Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
Click on Mark Twain to jump to Troutbirders book review blog

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Oak Hill Bank

Our now sixteen  year old home sits on "Oak Hill." Here, surrounded by magnificent white and burr oaks, I had to give up my sunny gardens. We had divided our property, selling our old house in the open, and building a new one in the adjacent woods. The wooded areas have been gradually converted to shady wildflower gardens. They are now my gardening pride and joy. Still, there was one area I wasn't quite sure what to do with. It was a six foot, east facing bank, on the edge of the woods. Leading down to the ditch along the road, it was a maze of gooseberry bushes, burdock&uncounted weeds. It couldn't be mowed, yet offered a half a day of sunshine. What to do?
I decided to try and give it a "prairie look" and hoped the morning sunshine would be adequate. In the fall of 2007, I cut back the gooseberries and prickly ash.. Then, that fall, the bank got burned. I had already purchased some native wildflower seeds from Prairie Moon, a local wildflower specialist. Raking the ground, then scattering and tamping the seeds, I hoped the spring melt wouldn't wash them all into the ditch. There was no way for me to tell that spring as to what came up. I couldn't identify the weeds from the flowers. So I waited till the maze reached about 6-8 inches in June and then weed whacked everything down to about 3 inches. Now my precious wildflowers would have a fighting chance. The bulbs I had planted, of course, bloomed that first spring. The rest would have to wait at least another year before blooming.... if they survived!












Two years later, the summer of 2009, purple coneflowers, and woodland phlox made their first appearance.












August 2010: the brown eyed Susan's showed up  in a great numbers.

































 
At the top of the bank some native sunflowers (cup plants) more than 7 feet tall. In October, I expect to see the bank turn blue, when the New England asters put on the final show of the season. What fun!
 

Oak Hill Bank

Our now sixteen  year old home sits on "Oak Hill." Here, surrounded by magnificent white and burr oaks, I had to give up my sunny gardens. We had divided our property, selling our old house in the open, and building a new one in the adjacent woods. The wooded areas have been gradually converted to shady wildflower gardens. They are now my gardening pride and joy. Still, there was one area I wasn't quite sure what to do with. It was a six foot, east facing bank, on the edge of the woods. Leading down to the ditch along the road, it was a maze of gooseberry bushes, burdock&uncounted weeds. It couldn't be mowed, yet offered a half a day of sunshine. What to do?
I decided to try and give it a "prairie look" and hoped the morning sunshine would be adequate. In the fall of 2007, I cut back the gooseberries and prickly ash.. Then, that fall, the bank got burned. I had already purchased some native wildflower seeds from Prairie Moon, a local wildflower specialist. Raking the ground, then scattering and tamping the seeds, I hoped the spring melt wouldn't wash them all into the ditch. There was no way for me to tell that spring as to what came up. I couldn't identify the weeds from the flowers. So I waited till the maze reached about 6-8 inches in June and then weed whacked everything down to about 3 inches. Now my precious wildflowers would have a fighting chance. The bulbs I had planted, of course, bloomed that first spring. The rest would have to wait at least another year before blooming.... if they survived!












Two years later, the summer of 2009, purple coneflowers, and woodland phlox made their first appearance.












August 2010: the brown eyed Susan's showed up  in a great numbers.

































 
At the top of the bank some native sunflowers (cup plants) more than 7 feet tall. In October, I expect to see the bank turn blue, when the New England asters put on the final show of the season. What fun!












Wednesday, August 17, 2016

History Photography Quiz (Part V)

And who is that telling a story to his grandchildren in 1909?
To check on your guess click on another story teller above (Mark Twain) to jump to Troutbirders book review blog (appropriately enough).....:)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Spring 1942



It was the spring of 1942 and my mom is holding me outside our apartment on Earl Street in St. Paul, Minnesota. We were to live there throughout the war. I was five when we moved. I learned many things from her then and later. Here are just a few of the things she taught me:
1. Ophthalmology: "If you don't eat your carrots you'll become blind.

2.  Receiving justice: "You are going to get it when your father gets home!!!

3.  Roots: "Shut that door behind you and take off those muddy boots. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

4.  Extreme weather:  This room of yours look as if a tornado went through it."

5. Hypocrisy:  "If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

6.  Geography:  If you don't eat your rutabagas think of all those starving children in China  who don't have any...."

7.  Analytical Forecasting:  " If you fall out of that tree and break you neck, you're not going to the store with me."

8. Irony:  Keep crying and I'll give you something to cry about."

9. Logic:  "Because I said so, that's why."

10. Stamina:  "you'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

Thanks Ma.  Love you....






Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dead Wake - The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

 
A disaster/survival story but more than what you learned in history class. A mystery wrapped in an enigma using Churchill's who may have been key to the plot.  Click on Mark Twain above to jump to Troutbirder II.
 



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Midsummer Beauties


It was quite pleasant here in Bluff Country the last few weeks, so Mrs. T.,  Lily and I had been starting our nature hikes earlier and earlier each day.  We had headed out a half hour west onto the flat land of the tall grass (Big Bluestem) prairie at Lake Louise.     The state park was all to ourselves.

 Lily led the way across the trail bridge over the Little Iowa River and then we headed through the woods to the Shooting Star Bike Trail. Here the vista opened up as we crossed a remnant of prairie that once long ago stretched West to the Rocky Mountains.
 
Lily on the trail amongst the early sunflowers...
 
The neat thing about all of this is that from midsummer until November the colorfull palette changes as new flowers and different combinations make their appearance. I'll go back often to watch this amazing showg ago stretched all the way to the Rocky Mountains. Come on along and enjoy.
Brown Eyed Susan
Gray Coneflower and Fleabane
Purple Coneflower

Culver Root


Joe Pye Weed
Butterfly Weed
 
Sunflowers

Unopened Blue Gentian
Wild Phlox
Gayfeather (Liatris)
 
All photographs taken in Mother Natures Garden......

 
 
 
 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Historica Photography Quiz Part IV.

An this is?   Check your guess by clicking on Mark Twain above.....

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Kindly Ones

Click on Mark Twain above to jump to Troutbirder II and my review.