July 19, 2010

Tiger Lilies and what's this flower (again)

Please note that I have given up on posting on the day that I actually intend to post so now I play catch up so it looks like I have lots of posts but really I set up several blogs and then fill them in all at once :)

I would feel "bad" about this but I know everyone understands that I'm a busy, busy, graduate student!

So, I have more flowers for everyone to look at and enjoy. I can identify most of these but there is one that I'm not quite sure about. So let's begin!!

When I first saw this I had to ask what are those pepper looking things growing out there. Anne had no idea what I was talking about until I gave her a description. So what are those pepper looking things?

You guessed it Tiger Lilies. These are one of my favorite flowers and Anne has a couple of different varieties (I think) and I'm hoping to convince her to let me have a few for my own yard (someday in a yard, very, very far away; perhaps in time only but likely to be distance as well).

Here is a double bloom Tiger Lily. I had no idea what a double bloom was or that it existed until I moved out to this flower-ful yard!!

I think this is another Tiger Lily but of a different color!

Tiger Lily or Day Lily ??? I'm really not sure. However, I looked up tiger lily and I found a picture similar to this one so I'm going to say that it's a tiger lily. I'm sure Anne will correct me if necessary.

What the heck is this??? I know Anne told me but my memory banks are full of don't weed there but do weed there. This is a (please insert flower name here). I'm trying to stuff my brain full of flower information and I'm afraid my poor brain my explode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Having considered what Anne had told me about whats in the yard, I think this is Purple Phlox
and the images do seem to be similar so maybe the flower knowledge is slowly sinking in between the insect information.

July 15, 2010

Birthday Surprises

I thinking I should have titled this blog, "Cats, Frogs, and Hay bails" but I didn't!! As many of you know I worked on my birthday since I'm a graduate student this is sort of expected. However, I was planning on going to Hawaii but instead I had to purchase a new car to replace the broken Cougar so the money for the trip to Hawaii was placed into the emergency "I MUST have a car" fund and I bought a G6.

Isn't it pretty? I'm still complaining about the fact that I couldn't go to Hawaii but it's less every day so I'm sure eventually I'll "get over it!" It's not just that I didn't get to go to Hawaii (there will be other chances) it's that I missed a good friends wedding and her graduation from vet school (I was teaching in May) and the Cougar breaking down meant that I missed having one last (?) dinner with her and another good friend at Thai-Pepper in Fort Collins!

Anyway, I went to work on my birthday and then I came home to find that the farm hand had bailed the grass in both the Broom field and Alfalfa field but I decided not to take a picture, surely you have seen Hay bails before??? I thought so and on to the next surprise..... I went outside to eat dinner on the front porch and I found this little guy to the left of my back porch. I thought he was so cute that I had to take a picture.

Later I went went outside to go for my evening walk and I saw this orange cat which looked like Too Many sitting on the sidewalk and I said, "Hello Too Many" and the orange cat raced up into the tree.

Then to add to my confusion, Two Many comes around the side of the house so then I have two orange kitties. One pregnant one meowing (likely demanding more food, NOW!!) at my feet and another one trying to hide from me in the tree.

So who is this kitty? Is this the father of the pregnant Too Many unborn babies? Is this Too Many's missing sibling Too? Is this a neighbor's cat? The mystery deepens and I have no answers, maybe my friend, Anne, can enlighten us on the subject!

And then the last surprise, I went outside one more time, late at night. It was starting to rain and I just wanted to look at the sky and see if the orange kitty was still in the tree (he/she/it was). My detective skills discovered this big girl sitting out on the sidewalk. I have never seen a frog this big so I decided to take a picture.

She does look like the same kind of frog as the tiny frog from above.

Well since I'm so late in actually posting this blog (28th of July) I will give you an update. The G6 is still running, I haven't seen the mysterious orange cat again, Too Many is still pregnant and getting more round every day (she looks so uncomfortable- poor mommy), and the big frog is still living somewhere around the base of the tree in front of my back porch (I saw her last night when I was checking on my trash smoldering before I went to bed)!

July 13, 2010

Happy Bastille Day!!!! (aka my birthday)

So as many of you have guessed, I always celebrate Bastille Day. It's one of my favorite holidays (not here in America but definitely in France) right up there with Halloween. Yeah, no one said I was a typical American but I'm okay with not being typical.

Someone asked me if I do something French to celebrate and I realized that I never have, so this year I'm starting a new tradition where I will do something French (other than dream of celebrating my birthday in Paris).

Bastille Day commemorates the day the French started their revolution by storming the Bastille which was a prison and a fortress. For more information please click on the links.

This year, my wish is that everyone could be as blessed as me. It's taken me 30+ years to make the dream of being a successful women and to be free from "trauma" to come true. I have a new dream which I have shared with some of you and I hope and pray it doesn't' take me another 30 years to make that dream come true. I have loving friends (who are truly my family) who support me and I have gained a sense of balance which I strive to maintain.

I'm looking forward to my 36th year on planet Earth. I'm probably going to celebrate by having some whisky and dancing to music in my living room (this is a normal thing except the whisky, I usually have beer but I'm only going to be 36 for one year so what the heck)!!!

I hope you all enjoyed the French addition to my birthday, maybe next year I can attend a Bastille Day celebration (maybe get free beer)!!!

July 10, 2010

Around the "Farm"

So there's all sorts of stuff to see out on the farm. The month of June I spent some time exploring and just looking around to see what I could expect of my new environment.

This is Scamp and I. I admit that this picture was taken in April but the two of us can be seen in the yard playing fetch while I pull weeds and walking along the side of the road in the evening when I go for a walk.

The first week I was living in the country I came home to this in my side yard. I called the "landlord" to ask about it and she said that one of the neighbors does the agricultural side of the farm and he bails the side and front yards!! Okay- I now know to expect hay bails from time to time.

This is the barn cat, Too Many! I think this is when she was in heat so she was loud and obnoxious with everybody but she's a good hunter.

I tried to get a picture of one of the raptors flying in the sky. I think it turned out interesting but not very informative (as to the species of raptor). However, I have since learned some more about the settings on my camera so perhaps the pictures I take will gradually improve as to the techniques. I can only hope so anyway.

Raptors on the silo; they like to sit up there in the afternoon and then there are songbirds or an owl or two (yes, another raptor but not the same as the ones in the afternoon) in the evening.

I rode my bike up the road and took a picture of the local church. I'm not sure how many people attend the church since this is a very, rural area (my closest neighbor is about a mile away).

The church has a cemetery attached to it and I'm sure at some point I will wander back that way to take some cemetery pictures.

I will have another edition of things that I find while I'm walking, pulling weeds, and doing country living stuff.

July 9, 2010

Let's talk about the Cougar, one last time :(

Ah- so the month of May was the crappiest month ever (for this year)!!!! So there I was driving to Colorado to see two of my friends (perhaps for the last time {at least at the same time} since one of them has moved to Hawaii) and my car breaks down at a rest stop outside of Ellsworth.

Fortunately, I was able to get one of my "sisters" (the one in Manhattan) to drive all the way out to Ellsworth and then drive me all the way back!!!

So while I was waiting for 3 hours for rescue, I called a friend I was supposed to visit in Hays and then I walked around and took some pictures of the scenic rest stop. Yes, I said scenic!!

Tree next to a small stream which had a bridge you could cross (I didn't take a picture of the bridge)

Stream from the bridge, yes you could have walked over it and not used the bridge but the embankment is steep.

The sky which was quite nice to look at!

I brought my data to work on since I was planning on being in Colorado for about a week. So here I'm looking at the green notebooks and writing the data in another format to go into an Excel file. Processing data requires lots of energy and reworking- I really wish I had a hand held computer that I could put all this in and then get it do do the graphs and SAS analysis for me (sigh).

Finally, this is post rescue, this is a picture of the wind generators outside of Salina. I hadn't been out that way since before these were built so it was nice to see them and get a picture.

I'm glad I didn't have too much problems at the rest stop. The car and it's ensuing craziness was not fun and I'm hoping to never go through that kind of BS again!!

July 2, 2010

Help.............. there are flowers in "my" yard

As many of you know, I love flowers (they are pretty and smell nice), however, I'm not as educated about names, care, and identification (weed vs. flower).

So, in order to educate myself and some of you and to fulfill part of my "renters" agreement, I have taken some photos of flowers that are around the property and now I need help identifying the flowers and then I can talk about the care of said plant (likely talk about bugs that will eat and/or destroy the plant). Have no fear there will be many such posts (my "landlord" has planted many beautiful flowers).

First of all, what are the parts of a flower. Well, I can remember the petals and stamen from biology "101" but I can't remember much else. I'm guessing that I'm not the only one that needs a refresher. So, I found a picture and I'm sharing it with you.

Parts of a flower

So, now that we know what the flower parts are lets start down this journey of identifying plants in "my" yard:

Flower #1 is a tall plant with a single flower which consists of white petals and a yellow center.

Now this looks like a daisy to me, however, when I went searching for photos I couldn't find a photo that matched this one. This leads me to believe that either I'm wrong and this flower is NOT a daisy, I have really bad photo taking skills, or this is a daisy but it's a rare and unusual variety. Hopefully the experts will let us know what it is but in the meantime you can find more information on daisies by clicking on the highlighted daisy words!

Flower #2 has a short bloom stalk with pink petals with a yellow edge around the base of the petals on the inside of the flower.

This looks like a Day lily to me and when I looked up pink day lily I found a cool website of a day lily garden in Connecticut which has a lacy pink day lily which looks similar to this one. However, I will let you be the judge of it's actual identification.

Flowers #3 and 4 also look like day lilies and given the pictures from the day lily garden, I'm going to say that day lily is the correct identification.

And to end this flower session with a slideshow of flowers and insects accompanied by one of my favorite "oldies!"