Thursday, June 25, 2009


Whatever you were just thinking while looking at pretty much what I thought when I first saw these. I was shocked when I came upon these, as I walked closer to them (I think with my mouth open in awe!), they all moved at once.....SYNCHRONIZED!! It turns out that they are European Pine Sawfly larvae of a primitive wasp-like insect that prefers Mugho pine and rarely feeds on Ponderosa. Lucky me, these larvae fed on both in my woods. They move branch to branch stripping the tree of its' needles. The larvae raise their heads and tails in a threatening manner to scare off intruders in a synchronized fashion. It has got to be one of the wildest, strangest things I have seen! Fortunately, the birds ate them, but I'm sure I'll have some next year, from fallen larvae. They are the most common sawfly to infest Pines.

My kids always called these...stinky bugs. I have no idea what it is.

A young dragonfly clings to an orange Lily on the woods' edge across the pond. Dragonflies and doesn't get much better for me. This was on one of my early morning walks.

A makeshift wooden bridge covers what I call a "sometimes creek". When my daylilies or daisies fall over and onto the bridge, that's where they stay! I like that loose, casual, natural look. Obviously, this flower was meant to be here, because from my kitchen window I snapped this photo of two butterflies sharing this flower.

Apologies to any guests that have seen and read the post dedicated to my new favorite damsel on my other blog...but, this Ebony Jewelwing damsel is simply a beauty...she deserves another showing. The male is also featured on my damsels and dragons blog. The bodies are brilliant metallic green and blue...and how awesome are those black wings!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Sleeping safe and snug among the cattails, is one of at least three nests of baby Red-Winged Blackbirds that called Wishnik Woods home.

Sure...they're cute now...

This little one snuck out of his nest a little too soon, his Mama wasn't happy. I was maybe two and a half feet from this baby when I took these photos. He was stranded on the ponds' edge in plant growth hanging over the water. Actually, the female adult builds the nest just inches above the waters surface. This little guy couldn't even manage a peep as wide as his mouth is open. I wasn't sure if he was trying to warn me or expecting food...maybe trying to yell help! I would've got in the canoe and put him back in his nest if necessary...his Mama came through for him.

We had maybe five minutes or so, up close and personal with each other. The adult Red-Wings are extremely territorial and EXTREMELY noisy about it! I will show them on another post. They are known to attack larger creatures and humans. They gather and live in colonies, which makes it even noisier. It was peculiar that once I sat down near this baby, and talked to it the whole time...the others became completely quiet. Mama positioned herself close by, Dad and the others close by as well...but all that screeching and squawking stopped.

Cute...yes...until they grow up and eat my dragonflies. The dragons are their favorite insect...and I watched helplessly as they dived mid-air for their treats. They also searched through the plant life around the pond and ate many immature damsels and dragons.


Behind my largest Weigela bush, between the cabin and the pond, hangs my first Bluebird house. I never saw Bluebirds, let alone in my woods, so I was anxious to see if my 'Bluebirds of Happiness' would come. They did, but first they had to kick out the first tenants...which I'm not sure which type of bird they were.

The cozy wooden home was in perfect view from my kitchen window. These two photos were taken through my window. The female did most of the work, it seemed the male did alot of supervising!

I got a real thrill when the male and female would rest on the low branches. I'd swear they listened to me singing (yep, now I think I'm Snow White!). It was great...I had my Bluebirds...expecting babies...and one day they were gone. Just like that. Now, I did see a feather on the porch, but not from the Bluebirds. The house was probably too low...within climbing range for the cats. Honestly, though, I feel The bully Red-Winged Blackbirds chased them away. Maybe it was a little of both....maybe....they didn't like my singing...NO?!

My happiness came and went...I wonder where? I wonder if they are still in my woods. So very pretty, aren't they?

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Sunday, June 21, 2009


Along my walks, I always see some other living matter how small...going about their daily life. How interesting each of them are to behold...I wonder if they actually are capable of appreciating a beautiful day as we do?

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009


David Phlox in a small bed near the ponds' edge. These stand between my Weeping Cherry tree (which the beetles have begun to attack!) and a Hydrangea bush. Just to the right begins the largest patch of Cattails, which most of them are over six feet tall.

Miniature yellow roses on a dark day...a little sun peeked out just briefly when I took this photo.

Wild rambling roses grow in masses around the woods. They send off a rosey musk scent...mmm..mmm...good...I love musk. It doesn't matter how dark the day, flowers always do their best to make you smile.

Pin Cushion is the common name, it's known as an easy plant to grow. I've had every color available, but only this variety has pulled through. Mine have drowned in late winter thaws due to excess moisture in our amended clay soil. The butterflies love them. Before I had all of my cats, these were some of my favorites to place in simple vases or jars around the cabin.

The basic fanciful Iris soaking up the sun in the rock garden between the woods and the dock. I enjoy looking at the flowers in every light...the many moods. Here she is... basking in the sun.

Wild Phlox grows along our drive and scattered in the woods. The bunch shown is growing next to our waterfalls. Wild Phlox goes hand in hand with living in the country. I have the white and purple varieties that pop up here and there.
The true Johnson Blue Geranium, has begun to bloom. My first bloom of the season growing at the base of an Iris plant next to the pond. I love the different textures and forms taking shape as everything comes to life.
The petite Lily of the Valley peeks out. For such a tiny showing, they sure exude a heavenly scent. This was among some hostas that my brother and his wife gave us when we first started planting here. Just recently I found out that they were initially from my sisters-in-laws grandmothers' garden. This made them all the more special. I didn't know they had bloomed until I walked past that garden and their perfume filled the air.

My Marguerite Daisy...I have these growing all over... here and there. Daisies to me add a light-hearted, whimsical feel wherever they call home.

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