Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dogwood Canyon Summer 2013

Look at that!Cohesion and adhesionBecause I can...May is gone...Falls...Splish-splash.
Still...Top of Thunderfalls...Seven Stump SpringGetting in your spine...The Damsels are dancing...Against the current
Three trunksWar of the RosesTee-peeTee-peeTee-peeTee-pee
Ledger at Glory HoleAt Glory HoleGlory HoleLooking down into Glory HoleIMG_9896Cave illumed

Dogwood Canyon Summer 2013, a set on Flickr.

Took a couple days to get out of town and go to the Ozarks. Saturday went hiking at Dogwood Canyon. This is a private park but worth a day. Best to come in the middle of the week when it isn't as crowded as it was this Saturday. You can rent a bike, take a tram ride or even rent a Segway. But the park is best seen on foot. The main trail is paved but there is one side trail that is not. But I know from past experience the flies can be really bad there so I stuck to the main spite of the Segway riders.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Prickly lettuce-Lactuca serriola

Not one of my favorite plants. Very invasive in the garden and unpleasant to handle without gloves. Plus the flowers are small and pale yellow, seemingly an after thought. But even the most noxious weed has some redeeming features...OK maybe not musk thistle-but seen in the right light even this plant does. Also it turns out-if WIkipedea can be trusted that this plant is the closest relative of cultivated lettuce.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Old Hickory

Kansas isn't known for forests but Eastern and Southeast Kansas has some nice stands of Eastern deciduous forest mixed in with the prairie, and being from the East I can feel right at home. Yesterday I went Kill Creek Park about 15 miles from my home. This area has a few stands of nice hardwoods including lots of shagbark hickory. I am a sucker for interesting tree bark-probably stemming from fourth grade when I got into serious trouble when I was painting part of the dread class mural. My job was to paint the tree trunks. What was my transgression? Simple I did not use the generic brown tempera paint but used a mixture of colors reflecting what I saw when I looked at trees. Fortunately there were some lichen encrusted trunks right outside the classroom so I was able to win my case.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

They're here!

What's better than the return of the swallows to Capistrano?  Of course! the first black swallowtail larva of the year in my garden.

This one is on Rue rather than dill or fennel.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


gets the prey into the nest...

Friday, June 14, 2013


Enchanted by pdecell
Enchanted, a photo by pdecell on Flickr.
Sometimes I like to play with the color RGB color curves. Often they don't come out but this one started out as a pretty ordinary picture and with the right tweaking a got some really surprising effects.


From my garden, these cacti over winter nicely outdoors in Kansas.  The plant is beyond prickly- so hard to handle- but the flowers!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Neglected Land

I've badly neglected my land in Second Life so I have been spending a few days doing creating this little forest lane. Second Life runs on Windows 8 and I use a Logitech touch pad in lieu of a mouse. This is my region on the Second Life mainland, Carmine.  In Second Life I am Simone Gateaux.

If you do Second Life come visit at:

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Skeletonizing larvae

Lots of insects make their living at least part of the time by skeletonizing leaves-that is,eating the choice lower epidermis and mesophyll layer of tissue but leaving the tougher leave veins. Today at Clinton Lake I noticed of skeletonized oak leaves. And it didn't take long to find the culprits hard at work.

These are very young saw fly larvae, probably scarlet oak sawfly larvae. I was thinking that these were real young but it looks like the mature sawfly is pretty small. Here's a link: