Thursday, May 18, 2006

Walkabout

Going out, yesterday, in between lovely storms blowing in and then blowing out and then the next one scuttling in, I decided to take a few pictures of what was going on out and about the place.


Here, we have the obligatory shots of the clouds. I am inordinately fascinated by them. Sort of like city folks who have a place where they can sit and watch what's going on in the street, below. Except quieter. And with more wind. And, I'd warrant, better smells. Except in manure-spreading season when the whole place smells like fetid cow waste. Hey, at least it's organic, right?

While the area under the clouds looks blue, it's really a deep slate gray. Something Wicked This Way Comes.

















Next, sadly, the fallen house finch nest. One egg, broken, still in the nest, the other, splatted on the porch, behind. Every spring, we've had finches nest there, over the light, but this year, the nest has fallen, twice, with all eggs lost. I'm not sure if it's because the birds are new at doing this or what, but it's rather sad. I like having the flurry of nesting birds outside the front door.
















Onward to a freshly dug ground squirrel hole, in probably the only bit of lawn that is not a solid mass of dandelions. Can't blame him for choosing this location, can you?

















And, now this guy, who is blooming on his lonesome by the path. He looks vaguely lily-ish but the stem is woody, like a sapling. I haven't the foggiest. Anybody? If you make it up, I won't know. Well, until I go look it up, of course, because I am like that. But for an hour or two, I'll believe any fabrications. Go ahead.


















And, finally, as I'm sure you're all dying to know the state of the dandelions, now that 2 weeks have passed since that first cry for help, here we have the horror:

Sadly, It poured all last weekend and it's been about a week and a half since Charles mowed. Last weekend, it was a sea of white, sort of like Lilliputian gray-haired grannies were laying siege to the place. I sort of expected little bonfires dotting the yard at night as they laid their plans to march on us in the morning. Now, they are just 6-8" stems, all bald, from releasing the billions and billions of seeds to the winds. As Charles mutters, like a mantra, "It can't look any worse. It can't look any worse." We daren't show our faces out doors for the shame of it all. We are thankful that we don't live in town, for here, we only have one neighbor, who cuts his lawn obsessively. I keep hoping Jamie's sheep (scroll down to 5/4 and 5/1 posts) find their way here for a smorgasboard.

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13 Comments:

Blogger amy said...

I have absolutely no idea what that flower is...if it's even a flower. my yard doesn't look to much different that your's, dandelions and mushrooms galore. (I think my dog finally understands that mushrooms are not good for him.)

your clouds are lovely! I love staring up at the sky. I do it all the time and even put a telescope on my deck last year. the neighbors must think I'm crazy.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

Is it maybe wild columbine, which has seen better days and is destined for the "Shady Acres Wild Columbine Retirement Villa"? I cheated:

http://www.botany.wisc.edu/wisflora/blooming/

I checked under "red flowers" in the month of May, and that was my only choice.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

I think it's some sort of orchid - with the shape and woody stem and all - let me see if I can find it - I'll be back.

P.S. loved the strom cloud pics - I LOOOOOOVE storms!

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

Here's a link to "orchids of Wisconsin":

http://www.botany.wisc.edu/Orchids/list.html

It's a bit tough to tell details from the photos, though. Now I'm really curious, so I hope someone can figure it out!

10:26 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

1. I used to love watching storms roll in the the Midwest. Very exiting. And you are so right: Something Wicked This Way Comes--a perfect description.

2. That flower does look like a lily. It also looks like a tulip that has totally let itself go to hell. The stamens are grotesquely bloated! Tulip stems can turn brown, and, I suppose, look kind of woody. What does the foliage look like?

3. The dandelion field. Oy. I don't know what to say. Roundup? Normally, I'm against herbicides, but you might need the big guns for this. Alternatively and organically, you can eat dandelion greens. They are often an ingredient in those fancy pants salad bags. Also, they go for about $3.99 a pound at Whole Foods. Think on it.

12:22 AM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Awesome pictures of the clouds. I'm obsessed with clouds. I don't know why.

Seriously, your way of writing about dandelions makes my day. I love it.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

It would be good if they found their way up there. I keep hoping they will find an equally lost Boy Sheep in the woods!

There is nothing like an Upper Midwestern sky. I don't know what it is, but it's just different, and I miss it.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

maybe a wood lily - with seed pods?

10:24 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Amy- With all the rain, I'm surprised we aren't swamped in mushrooms, which Molly would eat, of course. I have a telescope, too! Fortunately, the neighbors can't see me being crazy.

Leigh-Ann- Great link! Sadly, not those beautiful wild columbine. (Columbines are one of my very most favorite flowers and I'd love if some wild ones decided to live here.) This is much bigger, about the size of my palm.

Teri + Leigh-Ann- That's a reasonable guess. I went through all the orchid links (Leigh-Ann, you are a wonderful detective), but none looked like it. I just pulled out my 'Spring Flora of Wisconsin' that my Mum gave me and none of the lily or orchid pictures or descriptions fit. I'll go out today and take more pictures.

Rozanne- It does, indeed remind me of a 'going to hell' tulip, especially the bottom rolled petals. The top parts that look like bloated stamens aren't actually stamens, when you get your face up to it, though. They look like something that's about to unfold. I don't recall any foliage, which is strange. Back for more of a look later today.

I'm thinking dandelion greens are the way to go. Something about making lemonade from lemons?

Beth- I think it's because Midwest clouds are just so damn cool.

Jamie- Maybe they have formed a lost colony in your woods and are learning to live off the land. (Poor things, I keep hoping...) The Midwestern Sky misses you, too.

Teri- The name certainly fits. Off to look, book in hand.

10:57 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

I love, love, love that you live in such a beautiful, wide open place. Makes my heart tingle to think of you birding and weeding and inhaling unpolluted free radicals.

Clouds are lovely, yes, but not when they mean storms. I dislike having to hide under the table for so long. So undignified.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your last two post with my favorite subjects: grandchildren and plants.

If it is a wood lily, here is a good link to that:

http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/scripts/detail.asp?SpCode=LILPHI

Also, if you want to e-mail someone with your photos, this site has the e-mail link to the "contact" person for the Botanical Club of Wisconsin in Madison:

http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/BCW/members.html

Or, this site -- which looks to be a great one to for future mystery plant searches -- has e-mail addresses to people at UW, Madison who will answer botanical questions:

http://www.botany.wisc.edu/herbarium/

In my next life I hope I get to be a botanist instead of a software engineer.

love, mum

1:39 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Johnny- Yes, delightful out here, where even the radicals are free.

Mum- I would argue that you are something of a botanist in this life. More lovely links! Off to check them out...

2:28 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Pretty, pretty pictures. Beth read to me the dandelion description and I giggled. And we both said about how much we loved you and how excited we were to meet you and then we did! Yay!

10:31 AM  

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