Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Rain crow

Sometimes I learn bits and pieces of information that I don't know are related until ages later.  Funny how that works.
I first heard about a rain crow from my cousin when we were youngsters.  I don't really remember the conversation, but I think we had heard a cooing sound that I thought might have been a mourning dove.  She told me it was a rain crow, and she probably told me it meant it was going to rain or thunder.  If I remember correctly she claimed to have been told all this by her mother.  I do remember being skeptical that she had given me correct information and not just some superstition, so I must have filed all that in the "most likely an old wives' tale" mental file.
Fast forward many years to probably a Sunday afternoon spending time with my husband and listening to bluegrass.  The Osborne Brothers were singing, "The Cuckoo Bird," a song that sounded rather silly but in a fun sort of way.  (I didn't know until recently that it was based on an English folk song.)
Fast forward more years to a time my son and I were walking with my father on our wooded property one hot summer day and saw a bird we could not identify sitting in a tree in the woods.  Later we discussed what we had seen and looked up the identification.  I concluded we had mostly likely seen a yellow-billed cuckoo.  I also later saw one in my yard briefly once in the sycamore tree.
Just recently I heard a bird that I'm sure I've heard many times in my life.  If I had ever wondered what it was, I had probably just assumed it was some sort of woodpecker.  But now with good information so readily available on the internet, I determined to find out for certain what I was hearing.
That's when all the streams of info came together.
HERE is a page describing the cuckoo and its sound.  In the Southeast, it is indeed called a rain crow.  The page on Wikipedia suggests that is because it is often heard calling on a summer afternoon (a time of year when afternoon thundershowers are likely).
It's a bird that is heard more often than seen--a good reason to learn to identify it by sound.
So now I know what a rain crow is.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

Old car pic

Just in case you're tired of my flower and nature pics, I'll post an old car picture.  Here is a '66 Chevy Nova SS that I saw Saturday.  Looks sharp.
Then again, if you're not tired of flower and insect pics, here are some more that are in my yard this month.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

More from my favorite musicians

I just came across a couple of videos of my guys playing at the local coffee shop.  These videos were posted last year (and I'm just now finding them).
Caleb is playing guitar and does a break on "Stand by Me."
Roger plays mandolin on "Amazing Grace."

I'm glad someone uploaded these videos since I wasn't there when they were playing.
Hope you enjoy them.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Beetles, berries, balloon, binoculars

I have to make an alliteration every now and again.  The other day I put away my groceries and couldn't find my peppercorns.  I was in the process of calling the grocery store when I remembered I had also bought Pop-Tarts that I had not come across in putting away the groceries.  Aha!  I had one bag still left in the car with peppercorns, Pop-Tarts, and parmesan cheese.  Funny how that worked out.
I'm using b for my alliteration today.  It's the time of year to pick off Japanese beetles.  What a pest!
In the bucket are the ones I picked off Thursday; in the jug are the ones I picked off Friday.  I picked off some this evening as well.  They congregate on my Virginia creeper vine on the fence.  I go along and knock them off into the sudsy water.

I also picked a few blackberries around the edge of the yard where the briars are encroaching.  Not really enough to do anything with but snack on.  (No pic.)
About sundown I saw the hot air balloon go over.  It was almost directly overhead.

After sundown, I went out with my binoculars to look at some planets.  Jupiter was right next to the moon.  I could see one of Jupiter's moons through the binoculars.  In a different direction I could see Mars and Saturn.  It was pleasant outside so I sat for a while and enjoyed the night sky.
I'll give the day a grade B.

Friday, June 10, 2016

More June blooms

The gardenia...
A division from the daylily that a former pastor's wife, who was also my third-grade teacher (one of my favorite teachers), gave my mom...
A daylily that my brother gave me from a "chance seedling"...
And a daylily rescued from next door...
I wonder if this daylily isn't from a seed because I really don't remember the neighbor having one of this color.  In any case, I like it.

Monday, June 6, 2016

June's flowers

Here are some pictures of a few of the flowers that are blooming in my yard this month.

butterfly weed
crinum lily
blanket flower (I wasn't sure any were surviving, so this was a pleasant surprise.)
yellow coneflower (a delight to see it blooming for the first time since being planted last summer)

Friday, June 3, 2016

Friend Jack's latest book

My friend Jack from "Shipslog" sent me a copy of his latest book, The Appalachian Trail.  It came yesterday, and I finished reading it last night.
I enjoyed reading about Jerry and Sherry's adventure (which, between you and me, was a lot like Jack and Sherry's adventure).  Jack estimates that about 97% of the book is based on actual experiences.  The book chronicles their adventures hiking the trail.  I found the book a nice gentle read and informative and inspiring to boot.