Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
A monarch butterfly rests on the edge of the wrought iron shepherd's hook holding our hummingbird feeder. I had to rotate this photo to get a better angle, hence the gravity-defying sideways wire which is holding the feeder.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
...and the earth moved.
But of course, it was the Fourth of July.
Mr. PewaukeeDailyPhoto finally downloaded the pictures I took with his camera over the Independence Day weekend. Surprisingly, several shots of the fireworks actually worked out pretty well. As in life, timing is everything.
Monday, July 27, 2009
This very large (snapping?) turtle was attempting to cross the road at the entrance to our subdivision last week. I saw him from a distance while riding my bike and at first thought it was a big hunk of a blown tire. When I came up to him, I expected him to "hide" in his shell, but he just looked up at me and blinked.
Just then a father and his two young kids came up on their bikes. After a brief talk about how he could easily get squashed in the road, "Dad" picked up "Tommy the Turtle" - as the kids had quickly named him - and set him on the grass. "Heavy sucker!"
He didn't really move & we didn't stick around - but later that afternoon, I drove by there and Tommy was no where to be seen. Hopefully, he made his way back down to the marsh which borders our neighborhood.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The park at Pewaukee Lake hosted their annual "Taste of Lake Country" this past weekend. The unpredictable weather kept many people at bay (see skies in the photos) - but during our visit, it thankfully stayed dry.
These happy people were glad to offer refreshments at the "Positively Pewaukee Pub" - and the plate of freshly spiral cut potato chips from the Butler Inn were delish along with a few of Milwaukee's finest.
We sat at a table on the beach and watched the swimmers and boaters enjoy the evening.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
A recent sunset over a nearby "high-end" subdivision - Broken Hill. Lots of very nice, big houses - but even more very nice unsold lots. On the upside: the quiet landscape makes it a perfect place to walk the dog.
See more Skywatch Friday pix here.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Since I didn't post an entry in CDP's monthly theme at the beginning of July, I thought I would do it now. The theme was "empty" ...as in "my bowl is almost empty." Just a few random blueberries left floating in the milk - sort of looking like the Big Dipper stars. So, a SkyWatch of sorts, too!
See more Skywatch Friday pix here.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
There is a small herd of black cattle on the farmstead at Weyer and Townline Roads. They seemed very content on this hazy morning. The dude below was sitting down on the job and chewing his cud. What a life. :-)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Didn't I just post a bowl full of juicy red, ripe berries? Ah, yes - but those were cherries. These are currants.
The red currant grows on low, woody shrubs and can bear light fruit one year, and be prolific the next. Guess which one this was? We have one little bush in our yard which yielded 6 cups, & I could still go back to pick another big bowlful! These little red gems (about the size of a pea) are super sour and pack lots of pectin, which makes their juice ideal for jelly. The flavor is closest to a tart raspberry.
Currants grow in tiny clumps and are nearly impossible to pick individually. You can try stripping the berries off the branch, which results in a juicy mess. Or, you can just use a scissors to clip off the clusters of berries.
It's easy to make the juice needed for jelly. No need to remove the stems. Simply wash the currants and place in a large saucepan. Add 1/4 cup of water to 6 cups of currants. Mash lightly to release the juices and simmer over medium heat until berries reduce to a pulp. Strain through cheese cloth and you end up with a sparkly red - albeit TART - liquid. Make jelly according to directions found in any canning cookbook. I freeze the juice now, and make the jelly in late summer or early fall when it's cool outside and I have a long weekend to spend in the kitchen.
We use the jelly in sauce and glaze recipes for roast pork tenderloin and ham. The sweet-tart flavor really accents the meat nicely. And it's yummy in good ol' PB&J sandwiches, too.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Milkweed pods are those wonderful brown crackly brown pods that burst in late summer and blow those puffy little parachutes all over the neighborhood. The caterpillar of the Monarch butterfly loves this plant. Not many people get to see the actual plant in bloom, so here is a pretty specimen. The flower-heads are about the size of a softball. There are lots of them along the Ryan Road hiking trails.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
We have a Montmorency sour cherry tree in our back yard & this year it was prolific! They usually begin to ripen around the Fourth of July and harvest lasts a few weeks. At first we were battling the robins, cedar waxwings, finches, and other birds who were pilfering the fruit, but once we started picking, we realized there were more than enough for every one.
The Montmorency cherries are indigenous to the upper Midwest and are the preferred variety for the standard cherry pie. Judging by my freezer, I cannot tell a lie... we are looking at lots of cherry pie this year!
Friday, July 10, 2009
I think the picture says it all. Oh, the dejection!....perhaps this is where the expression "hang-dog" look comes from?
Nik and I often walk up to Balmer Park, and if no one is around, we'll stroll the perimeter. The majority of space is given to playground equipment, tennis & basketball courts, a soccer field, and a softball field, but we avoid those areas and stick next to the woods along the road. (And I am very diligent about picking up after her.) After all, as she says, dogs are people, too.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I know this blog is technically supposed to depict "Pewaukee" - but after working full-time all day, and then having to walk the dog, I haven't had much to time to just drive around and "snap" the scenery as much as I'd like. The long Midwest winter makes us especially happy to see signs of blooming life & so that's mainly what I find during my long walks on the back roads, in the parks, and around the yard.
These coral bells are perennials with long pink and red stems of flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. (The cat likes to park under a nearby shrub and watch...at nearly 15, she's just too lazy and unmotivated to make an attack.) I took these shots in the evening, hence the flash illumination.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Lots of mushrooms have been popping up lately around our area. This flat top "toad-stool" specimen was growing in the mulch under our neighbor's arbor vitae trees. I took this shot in the evening and the flash gives the image a spooky feel.
Monday, July 6, 2009
We're in a battle of wits with the robins who have been tenaciously trying to build nests in our garage - right on TOP of our garage door opener. We'll take one down, shut the door, and think that's the end of it. Nope. Next time we're working in the yard and have the door open, they take advantage & try it again. Haven't they heard of the great outdoors?
Meanwhile, this sweet mourning dove has built her nest in our front maple tree, completely un-fazed by the fact that the dog's tie-out is around the base of the tree.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
A while back, some neighbors on Swan Road cleaned out their garage and put this matched set of old-fashioned bicycles up on the road hoping someone would take them. The next day they were gone... Hopefully they found good a good home!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
I recently went into our local Kohl's department store. It's a new stucco and brick building, similar to others in the area that are encroaching upon the natural rural habitat of our wildlife. Without barns and large old trees, these swallows had to resort to the next best thing. It was dusk, and I wasn't able to get a super good shot of these active little birds with my dying camera, but you can still see the amazing architecture of their "adobe-like" mud nests.
Barn swallow colonies are made of mud pellets and fibrous material (bits of string, dust, etc.) and are often built under eaves, bridges, or other man-made structures. They prefer unpainted, untreated surfaces, and the nests must be protected from rain, which will compromise the mud dwellings.