Archive for the ‘moths’ Category
In between house repairs, playing music, cooking and other activities, work continues on the painted floors project. Yesterday, while picking basil and oregano for a homemade pizza that I baked inside the kettle barbecue over a fire made with wild cherry prunings and chunk charcoal, I noticed a snake making its way through the garden. It was a large, wonderfully marked Maritime Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis pallidulus). Larry was just returning from a walk through the woods up the road, so I took it to him to see as this would be a new species. We both took a few photos (see above) and a very short movie (see below – click on all images for larger views – click on the video image and it should play if you can play .mp4 movies on your computer). I’ll use my photos as reference images when I paint a Maritime Garter Snake on the living room floor.
Now that the weather has finally warmed up (we had an unseasonably cool, wet start to summer), we’ve been turning on the moth lights at night. Over the past few nights there has been a good assortment of small moths, but only a few of the larger species – a Luna one evening, and the odd Sphinx.
Last night may have been the start of a new trend. In addition to many small moths, we had an Azalea Sphinx (Darapsa choerilus) and *four* Waved Sphinx (Ceratomia undulosa). Perhaps we’ll have plenty of moths coming to the light by National Moth Week (July 20-28, 2013). If you haven’t yet registered, there is still time!
It’s been a few weeks since I put up a post. Summer seems to have been slipping by almost unnoticed. Much of eastern Canada has been in the grip of a drought. Somewhat surprisingly, even this region of Nova Scotia, surrounded as it is by the Atlantic Ocean and with the Bay of Fundy tides at its doorstep, has been very dry too. Fortunately, we have been spared the extreme heat that has blanketed so much of the continent this summer.
It’s a little difficult to explain why I have not felt like putting up a blog post. Part of the blame goes to spending time out there living – going for long walks with Sage. As well, I have devoted at least an hour a day to working on my fiddle playing and recently began taking lessons from a local fiddler who just happens to live down the road from me. On my own, I’ve learned about two dozen new tunes this summer, but it is nice to connect with another musician and hear how they play some of the pieces that are familiar to me. As many of you will know, fiddling is a lot like speech and there are so many of what I like to think of as regional dialects.
I’ve done some mothing over the summer, but for the most part, it hasn’t been such a great season. Between the cool nights and the drought, it seemed to put a lid on things. However, I have been finding the odd moth such as the Primrose moth (Schinia florida) in the above and below photos, resting on vegetation (click on all photos for larger views).
Gardening has been a bit hit and miss. Everything was growing like mad earlier on. I had managed to get the potatoes planted, and seeds in the ground quite early, so thought there would be a bumper crop of everything. However, how soon the tables were to turn! Even the formerly prolific rose bushes finally hit the brakes as the rainless weeks dragged on.
But as I have discovered through experience, there are always some bright spots here and there and you learn to watch for and enjoy them as you find them. The new daylilies purchased last summer from Canning Daylily Farm near Wolfville, have put on quite a show.
Although much of the vegetable garden has failed, there have been a few pleasant successes, including the tasty Norland potatoes which always give me the feeling that I’m digging up edible gemstones. The potatoes aren’t very large as the tops died off in the drought, but I love new potatoes and had already started digging them to eat and share with the neighbours where I planted the vegetable garden this year.
All in all, things have been going along okay. True, there has not been much work done on the house this year. I’ve tried to figure out why that should be and have come to the conclusion that my mind and body wanted a rest after the five years since Don first became ill, and the now almost four years living alone since he died. A few weeks ago, while talking to one of my brothers on the phone, I commented that this old house was painted as much with anger and sadness as with any paint. There is more truth to that than I normally like to admit. For almost four years, I have often functioned a bit like an automaton – rising at dawn and driving myself onward relentlessly until darkness called a halt for that day. However, there comes a time when the constant drain on your mind and body wears you thin as a line and then you must stop or – well, I don’t really know that there has to be an “or” but eventually you just can’t go on. This summer, I reached that point. It was time to stop and do things in a different way. Progress has been made, but without obsession, or perhaps more that the negative energy was inverted into something positive, like long walks and fiddle playing. Whatever, it feels good to regain some of the self that I used to be.