Catching up

In June I went to Denver for a conference, then to Boulder to visit my Aunt Pris and cousins Dan and Liz. We went on several good hikes- such beautiful country. Also had a nice visit and dinner with a good friend whom I seldom see, now a professor at U C Denver.

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Sunday, July 16th, a walk at the arboretum with Dennis to see what was going on in the prairie, which was burned to the ground in March. You’d never guess it now.

IMG_5445Green Dragon fruit

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Compass plant

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Rattlesnake master is profuse again this year

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Paw Paw fruits. No doubt the critters already have their eyes on these, waiting for them to ripen.

 

And last Tuesday, a hot bicycle ride to work. The rest of the week we have had temps above 100. I decided not to go on a 35-mile training ride this morning- probably would’ve been fine but I’d rather take my first longish ride of the season on a more pleasant day. Tomorrow, perhaps, with a friend.

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And today, Saturday, July 22. I have been hearing a young Coopers hawk crying all week long and worried that he or she had been abandoned to figure out how to survibe on her own. But this morning as I was watering the herbs I looked up and saw mom Coopers hawk on the neighbors roof, calling to the youngster, who joined her. No doubt she wants to be fed. It’s a steep learning curve, I imagine, learning how to feed oneself as a youngster. Here, mom hawk is on the right, youngster on the left.

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Rode my bicycle to work today. The St. Louis summer has begun. Hot sun, still, warm air. The sun has moved farther into the north now.

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And I saw this snapping turtle who had hauled out of the water to go lay her eggs and was heading back home. She was crossing the road and was befuddled by the curb, so I went to help lift her up over it (carefully, from way back on the shell), but my approach scared her sufficiently to give her the energy to make it up over the curb and on into the water.

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A week ago Sunday we were in the park and this team was moving snapping turtles from an area under construction for restoration to another spot where they wouldn’t be disturbed. We got a good look at this fellow, and even learned how to sex a snapping turtle (this one is a male).

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And I missed the full moon this month. Here it is, 4 days late, over the art museum.

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IMG_5303Mary Isabelle

 

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Green Dragon

 

 

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Coneflowers

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Park on graduation day

On a mid-day walk I saw: 2 little girls all dressed up to watch someone graduate from college; a martin chasing a black-crowned night heron away from the martin house; young goslings with their parents; an American egret and a snowy egret sharing a riffle where the fishing was good- I saw the American catch and eat 3 fish; red-winged blackbirds guarding their nests (last Sunday on a walk I got too close to a nest and one of them actually made contact with my scalp, I had little scratches from his claws, at least he didn’t peck me); catalpas are blooming.

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Bunny love

Well shoot. It was bound to happen, happens every year with our Britches, who is the last feral alley cat we will adopt and let remain an outdoors cat (if we have anything to say about it. Sometimes the Manitou has other ideas). Last evening Britches brought us up a plaything and begged us to come play with her, just like in the old days when we lived in an upstairs apartment and she and MomCat would would bring mice up for us to play with. Poor BunRab.

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Rose-breasted grosbeak

What a delight this afternoon! The sun is out after a solid week of rain. I came home and sat/lay on the deck and watched the birds after working most of the day. Saw all the usual suspects- house finches, goldfinches, robins, doves, blue jays, squirrels. But in the mix were also a hermit thrush, a rose-breasted grosbeak, and an indigo bunting.

A hemlock bush has sprung up, volunteer, in the back yard, and grows rapidly, probably 6-8 inches in the last week. I told Dennis we’d better cut it down before it eats us.

Am looking forward to cycling to work again next week, seeing what’s going on in the park.

 

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Snowy egret

IMG_5185_cropOn my bicycle ride in to work this morning I saw a snowy egret, linden trees not yet flowering, dandelion seed heads, purple clover, lady in red shirt with knock knees and out-splayed lower legs running on the bike path, couple walking little white dog, pair of doves, horses in paddock.

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