Christmas in July!

Christmas colors are everywhere in July. Wouldn’t these make lovely Christmas decorations? I haven’t identified the caterpillar yet but I think the beetle is a green stink bug.


What do fawns and osprey chicks have in common?

bird osprey red eye

Fawns and osprey chicks are both covered with spots!  Here’s our osprey chick, Red Eye. Although you can’t see the color of her eyes in this picture, you do get a pretty good view of the spots all over her wings.

One baby osprey

Bird osprey baby

This out of focus photo shows from left to right, baby Red Eye, dad Dart and mom Pepper Dotty. We believe Red Eye hatched 5/14 and should have fledged a few days ago, inspiring the following:

An only child                                                                                                                                       So always under                                                                                                                       Parents’ watchful eye

She eats and naps                                                                                                                            And eats again                                                                                                                                  And barely moves a thigh.

Have you ever heard                                                                                                                         Of a baby bird                                                                                                                                 Who got too fat to fly?

The following photo, taken 7/10, shows Red Eye finally doing wing exercises. If your wings were that long, imagine how heavy they must be! It would probably take you awhile to  start flying exercises too!

bird osprey baby wings

Put ’em together and what have you got?

We wandered through the amazingly lovely Kenilworth Gardens in DC to see ponds full of 7′ tall lotuses in full bloom. July 4 is the height of their annual water lotus and water lily display. Gates open at 8:30 AM. Best to be there early!

Flower lotus

Then we stopped at Panda Gourmet for lunch and discovered this carving. We probably would have considered the blossom and leaf an exaggeration, an artist’s fantasy, if we hadn’t just been surrounded by similar giant water lotuses!

Flower water lily Chinese

FYI: What is the difference between a water lily and a water lotus?

Image result for lotus vs water lily
The leaves of lotus are emergent, meaning that they rise above the water level whereas the leaves of waterlily are found floating on the water surface. Same is true for their respective flowers; lotus flowers are emergent and waterlily flowers are floating

Lumberjack’s toilet paper

flower mullein

Mullein or Lumberjack’s toilet paper usually grows straight and tall, often in the shape of a candelabra lit with lovely yellow blossoms. For some unknown reason this group of plants followed a remarkably snake-like direction instead. I wonder if they will grow the same way in the same location next year. FYI, the toilet paper reference is to the broad, soft, velvety leaves the plant thoughtfully provides for the traveler or passing lumberjack in need. The leaves were also cut into rectangles and used as blankets in dollhouses. If you find the lovely whorls of early stage plants toward Christmas, save some of the small leaves, dry them and tie them together in bunches with ribbon to decorate your tree.

Mockingbird fledgling!

bird mocker fledge

Mockingbird fledgling may be out of focus but it is out in the world, clinging to an apple tree branch! Since John caught this photo 6/18 we have seen it, or one or more of it’s nest mates,  hopping around on our deck, getting fed by their always diligent parents and, within a few days of leaving the nest, actually flying all the way from the deck to the dawn redwood!