a ssssnake head in our firepit


brightly colored shelf type mushroom

finding a naturalized allium that survived transplanting
made me smile

thinking this is not good
(any idea what is brewing inside?)

my loong barn garden bed is full of many thriving fav transplants
they have grown so much since this was taken


these pretties have been fluttering around
google says it is a "Red-spotted Purple" flutterby

whaat..who the hell named this??
I read some do have red spots, but talk about being misnamed...


more pretty flowering weeds
these are blooming in our Cactus Cove, and lotsa other areas

planting orange butterfly weed grown from seed
(cactus cove)

This is an experiment. You are suppose to seed Butterfly Weed in the Fall, but they sell them as started plants in garden centers, so why not try growing them both ways. I've never had much success with them, until they reseed themselves. I also found some yellow Butterfly Weed seed from Colorado!! I did the same with them. I truly hope at least the yellow ones take to our land, this is after all our mountain homestead :)) 


super excited to see these bloom!!

There is a lot more, but these were the highlights. Thanks for scrolling along!