Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bee House

This is a bee house for native bees.  It's not really a house, but a place for them to lay their eggs.  I've had one in my garden for many years. They don't last for more than a few seasons, because woodpeckers love to peck on the wood.  Sometimes they peck to get to the bee larvae and sometimes they just seem to peck on the roof and sides for fun.  (If I was a more conscientious bee house owner, I would insert straws into the holes and take them into the refrigerator for safe keeping over the winter).

This is one of two bee houses my father-in-law made for my birthday this year.  He has patiently waited for evidence of bee activity.  I suppose the holes may have been used by another insect and I welcome any help with identification - if it is possible by the type of plug made.
Learn more about native bees here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Nose Knows

     Ragweed season typically starts around August 15 and is caused by both Common (pictured above) and Giant Ragweed.  Normally the Goldenrods bloom at the same time and, because they are more noticeable (the yellow flowers in the photo below), many people mistakenly believe they are the cause of their allergic rhinitis.  


     Only pollen that is light enough to go up one's nose can cause nose allergies.  That pollen happens to be flying around because Ragweed is a wind pollinated plant (as are grasses and many trees).  Take a look at Ragweed and you will see there are no insects on the drab green flowers.  Goldenrod flowers, however, are covered with all manner of bees and other insects.  The heavy pollen sticks to their legs and is redistributed amongst the flowers.

Friday, September 14, 2012

X-Rated Mushroom

     Our plant counting expedition was rained out this morning, but here is a photo of a mushroom we came across on our outing last week.  The diameter is about 10 mm and the length about 25 mm.  The common name is a Stinkhorn, the scientific genus Mutinus.  A black, gooey, stinky mass will appear at the end of the mushroom.  This attracts flies, who carry the spores away.  This link provides more information - including the x-rating.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Nibble, Nibble

     Northwest Ohio has been receiving a fair amount of rain in the last month or so.  This has led to some beautiful mushroom blooms.  

     Cathy Wilson is my friend and mushroom advisor.  She helped me identify this as an Omphalotus species, which are fluorescent.  I didn't get a chance to see this for myself, but I'll give it a try if I find one again.

The common name for this is Chicken of the Woods.

     This is likely a type of button mushroom.  The entire mushroom - or what's left of it - is about 7 mm. long.  I once read that mushrooms have little nutritional value, but I have since then seen several squirrels and chipmunks eating them.  I can imagine a little mouse nibbling on this one.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Laboring Hands

     A relative recently gave me this photo, taken in 1907.  The young man to the right is my maternal great grandfather, Henry Keyes.  I had previously seen only photos of him as an old man.  It is striking how much father and son looked alike when young, but not, I think, as old men.
     The young woman to the left is Mrs. Henry Keyes, Eunice.  She is standing next to her parents, Madison and Martha Dennis.  The infant is Catherine Keyes, the first child of Eunice and Henry.  She is my grandfather's older sister and only sibling.  She is held by her paternal grandmother and the bearded gentleman is her paternal  grandfather. 
     The Keyes family emigrated from Dublin, Ireland.  Both father and sons (and grandson) were farmers in Delta, Ohio.  When I showed Dan the photo, the first thing he mentioned was how impressed he was with their hands - clearly hands that had done hard work.