Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day at Horicon Marsh

Today Richard Bonomo went along with Travalon and me to Horicon Marsh. First we went to the part with the white-headed goose, and we saw this adorable killdeer right where it was supposed to be:

We also saw this beautiful great blue heron in the area by the Visitors Center where the geese usually hang out:

No sign of the white-headed goose, but further down the path we did see a number of goose families with teenage goslings:

And this much larger family with younger goslings:

We also saw this beautiful male wood duck and his plainer mate:

Then we went to the hill from which you can see a lot of the marsh, and we saw four pelicans swimming, and then a fifth one joined them.

Travalon shot some footage of the pelicans bobbing their heads in the water, and I made it into a video with Compay Segundo singing "Saludo Compay."

We also saw a deer, but Travalon was too busy filming the pelicans to get a picture of it, and Rich and I were too busy gazing at it through our binoculars to think of it ourselves. So you will just have to imagine what a white-tailed deer would look like near the water in Horicon Marsh.

After that, we drove to the part of the marsh with the boardwalk, and everyone was looking at this male mallard, so Travalon called him "Wonder Duck." Finally he must have gotten sick of everyone looking at him, so he flew away.

On the woodland part of the path, we saw lots of lovely pink-tinged trilliums (trillia?).

I felt bad that Travalon and I had not been able to summon a whooping crane for Rich, so I asked God to show us some kind of cool bird, and look what He showed us! A scarlet tanager!

So it was another successful birdwatching day at Horicon Marsh!

Famous Hat

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Schoenstatt Promise

This morning we had to watch the live-streamed Mass again, although apparently next week we will be able to attend in in person. The live-streamed Mass is at 11, so I had time to move some plants out onto our screened-in porch and take a long walk with my neighbor beforehand. Travalon tried to start the boat again, but the motor just will not start, so I suggested going to the antiques store here in town to cheer him up. It was so hot out that being inside of an antiques store sounded kind of refreshing. I wasn't sure I'd find a rosary at this one, but I said that if there was one, I would have to go pray it at the Schoenstatt Shrine, since it is so close to the antiques store. I did find a lavender plastic one for $1.50 (and Travalon found a Road Runner car), so we went to the Shrine to pray the Rosary. The road to the Shrine is torn up but still passable, so that was some excitement. Then we went to Cherokee Marsh for a hike, but there were so many people there that it was hard to avoid them. There were even tons of canoers and kayakers out on the water, and we rarely see people that far back in the marsh. Once the temperature had cooled down a bit, we went to the garden to plant some seeds, but I realized we had forgotten them in the car all day, so they were probably cooked. I planted them anyway while Travalon weeded, and I also planted my three calla lilies. They all came back! One blooms white, one blooms black, and one blooms flame orange. It should be gorgeous if they all bloom at the same time.

If you can stand it, here are some more photos of the beautiful flowers in our neighborhood.


 very cool tulip

 more jonquils!

The blooming crabapple trees are so pretty in our neighborhood.


First is a photo from a few days ago of this white-blooming crabapple.

This is how it looked this morning - as if there was snow around it!

And this pink crabapple looks like it has strewn rose petals along the driveway.

Here are a couple of random pictures. First is an oil spill that looks like a sea creature.

Next is a mattress that has apparently been discarded after being decorated.

Back to flowers - on our hike at Cherokee Marsh, we saw three Jacks-in-the-pulpit, one of my favorite woodland flowers.

I have flowers at home too! Eventually my phalaenopsis orchid will have eight blooms on this spray. I finally found a use for the little model sailboat we found years ago during Hippie Christmas, when all the students throw away their junk and people find all sorts of treasures. Who knew its mast would make a perfect orchid prop?

Tomorrow is supposed to be thunderstorms all day, so stay tuned for possibly more antiquing adventures, if any stores are open for the holidays.

Famous Hat

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Rainy Day Antiquing

Today I felt very lazy, so I had to make myself go to the co-op to buy little plants and then go to the garden plot to plant them. Travalon, that prince among men, weeded the plot along with me, and as I was weeding among the onions, I accidentally pulled one up. I brought it home and cut it up, and Travalon fried it along with some potatoes, so for lunch we had our first harvest from the garden! I planted kale, chard, and ground cherries, since they did well last year and Travalon will eat them, along with two eggplants. Those did nothing last year, and Travalon says he doesn't like them, but I just wanted eggplants so badly.

Then the weather got bad, so we drove to Oconomowoc (which should not be pronounced Ocka-nocka-mowoc) to go to the antique store. Travalon found a model of the Titanic, and I found a whole bunch of rosaries, including a large one for hanging on the wall that the proprietress told me was half off. I even found two good-sized glow-in-the-dark rosaries that were the same, but one was $12 and one was $35 so I'm sure you can guess which one I got. Then we drove to Waukesha (which should not be pronounced Wah-KEESH-a) to go to another antique mall. This one was huge, and I looked through the whole thing and found three Beanie Baby bears for like $2 apiece (even twenty years ago, they cost more than that), but I was having a tough time finding any rosaries. I vowed that I would buy any rosary I found, no matter how uninspiring... and then I did find a rosary that didn't do too much for me, but it wasn't horrible. Weirder still, I found a good-sized glow-in-the-dark one JUST LIKE the two in Oconomowoc. I found a woman to help me, but we couldn't find the case again because I had just remembered the number and not the color, but she did find me another, kind of odd rosary. Travalon remembered where we found the first rosary, and I would never have found the glow-in-the-dark one again, so I just got that one and the odd one and the Beanie Babies for $20 total. Travalon found a bobble-head of an old Brewer, a figurine of the Warner Brothers singing frog, and a Hamm's Bear sign, so so he was happy. Then we tried to go to two other antique shops, but they were already closed, so we went back to Oconomowoc and had pizza and ice cream. We got to sit in a restaurant for the first time since the pandemic hit, so that was kind of exciting.

Here are pictures of my new rosaries. The big rosary hanging on the back of the chair is the glow-in the dark one.

From left to right are the three I got in Baraboo last weekend, four I got in Oconomowoc today, and on the far right, the two I got in Waukesha today. The picture below is the big rosary I got in Oconomowoc for half off.

Rich asked me if it was my goal to own every rosary in the world, but in fact I left three at the store in Oconomowoc, a little wooden one and a little crystal one, besides the $35 glow-in-the-dark one. Who knows? If it rains tomorrow, we may go antiquing again.

Famous Hat

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Zoom Does the Job

Yesterday we had our best video band practice yet. Apparently our leader logged in and nobody else did (probably because last week we all tried to log in, but she forgot to start the meeting), so she called me. I had thought it was cancelled because two fiddlers said they weren't interested, and our accordion player can't do video chats. In the end, our leader played guitar and harmonica, and one fiddler and I muted ourselves and played along. I thought that worked really well! I do appreciate the opportunity to make music with others, even if they can't actually hear me - I still get the benefit of practicing.

That was on Zoom. Then we tried Zoom for our Rosary Ladies get-together, and people liked it better than Google Hangouts, it seemed. I read an article in the Washington Post today where they rated all the video conferencing apps out there, and the best all-around one in their opinion was Zoom. I downloaded Skype onto my computer because Kathbert says that is the only thing she can use, but so far we have not Skyped with her. Also, it automatically generated some long, incomprehensible username for me, so don't ask me for my Skype username. I couldn't tell you what it is.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

More Cute Crane Photos

Yesterday as my neighbor and I walked, she asked me if I believed in reincarnation. In a way that is a strange question when she knows that I am a practicing Catholic, but maybe she realizes I'm practicing because I'm not that good at it. I have probably dropped hints along the way that I am the World's Worst Catholic. So I was telling her the story of how I was a black panther and a poacher killed me, and then it occurred to me - he was an incompetent poacher! I can't say for sure, but I suspect he thought he would get more money for a rare black panther than a regular leopard, but when he tried to sell me to the head of the poaching operation, the guy told him a regular leopard is worth more because people like the spotted pelt, but nobody would pay for a black pelt. They did take my teeth and claws and were making some kind of jewelry out of them, so there's that, but it figures that I would get murdered by a guy who didn't even know what he was doing.

Today I took a furlough day from work, and we got the boat, but the motor wouldn't start. I hate when that happens. We did have fun seeing the crane family again, and then another one with two little babies. It seems like they always start with two, but usually they lose one, and one year they lost both. I think the family with the slightly older chick are newer, and one of them might be the offspring of the couple with the two tiny chicks, who have been around for years.

Have you ever seen a baby dinosaur cleaning itself? Aww!

Here it is with both parents.

And here is the family with two babies.

Sadly, one of these babies will probably not survive. But they sure are cute now!

Famous Hat

Monday, May 18, 2020

Super Cute Baby Birds

Today is another cold, wet, gloomy day, but sometimes those days seem better for animal viewings. Today when my neighbor and I were on our walks, we saw a rabbit, a deer, a cardinal, and the cranes. Sadly, they only have one baby now. Here are some photos that Travalon took after I got done with work. First we saw the baby crane (which is called a colt) out with its parents, but the baby and the mother ran into the brush while the dad stood guard on one leg.

We took a walk to the dock, and we saw this male bufflehead all by himself.

Here are some boats in our neighborhood, including my dreamboat, the big yellow catamaran at the right edge of the picture.

Then we snuck back, and Mom and Baby Crane were back out! Travalon got some excellent photos of the two of them.

There are also several families of geese in our neighborhood. We didn't see any today, but here is a video of super cute goslings that Travalon took at Horicon Marsh.

And a bonus clip: the white-headed goose at Horicon Marsh came over to say hi!

The audio was terrible, so I said to Travalon that I was going to replace it with either "Run Joe" by Louis Jordan or "Jump in the Line" by Harry Belafonte. He chose Harry Belafonte.

Famous Hat

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Antique Rosaries and a Baby Pelican

It has rained all day today, and it is still raining as I write this. We did get to go to Mass this morning; it was a "secret Mass," by invitation only, but there were about as many people there as on a regular Sunday before the pandemic. Since the weather was so lousy, I suggested we go to the antique mall in Baraboo, which had just reopened, thinking that it was big and we could get a lot of steps inside. I used to find it a bit tedious to go to antique stores with Travalon, but then at the one in Sauk I discovered they had antique rosaries. So we drove to Baraboo in the rain, which was kind of scary, and frankly I wondered what I had been thinking to suggest it. We arrived safely and looked through the whole antique mall, and I found a dealer selling three rosaries. When I asked the woman who works there if anyone else sold them, she said, "I didn't even know this dealer had them." I did spot one other rosary in another case. It's like a treasure hunt - can you find the one specific item you want? Travalon found a stuffed Hamm's bear, so he was very happy. Then we drove to Sauk to see if their antique store had reopened, and first we stopped at the dam. We saw two great blue herons and tons of white pelicans, and there was a strange bird sitting right next to one pelican. At first I wondered if it were some kind of duck, but we had brought our binoculars (but not, alas, our good cameras), so I was able to get a good look at it and ascertain that it was a baby pelican. Why did only one of the dozens of pelicans have a baby? That is a question I cannot answer. The question I can answer is that no, the Sauk antique store has not reopened yet.

Famous Hat

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Afternoon at the Arboretum

I hope my readers got out to enjoy the glorious weather today. Yesterday afternoon was equally beautiful, and my walking buddy and I took a picture of this blooming crabapple tree in our neighborhood. She said, "It looks like a scene on a jigsaw puzzle."

This morning we took another walk in our neighborhood in our quest to get 10,000 steps per day (which, as it turns out, was completely unnecessary for me), and we saw these daffodils. The first picture is miniature daffodils, although I'm not sure you can tell, and the second one is daffodils I thought were cool because they are the opposite of what I usually see - the petals are yellow and the trumpet is white!

Jilly Moose was saying that it had been so long since she had gotten to see us, so I suggested going for a hike. First we met at Crema Cafe, and they had this colorful Peeps diorama.

Jilly Moose wanted to walk on the Capital Trail, so Travalon suggested the part with the mile-long boardwalk in McFarland. We drove there in our own cars and walked, keeping social distancing, then when we got to the end of the boardwalk, we took a path into the woods. By then I had walked five miles and was well over my 10,000 steps for the day, and it was almost two, so we went to Waypoint for lunch. Unfortunately their patio is closed, but we got our food to go and sat at a picnic table in the park behind the building.

Then Jilly Moose suggested going to the Arboretum, and I was game for that because this is the weekend when all the crabapples are blooming. As it turned out, the magnolias were still blooming, and the lilacs were blooming, and this beautiful redbud was blooming too.


 I love this shade of purple lilac!


I had imagined our wedding photos would be something like this, in front of frothy white crabapples, but the year we got married, the crabapples were not yet in bloom so we had photos taken in front of magnolias instead.

Travalon is a little tired after walking almost seven miles!

Jilly Moose matches this crabapple tree!

Rich sent me some photos from his garden too. This tulip looks like it was one of the ones that was around the carillon last spring. I don't know what happened to all its friends...

And here is the little redbud in Rich's yard! Remember when it was just a baby?

They have crabapples blooming in Minnesota too. Here is Pa Hat wearing the hat I brought him from Ireland, in front of some lovely pink crabapple trees.

And this has nothing to do with flowers (although it does have to do with gardens), but I just really liked this photo my uncle sent of the koi in their garden pond.

We will have to remember how beautiful today was tomorrow, when it will be cold and rainy. I have my sunburn to remind me!

Famous Hat