Category Archives: Outdoors

National Moth Week, July 19-27

Moths, moths, moths — I am more than a little crazy about them.
Then I come to find out: there’s a National Moth Week every summer! This year it spans July 19-27.

National Moth Week, July 19-27

I’ve gathered my gear (nothing fancy, just white sheets, hanging work lights, and the clothesline) and I’m going to set up as often as I can (weather-permitting), and get the kids involved. Lots of moths to photograph and identify!

If you’re interested in moth-watching in your own back yard, check out this PDF on “How to start mothing” from mothscount.org

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Summer’s End

Cramming in some last-minute summer fun, before Gunner’s return to school on Monday for second grade! The summer break went by way too fast, as usual. Gunner has all his school supplies, complete with an “Annoying Orange” backpack, and today he got a slick haircut at JCPenney’s for FREE (always nice). Then we went to lunch with Grandpa, and he had a super-cool surprise!

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PRAYING MANTIS!

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Feather Indentification

We seem to have the beginnings of a feather collection. Three of these were found in one day!

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Of course, my impulse is to identify, catalogue, and display them (sound familiar?).
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Green Onions + Meal Plan

First harvest from our tire garden is: Green Onions! They smell so good… of course, I have no idea what to do with them. Other than lots of salads. And giving some to family members (to… put on salads?)

scallions

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Our Tire Garden

I just realized that I haven’t posted anything about our awesome-sauce tire garden setup that we’ve got going new this year. What the hell, ME?! So, yeah… BEHOLD, in all its raised-bed glory! <insert dramatic reveal music>

Tire Garden

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Moth Series: Moved to Flickr

Nerd alert! In case you didn’t already know: one of the more studious hobbies I enjoy is photographing and classifying (and hanging out at night getting swarmed by) moths. I decided to clear out my Flickr account and dedicate it wholly to this pursuit. It’s coming along nicely; I’ve got about half of my photos from 2005 thru now edited, identified and posted. There are some really awesome moths! Check them out!

Anavitrinella pampinaria

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Watching the Decorah Eagle family

The Raptor Resource Project located in Decorah, Iowa, has been broadcasting a live feed of a pair of mated Bald Eagles and their new hatchlings. It has become somewhat of a sensation, landing spots on several news channel reports and attracting thousands of streaming viewers. So many people were viewing, in fact, that it has crashed their website twice so far (bandwidth limit exceeded) — from what I’ve seen there have been almost 120,000 viewers during the peaks!

Decorah Eagles still 1

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Sky Tide Photomerge

Photos taken by me the morning of June 20, 2006, around 9:30 a.m., just outside of Atkins, Iowa (west of Cedar Rapids); clouds supposedly classified as stratocumulus undulatus asperatus. Stitched together using Adobe Photoshop Photomerge, with heavy seam-flow finish work done by hand after automation.

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Old MacDonald’s Farm

We took a trip to Bever Park to visit Old MacDonald’s Farm, which is not so much a “farm” as it is an “exhibit” in the middle of the city with some farm animals. Chickens, cows, pigs, lots of ducks, goats, and even a Prarie Dog section. Oh, and lots of bugs, butterflies, daddy long legs and worms. It was a little hot out, so of course we were both sweating insanely (thanks, genetics!) but it was a fun and cheap (free, actually) way to kill two end-of-summer what-are-we-gonna-do-until-school-starts hours. Plus, we went out for ice cream afterwards! WOO!

Gunner @ Old MacDonald's Farm

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How-To: Easily Remove Cockleburrs

We live out in the country, so as a family (including the dogs) we encounter cockleburrs of varying size, shape and nastiness. So I figured I would share an easy method of removing them from virtually anything without pricking your fingers…

How-To: Easily Remove Cockleburrs

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