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More on Wasps and Hornets

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Turkey Tracks and Interesting Information: August 10, 2020

More on Wasps and Hornets

We moved to Maine in June 2004, and in January 2005 I took a class on creating and keeping a picture journal that I successfully kept for a year and that resulted in two volumes. Now one of the volumes sits on a counter downstairs, above my washer and dryer, as I follow along in the year. I turn the pages every day and really enjoy seeing how 2005 compares to what is happening each year since.

Here’s the page I did on August 10th—about wasps and hornets. And it sorts out the hornets and the wasps.

It does not cover the ground types—some of which are bee forms. And I got stung here years ago when I encountered a ground nest on the back hill.

There is an old wives tale that if you get stung, something in your system needs the venom.

For whatever that is worth. But I haven’t been stung again, knock on wood.

Written by louisaenright

August 10, 2022 at 8:52 am

Wasp Pollinators

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Turkey Tracks and Interesting Information: August 8, 2022

Wasp Pollinators

The Pee Gee Hydrangea is in full and glorious bloom.

Pee Gees can and do grow into tree size. I keep mine cut back to a shrub form, but pruning comes in the fall when the white blossoms have turned to deep rusty red.

What has been totally fascinating to me this summer is the huge amount of different kinds of pollinators on all my flowers and the raspberries. I stopped picking the last of the raspberries as tiny wasps were feeding on the ripe berries. Indeed, I have been hesitant about cutting back any of the plants that are now loaded with pollinators—as I do not want to risk a wasp or bee sting—especially as I live alone.

I am astonished to note that in the hum of insects on the Pee Gee blossoms, there is a tiny wasp who is clearly collecting pollen. Who knew?

Wasps, Surprisingly Cool Pollinators

Here’s where the now overgrown Pee Gee is in my poor, dry, deer-eaten garden. Serious pruning will occur this fall—and I’ll bring some of the cut now-rusty red blooms in the house to dry in vases.

And here’s a view from the guest bedroom inside the house.

There was a thunderstorm late yesterday, but the rain gauge says only 1/4 inch. There may be more rain later today, and it is now cooler and overcast.

Written by louisaenright

August 8, 2022 at 9:53 am

What’s Happening With The Daylilies?

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Interesting Information and Turkey Tracks: July 24, 2022

What’s Happening With The Daylilies?

I have A LOT of day-lilies in my garden, including many of the ”wild” orange ones, called ”ditch lilies” by some.

The front porch is lined with the gold Stella D’Ora variety, and they already bloomed. But blooming now are these redder day-lilies in places I did not plant them.

And salmon ones too.

And look what has emerged down on the driveway? I did not plant this ruffled beauty.

I did plant this reddish one—and one similar on the other end of the front deck day-lilies.

And I possibly planted this vivid day-lily along the front path.

And, there is this beauty that has been in this spot on the front path for many years.

What is going on here? I’m also noticing these later-blooming dark day-lilies in other places in the garden—sometimes mixed into the wild orange day-lilies.

Are the current plants being taken over in some way and changed? That is not supposed to happen.

So, off to research I went.

Yes, the day-lilies are ”hybridizing,” but they are NOT changing any of the established plants. What they are doing is seeding hybrids into current day-lily beds—and other places in the garden too.

The hybrids can and might overtake or crowd out the established plants, but meanwhile, they are adding interesting plants into what is already in the garden.

Good to know.

And I can always dig up what I don’t like.

Written by louisaenright

July 24, 2022 at 9:26 am

A Quilty Surprise for The Bee Cause

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Interesting Information: July 18, 2022

A Quilty Surprise for The Bee Cause

My DIL Tami Kelly Enright is the director of The Bee Cause—an organization that began in Savannah and Charleston, SC, some years back. The Bee Cause’s project is providing viable habitats for our threatened bees and now has hives it has helped pioneer in all 50 states.

Recently Tami received an amazing gift from a total stranger.

A quilty gift.

Now, here’s the story, as told by the person who gifted The Bee Cause with this quilt—to use as they will.

The quilt was made as a ”round robin” project—where the center is started by the person who will be its owner. The quilt travels to other quilters for added rows—and each draws on his/her own creative talents. When the quilt returns, it is a surprise for the originator.

It’s a beautiful quilt, with beautiful workmanship, from some beautiful and talented people.

Written by louisaenright

July 18, 2022 at 7:34 am

The Grinder

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Turkey Tracks: July 14, 2022

The Grinder

These guys went on a quick trip to visit the grinder last Tuesday morning.

They make that visit about every 6 to 9 months—and this time the scissors with the blue handles triggered the trip—which isn’t far at all, only about 15 minutes or so to the south. The small scissors were dull to the tip, and they are the ones I keep by my sewing machine so they need to be sharp. If you have scissors with some serrated edges on one side (some of the Karen Kay Buckley scissors), ask the grinder NOT to sharpen on those edges.

The knife on the far right came, via a Japanese neighbor back in Falls Church, VA, many years ago. When sharpened it is…dead sharp. And very thin and light, too. I use these wider knives like paddles, too, to carry chopped bits to a pan.

Once sharpened, I can keep the knives pretty sharp for many months with frequent passes on the metal sharpening tool (a honing steel) that came with my good knife set.

Local peeps: the grinder is on Route 90 going south, on the left, just beyond Kelsey’s. Call before stopping by to make sure that the grinder is in and can sharpen what you have (594-7007). The business, Acute Grinding, is now owned by Food Prep Solutions, so here is the sign for which you will be looking. The grinder charged me $20 for these 6 pieces.

Some of the raspberries are ripening now. I got this many yesterday. Delicious!

On the last night Bryan’s family was here I made a big “fried rice” dish with what was left of the leg of lamb we roasted, some eggs I fried first (beef tallow) and added back in at the end, and tons of veggies—some leftovers already cooked and some cut for the dish and pan sautéed after removing the fried eggs—and the leftover rice. (Bryan and Corinne had lobsters that night, and the granddaughters had some hot dogs with their fried rice.)

I had LOTS left over, so I packaged it up in two large silicon bags and froze them. The other day I pulled out of the freezer some frozen broth, a package of ground lamb, and one of the packages of fried rice.

Instant soup—after I sautéed the ground lamb. I also added more herbs, salt, and more water.

It was delicious and provided two days of dinner and supper meals—AND time for me to do other things than cooking.

Written by louisaenright

July 14, 2022 at 8:44 am

A Very Special Gift

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Turkey Tracks: June 18, 2022

A Very Special Gift

Jan Corson came yesterday with this little gift for me—which she made using a photo of AC Slater. Jan is a very talented maker of needle punch felting.

This special, special gift is one of the most thoughtful and cherished I have ever been given. Look! Jan even got AC’s orange collar and the little medallion inscribed with his name and my telephone number. And all his markings are accurate.

Right now, felted AC Slater is guarding the dining room table and listening for squirrels to chase outside.

I’ve done a little research on ”feist” dogs these past few weeks. I suppose as a way to understand and reach out to my little lost dog.

Look at this picture that popped up on the Rescue Me rescue site. You would think AC posed for it. And note that feist dogs can look very, very different from AC Slater—depending on their particular blends of terrier and hounds.

Up here in Maine, I am a very long way from where feist dogs and rat terriers are more prevalent. And I don’t know that I would try to get another feist—as they do require daily heavy exercise and want to be doing things with their human many times during any one day. Feists are…connected…to their humans, body and soul.

AC was a one-off “homemade” accident feist doggie, which is the best kind. There is no way that I could ever just replace him with another feist. And I’m not sure I want to replace him anyway. Perhaps at 77 years, a big personality dog with lots of energy is not the best idea. But maybe a doggie that serves as my ears (I am really deaf without my hearing aids) and warns me when people come on the property is a good idea.

But I am so not ready yet to get another dog. And I think it will be like another friend said one day after AC died: ”one day another nose will poke at you and the magic will happen again.”

Feists developed in the rural South and are a mixture of terriers and other breeds, among them formally beagles, whippets, and Italian greyhounds—but many other hounds can be involved, which I think was true for AC doggie.  The “mountain feists” are highly prized in the Southern Appalachian mountains, and puppies can sell for as much as $3000+.  Some are trying to get these dogs declared a recognized breed.  

Feists are trackers—not retrievers. They like to tree animals and hold them there until their hunting companion, a human, comes.  They will bark at the base of a tree until the other half of the team arrives.  Otherwise, they are not overly “barky.” They are death on four feet for rodents of all kinds if they trap them on the ground.  They shake a caught prey, which kills it quickly.  They have really soft, thick short coats; have webbed feet for swimming; need some challenging exercise EVERY DAY; are great with people and are not overly aggressive; insist on lots of daily “play” with their human; are really smart and easily trained; and will do destructive things in a house if left alone!!!!  And they can be prone to allergies—which did happen with AC if you recall the years I made him fish dinners as he couldn’t eat any other kind of meat protein.

Yep!  AC doggie fits that description to a “t.”

And I still miss him, but I am moving on and developing different daily life patterns.

AC was a gift, lent to me for only a short period of time.

Written by louisaenright

June 18, 2022 at 9:20 am

“Amore” Petunia is Fragrant

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Turkey Tracks: May 16, 2022

“Amore” Petunia is Fragrant

On Saturday I made a quick trip to our local Home Depot for a dedicated cord for the leaf blower.

The back deck needs to be blown off and scrubbed. So I also got a stiff, rectangular ”push” broom to help with cleaning off the green ”stuff” that grows in the winter on the shadiest parts of that deck. Clorox is required for that job. And I thought that if we had a harder rain, I’d use the already wet deck to make this job easier.

With those items in the cart, on a whim I decided to see if there were any reasonable geraniums or petunias I could use—which could save me a trip to my favorite nursery, which is 30 minutes away. I saved my hanging basket from last year with the thought I could reuse it.

I walked by a big display of a pink and white-striped petunias called ”Amore,” which were planted in bigger pots.

Hello! Amore was incredibly FRAGRANT.

I LOVE fragrant petunias in a hanging basket.

Amore came home with me—and I planted it right away—and hung it on the upper porch where I like to have a hanging basket.

I saved about $20, and I can see it from where I sit at the dining room table. Win-Win.

So now I’m happy and the very hungry hummingbirds are happy as they like to have a hanging basket near their feeder It makes them feel safer I think.

I still need the geraniums though. And a few other plants as well.

Written by louisaenright

May 16, 2022 at 8:23 am

Spring Flowers and Quilty Projects Update

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Turkey Tracks: April 22, 2022

Spring Flowers and Quilty Projects Update

My daffodils are up and some are blooming. I picked this bunch Tuesday in the pouring rain after running an errand. They are still beautiful and fresh today, Friday. And I have so many daffs that I will have flowers in the kitchen for some time now.

And—local peep—right up the hill from me is Golden Brook Flower Farm where the greenhouses are full of gorgeous flowers. This sweet bunch of tulips came to my house Wednesday and are also still just gorgeous today. Look at that beautiful tulip color. They came with very long stems, too, so I could have used a tall vase for them if I had wanted to.

http://www.goldenbrookfarmcamden.com

Yesterday I cooked two lamb shanks and leeks in the Instant Pot—and increased the cooking time to 40 minutes this time. The shanks were tender to the bone with the addition of 5 minutes. And the meal was delicious and produced leftovers.

I cooked the carrots separately, drained them, and added them to a bowl big enough to hold the whole recipe when ready to be combined. I added the garlicky green beans (see earlier posts) I had on hand to the carrots while the lamb and leeks cooked. I browned the shanks in the Instant Pot in beef tallow while the 2 large leeks, with some chopped garlic and salt, cooked in lamb fat in a pan on the stove—lamb fat saved from an earlier lamb dish. When the leeks were golden, I added some water that would pick up all the browned (not burned) goodness in the pan. When the shanks were brown, I added the leeks and garlic, about 3 cups of water, herbs (a dried Provence mixture that includes some rosemary and lavender), salt, and several tablespoons of sprouted brown rice flour to thicken (you could use flour), and cooked for 40 minutes. I let the pot sit for 15 minutes after the 40 minutes were up before releasing the steam. I always turn off the ”keep warm” button as there is no need for it.

Then I just combine all the ingredients and enjoy my meal. I’ll have enough for one more meal with the second shank—and I’ll reserve the extra broth and make a soup with it and some fresh lamb meat pieces I had in the freezer. I’ll sauté those with savories and more veggies and will have a nice soup for at the very least another day. Or, two.

I’m hand sewing binding on the last baby quilt and will mail two quilts to a niece soon now. The larger one will be for her little girl toddler. Pictures will follow receipt of these two quilts.

And now I’m making fun Churn Dash blocks from all those strips I cut. It’s a good thing I’m happy making these blocks as there are A LOT of cut strips in the two sizes I need—along with a lot of cut center squares and fabrics reserved for more of those. These are all Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics from my stash—and the goal is to use them up and/or combine the remnants with the rest of the stash.

It is just so fun to combine these fabrics to make cute 7 1/2 inch finished blocks. I’m thinking 90 blocks, or 9 rows by 10, which will make a good lap-size quilt. Of course blocks will be moved around a lot along the way.

There is actually a lot to look at to figure out block placement. The color, dark and light placement, the centers, the intensity (or not) of the block.

Creative fun is happening!

Written by louisaenright

April 22, 2022 at 10:06 am

A Rainy Day

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Turkey Tracks: April 9, 2022

A Rainy Day

It poured rain all day yesterday. All day.

It was the kind of heavy rain where flooding happens, and the intermittent creek on the woods side of my house was ”booking” all day.

I hunkered down and made do with food I had on hand and just enjoyed the peacefulness of a rainy day.

AC, who hates rainy days, was ever hopeful that I would play with him with his ball.

To amuse him, I cut his toenails, which he HATES, and cleaned his teeth, which he LOVES. I clean his teeth with some double-wrapped gauze that I put over my finger and rub on his teeth. Then I used the Furminator on his coat. I have not “Furminatored” him in about a month—and he is starting to shed his winter coat. Using this tool weekly really helps the dog-hair-in-the-house problem.

Good Heavens! I had to get out the vacuum to clean up the rug and me when I was done. The Furminator excels in getting out the loose undercoat in a dog. For AC, I got the short-hair medium-size dog version—and I highly recommend this tool as it has made a big difference in the amount of dog hair in my house.

I also spent some time looking at John Steele’s web site. John is a retired pharmacist from Utah, and he is a wildlife photographer. I met him at the Snow Bowl field as he takes his two older dogs there to walk, and one of them, Miss Daisy, loves to chase AC’s ball with AC. Miss Daisy is the black dog in this screenshot of a photo John took of Daisy and Jamie jumping from the float into Hosmer Pond—which I took from his web site: johnsteelephotography.com

John’s web site also has some beautiful and interesting pictures of mustangs out west. He’s currently working on a photography book that he hopes will educate more people about these horses. And there are really nice photos of Maine and Maine wildlife—and more photos of these two dogs who love to swim.

Enjoy!

Today is sunny, so AC and I will be out and about to make up for the rainy day yesterday.

The grass is…GROWING…and turning quite green. The lawn crew that helps me is coming next Wednesday to take up the wooden, winter snow boardwalk and to help me with some of the needed spring clean-up. And AC has not heard any flying squirrels in the house for about a week now.

Written by louisaenright

April 9, 2022 at 8:40 am

Cassandra’s Interesting Blog Post

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Turkey Tracks: March 25, 2022

Cassandra’s Interesting Blog Post

Cassandra’s blog, The Not So Dramatic Life, often has interesting posts.

This post takes a close look at 5 modern quilts from this year’s QuiltCon that she especially liked, along with analysis about what it was that she liked.

Taking a Closer Look: 5 Quilts from QuiltCon

Here’s a screenshot of her recent blog offerings to give you an idea—she has been looking closely at different categories of quilts shown at this year’s QuiltCon.