Yesterday was the hottest day this summer. The temps went to 95. A day for just lazing around. What was that knock at the door? It was the crew that the Byron power plant sent out to clear my woods of debris. I mentioned the heat and asked if they had enough cold water to drink.....forgetting that these people are used to working outdoors in all weather. I was assured that they did and after telling them to come up to the house if they needed ice or anything I would be home. The machine arrived and soon I could hear chopping and thrashing about behind the tall trees. The machine went back and forth...chopping everything in sight. The work stopped in about 2 hrs. They came up to get me and I went back and looked at what they had done. The stumps and broken branches plus our brush piles are gone and instead... a wide swath of big wood chips.
They also took down our two over 30 foot evergreens that had died.... due to bark beetles. When these trees started looking like they were going to die...we had all the trees sprayed for insects.One of the workers explained that many trees had died due to the drought last year and the beetles then attacked the weakened trees. I went back this morning and sat on the bench, after watering my new lilac, and thought about the wild life that maybe had nests in the brush...I'm just glad that they didn't come earlier, when the birds and other creatures were sure to be nesting.
We had waited all summer for this work to be done and now we will have a better view this winter and not have to look at the mess that was left last fall. A few wildflowers are still in the woods. I hope to have more next year after fall seeding.
While I was sitting there...this pretty butterfly like the one pictured... came to visit. Do you think that it knows how well it matches the flowers:) I've noticed many more bees and butterflies this year. No monarchs yet, but many smaller ones. The white ones, that I call cabbage butterflies, are always abundant. Russian Sage is perhaps the best attraction in my garden for bees. I don't know much about bees, but the Prairie Preserve just up the road raises bees. Maybe these are some of their's. I wish I knew more about them.
The mums are starting to open in Mary's Garden. The above picture is what they are supposed to look like, but I was sent something different...a bronze rust color. The picture shows some that are in the front of the house.Last week a big shipment of mums came to our little grocery in town. It looks so pretty now, with mums of all colors just waiting for people to buy them.
I have split pea soup cooking on the stove. You might think yuck...hot soup on a hot day like this..We love soup anytime and after having some pea soup at a restaurant a couple of weeks ago...I decided to make a batch. It's probably my favorite soup and Joe loves it too. Later I'm going to make some bran muffins in my toaster oven, so I don't heat up the house with the regular oven. I have a big toaster- convection oven and it really comes in handy for baking on hot days. I can get a 6 muffin pan in it and I probably will only make 12 and leave the rest of the batter in the fridge for later on.
We've had a couple of scruffy looking cardinals visiting this morning. It must be molting season for them. The look kind of messy right now...not the sleek beautiful birds we usually see. A nuthatch and some chickadees were taking sunflower seeds back and forth to the woods. My little chipmunk friend has made several stops at the feeder too. I'm so glad he has survived the season. We haven't seen a snake this year...yet! Our neighbors had one in their family room just a couple of weeks ago. The sliding glass doors had been left open for just a few minutes and Mr. Snake crawled in.
Well, I guess I had better go and tend my soup. I hope to just relax a bit today while it is hot. Thinking about those poor outdoor workers who deal with all kinds of weather. I for one am very thankful for them and appreciate their good work.