Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Bugs and Flowers

Walking past these maples after leaving the Farmers Market last Saturday I finally had to admit that fall is really here. From the look of these trees, it just might turn into a truly spectacular one.

Luckily, the days are still warm and sunny and the bugs are still busily bussing about.

The Monarchs (or Viceroys, or both) continue to migrate through our backyard. A few years ago we noticed that there were more than the usual number passing by so we started to count. As it turned out  there were so many we gave up somewhere in the seventies but they continued to fly by for hours afterwards. This year a cold snap slowed them for a bit but now they're back and on the move.

This poor Viceroy (I think) flew into my backyard a couple weeks ago. Actually it glided in as it was missing a big chunk of one of it's tattered wings. A little sad, but I had admire it's persistence. 

It's easy to get carried away photographing them and completely ignore all the garden chores.
Guess that's what is meant by the phrase "chasing butterflies".

The serious side of all this is the fact that flowers and bugs can't exist without each other and
for that reason I just use my own compost and try to keep everything as organic as possible.

These volunteer Black-Eyed Susans are so annoying when they come up in front of the roses or crowd out the foxgloves. Some of them get to stay because they are very popular with the bees.

Not all bugs are created equal but the cute and fuzzy ones do look great on the roses.

 Fall flowers for zone 5a are limited but there's a few like this perennial anemone.

Gardens would be pretty dull without bugs and what would the birds and toads eat?

 I just read an article about how butterflies smell with their feet. That's a turn around, ha!


Sometimes it takes some research to discover just what I've taken a photo of. For instance this elaborately patterned caterpillar eventaully turns into...

. . . a Cabbage butterfly with a rather simple wing design. (Some might call it classic.)

One thing you can always count on in the insect world is variety. This guy looks like he just walked off stage after performing with a death metal band. Do I detect an attitude there? 

I never know exactly what's in the close-up photos I take of bugs on flowers until I get a good look at them enlarged. Usually I'm not surprised by their appearance but mostly they look just plain weird.

Interactions can be entertaining, it turns out that these two don't like to share.

Never know what I'm going to get, here's one of the cute ones just going about it's business. . .

. . . and some other ones having an orgy, hey guys it's fall not spring! 

How does Autumn arrive where you live?

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.

Yesterday I was attacked by hoards of mosquitoes. To be fair I believe they were only
doing their job and in no way was it in retaliation for being left out of all the insect photos.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A visit from Burt - Haunted Humpday V

Burton, a new friend I met at Target yesterday stopped by for a visit.

I gave him a tour of the garden (he said his Morning Glory vines weren't flowering either) . . .

and we had a long chat about hydrangeas . . .

then we went shopping for pumpkins at the Farmers Market.

Burt and Spenser became buddies right away.

After dinner he entertained us with some Boogie Woogie and . . .

then it was time to jam!

or should I say ham?

Who would've guessed he was such a musical fellow?

We ended the evening enjoying a few cold ones and watching The Mummy.
I suspect we will be seeing a lot more of Burt in the weeks to come.

Thanks to the wonderful Marfi at Incipient Wings for hosting Haunted Humpday.

Happy Haunted Humpday everyone!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mosquito Hill on the 21st day of September

The trees are beginning to look autumnal and with the more pesky elements of the bug world wiped out or at least slowed down by the temps in the 40's, it's time to head back to Mosquito Hill.

A bit of red from the sumac, always the first to turn.

Others are definitely taking on a golden glow.

There's a little spookiness . . .

and mushroominess . . .

and creepiness, eek!

(Just for clarification this is exactly how Nick and I found this scene on the trail.)

Back to the golden trails . . .

past the prairie. . .

stopping by the Frog Pond. . .

and down to the oxbow lake.

Where the wild rice is looking ripe . . . 

and there's a hint of the fall colors to come.

Hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ahoy! It's Talk Like A Pirate Day, matey!

Avast me hearties! Tis the nineteenth of September 'n..

there be strange sightin' by landlubbers...

'n the scurvy cook alike!

Aye! Tis the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

Ye need 't be settin' your course.

Avast! The Cap'n be celebratin' with grog...

and t' navigator tis needing him to shake a leg 'n stand by 't party like 'tis 1722!

Or else. Arrrrr!

Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day to all the Pastafarians!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Mummy, etc. - Haunted Humpday IV

There's no Halloween without scary movies and The Mummy with Boris Karloff is my all time favorite. I've never been a fan of torture and terror or blood and gore so I give most of the new horror movies a pass. Thankfully, all the old ones from the 20's onward are available online (my DVDs always seem to go missing). While searching for an image of The Mummy movie I discovered this article about Kirk Hammett, a guitarist for Metallica, my favorite band. His book, "Too Much Horror Business - The Kirk Hammett Collection" is a showcase of his posters and memorabilia from early horror movies and is definitely something worth checking out. How awesome is that guitar?

When white pumpkins started showing up in significant numbers a few years back I thought they
were fun and would be cute decorations at Thanksgiving, until I saw one carved into a Mummy!!!!

Bwahahaha! It was so obvious, those white pumpkins were just asking for it.

Well, one thing always leads to another and since my first viewing of The Mummy I've had a passion for ancient Egypt. In fact, if it hadn't been for a particularly rotten art history instructor it might have been my career instead of simply affecting the appearance of the jack o'lanterns on my front porch.

Over the years other Mummy related tchotchke have found their way into my home. This happy little guy has served as the artistic inspiration for quite a few Mummy jack o'lanterns as well as
(you might as well sing it with me, you know it's in your head) ... making bath time lots of fun

The first mummy jack o'lantern I can remember seeing was in a magazine at the dentist's office. It was all I could do to walk out without stealing it, even though it was January so a really old issue.  

This is Bast or Bastet the ancient Egyptian goddess of cats, protection, joy, dance, music and love. Last week, for HH3 the theme of my post was black cats (sort of) and I totally forgot about the ones I keep up all year. They were made to be sold as souvenirs, like my other Egyptian memorabilia. They're not from my own travels, I haven't been lucky enough to visit there, but hopefully some day.

This pair usually live in my kitchen but are serving as mantle decorations while I try to remember where I put the Halloween stuff. They weigh a ton, I can't imagine lugging them home in a suitcase.  

These postcards (from eBay) are supposedly from the late 1920's after the excavation of King Tut's Tomb. The bottom one is the Temple of Isis at Philae, ancient Egypt's most important goddess. According to one myth Bastet is the personification of the soul of Isis, but as usual it's complicated.    

While browsing in a local "antique" shop I came across these Temple of Isis bookends that don't bear any resemblance at all to the postcard above and like the pair of Bastet on the mantle are weighty.

Another find at the same store was this copper vase with some high steppin' dudes.

On the same vase these ladies appear to be tending papyrus on the bank of the Nile.

My papyrus being ignored in a pot in the driveway.

Stewart declined to wear the King Tut cuff as a crown and scarab bracelet as a collar even after I reminded him that in ancient Egypt he would have been worshiped as a god. 

  Has a movie ever had a big (or small) impact on your life? What's your favorite Halloween movie? So what's your preference for pumpkins? Do you carve your own or go with the pre-lit ones? Last year I did both because it was raining so hard the candles wouldn't stay lit but then I worried someone was going to get a shock from the combination of water and electricity! At least it didn't snow. 

Hope everyone has a Happy Haunted Humpday, I'll be joining the festivities at Incipient Wings.