It’s Turkey Prime Time

It’s been Turkey Prime Time for a month or so now with our local bird, Tommy, putting on quite a show. Unfortunately for Tommy there aren’t any hens watching his show. Too bad. He’s quite a handsome Tom! The neighbors tell me they see them roosting a few houses away from here in the oak trees. Maybe he’s found a friend or two there.

OMG! Crocuses!!!

The first crocuses of the year have poked their heads out of the frozen tundra.

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The temps look good for the coming week and showers are in the forecast. I’d like to declare, “Spring, Spring, Spring is here!!!” but it’s Wisconsin …. I’m hopeful but realistic.

Frosted Cardinal

This cardinal – he apparently noticed me trying to take a picture of him – seems a little frosted.

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A golden glow at Vilas Park

Sunday just before sunset we decided to head out for a walk and some picture taking if anything happened to look interesting. After stopping by Wingra Park in Madison and finding no ducks to feed we decided to head to Vilas Park where one can almost always find a few near the lake shore. Walking south toward Lake Wingra the path has a small bridge over some water and if you look to the left as you’re crossing you can see the the west side of Vilas Zoo. Just before 6:00 p.m. the scene was just as pretty as a picture.

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Flying blue pigs

When I hear the phrase “flying pigs” these guys — blue jays — come to mind. They are voracious peanut eaters and not too shy about stuffing two or three at a time down their gullets. It’s sort of like the bird version of kids and chocolate. It’s fun to watch these beautiful, talkative birds. I wish the photos weren’t quite so soft. The light was kind of low that morning and these guys were moving fast trying to carry away as many peanuts as they could before the squirrels got there.

Fall is (has been) in the air and Limburger cheese

Fall has been in the air for a couple of weeks now. The locust trees have been turning yellow and raining down their leaves and now the maples are getting quite a bit of color. We got out of town Saturday for a little while and on the way back home we went through Monroe, Wis. It’s a nice small town and has an interesting and attractive town square. One place you have to stop, if you’re in that area, is Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern. What a combination, beer and cheese. It’s pure Sconnie! Baumgartner’s has to be one of the few places where you can still get a Limburger and red onion on rye sandwich. By the way, it comes with a safety warning: “Do not eat this with your nose!” The Lady of Ladybird Lane said it was outstanding and I can attest to that; we didn’t kiss until she got home and brushed her teeth and gargled. Whew!

The only cheese plant producing Limburger in the U.S., Chalet Cheese Co-op, is located a little ways North of Monroe. HuffPo had a nice little article about the Limburger, Chalet and Monroe if you’d like to know more. The cheesemakers of Green County say there are a dozen plants making over 50 different varieties of cheese in the county. And, when you go to a cheese store there you’ll find lots of other varieties as well. Anyway, back to our lunch and fall. I had a Reuben, as you can tell from the picture. I’m not quite as daring my mate. Around the courthouse the trees were just beginning to get some color. It was a pretty scene.

Blackberry leaves

I really enjoy watching our blackberry plants grow. Over the course of the summer here at Ladybird Lane I’d say a blackberry cane grows at least 25 feet. The plant grows so fast you can practically see the canes get longer. And, the leaves are beautiful. We had a pretty heavy dew a few days ago and that gave me a chance to take the pictures.

Tommy’s calling card

Tommy, the wild turkey who showed up a few weeks ago here at Ladybird Lane, left his calling card while we were away visiting family in Romania. Tommy had dug himself a dust pit and seems to think the north side of the house is a pretty good place to stay cool during the summer heat.

We told friends and family about Tommy and everybody advised us on how to catch a “curcan s─âlbatic” and turn him into a good meal. I told them that turkeys were government property and I would need a license to do that. Most were pretty amused by the idea of having to get a license for anything and especially just to take a wild government turkey.

Turkey feathers are really pretty. The large one is big enough to make a nice writing quill. The smaller ones have a lot of very soft down at the quill end. I guess that’s how Tommy keeps warm in the winter.

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How many wings?

A couple of rather odd looking dragonflies were flying around the backyard here at Ladybird Lane a few days ago. It was nice and warm and they were taking advantage of it. Anyway, I got to looking and these dragonflies have broad, flat abdomens and at first when looking at the photographs I thought I saw eight wings! Then I realized four of those “wings” were just shadows.

Fabulous spirea and some tiny visitors

The spirea is blooming like crazy this week and looks just fabulous. Spirea has to be one of the most spectacular blooming shrubs. Right? Anyway, I took a few shots and after looking them over guess what I found creeping around in the flowers. Yep, some new little friends enjoying a pollen feast. Spirea flowers are not very big and these fellas are even smaller. What is that insect’s name? Nature is an amazing thing!

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