Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Zen Heron

The bubbles in the foreground are coming from the aeration membrane,
which is hooked up to our new windmill. See post below.

I learned a little more about patience at the pond yesterday. I waited quietly, camera in hand, mosquitoes biting, for more than half an hour as a young Great Blue Heron waited quietly, too--eyes alert, food focused. Just when I had decided to give up, there was a splashing victory for the heron.
Don't watch this if you're squeamish. A sad day for the poor bullfrog, but I was pretty impressed with the heron.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Watching for Quixote

Our new windmill, installed a week ago, will pump air through tubing down to the pond where it will exit two membranes in tiny bubbles. This much-needed aeration will bring a healthier ecosystem to Frog Song Pond. Plus, as my Dad said, "It will look cute on your blog."
Do you agree? Let me know! And for more pix, including the installation, check here.
I'm financing this project (hopefully!) with a new book, Pond Babies, which will be released next spring from Down East Books.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Searching the web

I've spotted several of these gorgeous black and yellow garden spiders around this year. Their distinctive markings, as well as their size (torso is about an inch to an inch and a quarter) make them look a bit scary, but they are harmless to humans. The females weave a zig-zag pattern into the middle of their large webs, thus giving them their other name---writing spider. There are lots of theories for why they do this. I wonder if E.B. White was inspired by these clever creatures when he created Charlotte. Look closely: Can you see "radiant" written in this web?

I made one of these lovely ladies from cut paper for my book, Scoot!, a few years ago.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Garden Bounty

First tomato! Yum!
A froggy in the garden

Today I will pick the first ripe tomato in my garden! This year I'm also growing peas, beans, lettuce, cukes, peppers, basil, carrots, squash, and maybe eggplants (if they get their act together), but tomatoes are why I plant a garden.
I've proposed a garden celebration book to a publisher---we'll see what happens!
If you have a surplus in your garden this year, consider what my young UU friend here is doing. She and her mom and brother stop by the farmers' market each week at the end of the day, gather donations of unsold-but-still-delicious produce, and take them to the local soup kitchen. Healthy food for the hungry, and a great way for kids to get the Big Picture.
from Mystery Vine, 2009.