natures compositions

Something has become very apparent to me this Summer, Nature's compositions.

I wish I could stop and study them, there are no doubt lessons to be learned. However, these days it's click and go before the mosquitoes/flies carry you away -or- the dogs (better said dog, cough cough, Jameson) attempt to sneak off our property. Not to mention between my non-stop watery allergy eyes and humidity induced sweat, it is best to keep going. So, I do. But not before a quick phone shot of what catches my eye, that nature so eloquently created. The woods are very quiet these days, not much is changing. Or is it?

Notice the placement. Colors. Different textures. The light!! 
The combination of elements. How things landed. Together, or not. It all makes me wonder...

July 14-15

fancy like

there are skulls among us

August 12

I was so thrilled to find just one of these in July

who knew Golf Balls commonly grow everywhere here in August

natures diorama has a little bit of everything

August 13

August 18

screenshot :/

(accidentally took 1 sec video, too bad this stopped me in my tracks)

August 19

August 21

August 29

the moon is not always in the sky

size (and color) of a pencil eraser

August 30

perhaps my favorite Summer nature composition

the huge steel blue leaf was stunning in person

None of these compositions/photos were staged or altered. I did crop a few shots, most are as taken. My shots are not all that, but nature sure is. It has much to teach us about life. No need to move things around, add photo effects or change values. Nature alters everything, all on its own...


weeds be gone

We took advantage of the one beautiful day we had, for endless weeks. No storms, heat or thick air (aka humidity) zapping our energy. The labs & I went down to check out the weedy mess we are hoping to turn into a Butterfly Garden. My thought was to see what was growing, and try to pull a weed or two. I wanted to see how/if they came out easy. 


I just got down to the bottom of our property, when Brad came wheeling down in McBouncy. Before I knew it, we were in over our heads pulling tall weeds, after taller weeds, after the tallest of weeds. They had choked out anything worth saving. Who needs a gym when you've got weeds to wrangle with attempts of tossing heavy roots, and repeating until you can't anymore. 

We got about 1/3 of the way through the weedy 20' x 30' ish area by hand, before we took a break. The pile in the photo above was much higher, before Brad hauled bucket loads of pulled weeds away.

The further in we got, the more the soil changed. Weeds became increasingly harder to pull. McBouncy took over and removed the rest of the weeds, without too much of the soil.  

weeds be gone!!

A few hours of hot sweaty work and we accomplished step one, weed removal without chemicals. As you can see above, there is still a wood stump. As well as other debris left over from the massive wood scrap pile we inherited, added to and earlier this year burned down.

The pile appeared in many of my land pics over the years. The size of the pile/area doesn't come through in photos. It looks even smaller with just dirt. However, it is very visible even at a distance. Visitors inquire about the pile all the time. We considered making it into a wildlife pond, but decided against that spot. We might put some type of pond in someday, different location. I enjoy riding around the area, pile or not. The weeds were taller than me on Koda's back. For years it used to look like this:

April 10, 2021 burn

the fire burned for weeks

Next step is piling all the remaining debris and burning again. Our weather has been less than desirable, until this week.

I've been reading up from several good seed/plant and land management resources. They all say to wait another year, using various weed control methods...but I'm not sure I can wait that long. I bought some butterfly friendly seeds last Spring, intending to plant them somewhere this Fall. I test started a six pack of several types, before this garden idea ever came up. The plants are still growing in other areas, so I know they can thrive here. I would absolutely wait, if it was our prospective Prairie. That large of an area, has to be done right.

We have common milkweed (host plant) all over our property. I want to diversify and this is a great time of year for sales. If I could get to the garden centers. Although, we are not ready to plant a 600 square foot garden. Yet. So much for not gardening here. Fall is around the corner. My mind wanders with endless possibilities...a path to ride through? a place for my old horse bench, after refinishing? a solar water feature? a stone walking path? a butterfly house or three, made out of wood and/or my really really (really) dried gourds? rock features? or just a big beautiful patch of wild flowers, flutterby's and future foto fun?!!


sunday stills ~ black and white


(to see intentional dark nuances, view enlarged)

see more of sunday stills world in black & white 


about that arena and more

Our arena build is finally progressing again, YAY!! My last post was at the end of June. Not much happened in July. The electricians were here daily for a week plus in August, and the guy we hired to put up the tin was here all day last Saturday. Both of them have to come back and finish. Here is the progress to date:

Brad's bench to date

he wants to add a couple steps on the side
so it is easier for all ages to get on/off it

builders hung the door & completed their work

electricians mounted a ceiling fan in the horse shelter
The horse love it, especially Nemo.

Thank you Arline for all the helpful ideas!
We never would have thought of putting a fan in otherwise.

A flood light was mounted on the outside of the barn, that faces the shed.
Much safer when it gets really dark. Especially in the Winter.

the electrician's colorful rolling wire cart
(hay/storage side of the barn)

two arena fans were mounted
(they really move air)

electricians hanging lights (far left)

LED lights make the arena really bright

two of our grandkids playing hard
the arena is already useful

Saturday most of the remaining tin went up on the walls
I still can't get over what a huge difference that made!

Brad (& Tank) at far end working on trim.
 Remi exploring, and me dreaming of riding...

arena to date (17 sec)

There is still a fair amount of work that remains, before the top layer of fines can be added. The electricians need to come back to finish, now that the tin is up. The wall and window tin needs to be completed, and service doors need to be hung. There are other interior finishing things Brad & I need to do and decide on. In the meantime, Brad is working on some exterior projects, like grading around the building and forming the side service door approach (for a concrete pad).

Leo wondering what is going on with his arena

Seems like the to do list never ends, but we are slowly getting closer to riding in our arena!


sunday stills ~ abstract


8.19.21 (iphone)

She lost herself in the trees
among the ever-changing leaves.

She wept beneath the wild sky
as stars told stories of ancient times.

The flowers grew towards her light,
the river called her name at night.

She could not live an ordinary life
with the mysteries of the universe hidden in her eyes.

~ Christy Ann Martine

taken 7.25.21

see more abstract photos ~ sunday stills


wings that caught my eye

Butterflies are amazing!! End of post. Ha, not even close. 

I have been watching for flutterby's throughout the summer. Earlier in the season, they flew fast and high. Monarchs and Swallowtails in particular were close to impossible to photograph. Bring on the challenge!

In July, butterflies seem to be everywhere on our property. Eventually, they began to land more often and fly lower. N
umbers have dwindled in August, but they are still around. Here are some wings that caught my eye, not all butterflies: 

closed wing monarch

open wing monarch

pink (tiger?) moth

very small orange butterfly 
(each set of wings was the size of a thumbnail)

"oh look, a puddle"

Red Spotted Purple, puddling along

a first (for me) really interesting find

American Ermine Moth (aka white dalmatian moth)

looks like a heart on the fuzzy head

layered wings 
& striped legs

a smaller pink moth, the size of a fingernail

such interesting tribal type markings, and those legs! 

this guy kept looking at me
while I was checking out his circle patterns

camera photo of the above friendly guy

fast moving smaller winged wonder
(barely got a phone pic)

orange winged wonder, opposite coloring of above
(kinda blurry)

white moth spotted in June

a flash of white caught my eye at the bottom of our property
(the best of my terrible long range 
pigeon shots)

prehistoric flyers
almost guaranteed to (re) appear after hay is cut

my beloved hummers love sitting on our deck wires
and keep a vigilant eye on their window feeder

Yellow Swallowtail in July

orange fritillary

a (smaller) Monarch spotted yesterday

The butterflies and moths are winding down for the summer. I truly enjoy watching their carefree ways! The Monarchs are really fond of an area at the bottom of our property. I talked Brad into leaving some of the thistles up for them. Consequently, I have a lot of photos of butterflies on thistles. Catching butterflies in flight is much harder. I almost got a clean inflight shot. Almost.

Brad had a great idea, and it sparked a future project. Easy to guess, a butterfly/wildflower garden. This will be my second one. As my younger daughters Girl Scout Troop Leader, we researched and put a butterfly garden in the Village Park many moons ago. Ours will be significantly larger. It will be a good learning process in a manageable scale, for our Prairie Area. Which may or may not ever become a restored native prairie with trails, the way I hoped. At least we can continue riding around the future butterfly garden! Will post about it when it is in action. It has to cool off first!!