Sunday, July 22, 2012

Water Meadows

What a summer! Extreme temperatures, topped by medical maladies for both Dick and I, have made this a not-so-fun year. From day to day, we don't know if we'll be able to get up and move around without discomfort and downright excruciating hip pain, so that we've both had to (gasp!) cancel some of our volunteer activities. Needless to say, we are both incredibly frustrated by the whole thing. Today, however, we were up to a short birding excursion at Hays Kennedy Park in nearby Prospect, KY.

The park has a long shallow pool of water which is habitat for dragonflies and shorebirds of different sorts. We were surprised to find any water in it at all today, given the drought and heat this summer. But the mudflats were being explored by noisy Killdeer. As anyone walked along the edge, they would call out ki-de, ki-de, ki-de, and fly off.... around a few times, then settle back on the mud.

I've always admitted to difficulty identifying different shore birds, other than Killdeer. We saw some that were much smaller than the Killdeer, and they seem to have black bills and legs, just like the Sanderlings we see at the beach. Do we have Sanderlings in Kentucky, or are these some other kind of small shorebird?

Raptor Rehab has been releasing many of the birds that came in as chicks in the last few months, and today, we released a young Peregrine Falcon at Hays Kennedy Park, which was the real reason we went out in the middle of the hot afternoon. This young bird has already been banded, and a group of volunteers and raptor lovers attended this wonderful occasion.

These releases are the reason we volunteer in the first place!

Our son is getting married next month, so Dick decided this would be a good time to have our hardwood floors refinished. So in the midst of medical problems, he was cleaning out all the display cabinets. I wasn't really convinced it had to be done, until I saw the difference between exposed flooring and that under the carpet. Yeah, this is a good idea, but we haven't emptied these rooms since we moved in almost 34 years ago!

Friday, July 06, 2012

It's Too DARN HOT!!

Bee Balm
It's TOO DARN HOT! (Sounds like a good song title, doesn't it?) This 100+ degree weather is too much for me. Our Kentucky native flowers in the garden are tough though, and they are at the peak of their blooming season. We don't see many honey bees, but bee balm is aptly named. The bumblebees love it as they buzz from blossom to blossom.

Black-eyed Susan
I don't remember it getting so hot when I was a kid, but of course, back then, I didn't really care. No Internet or weather channel to tell me how hot it was, let alone the heat index of how hot it feels! I spent lots of time down over the side of the hill where we lived playing in the shade and catching poison ivy!

Grey-headed Coneflower
When I came home, we spent the evenings sitting on the driveway visiting with the other neighbors who didn't have air conditioning. No big deal, no one in our neighborhood had it. Mom used to make home-made orange sherbet in ice cube trays. YUM! I could walk to our town's swimming pool, and we didn't know about sun and skin cancer - we just had fun all afternoon, sitting on the concrete playing cards!

 I don't really have much to say while I wait for Toyota to finish the 60,000 checkup on my Prius, so I'll just share the beautiful flowers in our garden...

Rattlesnake Master
...Stay in the shade!

Purple Coneflower