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Entries in summer (94)




(holiday) weekend warriors 

Since moving into our house, when we started by regrading the lawn and putting in one small garden, we have spent most of our holiday weekends working up a sweat in the yard. The projects have varied in type and size over the years, but as long as we were in town on a long weekend, we were working in the yard, usually with help from extended family.

Over six years this has meant a lot of change. When we moved in we had exactly one tree and the only garden was the builder's landscaping in front—everything else was grass, grass, grass. Grass that you have to water, weed, and mow. Now the house is lined with plantings and the yard bordered in flower garden; we have a total of nine trees, three raised vegetable garden beds, and one very large native plant butterfly and hummingbird garden; there are two dry rock rivers to divert the sump pumps that drain in our yard and a fire pit; and now, after this Memorial Day weekend, we now have a patio. There is still a bit of finishing work to do around it, but now we have a great new place to sit and enjoy our gardens and


Rolling Sculptures

The Ann Arbor classic (and sometimes not so classic) auto show. We go every year, this one was no different. I take eleventy-billion photos every year, this one was no different. At least it was a little cooler than it has been of late.

Dinner at Jolly Pumpkin

A homemade car. Really.

Electric! It's the future!

1928 Pierce-Arrow

Calvin's favorite


Hiking season

Though we will take advantage of local trails and pop into the woods on the occasional winter day, mud is a general deterrent for me, and we reserve most of our hiking for the summer and fall. But during what I call hiking season we do our best to make the most of the cooperative weather and we'll often be out and about multiple days of the week.

This year we are hiking with a couple of goals in mind. First, Calvin has signed up to produce several different projects for our county's 4H fair at the end of July. One is a collection of information pages on at least five different critters he espies while out and about, another is the same but regarding wildflowers, and a third is a collection of leaves from at least 15 native trees he has seen and identified. Plus we have a longer term goal as well, of hiking all the county parks at least once this year.

So far we've been successful on multiple fronts. This week we started our tour of the county parks with a stop at one of our favorites—the Scio Preserved Open Space, with about 2 miles of hiking trail through woods and open meadow, over some small streams, and alongside a pond. We took lunch and ate by the pond, which was pretty, but the best part of the trip was the hike itself, and Calvin found lots of things to add to his wild lists, including three bird species that were new to both of us.

Oxeye Daisy (not technically native, but an "introduced wildflower")

Great Crested Flycatcher

It's a slug race, with a green beetle spectator


Five minutes of quiet often produces an array of creatures that were just waiting for us to be gone...

Indigo Bunting

Song Sparrow (common in wet areas, but not a typical feeder sparrow)


Fathers Day

Per Jon's request we got up early yesterday to spend his day at Indpendence Lake, munching on pancakes and sausage and traipsing through the pond looking for wildlife before playing in the splash zone. The weather even cooperated. It was a great morning.