Sunday, October 29, 2017

Darwin's Theory of Evolution...

I have been in a fret about this hummingbird all October.  I am lucky if I get one to stay a week and now that one has been homesteading.  I can't get rid of it fast enough.  

I am afraid these are probably the final photos of this little bird.  She was last sited on October 25th.  The next morning was freezing snow with driving winds.  I'm afraid she is a victim of Darwin's Theory of Evolution.  I will keep my eyes open next year, because you never know.  

Has the weather turned cold where you are?  Any animal abnormalities?  Other than worrying about the hummingbird, it has been pretty quiet around here.  

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Wild verses Civilized

Last weekend my dad took me on photo safari to the North Bend on the Missouri River.  We live by the West Bend.  The North Bend Recreation area is a long slow hill down to the Missouri River.  The drainage is known as Chaney Rush.  The area is wild and unpredictable.  We questioned our sanity when we began down the road and our pickup started sliding on the gumbo.  Once committed there was no turning back.  I wish the panorama did better justice to the drive. 

 Living there had to be hard.  The roads are gumbo and I'm sure the area was dangerous.  Floods, fire, and winter winds must have made for a tough life.
 When my father was a kid, he would help his grandfather work cattle in the now abandon corrals.  
From the vantage point above you can barely see West Bend on the other side of the river.  Below is the view from West Bend towards North Bend.  North Bend is wild and unpredictable while West Bend is developed and civilized.
 The West Bend boat dock has a beautiful bay area for the boat ramp and well maintained camping areas.

 The camping areas are paved and have electricity.  The place is trimmed, mowed, and maintained.  
I have to say that my preference is the wild and unpredictable.  Which side is your favorite?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Back at the ranch...

I am late blogging, as I went home for a visit.  I had a great time with my parents.  As usual, my dad took me on a photo safari.  These are some photos from around the place. 
 My parents put up a bunch of wren houses.  Two of them are posted on the chutes.  I guess the wrens put up quite a racket when they work cattle.
 We don't get any tumbleweeds in the hills and I must admit I kind of miss them.
 My mother's flowers are amazing.  They were overflowing.  Despite a frost they were still doing great.  

  I saw this hawk on our adventures.  Then Dad took me to see the turkeys a friend of his had carved.  They sit outside of my grandfather's old cabin.  You can see more of Craig's carvings at his facebook page .

Of course, how could you tour a ranch without observing some contented South Dakota cattle?  My Dad's heifers were lazing in the sun and very content.  The horses also looked pretty happy with life. 

 I'm really proud of Mom's flowers.  When we were growing up she was too busy with kids and vegetable gardens.  Now her flower beds are fabulous.  

The Painted Ladies have stolen the show in recent months.  I did have to put this pretty yellow butterfly in the spotlight.  They really liked the Russian Sage.  

I have more photos from this weekend's trip.  I don't go back often enough.  It is amazing how fast time flies.  It was good to visit my parents.  On the way home I stopped and my grandmother and I had a great time sharing recipes and talking baking.  She is in her 90's and still makes cookies and bread.  I have to say I appreciated the cookies she sent with me for the road.  Thanks Grandma:)

It was satisfying to go home.  I hope everyone had as pleasant a weekend.  

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The perfect fall day...

 Saturday was the perfect fall day and I had the perfect cold.  I have a sore throat and fever.  Still, Ella and I enjoyed some time on the porch in the sun.  I also went on photo safari.  The colors and the wildlife were perfect.

 This dang hummingbird won't leave.  It is snowing today and she is still here.  I keep fretting whether or not I should take the feeder down, but everything I have read I'm supposed to keep it up.  The articles say the hummingbird's internal clock will tell it to go.  Well, this birds clock is slower than molasses running uphill in January.  I love hummingbirds, but she needs to head out.

 The roses and butterflies are a joy to see.  The butterflies are still pretty prevalent.    It is fun taking photos of them.  

I ordered a set of 50 foot lights for the porch and I love them.  They create a soft glow that is very peaceful.  I am extremely pleased with the purchase.
Welcome October.  Even with a cold you are the perfect season.  My flowers may be on the demise, but the leaves pick up the slack.  I look out our windows at the beauty in which we live and I am thankful.  What are you thankful for?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

We be jamming...

As always, I spent the weekend going full bore.  I roasted tomatoes, shoveled compost, took a fall walk, picked apples, and made jam.   Wow, now that I think about it I am quite tired.
I didn't have enough tomatoes to can, so I tried something different.  I quartered them, covered them in olive oil, and sprinkled them with basil, oregano, and rosemary.  My oven wasn't working, so my brilliant husband grilled them for an hour.  Yumm.

I'm a bit concerned about my hummingbird.  It is October first and she is still here.  I brought in my glass feeders.  There is still a plastic one outside.  I have never had one stay this long.  I'm afraid she will freeze.
I continue to harvest goodies from the garden.  I can't wait to roast more tomatoes.
The butterflies are still around.  Luckily I have a few flowers left for them.  The deer normally stay away from the front flowers, but this year they were brave and ate things down.

Of course who needs flowers when you have fall colors.

Ella and I went for a walk.  This little buck was very curious about our comings and goings.

The Black Hills is known for gold.  This is a lesser known gold.
I think I am richer with this gold.  The colors are enhanced by the earthy scents and the rustling of leaves.

This is one of the biggest hornet's nests I've ever seen.  Trust me I used the zoom to capture it.  We have had a problem with waps swarming in the cabin.  We cannot find where they are coming from.
I'm still moving compost.  It is wonderful to have plenty of soil to enhance the beds.
Sunday was wet and windy.  I stayed inside to make raspberry jam and buffalo berry jelly.  I also racked my chokecherry wine and made a batch of raspberry wine.  The kitchen was busy.

Have you made any jams or jellies this year?  Are the leaves changing?  Have you had many hornets this year?