FIRE IN THE SKY
During the summer it stays light here in Yakima until around 10:00, and when we get up in the mornings it has usually been light for an hour or so. We don't stay up very late, so we hardly ever see the night-time sky. One night this week we just happened to be up a little past our usual time. We finally decided to call it quits for the day and headed towards the back of the house. On her way, Linda glanced out the window and exclamed, "Wow!" The clouds in the sky were amazing, so we both went outside to take a look (mosquitoes be damned!). I grabbed my camera on the way out, and we were both rewarded to these gorgeous views below.
|Even Yakima sky is Carolina Blue!|
It is so much fun to be able to watch nature in our own back yard. We try to keep our yard safe for the critters and insects (well, except for the Black Cat Ninja). Our efforts result in a variety of visitors on a daily basis. The number of visitors we get is way lower than what we had in North Carolina, however. There, it was commonplace to have 15-20 different species of birds visit our yard in any given day. I would sit outside for hours (with sweat streaming off me) watching the birds, squirrels, butterflies, and dragonflies play around in our back yard. My good friend Sheila even had this sign below made for me by a local potter from Pembroke. I had it in my back yard in North Carolina and now it is in my back yard here in Yakima.
|A haven for all critters|
Those little buggers are hard to video because they move so fast! Every now and then I get lucky and capture one flitting about. "Flitting" is a most appropriate word for them.
Some of the visitors that we have are not as welcome as the birds and butterflies. Whenever we come across these guys in the video below, we give them a wide berth. I would give this video an "Ew" factor of about 8.
I posted some pictures a couple of weeks back of our Catalpa tree in full bloom. This is the tree I like to sit under because it provides so much shade. Well, it is not providing quite as much shade now. Our tree is subject to some kind of disease every summer that makes the leaves on random branches dry up and fall off. Sometimes the leaves come back on that branch in a few weeks and sometimes the leaves never come back. We have learned to just put up with it and move on. This year seems to be way worse than previous years, though. It just breaks my heart to see our beautiful tree ravaged this way. I am hoping that most of the leaves come back at some point.
In case you can't tell from the video above just how bad it is, I am including a close-up picture below. It looks like about half of our tree is dropping leaves.
I know you're saying, "Here she goes again with the birds." They just happen to be one of my favorite subjects so you will have to bear with me! I remember one time Linda was reading an article that stated you should work at a job that you love (it was probably an Oprah thing). She asked me if I could have a job doing anything, what would it be? I answered that I would love a job where someone would pay me to sit and watch birds. That would have been my "dream job." Now that I am retired, I can basically do that, I just don't get paid. But that's okay with me. Here are some of my most recent bird observations.
|Eurasian Collared Dove in flight|
|Goldfinch leaving sunflower|
Yes, we live near the airport
I'm sorry I don't have an update on the May baby quail. I haven't really seen many quail out in the front yard this week. I am attributing that to the fact that we have had temperatures over 100 degrees and it may be too hot out there for them. It is supposed to cool off a bit for a few days so maybe I will be able to get an updated picture of him/her.
ARTY PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
I love taking close-ups of things I find in the yard. This always affords the opportunity to examine a common subject in greater detail. I find that with close-ups, I see things I wouldn't otherwise notice. Flowers and bees (and sometimes other insects) are favorite subjects for this endeavor.
|Close-up of Stargazer Lily|
|Bee on Perennial Sunflower|
The garden is still a little behind schedule. I picked my first cucumber, jalapeno pepper, and tomatoes this morning. Also this past week we got our first zucchini, of which I am sure we will have many. I also got another N.C. Squash with a little baby on the side.
|These were great on our tofu kabobs!|
|Destined to be my lunch|
|Some sort of alien (dill plant)|
Summer Girl continues to amaze me as to her ability to absolutely do nothing. Here she is stretched out on our back yard pathway. As always, she makes doing nothing look so easy. And, she always looks good doing it.
|Hard at work|
That's all for this week, my peeps. On a side note, I'm glad the blog has returned to its original colors. Tune in next week to catch up on what's happening in these parts!