Archive for August, 2007

Hooray for (some) Parasites

August 29, 2007

Went out to harvest an armload of tomatoes today and found this Hornworm on one of the plants. I took the branch off along with the critter and took it to the back porch where Susan photographed it. It was about 2 to 3 inches long and had all those strange looking white things all over it. Once I figured out it was a Tomato Hornworm – notice the red horn-shaped appendage on the right end – I was glad I had removed it. I then found out that the white things are small cocoons of a parasitic wasp munched on the insides of the caterpillar and they will soon be emerging as wasps where they will go out and start the reproduction and munching cycle over again on more caterpillars – yumm and yea! I am beginning to appreciate certain parasitic relationships that do not directly involve me as the victim.

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Hummmmmmmmmm

August 28, 2007

We have been trying all summer to get pictures of these hummingbirds. They are tiny, quick, and wary. Every time we tried to get the camera in position they would take off. This gal seemed to be bent on getting some sugar water and was fairly tolerant of the camera. Hopefully we will get the male sometime soon.

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Yumm! Breakfast

August 17, 2007

While Susan was standing at the kitchen sink today, she was enjoying the view. Squirrels were starting their morning visits, finches and titmouses were in the feeders, cardinals were getting active, and the mourning doves were congregating around the bird bath. SWOOSH! WHAM! A hawk swooped in and took one of the doves. Nothing left but a few feathers. Now I know where all the feathers around the bird bath have been coming from lately.

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

August 13, 2007

Anybody that knows me knows how badly I am addicted to peanut butter. Cooking Light magazine recently ran a recipe for Frozen Peanut Butter Pie and I kept obsessing about it until Susan made it yesterday. Boy, was it good. Hope we have another one soon. We ran into a problem with a couple of the ingredients. Our local chain of grocery stores (name starts with K) seem to think that if the rednecks don’t want it (low budget beer, soft drinks, hamburger, hot dogs, potato chips, more low budget beer) then they don’t need to sell it. Usually we have to plan ahead and go to a quality store like Giant Eagle in Morgantown (180 mile drive) to get the specialty items. The local K—– store did not have the chocolate graham cracker crumbs. Susan used regular graham cracker crumbs and added some chocolate. The local K—– store also recently quit carrying reduced fat chunky peanut butter even though the item was always low in supply because people were buying it. Did I tell you this complete chain of stores is managed by Morons? We used reduced fat creamy peanut butter instead. This recipe comes with my Stamp of Approval!

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A Trip to Phipps Conservatory

August 6, 2007

Treah bought tickets to Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, PA for Susan’s birthday. I am glad we finally had time to go. The combinations of botanicals and Chihuly glass made for a brilliant display.

This boat load of glass balls was one of my favorites

A room full of colorful bowl-shaped pieces (Treah would like to have one for serving Chili!) was fascinating

We spent some time in the Stove Room watching the butterflies. If you look closely at this picture you will see the butterfly’s long tongue probing the flower.

I am always fascinated by fiddleheads!

It seems that in a place with rooms full of glass these guys should NOT be horsing around.

Two of my three favorite women (Mom wasn’t there), Susan and Treah, at the end of a nice day.