My father was the oldest of my grandmother's eight children. Uncle Philip was the next oldest. He died last week after 82 full years. I miss him, and in mourning him, I mourn again my father's passing - and the eventual passing of a generation.
Uncle Phil with his daughter Mary Lou and first wife Rose Marie around 1983.
Uncle Philip on his tractor at the tree farm.
He possessed the traits of many McRurys- a love of machinery, a knack for tinkering, restlessness, hard work, frugalness, persistence, and the gift of gab.
Jim, Dee, Bill and Dan at the visitation Sunday evening.
Sarah, Suzanne, and Katie
A recently found photograph of my father, just after High School graduation in his Army uniform.
The brothers bore a striking resemblance to each other and had many of the same mannerisms.
Katie, Dan, Sarah, Bill, Cindy, Suzanne and Deb - just before the funeral mass.
The trimming crew from Pawlaczyk's Ever Green Landscaping noticed a hornet nest in one of our weeping crab apple trees earlier in the summer. It was about the size of a baseball. The team leader was stung and her entire arm was temporarily numbed. They sprayed it with insecticide and left the tree untrimmed.
This week they returned and informed me the nest had grown to the size of a basketball.
I'm no hornet expert, but the shape of the nest and the size and coloration of the hornets (seen at a safe distance with 10 X binoculars) are consistent with Bald Faced Hornets. Jim McCormick has a great post on these nasty critters.
I remembered reading about someone (Russell Lamp) who will remove these nests for free - using the hornets to make anti-venom. I located his information from an old Toledo Blade article and contacted him. Unfortunately, he is not allowed to collect nests that have been sprayed.
I was happy to give the business to the exterminators we have used for years. This morning the task was complete.
Yesterday Ruta and I headed to one of the corridor sites on a tip from LaRae. LaRae is employed by the park system in their land management department. She is a wonderful amateur botanist and is always on the lookout for rare plants.
This site - an old farm field - is scheduled to be mowed and seeded. That is her pink tape she uses to mark suspected rare plants.
We were able to confirm and document Bayberry (above), Twisted Yellow-eyed Grass, Great Lakes Goldenrod, and two species of Pinweed - all endangered in the state.
The dense blazing star were blooming all over the north end of the field, where most of the rare plants were located.
She can now direct the crews to avoid mowing and seeding this area.
I continue to be amazed at what comes up when these old farm fields are abandoned.