The elements often naturally arrange themselves in a pleasing composition,
and the sun creates constrast.
The theme of this cloudy day was green. Very little bloomed.
We’re between the early bloomers and the next wave of seasonal color.
The orange, though small, made a bold statement.
The cedar apple rust grew on a young cedar tree. I’ve known it’s called cedar apple rust; I just never knew why (or even thought about it) until researching for this blog.
Cedar apple rust is a fungal disease on apple trees. Cedar apple rust requires apple trees too to complete its life cycle.The brown galls overwinter on the cedar trees. During moist weather in the spring, the galls produce jelly-like horns. The rest of the information on the galls’ life cycle scrambles my artistic brain.
I enjoyed the aesthetic qualities of this find.
If I could take this tree trunk home, I would “plant” it in a prominent place in my yard.
Besides its interesting appearance, it would probably attract wildlife.
Wildlife could include birds, mammals and/or insects. They could use it for protection from the weather or predators, a place to den, a place to raise young?
It would probably have even more uses as the wood decayed.
Buffy and I are almost through hiking on Eagle Mountain for a while. Turkey season begins on April 9th, and it’s a favorite place for turkey hunters. There’s only water in the creek when it rains, so water will become scarce. Then there’s the healthy rattlesnake population. Buffy doesn’t know to watch out for them. I’m basically chicken when it comes to them.
My son, Davis, drove up on the mountain last spring near the first of turkey season. He timed his trip (not intentionally) to hit it just right to see snakes crossing the road. He saw 7. While stopped, one kept striking his truck tire. I drove up there after he told me all this. I figured I’d be safe in the truck. The snakes had gotten where they were going, and I didn’t see a one.
Anyway, on this trip, I just moseyed along taking pictures of this and that. This rock has both red and yellow ochre, a by-product of the iron in the sandstone.
For some reason, I really liked conglomerate rocks (rocks in rocks). The first rocks had to become rocks, and then they ended up on other rocks.
Rocks offer endless designs, sizes and shapes.
The raised pattern in this one is from the iron in the sandstone. It can be quite dramatic at times.
And one of my favorites — petrified wood. The brownish-yellow streakish lines is the petrified wood.
And another one too.
This iron “container” was filled in with ochre.
Ochre will rub off on your finger. I’ve read that Native Americans would grind the ochre, mix it with animal fat and then paint a design on a rock. Over time the iron would leach into the stone and the picture remain. Pictographs are drawings or a painting. Petroglyph images are carved. One site on our Shawnee National Forest has one such pictograph, called “buffalo on the rock.” Vandalism has taken its toll on the buffalo. I didn’t mean to get into that.
As for the rocks, I could walk this creek and never cease to be amazed by their variaties.
Jaxson was home today for Easter break and came to my house while my son worked on a problem in our yard.
He helped Davis by making boy “engine” noises. Then he and I went on a nature hike around the backyard so Davis could get the work done.
I don’t remember what we were looking for. After hearing strange movement, I located a garter snake. It was my first snake of the year.
What can I say!
The snails were taking advantage of the sun’s warmth in the water garden.
We found lots of roly polys, slugs, and ants under rocks we turned over.
We came in the house to look at the pictures I’d taken. He made it to the computer chair, “Fox!”
The card wasn’t in my camera. The fox looked around. We couldn’t move, even though it was in the back back of the yard. I managed to snap 2 pictures before it trotted out of the yard.
The birthday boy stayed excited for quite a while after that.
Buffy and I were on our way back to the truck. The sun occasionally peeked through the thin clouds. As usual, the running, bubbling, rolling water caught my attention. I started taking pictures. The sun was opposite me. I didn’t change any of the camera’s settings.
And then, and then something took over my camera, and these are some of the resulting pictures.
I tried to have the sun reflecting on the water.
Occasionally I succeeded. I have no explanation for the white star pulling the white of the light out behind it
The sun wasn’t as bright in this one as I expected.
Reflections on and around rocks took on interesting shapes.
Many reflections turned into radiating stars or brilliant dots.
The sun reflects in the lower right with a ring of deep red around it.
Blue, for some reason, rims these reflections and
orange rims mainly the reflections on the left. I wondered what the deciding factor was that created either the blue or orange rims.
And, yes, whoever was using the camera, also got orbs in several pictures.
This wasn’t the first time my camera took over with the picture effects. I can’t wait to see the results the next time it happens.
That person in blue sitting HIGH on a roadcut is me in Kansas in October 2003.
Why, you ask, was I sitting way up there? There was a good reason, otherwise, I for sure wouldn’t risk bodily harm.
My oldest son was in the Army and stationed at Fort Riley. He did extensive fossil hunting while out there. He invited me and my husband out so I could have some of the fun too. My husband wasn’t quite as interested in fossils and did other things.
Keith carefully got me down to our intended destination on the shale road cut. Then he realized he’d forgotten his pick and went on down the hill, as only a coordinated person could (and that a mother couldn’t watch).
I was afraid to breathe and kept one heel dug in. If I started sliding, there’d be no stopping until I reached the bottom.
Look close and you will now see
something that shouldn’t be.
Impressed? I was. This is petrified driftwood, not petrified wood, but petrified driftwood! Keith found it when driving by one day. He saw something dark sticking out with an oxidized rusty stain coming down from it. He climbed up and found the petrified wood.
This area was under water during the Permian Age 229-251 million years ago. A log/tree floated 400-500 miles out into the sea, sank and became petrified … instead of rotting. The trees at that time were still deciduous, like the tree ferns, and had softer wood that shouldn’t have held together to float that far. It had to then have been buried then by some natural event for it to have petrified.
So, that makes this petrified wood an unique preservation.
These next 3 pictures are from my fossil collection.
They contain a lot of iron and are heavy for their size. The black with crystals sparkles more than shows in the picture.
This is my biggest piece and measures almost 7 inches tall.
I will occasionally post other blogs with fossils from that trip, including ones from the Niobrara Chalk.
I don’t remember where I got the idea for a reflexology stone path. I did yoga at that time too. The 2 seemed to go together.
The first part I put in was the foreground loop, and it measures 14 feet long and 9 wide. Landscaping cloth went down first and then the edging of old bricks my mother gave me. Last was spreading the medium river gravel that’s dredged from the Ohio here in southern Illinois.
It just didn’t have the design that fitted calling it a meander. The next addition went from the top of the center curve and made the loop to the left. It still wasn’t a “meander” until I added the side path on the right. Large river gravel went on the outside of the bricks to help hold them in place. What’s not in the picture in the foreground is a sitting area covered with flat rocks from the creek on my rural property. They cover the area between the stone path and the catalpa tree in a triangle of about 12′ wide by 9 deep.
The bowl on the left is a solar water pump with special rocks in it. The plantings around it have changed over the 7 years I’ve had the meander. Seventeen sedum plants border the upper edge now. Creek stones fill in the sides. Every now and then I build one or more cairns for added interest. I have no shortage of rocks in my yard.
I found out at the same time I put the path in that I had structural problems with my feet. The path helped them (along with orthodics too). I had to wear socks until my feet got toughened up. I won’t go into the reflexology benefits.
I go out in evening, sit for a while in a lawn chair under the tree to relax. Then I slowly walk the path in which ever way I choose. I always take time to sit afterwards, massage my feet and watch the evening progress. It’s really beautiful to walk it in the light of a full moon too.
I’m posting this early in the season to allow time for anyone interested to plan and make such a path before the growing season gets here.
If I had to run into a snake, I’d prefer this snow snake draped over a tree branch.
Our planned snow hike turned out to be in a mixture of drizzle and slush falling from the trees. The temperature rose earlier this morning than I expected.
Buffy and I had a nice hike anyway. Water sang a happy tune as it tumbled along the creek. We didn’t see another human. And I saw my first snake of the year.
I couldn’t stay inside one night last week after many hours of rain, sleet and an ice storm. The temperature had warmed enough that a rain/sleet mix fell when I went out.
I had to stay on the front porch because of the ice.
The trees limited my areas for photographing orbs. All the tiny “sparks” were rain, and there are 3 orbs on the left. The orbs didn’t show until after the pictures were taken.
I went through the house to the side door. There’s no awning there. All I could do was stick my hand out under the corner of the screen where the cats use to go outside. I held my left hand over the camera to keep it dry.
The side door gave me 2 angles for taking pictures.
The orb near the orange outside light was moving, leaving a trail behind it. This shows it’s not rain, because it was going upward, not down. I have no explanation for the 3 tiny, side-by-side what looks like tiny moving orbs (to the right and up some from the moving orb). I found them in 2 of the 56 pictures I took.
The two large dim orbs might’ve been from a different kind of spirit, or maybe emanated this way for a reason. Small orbs appeared in pairs in some of these pictures. They do this often, and I assume it’s to let me be sure they’re not rain drops catching the camera’s flash.
One thing about taking orb pictures is surprise of what’s in the picture after it’s taken. A picture can be full of orbs, and the next one of the same area taken immediately after usually has none or very few.
Notice how many paired orbs are in this picture.
By this time I was getting cold. I hadn’t exactly dressed right for all this fun.
My last pictures were of our security light, and the orbs that came to be in the pictures. I’ve learned how to take orb pictures during the day when it’s sunny and with thin clouds. These 2 green orbs are in so many of my daytime pictures.
I decided to go on to bed, and let the orbs do what they came here to do.
Orbs are said to be emanations (to come from a source) of Spirit Beings.