Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Grasses and a Woodpecker

You're looking at the prettiest tall grass in our yard.  It's sporting the latest in attractive fall colors.

The fan-shaped top on this tall grass frond is eye-catching too.

Each type of grass sends up a tall, slender fall plume.

The shortest grass does its best to keep up with its neighbors.  These plumes remind me of fuzzy caterpillars.

I love grasses because they look nice through the winter months.  When other plants have died, tall grasses withstand the wind, bitter cold and snow of Wisconsin winters. 
Our variegated grass really outdid itself this summer.  Tall and full, it stands at the southwest corner of our screen porch.  It produces the fan-shaped plumes I showed you in a previous photo.

I took these photos in the middle of the day, not the best time for capturing true colors and detail.  The bright sun washes out the brilliance of shades and hues.  Don't get me wrong, I love the sunshine, especially on these cooler autumn days. 

Can you tell this is one of my favorite grasses?  The plumes are so cool.  It was when I was taking this picture that I came up with the idea of cutting some of the plumes from each different grass and bringing them inside to make fall bouquets. 
Voila...a small bouquet for this spot.

And a bigger one for here.  It's fun to decorate with stuff just outside the door.  Can I take credit for recycling?

I wasn't alone while I was gathering grasses.  I heard this red-head before I saw him.  He was helping himself to peanuts, pecking away like nobody's business.  Dang, when I filled that feeder yesterday, I could barely resist eating a handful myself.  There are even cashews in the mix!

    I'd never seen this type of woodpecker in our yard before.  According to my bird book, he's a Red-Bellied Woodpecker.  (To qualify as a Red-Headed Woodpecker, his entire head must be red.  By golly, if I look very closely, I can understand why he's called red-bellied.  Do you see that little bit of pale red on his belly?)


That's it for today.  I leave you with hopes that you're enjoying fall as much as I am.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do a Loony-Goony Dance

Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.

That's quoted from Shel Silverstein, author of Where the Sidewalk Ends, born on this day in 1932.

(I owe this info to the Goodreads website) 
If I couldn't be silly each and every day, I don't know what would become of me.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Do You Know What Kind of Bird This Is?

Do you know what kind of bird this is?  We've searched our Birds of Wisconsin field guide but still can't identify it.

Keeping the birdfeeders filled is a never-ending job.  Jared often fills ours when he's here. 

Gotta Love the Spunk


Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year-old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.


Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month.

By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it.

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.

I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, --- when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.

My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Be aware that it is an OFFENSE under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete.

I am sorry it runs eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets, and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.

I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service.

As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further.

When you call me, press buttons as follows:


#1. To make an appointment to see me

#2. To query a missing payment.

#3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.

#4 To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.

#5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.

#6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.

#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required.

A password will be communicated at a later date to that Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.

#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 9.

#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry.

The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.

#10. This is a second reminder to press * for English.

While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy a fee to cover the establishment of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year?

Your Humble Client

And remember: Don't make us old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to tick us off.

[This woman should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for this letter]

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Abraham Lincoln's Words

Whispering Winds Resort, Cook, Minnesota

"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves. " ...Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Advantage of Reading

Goodreads Quote of the Day for Thursday:

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Johen.  The man who never reads lives only one. 
--George R. R. Martin

(The author of a Game of Thrones  was born on this day in 1948).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Foggy Morning on Lake Vermilion

A foggy morning on Lake Vermilion

Early Friday morning, September 14th, 2012 at 7:30, Lon took this picture from the pier at Whispering Winds Resort in Cook, Minnesota on Lake Vermilion.

Awesome, huh?

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Muskie Man

Lon's 44 1/2 inch muskie caught on Lake Vermilion on 9/12/12

Lon's 51 3/4 inch muskie caught at the same lake on 9/15/12
Here's the fisherman's story regarding the 51 3/4 inch muskie and he's sticking to it:

The muskie came up out of the water and exploded onto Lon's top water lure about 15 feet from the boat. It took the entire lure in its mouth, dove down and then came straight at the boat. As it came toward him, Lon reeled in the line. Then the muskie took off around the back of the boat by the engine so Lon had to follow it around and along the other side of the boat.  The fish was mad, thrashing its head and tail wildly. Jared was waiting and observing all of this with his net in hand.  He netted the muskie before it had a chance to take off again.

It may not be obvious at first glance, but it's hard to hold a live muskie horizontally that weighs between 25 and 30 pounds while standing in a boat.  But, you've got to do it because a photo is the only way to preserve the memory when you catch and release.  Besides dealing with the strength of a fish like this, it's very slippery which makes it harder yet to hold and control. Prior to the Kodak moment, Jared had to cut the net to untangle the muskie's head, teeth and lure hooks from the mesh. After Lon lifted it up from the net, they measured and photographed it.  Jared eased it back into the water and within a short time it swam off and dove down into the depths once again. There are so many things that can go wrong when you try to hook, handle and then return a big fish safely back to its original environment. I can't imagine how challenging that must have been especially when the adrenaline is flowing and time is a factor. (Of course, a fish can only survive for a short time out of the water).  I'm so glad they pulled it off.
Lon plans to have a replica of this fish made from his photographs.  He has a few other photos that I'll post when I get them downloaded to my computer.

Lon's first catch, the 44 1/2 muskie, took longer to bring in than this one.  Go figure.

I never call Lon by his name.  I've always preferred to use nicknames.  I love my latest:  MUSKIE MAN. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rich's 70th Birthday Party

My cousin Rich (the birthday boy) and Jim

Sally and Rich's wife, Cathy

Uncle Allen and Aunt Dorothy (better known to us as Babe)

Greg and cousin Ron

Cousin Dick, Ed (Uncle Allen's cousin and owner of the pub) and Dawn

Sister-in-law Phyllis and brother John

Dee and cousin Kathy

Rich's birthday was a great excuse for all of us to get together.  We met at O'Riley & Conway's Irish Pub in Janesville.  Rich and Cathy are here visiting from Texas. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Are You Hungry for a Good Book?

Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly. --Cornelia Funke

If you're interested in a website devoted to books, I recommend

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Halloween Stuff from the Dollar Tree Store

I stopped at the Dollar Tree Store on Friday after work.  I can't remember what I went there for but I couldn't resist buying these Halloween decorations.

I really like decorating for Halloween.  My son's birthday is in October and we always had a party for him during his growing up years.  A Halloween theme worked well and now I'm decorating just for the fun of it.  We've accumulated several items that work well for Thanksgiving as well as Halloween.

The two boxes shown above are constructed of a very heavy paper-based material and have removable lids.  The skeleton is plastic and the one-eyed mummy is made of a heavy-duty paper.

Equally fun is the cost of these items:  Only $4.00!


Monday, September 3, 2012

September Brings Us Autumn Or Should I Say Fall?

With autumn, the acorns fall.  Is that why autumn is nicknamed "fall?"

Are you welcoming September this year in particular?  I am.  I'm looking forward to the awesome weather we often get at this time of the year.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

We Eat Grasshoppers!!

What could be better on a hot summer evening than a grasshopper ice cream drink?  A short jaunt to a nearby restaurant is all it takes for us to get our hands on this excellent takeout treat.  (The container is 10 x 10 inches!) 

We fill two glasses and enjoy a taste of heaven.  There's enough in each takeout order to savor the flavor again the following evening.

By the way, the restaurant is Benedetti's Supper Club and the cost is $8.