Visiting and Tinkering

Ah, darn. I had an entire post written on the phone yesterday, went to add a photo to it, and somehow discarded the whole post rather than just a photo I wanted to replace. I declared it a sign that I should just concentrate on doing rather than writing for a little while. So, for the past three days I’ve been doing stuff like crazy! I feel quite accomplished.

This picture of hour much the dogs love their giant puddle will distract you from being sad that I lost all my work, painstakingly typed on the phone.

A lot of this doing occurred because Chris and Kathleen came up on Friday and stayed until after lunch on Sunday. You see, Chris likes to work with his hands and is a great problem solver, so he did a bunch of things to help us around the office and the Hermits’ Rest house.

And because of that, I was inspired to do my own set of tasks, with Kathleen there to lend some muscle and brain power, too. We’re pretty lucky to have Lee’s clever relatives working with us on our projects!

Oh the cuteness!

On Friday, after Mandi and I worked like good employees, Chris assembled Kathleen’s lovely new office furniture, straight from the box. It’s probably the first “new” stuff we have in the Hermits’ Rest building. It’s all white and brass, and cutely modern. She brought lamps, which enabled us to really see the former storeroom, which turns out to be pretty cute (and clean, thanks to Melissa’ cleaning it last week).

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Summer Dead Stuff

Hey again. I’ve got some more deep thinking coming up, but first I have to say it’s hard to get anything at all done this time of year, because there’s always something interesting and deceased laying around.

Our first thing isn’t dead, just empty. That’s the tiny nest the baby finch tried to fall out of yesterday. It’s so small and exposed! But birds successfully fledged.

Awkward photo of awkward bird nest

The next best is bigger and more protected.

There’s still a bird in there.

But at least two fledglings ended up on the porch this morning!

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Self Aware Means Self Care

Last week I was in a mental vortex, tizzy, or something. I’m so glad I was aware that something was amiss, and that the only person who could do anything about it was ME.

So, what kind of self care can I do? Can you do it, too?

Exercise

This guy could use some yoga!

I realized yesterday that I hadn’t done any yoga in over two weeks, maybe three. Between work getting hectic and taking a week off, I was feeling sluggish and stiff.

I’ve gone to the class at work twice this week, and I can really tell it, both physically and mentally. I’m a lot more centered and my muscles feel well used, but good.

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Wasp Watching

Be prepared for lots of writing, it I think I’ve spewed forth enough deep thoughts for a couple of days.

This morning, I was trying to get some exercise before a long car ride and I suddenly realized I was about to step on at least five wasps. What the heck?

I looked around and the area in front of the ranch house was covered in wasps, all flying around a few inches above the grass. They weren’t swarming, just bopping around.

A good old mud dauber.

There were two types out there, mud daubers and great black wasps. I could only get a picture of a mud dauber. That’s too bad, since the black ones are beautiful.

Yay, I found a black wasp picture that’s public domain!

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Bugs to Distract Me

To take my mind off donkey woes, here are some fun insects I’ve been seeing this week. The first is a green stink bug. They’re out at the ranch and in Austin.

Cute as a bug on a wall

Next we have a really pretty green moth. It’s an emerald moth, I think the Texas emerald. I love the frilly edges on the wings, and the stripes.

Moth on geranium

And here’s a cool one Martha found at our old office location. It’s an eyed click beetle! Look at those false eyes!

I’m looking at you!

Have you seen any cool bugs this year?

Now, That’s Nature: Post Oaks Plus

It has rained so much the past few days that it feels like I live at a mosquito farm. Everywhere I go I’ve been eaten up, though the barn swallows are trying to keep up with them at the ranch.

“Lake Travis” in Cameron. Photo by Martha Nethers.

Martha says that our old office on Travis is now located at “Lake Travis.” Birds love to bathe in it, but they can’t enjoy their lovely patio at the moment. (By the way, they recently saw a mother opossum and all her babies on her back–sure with I had a photo!)

Sink spider

The rains have also driven a lot of things indoors. A group of wolf spiders is hanging out in the kitchen of the old church building. I hope they scoot back out before the pest control dudes come!

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Creepy? Cute? Pretty?

It’s prime time for observing flowers and insects right now. I thought I’d share a couple of the things I’ve been observing, and give an update on my cactus that I shared a photo of a couple of days ago.

Insect of the Month

I’d say this is my favorite insect observation this month. Look at that big, green head! It’s a compost fly, and quite tiny. It was calm enough sitting on my hand that I could get a couple of nice images of it.

Not only am I cute, I’m helpful.

I don’t think I’d ever heard of compost flies before. It turns out they are a type of soldier fly.

Solider Flies are brilliant mimics of wasps and bees, but they do not sting and are so tiny, they may be difficult to find.

BugIdentification.org

It turns out these are insect Good Citizens, too! The bug identification site continues: “This species of Soldier Fly can be found in woods, gardens, and parks, with populations of adults hovering or standing over rotting plant matter. They are very small in size. These Solider Flies are not pests and do not seem interested in humans or their buildings like House Flies. They have been seen on compost heaps, piles of grass clippings, and other decomposing vegetation. Females lay fertilized eggs on the plant matter, so they are also called Compost Flies. Maggots are also small and tan in color with ten segments to their worm-like bodies. The Solider Fly maggots eat the compost and their presence may deter other types of pesky flies from inhabiting the same area. Adults are believed to drink flower nectar.”

This sounds like an insect I’d like to see more of at the Hermits’ Rest. What a little helper!


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