Thursday, August 31, 2017

Tomatoes and Dragons

I love cherry tomatoes especially the yellow ones. I got this one plant of yellow bells and holy crap batman, it is growing like there is no tomorrow, it is crawling over the brick flower bed onto the front porch. I hope I dont go out the front door one day and it eats me.

The Rose of Sharon is finally blooming, I think she got too much rain and not enough sun.

The fennel and larkspur have got a second wind with the cool temps and rain. I have never grown larkspur but i will again.  I have a new caterpillar.

This was a sunflower until the deer overnight ate all the flowers about to pop out.  That deer sure would taste good on my plate.  

The marigolds are providing for some seeds for next year.  I love marigolds in all the colors and love the smell as well.  This one thinks the grass is greener on the other side.


  NO this is not a flower.  I was asked to make this little red dragon for part of a item to be auctioned at the Irish Center Gala last week.  He is a Susan B Anderson pattern.

D27 Whereabouts

Raptor Resource Project
47 mins ·
D27 has been busy! "Our girl" (as Brett sometimes calls her) left the Fountain/Preston area between August 19th and August 23. She traveled southeast to the Mississippi river and headed north, passing several of our peregrine sites on the way! After a quick visit to La Crosse, WI, D27 turned southwest. She is currently located near Caledonia, MN, about 27 miles north of her natal nest.
A lot of birds are on the move right now as migration begins and juvenile birds disperse.We're hearing about peregrines noisily defending bluffs, migrating nighthawks and warblers, and concentrations of red-tailed hawks along roadways and ditches. Interested in what might be heading your way? Check out Cornell's BirdCast for migratory bird forecasts and news:
As always, thanks to Brett Mandernack and the Eagle Valley crew for sharing their data with us! If you'd like to dive a little deeper into D27's travels (or any other eagle we've tracked), visit
Fly strong, D27! Our little eaglet isn't all grown up yet...but she's sure gaining her wings.

Monday, August 21, 2017


It is Eclipse day, laying out in the driveway about the size of a fingernail left of the sun.  It got eerily quiet and the wind completely died. In the distance I hear fireworks and half of my neighbors are out.  It had been cloudy most of the day and then the sun came out.  The more we laid outside the more the clouds came. It got darker and quieter and then bam there is one big ass cloud. Really you could not wait a few more minutes?  I got to see some flares and the cloud move over the sun and the final ring, but nothing else as the sky opened and we barely got in the house before the rain came.  Oh well, we go to see some of it so all is not lost and the food my friends brought well, we had quite the feast.

Just as everyone got there the thermostat died so good thing I have ceiling fans and it is not beastly outside or we would have been eating in the basement.

Hope you go to see the eclipse today cos it was pretty cool.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Learn the Lingo

How many times do you come across an acronym that you just can't figure out.  If you work for the government they have way too many and each agency has their own for the same letters, it is like you need a dictionary to look them all up.  Knitting also has their own lingo, so to keep up with your fellow knitters, her you go:

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

It's A Girl

Many thought D27 was a girl and sure enough she is.  They put a transmitter on her and now we can watch her. She was my fav this season, the crazy stuff she did like falling out of the nest, the refusal to fledge and her constat squeeeeeing for mom and dad to bring her food.  May you soar the thermals and soar high and may we watch your travels for a long time.

A bit from RRP on her catch and putting the transmitter on her.

Persistence Pays Off - a post by Brett Mandernack about the fitting of D27's transmitter.
It is early August and I have one satellite transmitter (or PTT) yet to deploy on a young eagle. Dave and Ann Lynch spent two solid weeks in late June/early July perfecting their craft of artful presentation of fish to the Decorah fledglings, yet the “kids” instead chose to food-beg loud and often and insist Mom or Dad bring them food at the nest. There was no evidence of any of the fledglings ever picking up a fish during that time. In previous years we’ve had multiple fledglings coming to the same spot – the mulch pile – for some easy meals, and usually within just a few days of watching and waiting for our talented trout tossers to appear.
When visitor attendance diminished at the hatchery in late July, all three fledglings were still being spotted with regularity by several of our sharp-eyed eagle watchers. Hatchery biologist Brian Malaise and I kept in touch often and he and his crew again put fish out in the same spot. Lo and behold, the female, D27, began showing interest and eventually took advantage of these easy meals each morning. One of the males was believed to have also helped himself to the free offerings.
We chose Monday, August 7 to attempt to capture whichever youngster decided to come to bait. My wife Carole, Eagle Valley Technician Ryan Schmitz, and I arrived at Willard Holthaus’s shop by 5:15 AM and quickly set the padam noose trap baited with three nice hatchery trout. Weather was perfect: 58 degrees, mostly clear sky, light wind. All equipment and supplies were laid out in the shop in anticipation of a successful capture. Then we watched and waited. A few adult calls were heard from near the nest tree by 6:05. Then at 6:15 an immature eagle appeared from the west just above treetop height. I speculated it was large enough to be female D27. She landed in the maple tree briefly, then headed toward the mulch pile, looped over that area, perhaps checking out what food might be there, then circled back and landed on the mulch pile. We had placed a small trout atop the mulch pile, which she decided looked like a great appetizer. She rather daintily ate the fish and began eying the three trout just two feet away. She walked inside the padam, grabbed a fish or two in a foot, and tugged at them a few times as we all watched intently. When I was convinced she had a noose around a toe or foot, I gave the call to “GO, GO” and Ryan and Brian sprinted ahead to secure her. She was captured at 6:18, hooded, and taken to the shop where she was weighed (9.48 #) and had several measurements taken. The composite of those measurements revealed she is a small female. The entire process of getting measurements, banding, and fitting of the PTT was fluid and seamless.
Within an hour of capture we were ready to release D27 and begin what is likely the final chapter of the Decorah eagle tracking story that began with our beloved D1 back in 2011. After placing her back on the mulch pile, she quickly oriented herself and flew north alongside the N1 Cottonwood tree to settle along Trout Creek.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

More Caterpillars

Today i was looking at my fennel in the whiskey barrel with some larkspur. Hey what is this? I have 2 large caterpillars munching away.  I read the adults munch on fennel and the caterpillars munch on the milkweed.  I have seen nothing on the milkweed but here are these 2 big boys, looking they are ready to cocoon soon. Maybe I will have some butterflies afterall.  On the bottom picture you need to look below the stalk that is pretty bare and there he is.  On the top picture look under the top spead of seeds.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Mrs Wilsons Knitting Circle

Today the lecture was about the silk thread embroidered post cards that were made during the war.  These postcards were either mailed or taken home.  They look like hankies cut and glued on post cards with the back available for a note to send home.  They are beautiful and so delicate in intricate.  I don't think I could do this kind of work.  Th colors of the different countries that were our allies are used in the decorations. There are several butterflies and they have the different flag colors in their design.