28 October 2011
20 October 2011
The Woolly Bear Caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella) is the larval form of the Isabella Tiger Moth and some people believe the Woolly Bear can predict the Winter weather by the size of the black bands on its body. The more black bands, the worse the winter will be.
While a good share of the Woolly Bears I consulted had 5 to 6 black bands with 5 or 6 brown bands (~50% black), more than half of the Woolly Bears had a greater amount of brown.
This one had mixed black/brown at the head, 2 black bands, 6 brown bands and then a black band.
This one had 60% brown in the middle.
This one was ~75% brown with black on the head end and no black on the other end.
This one was brown on both ends with very little black in the middle. It was ~80% brown.
We will see if these weather consultants are correct predictors of this Winter but in reality the size of the color bands are more reflective of the Woolly Bears previous weather and food supply.
16 October 2011
We did manage to replace all the supports under the cabin, reinstall the front porch, replace and stain the decking on the porch, install new porch steps, install gutters and downspouts, install drain lines and do some landscaping.
12 October 2011
It's hard to miss a bright orange maple tree in the fall but a lot of the fall fungus is just as colorful, just smaller.
The following image may look like a large orange mushroom in a pine forest but the mushroom is less than an inch across and the "pine forest" is a carpet of moss.
Russula emetica (Poisonous)
Yellow Spindle Coral (Clavulinopsis fusiformis)
The fall foliage of this year will soon fall to the forest floor where it will decay and feed next year's crop of fall fungus.
11 October 2011
Two geese swimming on Miner's Pond.
10 October 2011
04 October 2011
01 October 2011
This year's weather has produced a bumper crop of fruit and I found a recipe for Autumn Olive jam on the "dreams and bones" web blog.
Recipe for Autumn Olive Jam
Gather 8 cups of ripe autumn olive berries. (Be sure to taste test the berries as you pick. I've found the bright red berries to be more tart than the dull red berries.)
Add 1 cup of water to the 8 cups of berries and bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Run the mash through a sieve and you will have about 5 cups of pressed fruit.
Measure out 3 ½ cups of sugar. Take ¼ cup of the measured sugar and mix it with the contents of a package of no-sugar-needed Sure Jell. Mix it in with the pressed fruit and bring to a rolling boil. Add the remainder of the sugar to the boiling liquid and return to a rolling boil and let it boil for one minute.
Then can according to canning directions and cool.
This will make about six 8 oz. jars of well set jam. Nice and tart.