From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Backyard Nature

Wild ageratum and more


Wild ageratum (blue mistflower, Eupatorium coelestinum) is blooming at the edge of some shrubbery where Dennis hasn't mowed closely this year. It pops up every year somewhere around the yard, always in a spot out of the lawn mower's reach. The butterflies like it.

This clump of ageratum is particularly lush. Some of the shoots must be three feet tall. I think it has enjoyed the rainy summer.

Ageratum blooms along the road ditches this time of year, too. It's a sure sign that fall is at hand. It's a member of the aster family, and like many of its relatives, it's a late bloomers.

More backyard nature


While I was working in the shed late this evening, a baby frog hopped in. I thought it was a cricket at first. It was tiny but its hops carried it high into the air -- sproing, sproing! I wanted to put it outside, but it was fast and I couldn't catch it. Finally, I herded it out with the broom.

Just minutes later, a young toad came in. He was craftier than the little frog. He hopped behind some boards where he was perfectly safe from capture. He's still in the shed. I'm going to look for him tomorrow morning.

It was dark outside. I don't know if the little frog and toad were attracted by the lights or by the bugs that had come to the lights.

I finally decided to quit and go to the house. I turned out the lights and started to close the door. Across the driveway, I heard a large animal blow air in a startled whoosh and run away. I couldn't see it, but I know it was a deer that had come to eat fallen apples.

Now the coyotes are howling, and it sounds like they are across the road in the cornfield -- not really very far from my open window. I've heard them close to the house like this several times lately. I suppose the rainy summer has provided plenty of food for them, too.

Their yips and chortles make me feel a little uneasy. I'm glad the cats are inside.

3 comments:

Kenneth Fred Hilf said...

Ageratum's joy!
http://khilf.blogspot.com/2006/05/buttons-to-bloom-ageratums-joy.htm
What a wonderful story... and your photos are excellent. Thanks, kfH(:-))

Kenneth Fred Hilf said...

I do not know why that link is not working? Can we try again:
http://khilf.blogspot.com/2006/05/buttons-to-bloom-ageratums-joy.html
Looks the same to me...
Sorry :( kfH

Genevieve said...

Hi, Kenneth. I enjoyed your ageratums photo. I admire the great clarity you get in closeups. Are you using a closeup lens or is such detail possible with just your camera's zoom?

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.