Photo Friday: a changeling of a day

Yesterday I got up and didn’t have to dress like a polar bear.  I liked that, but it got better!  Due to my increased comfort I felt brave enough to just throw on some jeans, clogs and a sweatshirt to try to take some pictures in the fog.  I had wanted to try this since I read about it in Kerry Mark Leibowitz’ blog entitled Lightscapes Nature Photography.  The particular post I mention can be found HERE  <— (click)  but don’t pass up his other work it is breathtaking!

I will try not to be too wordy today, it will be hard, but I will try.  But first a word about picture quality.  If you want a really stunning view of the more artistic photos here, then please click them to sharpen them up!  😉

Ground fog in the country

I liked the stark beauty of these twisted branches against the muted background.


I wanted to share more of these with you, but this turned out to be the best of the bunch.  So, I will share some others that I took while out on my early morning excursion.

Farming

Farmers, being early risers, need a bit of light to keep things running smoothly.

We call these the Walkingsticks, but they’re properly called irrigation and they are huge.

Each section is roughly 10 to 12 feet in length.  This particular string was nine lengths long.  The rest of it is on the other side of the rise in this picture.  Notice the light in the upper right?

Each of the “walkingsticks” is attached to an underground water source.  As it runs, sorry I don’t understand the mechanics involved,  anyway, as it runs it slowly travels on the wheels and in a circuit around the well pipe to keep the crops irrigated.

This new to our area watering system was begun last year.  Trenches were dug, pipelines laid , and submersed pumping stations set up to keep the crops irrigated.  We are fortunate here to have massive underground water reserves to keep things growing even when it doesn’t rain… It’s all that limestone and underground rivers and caves!

A severe drought was the case in this post <— (click)  of August 2010,  and as it will happen, they’ve installed all the costly irrigation and now we have had plenty of rain.  However, better prepared than to do without!

It has in fact rained so much that the soil is saturated to the point that the water collects in puddles now and will not drain away.  Do you see the Alligator in this puddle?  😉

It takes very big equipment to prep all the fields and ready them for planting.  Big tractors, and other farm equipment leave big tracks in the soil.  You may have an opinion about Big Agribusiness and the practices they follow, but I will not get into that topic here.  Suffice it to say that you know my mind on gardening practice here on the Farmlet.

The lake scene above came from this set of mighty tractor ruts!

This compacted area will be like concrete when it dries in summer.  Note to self, when running out the door, take a moment to put on proper hikers, and not your nice expensive clogs!!!

Later that same day…

The sun came out and warmed the air to 76 degrees, everyone enjoyed  the break from the cold and gloom of wintertime.  This rise in temperature caused the sap to rise in the maple trees, which dripped down the trunks from the holes the woodpeckers had made.  It was a sticky mess but apparently, not everyone felt the same as I did.

Do you see her?

How about now?

She is sipping the maple sugar through a straw  her *proboscis.

~*~*~*~

!!!

The leftovers from last years harvest.

~*~

*NOTE I know that technically proboscis is correct, but it certainly lacks that alliterative quality of the word straw.  Does it not?

Something to smile about…

I woke up at 2:30 this morning and unable to go back to sleep I got up and went to the kitchen for a drink of water.  Standing there I notice this strange sound in the center of the kitchen.  I have been hearing it for the past three days, and once again wonder what it is and where exactly it is coming from.  Suddenly it hits me… its running water!  Dropping to the floor I put my ear to the wood and sure enough it is definitely running water.

Quickly I grab a flashlight and run out to the meter to turn off the water to the house.  I go to the crawl space, pull open the door, and look inside to  find that the soil under the house is wet and sweaty looking.  The smell emanating from under there is nothing short of awful, and I now realize that I had smelled it coming through the vents last week.  I had passed it off as mouse bait at the time.  Not so!

Now I really can’t sleep.

I wait for dawn and  for Bob to get up so I can tell him the bad news.  After Bob goes to work I wait some more for the plumber to open up so I can call for them to come fix it, and I tell myself,  “We can’t afford this right now.”  But then who can these days?

When I finally reach the plumber they promise to send someone right out to take care of it. (yeah right!)

So while I wait some more I go out into the garden to try to cheer myself up, and as always, I take my camera.

I was surprised to find these caterpillars on my parsley that I’d let go to seed!  Aren’t they beautiful?

And although the coneflowers were ravaged by Japanese beetles this year it did not affect the all important source of nectar, and the bees of all kinds and butterflies too were glad for a sip in this heat.  Oh, and do you see the little crab spider?

This little lady could not sit still, so you will not get to see her true lavender beauty, but I promise you it is there.  Don’t you love her bar striped antennae?  Can you spy the little black ant?

This fellow, as I imagine him to be, had the most intense coloration.   Simple yet intense.  Slate gray with hints of turquoise and rose, an orange mantle, and every other bit of him jet black.  Moths that spend their time out in the daylight are few and this one never left the oregano blossoms.

This little bee is a living jewel of emerald green.  There were several in the herb bed this morning!

It needs to be said that I have owned several Buddleia  bushes in my time and never liked them.  They just never lived up to their name of “Butterfly Bush.”  I loved the smell, but saw nary a  butterfly… till I planted one here in the country that is!

This beauty spends half the day here.  Sipping nectar in great draughts it seems unbothered by its close proximity to me on the front porch.  Apparently, being beautiful as we flutter along on a summer day is hot work!

And finally, I have no idea if this a wasp or bee, but it certainly proves that God has a sense of humor!

She comes with a Smiley Face indelibly imprinted upon  her back!

Well, I certainly hope you’re having a ‘Nice Day!’  Mine is now looking pretty good!