Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Let Them Eat CAKE.

We had company last week, so I made a homemade cherry chip cake.  The resulting crumb was a little too dense for my liking, so I'm tossing the recipe.  In the future I'm going to take a basic vanilla/white cake recipe and replace part of the milk/liquid with pureed maraschino cherries to give it that extra kick, and use some puree in the frosting, too.  Still, the taste was all right, and it looked pretty:

After everyone left, Todd and I went down by the water.

It was a relaxing morning, just chit chatting before work.  Even though it's been roastingly hot, there was a nice breeze.  Borga came with us...she loves to be a part of things.

Mainly she loves being close to "Dad."

Yesterday, a surprise...R - A - I - N.  Only the second time this summer for us!

I had to go outside today before work, because I know that insects and small creatures are much more active after it rains.  Only a few feet from the front door, I saw a small carolina mantis under a fern frond.

They aren't as disturbingly huge as the ones we had in Indiana (Chinese mantids).  Still, just like the others, this one kept his eye on me the entire time.

Near the base of the fern I saw a tiny young anole.  He was only a few inches long!

Look at his teeny head!  So cute.

I've let the spearmint grow wild in the front beds, so we had lots of buzzing insects on the flowers.

A beautyberry bush is sprouting right in the middle of our front azaleas.  I was going to root it out, but Todd loves beautyberries and volunteered to move it in the fall.  So right now it remains a bit of a bully in its spot.  The flowers are gone and the berries are ripening.  Soon we'll have great color here!

My most exciting discovery occurred just a few feet away.  Now, we have a LOT of hawks around here, and I've identified several.

However, I've heard one call that's been driving me crazy.  It's not the traditional hawk scream/screech that everyone knows.  It's more of a prolonged series of whistles.  Worse, I haven't been able to see the hawk making the call, so it's been nearly impossible to make an identification.  Today I was taking pictures in the front bed and heard the call...almost directly overhead!

I had my macro lens and not the zoom, so I wasn't able to get a good close shot.  But I was able to quickly identify him as a common red-tailed hawk.  I couldn't see the red tail feathers from this angle, but he's got a slightly reddish chest and the other markings help with identification.

But how to explain the call?  None of the traditional bird call sites had this particular call associated with a red-tailed hawk.  I checked website after website and learned that what I was probably hearing was either a courtship or territorial challenge call.  THIS is as close as I've been able to get to the whistles that we hear all day, every day.  I'm SO glad to solve this little mystery.  It's been driving me crazy for weeks!

Even with the recent rain, it's heating up here again.  We're expected to reach 102 degrees by the weekend!  We've been watering and watering the hostas and ferns, who are unused to such glaring direct sun and heat, but they're slowly crisping up all over.

 I just hope they hold on until things cool off a little.

I haven't had time to do much craft work, but I did dig a really cute fair isle baby cardigan out of the .25 bin at Salvation Army.  

 This is an inexpensive inspiration for future projects.  I also found a really cute polka dotted A-line skirt.  It's several sizes too big, but I'm going to try to cut it down and sew it into the right size.  It was only a dollar, so great practice for me.  I am very partial to this dark mustard color.

Hopefully I'll have time in the next few days to get more done.  Have a great week!

1 comment:

  1. This cake looks delicious. Knitting and cakes - two passions of mine :D