Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Few Moths Who Live at Our Place

Watching the wildlife return to our 3.5 acres as we plant natives, leave downed leaves in plant beds and stop mowing different areas is seriously mind-boggling. This process is so fundamentally simple and so rich in its rewards. Here's a few adult moths we admired and observed here this past week.

Lunate Zale on bird house:
(larval host plants: trees and woody plants, including apple, cherry, oak, plum and willow; all these grow here)

Many-Lined Carpet (& Harvestman) on firewood:
(larval host plant: willow herb; stopping mowing brought willow herb back on its own)

Pearly Wood-Nymph on Cup Plant:
(larval host plants: evening primrose, grape, hibiscus, Virginia creeper; all these except hibiscus grow here)

Mottled Grass-Veneer on Wild Bergamot:
(larval host plants: grasses; definitely have these growing here)

Lettered Fan-Foot on front window just this morning:
(larval host plants: dead leaves of deciduous trees; in all our plant beds and returning woodlands)

It is so exciting to get up each morning, grab a cup of coffee and head out the door to see who else calls this land home!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Making a Courtyard

Our creative inspirations often arise out of something else we want to do. In this case, it's the desire to build an aviary off of our chicken coop so that meant the cool, old, salvaged fence around the coop needed to go elsewhere.

We chose our front yard for this special fence so we can make a courtyard for privacy and because we love secret nooks - who doesn't?! We chose some rough cut boards for our end caps around our porch, which we scored at an auction a couple of years ago.

This old path is now shut down and there is already a great patch of Common Milkweed filling in the gap. With this path shut down, our courtyard will actually feel "courtyardy" very soon. The ability for plants to populate bare soil in one season is seriously remarkable.

Here's a view North of the fence, which will also help keep our path open to walking and not just the flopping of plants after a heavy wind or rain. (We really, really adore the wildness of these plants so it's just about making them fit in a way that works for them and us.)

Steve's super charming gate made the move from the coop too.

We love the feel of this fence here already and the chickens think it's cool as well. 😍

Under the canoe is their favorite dust bathing area; You can spy Eby if you look closely.

View of our courtyard from the South. In a months time these plants will be in bloom and huge and we are so excited!

Our inside plants are already outside and are loving the rainwater, fresh air and sunshine; they said enough with the indoors.

The indoor plants - outside, and the chickens pecking about and exploring makes this courtyard feel charming already.

Take a tour via You Tube here.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Forest Immersion at Southern Ohio's Splendid Tar Hollow State Forest

By Steve:

We hiked at Tar Hollow State Park in hilly southern Ohio recently and were treated to not only some great migrating warbler sightings but to some darn fine forest scenery. Our souls thrive on forest-immersion! Get into the woods if you can. If not, you can use our pics for cyber forest immersion right now:

Blue skies, hills and trees - that's art!

One of our favorite orchids: Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens): 

Christmas fern (top) and Maiden-hair fern:

Towering Tulip Poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera):

Happy Hikers:

We named these trees the "hall of giants." Mainly White Oak (Quercus alba):

This one catches the eye! Fire Pink (Silene virginica):

Enjoy your own forest (or prairie, or wetland, etc.) immersion soon. 😊