June Doldrums

By: WatchinTheSky , 6:32 PM GMT on May 20, 2014

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Hummer cam current view -




Such a nice day today! Actually, all week :) Temps in the upper 60s to 70s with clouds in the sky.


The fires are a fading memory - except for those who had a loss. Let's hope it is not a precursor to Summer.

Fun with animals in the backyard -

4 Hooded orioles at the feeders, all either females or young males judging by the subdued colors


Yes, I see you sitting there all fat from mooching bird food!


The bubbler is getting a lot of action lately, here a lesser finch taking a dive!


Colorful adult male Hooded Oriole (thanks ww!) I'll try too come back and square this photo up - it was soooo windy that day, well OK, Not ;D



I don't know if it is a family or just a group, but the last couple days 4 turkey vultures have been flying low over the neighborhood. Can't quite get a photo yet.

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41. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
6:38 PM GMT on June 16, 2014
WatchinTheSky has created a new entry.
40. Ylee
1:55 AM GMT on June 15, 2014
Thought I'd get started on Father's Day wishes, WTS! Hope it's a good one!(And you get no neckties, lol!)
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16622
39. SBKaren
1:07 AM GMT on June 15, 2014
Hi WTS
School is over! Had a big family garage sale today. Last week we had a couple of heavy days of June gloom and I thought I was going to have to eat my words about our spring. But then, started clearing very early again.  Summer has truly arrived with all the summer activities ramping up. Tomorrow we're going on a hike called Holy Jim. My daughter is taking us. It's off a campground that they recently visited. Off highway 73. Hope it's not too hot.
Catch up soon!!!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 197 Comments: 14655
38. GardenGrrl
4:53 PM GMT on June 14, 2014
Hey, looks like the feeders are about empty. I don't know where my hummers are this year. I keep changing out the feeders but they remain full. Stoopid construction around here has probably tore up their nesting area. Grrrr.
But, on a good note it's a nice day to drive to the country and see Dad.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
37. PugetSoundPost
4:00 AM GMT on June 13, 2014
It looks like your forecast is pretty good! Not too outrageous of temps! Ha! We are trying to get some rain today but so far it is a no-show. We had my son's university department graduation ceremony today (big stadium commencement is on this coming Saturday). Afterward I had plans that we would do a photo shoot around campus with him in his cap and gown. Kind of a tradition we do and he is #3. Showers and t-storms were forecast and I was afraid my plan may wash out. Instead, the sun smiled on us (mostly sunny, some clouds around) and it was much warmer than I expected. The worst was a breeze that sent his gown billowing and my hair into odd angles, but it wasn't too bad. No rain. Lots of photos. Now this evening the wind has the "blowing up a rain" feel to it, the Cascades are shrouded in more threatening looking dark clouds, but no rain here. I kind of am wishing for some rain for the yard. It has been dry now for some time. Showers are forecast for Saturday, as well, and I don't want it then, since the huge graduation is outdoors. So, we will see how that goes.
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 177 Comments: 927
36. WatchinTheSky
10:29 PM GMT on June 12, 2014
Hi David! The orioles are a real spring/summer treat, we have had them coming to our backyard for 7-8 years - the same ones? I have no clue, but I would suspect some of them are! I think we get 3-5 families, based on adult males and then young males. The females are too hard for me to track ;D

You look like you may be new to WU - welcome!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
35. DavidCoincon
6:30 PM GMT on June 12, 2014
Hi. I see you feed the Orioles as well. They are beautiful, aren't they? I have the same pair that come back every year.
Member Since: March 14, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
34. BriarCraft
10:30 PM GMT on June 10, 2014
Note to Ylee and WTS about tomatoes: Some critter around here loves to take a bite out of nearly ripe tomatoes. It doesn't pick the tomato or eat the whole thing. Always just one bite, but the bite is as big as something I might take. This year, however, I've got my critter cam. So if/when I have ripe tomatoes, I am finally going to see who likes to munch them.

As for tomato leaves, here's something you might find of interest:

from http://www.comfycountrycreations.com/bugspray.htm
Protection Offered:
Tomato leaf sprays have been used to protect plants from aphids. Also, spraying tomato leaf spray on corn may reduce corn earworm damage. The corn earworm is also called the tomato fruit worm, as it also attacks tomato plants. A scientific study has shown that corn plants sprayed with tomato leaf spray attracted significantly more Trichogramma wasps to parasitize the corn earworm eggs than the unsprayed did.
How to Make:
Soak 1 to 2 cups of chopped or mashed tomato leaves in 2 cups of water overnight. Strain through cheesecloth or fine mesh. Add about 2 more cups of water to the strained liquid, and spray. For aphid control, be sure to thoroughly cover the leaf undersides, especially of lower leaves and growing tips of plants where aphids congregate.
How to Use:
Spray plants thoroughly, particularly undersides of lower leaves and growing tips where aphids congregate. While this spray is not poisonous to humans on contact, use care in handling, especially if you are allergic to the nightshade family.

and from http://www.gardenersnet.com/spray.htm
Tomato "Juice" Spray- Works well to control aphids and other insects.
Ingredients:
2 cups Tomato leaves and stems
1 quart water
Instructions:
Put 2 cups of tomato leaves and stems in a food processor.
Add 2 cups water.
Process on high for two minutes.
Let stand overnight.
Strain through cheesecloth.
Add 2 more cups of water.
Spray liberally on roses and other plants that aphids are attacking.

I don't know her recipe, but I remember my grandmother sprayed a tea made with tomato leaves on her roses.



And I'd watch out for Jimmy Mac -- never trust anyone with such close-set eyes!

Oh, and I hope never to see a Tarantula Hawk Wasp, except in pictures. Those things are just plain creepy-scary.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 88 Comments: 4444
33. WatchinTheSky
4:55 AM GMT on June 10, 2014
Hi Ylee, sp, cp! I have never seen a tarantula around the the house, which is a little surprising. The wasps will try the feeders but most are not wasp friendly, they do like grape jelly, which it put out once I see one. But they really like that plant, just think it would be cool :D
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
32. Ylee
6:48 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
Do you have too many tarantulas, WTS? I figured the Yeti could could cook them over an open fire on a stick like weenies! :' )

Did you know the Tarantula Hawk Wasp is the state insect of New Mexico? Oh, they like nectar, too, so they also may like your feeders! Probably could catch one on the cam!

June gloom yet?
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16622
31. sp34n119w
8:43 PM GMT on June 08, 2014
Wait, what? We had a big discussion about those wasps before and nobody said anything about stinging!!!
Like they aren't scary enough! Pretty, though.
Lovely snake :) That southern Yeti, not so much, lol

Weather's dull up here, too. June gloom trying to make its presence felt but just can't hold on for very long. Kind of chilly - only 71F - but quite nice out. Hope your weekend's going well!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4311
30. calpoppy
7:25 PM GMT on June 08, 2014
Are you sure you want to attract those wasps! The second most painful sting of any insect. The top one is a bullet ant (feels similar to being shot).

Not sure on the ID of the plant we have something similar out here but does have leaves.

Nice pic of the snake!!!

I hated coming back, it was cool and so green up there!!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 57 Comments: 4034
29. WatchinTheSky
2:34 AM GMT on June 08, 2014
478+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++58888888888888888Ho oweee! Jimmy Mac looks like a BIG boy ;) I'm guessing he doesn't skimp on the shrimp and grits!!

I came across a couple critters today jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjik ikk b[ppppppp
4
Thanks for helping me type, Phin!

Anyway, California Striped Racer

and Tarantula Hawk Wasp

I am hoping Cal can help ID the plant - though it may be a low desert plant. The wasps have been all over it the last 2 Saturdays at the Park (so I am guessing every day). Now I want one :)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
28. GardenGrrl
9:27 PM GMT on June 06, 2014
Howdy from Arkansas. This is the Yeti's cousin Jimmy Mac aka Big Foot.

Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
27. WatchinTheSky
5:11 PM GMT on June 06, 2014
The second week of June looks to be the same as the first, as far as our weather is concerned. It is a bit dull, but that's par for June - though the June Gloom has been a bit shy this year. No rain in the queue for the next 8 days, actually, rain in June is very rare. I'll have to get some inspiration by perusing some WU family blogs :D
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
26. WatchinTheSky
3:52 AM GMT on June 06, 2014
Hi Ylee! Is it Glycoalkaloid, causing extreme nervousness and stomach upsets or tomatine and not solanine as from the nightshade family, I thought tomato plants were generally safe from predation due to toxins in their veins. Seems I may not be up to speed on the current thinking, leaves can be used to perk up sauce or pesto. I have only seen a rabbit jump out of my tomato patch, though, and there were no nibbled fruit ;)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
25. Ylee
1:56 AM GMT on June 06, 2014
Are there any birds or other varmits that go after your tomatoes? Mine seem to be suffering(too much water, I think). :(
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16622
24. WatchinTheSky
4:59 PM GMT on June 05, 2014
Hi Karen! We are dry, but no 4" hail or tornadoes! I agree, it's been pretty nice lately and looks like at least another week of it, though down here we have a couple warmish days coming up.

Looks like you have a week left before school's out, then summer fun! I got carried away with my tomato patch this year, but I am starting to see some fruit set and am hoping for a big crop this summer :D

Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
23. SBKaren
10:53 PM GMT on June 04, 2014
I must say this has been a right nice spring.....but a bit scary too. Almost too nice. No moisture in the air, no rain, just beautiful temperatures. We'd be the envy of the country if we weren't so dry.
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 197 Comments: 14655
22. Proserpina
1:30 PM GMT on June 01, 2014
@Maria photo 20140530_7622June_zps39a99db8.jpg
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 178 Comments: 18460
21. PugetSoundPost
3:57 AM GMT on May 31, 2014
Taking a look at your Hummer Cam I see that it is pitch dark for you. We haven't even reached sunset yet although it is sinking in the sky. The bank of cumulus over the Cascades to our east have a lovely pink hue.

No May Gray today - just sunshine (with some gentle clouds here and there) but I still kept up on that weeding project even so! Today I added in trimming back some overgrown bushes that are next to our house along a wall that we just about never see (except when mowing the lawn over there or some need to transit from front to back that way). But we have neighbors who look down along that wall and those bushes all of the time. I feel badly that we don't tend to that area better. I do go through now and then, but not often enough. So I am taking it on now. Weeding, trimming like crazy - including a beautiful but overgrown camellia, and I think next I will put a thick layer of beauty bark down, and maybe some chemical too, to try to keep it better, longer. Today our yard waste truck came around and hauled an overflowing load from me away. I can relate to your neighbor! It is nice when piece by piece the yard shapes up. It looks like this similar weather will hold for the next quite a few days. I see on the latest CPC forecast for rain for the next 8-14 days we are now heading for below average precipitation. So I wonder if the pattern is changing now toward the summer El Nino appearance? I'm not sure what the timing for that may be.
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 177 Comments: 927
20. WatchinTheSky
4:17 AM GMT on May 30, 2014
Hi, cp ;) So much activity on the favorites list lately! Just a few weeks ago everyone was taking time off to enjoy the late arrival of spring!

Hi, PSP! Gray days are perfect for big yard work days :D I got home today to find our neighbor had practically filled the cul de sac with dead scrub debris. The 'clean greens' recycle truck guys will earn their pay tomorrow morning LOL. Dan said he'll be sleeping good tonight!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
19. PugetSoundPost
3:26 AM GMT on May 30, 2014
A May Gray day for us today - the clouds never did clear, but the temp was pleasant. Actually I am glad the sun never came out as I was working in the yard much of the day. I got a few peppers planted and then tackled that weed-pulling area again to finish that project. Whew! But it isn't really finished - need to trim some bushes and also do something to keep the weeds from returning! I'm mulling my options there. But now this evening it is nice to watch a little Mariner baseball and drink some tea, while those muscles rest!
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 177 Comments: 927
18. calpoppy
11:49 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
What are you doing so far down, bumping you up!!!!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 57 Comments: 4034
17. WatchinTheSky
5:04 PM GMT on May 28, 2014


Hi Ylee - woops, the curtains are on back order ;)
Amanda is a little too far east and not moving this way.. It's early, maybe the next one?

Hey PSP, actually, the May Gray is a little late :) But we are in the pattern for a while - though Amanda is shedding enough high clouds and humidity to bump our overnights a bit. But if it holds - a nice week ahead!
Ah, weed pulling - always seems to work the less used muscles! Glad you're getting lots of hummer activity :)

Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
16. PugetSoundPost
2:07 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Wow, it looks like a pretty pleasant forecast for you this week! And I see on the little WU current conditions on this page that you have fog. Is the June Gloom moving in early?

Kind of an average week for us. Lots of clouds around and the sun waxes and wanes through them all, temps in the low 70's for us, which is nice, but most especially when you aren't in shady areas. I think we are to expect rain today. I'm sore this morning from a big weed-pulling job yesterday in a seldom-worked area of our yard. Unfortunately more to do there.

My hummer feeder is quite active - going through the juice much more quickly than before and I can't imagine all that filling that you do constantly. You are dedicated!
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 177 Comments: 927
15. Ylee
4:25 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
Well, aren't you just the voyeur? :' ) No chance of Amanda giving you any rain? :(
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16622
14. WatchinTheSky
2:48 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
Oh no, BC. A bubbler that doesn't bubble is, well, 'It ain't right' - as one of our tv advocates is known for shouting as a leadin to his segment! My last pump would stop bubbling on two conditions - a pill bug got sucked into the impeller or it lost prime. The latter was sometimes hard to recover from.
I am starting to test a new anti-bee scheme for the oriole feeders. I was hoping it would just be an add on, but I may have to enlarge the holes in the reservoirs, oh well.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
13. BriarCraft
9:29 PM GMT on May 27, 2014
Oriole on final approach! Flaps down. On a power glide.

My bubbler quit bubbling. It just hums now. :- /
I see a trip to Portland in my future. Until then, I just put the old plastic bird bath dish on top of the pot. I find myself missing that little burbling sound whenever I step outside.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 88 Comments: 4444
12. WatchinTheSky
8:59 PM GMT on May 27, 2014


Hi GG! Sounds like the hurricane off west coast of Mexico should bring you lots more rain??

I think California may as well just switch from exporting agriculture to exporting dry crusty dirt :)

Peeked in on someone taking a bath Sunday -



Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
11. GardenGrrl
10:08 AM GMT on May 26, 2014
Hi, we got a bunch of rain. (Yay) Just finished digging in, burying water lines and setting up more drip system in the yard. Hope that brings more rain. You may have to send the Yeti around with buckets to collect rain from the rest of us.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
10. Ylee
6:00 PM GMT on May 23, 2014
Oh, and I thought the fence was crooked because the Yeti was leaning on it! Silly me! :' )

Glad it's still cool there!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16622
9. SBKaren
11:28 PM GMT on May 22, 2014
This weather is MUCH more pleasant than last week!  I have seen bunnies running across the park up the street from where we live, but now I have suspicions that we've had one in the back yard. I had one nice large head of red leaf lettuce. I was about ready to go out and pick it when I noticed it was completely eaten. Not down to the ground, but into the 'stem'. Bunny came into my head immediately because I've never had one eaten this way before. If anyone got it before, it was just GONE!

Squirrels like to tease the dog when we take her for a walk. There is a large empty field across the street from us that is fenced, but has plenty of bushes and palm trees along the fence line. They jump from tree to bush to tree and tease her with their squeals. It drive her crazy!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 197 Comments: 14655
8. PugetSoundPost
6:55 AM GMT on May 22, 2014
We have bunnies too and they are pretty new for us, as well. We have been in this house 22 years and it is just in the last maybe three or four or so that bunnies showed up. They aren't rampant and are not a Big problem, but they have done some damage here and there. We had to fence one garden area, although I don't think it is worth much against bunnies any more (needs shoring up along the bottom). Squirrels for the most part do not bother us. They do some digging in pots but we do have a great forest type habitat for them next to our property, and that keeps them occupied. The trees come right up to the deck in one area, so the highway is wide open for them to come up on the deck over the branches. They do scamper every which way, too, but tend to stick to the trees; and they love my suet bird feeder in winter, hanging at all angles on it.
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 177 Comments: 927
7. WatchinTheSky
9:33 PM GMT on May 21, 2014
That's a lot of volcanoes, cp! Unimak Island is just about mid way down the chain and looks like the first big island in the chain. Oh, 25th - that's real close :(

Morning GG! (Afternoon, really)

Hi PSP! We have been in our current place 10 years and only in the last couple have there been squirrels and bunnies, good while it lasted! There is not so much for them to eat in our yard, but the neighbors on either side have much more lush landscaping. I need to work on bunny proofing the fences sometime. Not much to be done with the squirrels, though a friend at work has fair luck trapping and releasing far away.


Hi BC! It can be nice here :) I thought I remembered that it could!
I hope it is not a she with little ones on the way, there are already baby bunnies (at least one, anyway)!
The rototilling should help dry out the paddy, as long as you don't get too much more rain. I'm sure it will be nice to get the garden going in earnest.



Thanks all, for not mentioning that the oriole and feeder are parallel to the fence so it must gave been operator error LOL

Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
6. calpoppy
4:58 PM GMT on May 21, 2014
Here are 52 Alaskan volcanoes in one picture, pretty neat. One is Shishaldin, and I don't think it will effect them. They will be leaving Alaskan on the 25th :(



Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 57 Comments: 4034
5. GardenGrrl
3:19 PM GMT on May 21, 2014
Good Morning, that is the smuggest looking squirrel I have ever seen. It just tickled the heck out of me. Awesome shot.
There is an oriole at the feeder right now. Just another small corner of paradise.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
4. PugetSoundPost
2:08 PM GMT on May 21, 2014
It is good to see your weather has calmed down and the wildlife is carrying on as usual! I didn't realize you had squirrels in your yard. We sure do. Lots of them scampering through the trees and their acrobatics are fun to watch. I used to put out food for them but I gave that up some time ago. But that doesn't stop them from enjoying the birds' plates. Speaking of birds, our hummers have gotten a lot thirstier recently and I think of you when now I have to refill my feeder much more often! Lol! Nothing like what you have going, but it has picked up speed for us. I don't know why - don't know if there are more birds or what ( I don't really have that sense - still see maybe two at a time at the most, usually just one at a time) and I don't recall them doing this at this time of year in the past. Oh well. On the other hand the seed feeder has slowed down over what it was in late winter/early spring, which makes some sense as they were desperate then.

May has been a nice month for us overall. Quite a bit of warm sunshine. Looks like our rain is just about even with Briar this month, which she beat us the previous two months. My little garden is beginning to sprout - seeds just went right into the ground and didn't bother with starts and such this year. Since I am more on my own to do it this year (the kids who have been the bigger gardeners in recent years are not here) I decided to fly simple and just get it going and see what happens.

Also, speaking of volcanoes (below with CP) I hear rumblings that Mt. St. Helens is beginning to rustle a bit, underground. They say that magma is moving again below the volcano and likely preparing for another eruption. But, who knows when, as usual. Could be decades away or relatively "soon", so to speak. We just passed the anniversary of the 1980 eruption (what a day that was!) and apparently it is stirring just a bit. But an evacuation is probably not warranted at this time! lol!
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 177 Comments: 927
3. BriarCraft
6:32 AM GMT on May 21, 2014

Spring is wonderful when it finally puts in a proper appearance, isn't it? I love your photos, that last windy one included. Looks to me like that squirrel is developing quite a gut -- maybe she's pregnant???

I managed to rototill about a third of the paddy today. Twice. I think I'll be able to transplant some of the greenhouse starts tomorrow. Finally. It's about time. Unfortunately, the other 2/3 of the paddy still needs to dry out a bit more. Rainfall here has been extreme lately: 10 inches in March, 6 inches in April, and 2 so far in May. It used to be that November and December were the two wettest months with 8 inches each. Maybe El Niño will grant good gardening weather into October to make up for this late start.

Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 88 Comments: 4444
2. WatchinTheSky
3:37 AM GMT on May 21, 2014
Hi cp! Yeah, that's it, an overweight oriole! Did you get sprinkles? We just did =:-O
Sounds like a good hike, then a fire to warm back up - yes!
How close is Shishaldin Volcano to son and family in Alaska ? Not too close I think, usgs thinks it may erupt based on earthquake monitoring. I guess it gurgles more than typical eruption.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2162
1. calpoppy
11:48 PM GMT on May 20, 2014
We are going to have a fire going in ye olde wood stove tonight. I was up in the San Gabriel's today hiking, it was cold and windy with some snow on some of the tree branches. Talked to a few through hikers (PCT trail), going on to Canada. And some that were ending on this trail, they had started in Mexico.

When an oriole lands on the feeder it tips, right??
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 57 Comments: 4034

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