Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Aussie, Bella and some weevils

This little darling is a cocklebur weevil. He takes down cockleburs and he takes down.....ragweed!!!! When I found that out, I wanted to tell him to go collect his entire family and I would drive them to paradise...which would be my cocklebur/ragweed infested land in Kansas. But dang, he flew off right after I took this picture and I haven't see him or any bug like him since.

But I drove out to Kansas today anyway even though once again the sky was overcast and it was thickly humid and it was probably going to rain again soon. Again! Every day starts the same and as it progresses the weather starts to feel more and more oppressive. Funny thing though, every time I drive out to Kansas, I watch the sun sometimes peek through the clouds in the distance and by the time I get to my land 45 minutes later, it's all sunshine-y. I asked Sarah about that once. Why is the sun always out in Kansas when I drive out there? Sarah says it's because I'm supposed to live there.

I turned off the highway and Aussie was waiting at the end of her driveway for something and it turned out to me. This was the driveway to the house where she is supposed to live, the house behind the one that is across from my land. It was so nice to see that dog again...the dog with the double set of cocklebur earrings.

That mullein I photographed a couple weeks ago is really getting tall...or Aussie has shrunk to the size of a mouse. Regardless, we set off to discover something.

Aussie had to wait a couple minutes for me to get down to the creek because it was hard to navigate through the ragweed at even a fraction of her pace. The ragweed was getting tall but at least it wasn't taller than me yet (that will probably happen two weeks from now).

Aussie's such a good girl. She waited for me to catch up... and then she was off.

For all the rain that's been happening around here, the creek was surprisingly low. It was pretty easy to walk across and then try to catch up with the dogs.

Dogs? Yes, Bella had finally joined up with us. Here she is at full attention.

And here she is again... a black smudge in the distance.

Aussie and I have no idea what goes through that dog's head but when she's focused, Bella still doesn't "get it" until 15 minutes after everyone has moved on to something else.

I was told that the previous previous owner of this land, the one who was going to develop all this acreage until he found out how much it cost to run a road through it, used to mow and mow and mow this particular area. He took a lot of pride in it. When the grass isn't that high in early spring, it is very pretty. But since I'm a slob and am still totally overwhelmed with what kind of lawn equipment I need, I'm getting used to the even quality and color of all that growing grass...even if it is 30 inches tall.

I don't know if you have figured this out yet but there is a definite pattern to all of my exploring. First thing is get to the creek, stand on the rock, look south and then decide if walking south in the creek could be dangerous. I always decide it is. Aussie is always bewildered as to why she has to turn around.

I always imagine lots of snakes and snapping turtles so I stay out of the part of the creek with the really steep banks. Last time Bucky and Bacon were out there, Burgess found a snapper. I couldn't get a good picture of it so Burgess found a way to get down into the drainage ditch by the road and take this picture. This is the first snapper I have ever seen. I know everyone else sees these guys on the road all the time but I haven't. Since he is at the bottom of a drainage ditch, I know I am going to stay out of his way because I physically cannot get down there. I'm also going to pretend I never saw him.

Once the dogs and I cross the creek and see what's up in the meadow we circle back to where we the garage where the "treatmobile" is parked.

Next to the garage, the first jewelweed flowers are starting to bloom.

I think you can tell I got a little carried away last year playing with the seed capsules that explosively twist open when you touch them. Just about everything you see that is green there is jewelweed.

On the other side of the driveway on the stream bank is a new flower in bloom.

Campanula americana. There is a little metallic green sweat bee busy on that flower just like the one that is busy on the "Busy Lizzie" growing across from it.

The dogs and I then walk up a hill to the area where the giant satellite dish used to be. If we continued south we would run into the miniature horses but today we didn't make it that far.

The Black-eyed Susans were still in bloom...also noticed by this little black weevil.

And here he is again giving me a snouty look from behind the petals.

It's back down the hill...if we can get Bella to roll downhill or something...

And then it's time to drink lots of water in the creek...if you're Aussie.

We could have explored other parts but it just got to be so darn hot...especially when the sun would find us. I needed to find air conditioning fast so we called it a day after Aussie and Bella had another bath. I then got escorted back to the highway by Aussie and Bella. Aussie led the way and had no problem running 30 mph. Bella's method of escorting is to chase the car from behind. Way behind. Way, way behind. There was a black blur in my rear view mirror and since she's Bella, she should feel proud for doing such an excellent job of running forward.


Country Girl said...

Maybe you are supposed to live in Kansas.

My father's family was from Kansas. I've never even been there. But it looks beautiful from here.

Maureen said...


snakey said...

snapping turtle! eeeep! they freak me out.

Toon said...

Congrats on your first snapper encounter. I love those guys.

Leenie said...

That was a really fun "explore!" Thanks for taking us along. The change in altitude and latitude makes a big difference in the summer. We are finally recovering from unusually cool temps. Next week is supposed to be wonderful...I hope.

Also fun to follow your escorts through the grass and the weeds to see those amazing bugs and beetles. Nice photos of such beauty--even if some of them are pests to people. Always look forward to your posts. Think you are wise not to jump into managing that wild piece of property. Probably needs little taming, just enough to make a corner livable. Cheers!

Maria said...

Kate-Yep. And it will happen one of these days.... :-)

Maureen-I know!!! I miss that dog when I don't see her for a long time. I think the feeling is mutual because I swear she was waiting for me on that side street when I was coming in. And when I got escorted to the highway, it was right up to the highway. I'm going to leave via another route next time which hopefully will tire her out because she almost chased me down the highway too. That dog!

Catherine Irene-Weren't you supposed to be eating cake when you left that comment?????

Russ-I'm sticking with the vegetarian turts...for now.

Leenie-Although I approach this blog thing primarily as my on-line diary so I don't totally forget everything I do or think, sometimes I think of what people reading this blog must think. "Oh there she goes again with that same creek and doing the exact same thing. Oy." Thanks for the nice comment. Much appreciated. :-)

Mental P Mama said...

Such a paradise. Except for that snapper. Give him a wide berth!

Rural Rambler said...

Gosh Maria very pretty! It just keeps getting better and better. Lots to look at today :) The creek, ya know I love it. I just never really thought about Kansas as being that beautiful until you started posting pictures of your land.

Maria said...

Mental-An extra wide berth, definitely.

Pix-Funny, I think my land looks just like yours...just not as civilized. :-)