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May 1 2015
Happy May Day.  Here are some wildflowers from Northfield Minnesota:

Wild phlox in the Carleton Arb.

Bloodroot just opening by St. Olaf


Song sparrow?

May 2
I made the short trip to Nerstrand State Park today to see what flowers they might have that aren't here in Northfield...


Marsh marigolds


Spring beauties (like ours in Idaho only different.)


Not sure on this one...




Jack in the Pulpit (newly emerged)'

 May 4
I'm back after a family visit to Minnesota, and had enough extra time on the return trip to take the Badlands N.P. loop in South Dakota.  Here's the pics to prove it:

The Badlands is mostly displayed as a series of parking lots with various levels of hikes--I took the hardest of 3 offered at the first pullout coming from the east--the Notch, which included climbing this 70 cable/log ladder.  Coming down was the hardest--the steps are each about 1 1/2 feet so you have to look down to see where to step, which for me is vertigo inducing...

This is the view from above showing the ladder on the left and the dry wash that the trail going up mostly follows...

This is one of the many vistas of this dry elegant land...  What's missing is the third dimension, making these flat photos much less interesting than the experience.


There was also a large prairie dog colony, so I had to take a bunch of photos of them...

This golden eagle flew in and perched about 50 yards from the side of the road, as I slowing drove along I snapped it with the different backgrounds the Badlands afforded it.

This tourist ignoring animal was grazing along the road.   It had goatlike horns, but I decided it must be a young big horn sheep, which my friends who live in Big Horn County Montana confirmed..

May 7
Our red delicious apple tree is at its peak currently:


I took Butters for a walk along the ridge intending to use my camera as a notebook to document the current wildflowers, that are between the early and late stages of blooming.  But I was also surprised to see a pileated woodpecker, since we only see them rarely around here...  No chance for a photo, although later I got this kingfisher on the power line.


So currently there are blooming along the Mill Pond: Pussy toes, heartleaf arnica, Columbia virgin's bower, Oregon grape, Richardson's geranium, wild strawberries, service berries, camas, shooting stars, trillium, larkspur, phlox, rock penstemon, and prairie stars.  There's a thick patch of prairie stars on an isolated ledge along the road, and since that's rare I took a photo:


May 13

I've been moving a lot of manure around the garden, getting ready for planting and transplanting.  But we try to take the dog for a good hike every day, which took us out to the newest part of the new bike trail yesterday, where we got this view of Spirit Lake:

Today much needed rain moved in, but didn't amount to over half an inch.  

May 18
Final garden work (planting) is held up awaiting one last load of manure, so I worked on thinning pears and organically spraying cherries (they're already larger than the size of a cherry pit).  Also we've moved things around in our garden so that some beds are susceptible to deer predation so a fence around the back yard is in the offing.  It will also make a large run for Butters...

May 20
We skipped the final load of manure, and transplanted cabbage family out, planted green beans, corn, and potatoes so far...

The wild rock penstemon is growing in bouquets along the rocky stretches currently...

We took a walk up along the M41 logging road and saw a large patch of very robust lupines, seemingly a different species than what is common, including those that grow in the back door of our cabin...



May 21
We're transplanting out tomatoes and squash, and planting anything else we can fit.  Highs in the 80's made for the first swim of the year today...

May 25
We got a half inch of rain last night, keeping the lawn and garden happy.  We got in another swim and a canoe paddle in spite of crowded Memorial Day conditions at the lake...
All the transplanting is done of garden vegetables, just dahlias and gladiolas to plant still...

May 26
The irises, columbine, and peonies are in full bloom, so I took a couple photos:



There are many of each blooming, but they get lost if you take a photo of the whole group. 

May 29
I got the apple and pear thinning done this evening.  That leaves tying up the raspberry plants and planting second dates of corn and green beans besides the usual watering and weeding...  The first green beans I planted came up today...



Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds.  A double entendre'd title--our world in terminal days, and a space terminal...  It was fairly painful reading throughout, not much lightness to it.   A simple quest plot with a bit of mystery about how things got so messed up.   Didn't leave me wanting more...

Empire by Orson Scott Card.  This amused me since it involved an unknown to the world area where Idaho and Washington intersect along US 12. 

Deadly Heat by Richard Castle  Another well crafted ghost novel with loosely veiled Castle TV characters.

Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie.  One of the few Poirot novels I've read without his faithful companion.  As always an unexpected whodunit.


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