I caught a Canada goose.


They always look so perfect but the other day I caught a Canada goose shedding a feather.


58 degrees and buggy! Winter took the day off.


58 degrees and buggy! Winter took the day off! I tried unsuccessfully to identify the bugs that follow but think they are all in “fly” family. Never noticed legs like that one above before. And only saw the unusual legs because camera acts like a magnifying glass.


Silhouettes are fun! High fashion bug!


They all have long legs, long antennae, thin bodies, wings longer than bodies and wings folded over body when at rest. That bug looks similar to a mosquito.


I wonder if all the tiny dots are the bug’s dinner. I couldn’t see them with my naked eyes.


These were the only bugs inside the house. They were tiny and there were a lot of them. Actually there was another bug inside, a wasp, captured and released before I thought about taking photos.

First wildflowers for me in 2017

On a rainy Sunday morning I went for a walk, wondering what I would find for my blog. All of a sudden I noticed red swamp maple blossoms scattered on the road like tiny Valentines! Be warned. The sniffles you have may be the start of your annual tree allergies! flowers-swamp-maple

I thought the blossom tips fell when caterpillars nibbled on the tender branches. So much for that concept. At least I don’t think there are any caterpillars out yet. Reminder: Winter fireflies were out 01/01/17…


Then I noticed tiny white blossoms on delicious winter cress carpeting the road’s edge! Are we skipping winter in southern Maryland this year?

Indigo Girls


“Indigo Girls” is a guaranteed hook! I know my daughter won’t miss this! Last night I photographed my blue jeans by mistake. Then I couldn’t stop! Camera phones create instant magic!


Indigo waves!


The heft of fabric folds!


Don’t forget your camera phone is also a pocket microscope! Enlargements offer new perspectives. My camera phone is one of my favorite playmates!

Beetle-kill wood? The Beetle Kill Trade Association? My heart skipped a beat!



The bottom  of a dead tree trunk full of beetle holes caught my eye and I wondered how to share it on my blog.  An hour later, while innocently reading the Sunday New York Times, I encountered an article with a good hook:”Small Colorado Resort Goes Big With a $700 Lift Ticket”. The price included a pair of skis or a snowboard made of beetle-kill wood. Beetle-kill wood?!?! Bingo!


According to Google, “The mountain pine beetle has killed large numbers of the lodgepole pine trees in the northern mountains of the US state of Colorado. Chemical prevention is effective but too costly for large-scale use. If not removed the dead trees increase the incidence of wildfires, and may contribute to climate change as they decay. Uses have been found for the dead wood including composting and in construction, and potentially to make biochar.”


“Beetle kill wood is also being used in local projects. Multiple housing complexes are beginning to use beetle kill wood to replace sidings of houses, like a condo complex at Copper Mountain which is replacing old siding with blue-stain wood, which is named for the dark color in the wood that is caused by fungus carried by the pine beetle. Snowboards, skis and guitars are also being crafted from beetle kill pine.[1]

The Beetle Kill Trade Association has been established to “to unite and align the self interests of business invested in or interested in the removal and recycling of standing beetle killed lodgepole pines in order to remove obstacles to the creation of a viable, vibrant and sustainable market for products utilizing beetle kill pines as raw material.””

What about southern Maryland beetle-kill wood? The emerald ash borer has devastated most of our lovely ash trees. Photos of dead tree and bark follow.



The beetle exit holes are supposed to be sort of “D” shaped. Look closely. Some of the beetles made their “D”s backward. Local guitar designers seeking beetle-kill wood are encouraged to contact me.