Saturday, July 27, 2013

Four O'Clocks? I'm Confused

This is the east end of our house at nine in the morning.

Here is a closer view.  Once there were only pink and yellow flowers here but now there are salmon flowers as well.  Something going on with genetics?

This end of the house is now shaded by a fairly large walnut tree in the mornings.  When we moved here, it was sunny in the mornings.  The flowers were here when we moved in forty-five years ago.  I was pleased to see them.  They reminded me of the yard of the home where I grew up.  Mother always had Four O'Clocks.
As I remember, their name comes from their habit of blooming in the afternoon.  But now I wonder?  Am I remembering  correctly?  I thought they opened at four o'clock forty-five years ago.  Are they getting older and confused like the owners of the house?  Or does their habit of now opening at nine in the morning have something to do with when they get sun and when they get shade?

I could look up the answer using the Google Search Engine or I could just enjoy the mystery.

I hope all of you are having a pleasant day.  Come back again.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Butterfly Transit at Brukner, July 21, 2013

I wasn't able to walk the butterfly transit last Sunday so Phil sent me some of the photos he took.  He said the day was a good one for seeing butterflies.  As I looked at his photos I realized I wasn't as good at identifying butterflies as I thought.  When I see them in the field, I can see their relative sizes..  I can't always tell the size from the photos.  I will do the best I can with identification.

To start with, there is always at least one skipper, one I can't identify.

                                    Unknown skipper (superfamily Hesperioidea)

Next is an Anglewing which in our area is usually a Question Mark or an Eastern Comma.  If the observer doesn't see the silver identifying spots on the underside (Ventral) they are not easy to tell apart.

                                    Anglewing (genus Polygonia)

And here was another puzzler.  If it is a rather small butterfly, it might be a Pearl Crescent.

                                    Pearl Crescent?

The rest of the butterflies were a bit easier to identify.  Below is a Hackberry.  The right sunlight made the coloring a bit difficult to get.  It is a darker butterfly than the photo shows.  The dark spot on the forewing was what made me determine what it is.  (Watch me be wrong...won't be the first time)

Here are two views of a Spicebush Swallowtail.  So nice the Swallowtails have those "tails".  There are several dark swallowtails with orange-red spots on the underside.  It was the top view that made me decide this was a Spicebush.  Again, I hope I am right.

Easiest of all to identify is the Tiger Swallowtail.  Nothing else is colored like it.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rocks to Agitators to No Agitators, Washing Machines

We bought this automatic washer a couple years ago when the last automatic washer died.  If I had known the old one was  an outdated antique, I would have opened the lid and taken a photo of the agitator inside.  The new washers don't have agitators.  They have a rotating tub.  The washer gets the clothes clean so I haven't bothered to figure out why.

As long as I can remember agitators were a part of top-loading washing machines.  They were a bit like a screw.  They rotated left, then right as the clothes were being washed.

I can remember that until I was four or five we had a washing machine  like the one below which I photographed at the Madison County Historical Museum in London, Ohio.  I don't remember all the details of operating it.  I do remember the soapy water was squeezed out of the clothes with the wringer.  The clothes were rinsed and then squeezed through the wringer again.

                      Madison County Historical Museum

There was a tub arrangement associated with the washer.  Someone reading this blog probably could tell me more about the whole system.

                        Madison County Historical Museum

When I was four, my twin sisters were born and shortly afterward, Dad bought an automatic washing machine, a great new invention.  It was a Bendix, with two inserts for the tub.  One was used if the machine was being used to wash clothes, the other if the machine was being used to wash dishes.

Tom's family didn't have indoor plumbing when he was four or five so his mother used an old way to wash clothes.  In the summer, this rack with a wringer in the middle  was placed outside close to the clothesline where the clothes were hung.  Tubs were placed on either side and filled with water, one tub with soapy water, one tub with rinse water.

We didn't see this in a museum but at the barber shop the last time Tom went to get his hair cut.  One of the barbers collects, buys and sells antiques. Here is a view of the wringer with the side benches folded up front and back.

                                                   Front view.

                                                           Side View

The patent on this model was given in 18?6.  I cannot read the third number.

Clothes were scrubbed on washboards.

                       Madison County Historical Museum

Washing clothes is much easier these days and I am thankful.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Butterfly Transit at Brukner, July 13,2013

Only three of us walked the transit.  Ruth, our leader, the person in our group who is most knowledgeable about butterflies, was not able to come.  Phil and Nancy told her they would be responsible for the week's report. 

The day was beautiful, in the eighties (Fahrenheit) , with a light come and go breeze that grew stronger as we walked.

                                    Photo by Pauline Persing

The three of us know some butterflies but we are still learning.

For instance, we don't know the little dark skippers.  Perhaps someone reading this blog will recognize the two below.   This one holds it wings differently than a lot of skippers.

                                    Photo by Phil Shafer

Here is a skipper in the more usual skipper resting position.

                                    Photo by Phil Shafer

At Cattail Pond, we were surprised to see a snapping turtle swimming along.  We knew one or two lived in the pond but it's been years since I have seen one there.

                                    Photo by Pauline Persing

                                    Photo by Pauline Persing

Nancy and I lagged behind Phil, looking at flowers as well as butterflies.  When we caught up with Phil, he told us we had missed seeing a Red-Spotted Purple.

                                    Photo by Phil Shafer    Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax...Wingspan: 3.0-4.0 inches (7.6-10.2 cm)

This is a photo Tom took a few years ago showing the underside of the Red-Spotted Purple.

                                    Photo by Tom Persing

As we walked beside the meadow toward the woods we saw a large beautiful black butterfly with yellow bands,  a Giant Swallowtail.  Because the day was warm, the butterfly was flying fast, rarely stopping for more than a moment, so neither Phil nor I snapped its picture.  The photo below of a somewhat tattered Giant Swallowtail is one Tom took a few years ago.

                                    Photo by Tom Persing   Giant Swallowtail  Papilio cresphontes...Wingspan...4.5-5.5 inches (11.4-14.0 cm)

Just past the meadow Nancy spotted this.  The cicada is on the left side of the stem and the shell it emerged from is on the right.

                                              Photo by Pauline Persing

Plants that are blooming are recorded on the Butterfly Transit weekly record, too.

                                                  Photo by Pauline Persing

                                              Photo by Phil Shafer

As always, click on the photos to enlarge them.  Have a good day.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Dollhouse at the Madison County Museum, London, Ohio

I have always been fascinated by miniatures...dollhouses, model railroads, the little rooms at the Chicago Museum of art.

These photos were taken while Tom and Chuck were waiting for Norieta and me in the van.  We had stopped for a quick visit at the Madison County Historical Museum so I could take photos of the washing machines exhibit.  That is a blog for another day.  When I returned from the annex where the washing machines were on display, Norieta and  I took "just a quick look" at a few other exhibits.

The volunteer who had taken me to the annex told us a little about the dollhouse as we looked at it.  The dollhouse was made for a little girl by her parents but when they showed it to her, she said she didn't like it.  Was she a tomboy or a very spoiled child?  Or was this dollhouse more of a display than something a child would feel comfortable playing with?

The house is a reproduction of the one the family lived in.  When the dollhouse was given to the museum , the only way it could be removed  from the room in which it was built was by taking out a window.

The little girl is now in her eighties and living in a nursing home.

The dollhouse has Plexiglas across it because there are many tiny objects which could be easily lost.  For that reason (and because I was snapping pictures quickly) you will see my reflection in some of them.  If you like miniatures, too, you will want to enlarge the following photos by clicking on them.  There are interesting details like chamberpots in the bedrooms.

First floor left to right....





                                     Dining Room


Second Floor...


                                   Pink  Canopied bed Bedroom

                                  White Canopied bed Bedroom

                                      Girl's Bedroom

Third Floor...

                                      Sun Porch
A photo of the house the dollhouse was modeled from sits on the porch.

                                    Music Room

                                     Sewing Room.
The desk and chair are against the railing of the stairwell which opens in this room.

                                     Boy's Bedroom

                                     Right side porch
A place to feed the birds.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Children's Musical Theater, Whose Contest Is It Anyway?

Tuesday afternoon I went to the second Children's Musical Theater production of the summer.  This one, "Whose Contest Is It Anyway?" was a parody, a spoof, drawn from the popular young adult book, The Hunger Games.  Being an "old granny" as one of my grandchildren calls me, I haven't read the book but I still thoroughly enjoyed the play.   That was because the plot was clear and easy to follow.  It also helped that the contestants were super heroes and fairy tale characters that I know.  Only  Tony Stark was unfamiliar to me but the girl who portrayed him did a good job.

The nine actors, who will either start high school this fall or who are already in high school, wrote the play and also the original lyrics to  several of the songs.  In addition, two of them were recognized in the playbill for developing several of the dances.  They did the entire job in twenty-four hours spread over a period of two weeks.   

The directors were Sonja Hyer, Rebecca O'Brien and Gretchen Weber.  Eric Hyer, my grandson, ran the lights.  Sonja said, in her introduction of the play that he was given his cue sheet for the lights and sound effects on Monday.  That's cutting the finishing of the production very close to the performance day.  But Eric and all the cast did a great job.

The opening number, One, from A Chorus Line.

Tony Stark sang about what was most important to him in life, Love. 

The three beauties, Tinkerbell, Belle, and Cinderella, joined in as backup to Tony's song.  They did a nice softshoe routine as well.

"Bad Reputation"  was such a lively dance and song, it was hard to get a photograph.

Mary Meyer took a good photo of the contestants choosing their weapons after the song and dance.

Above the actors, you can see the banks of lights that Eric was controlling.

Here are seven of them holding their chosen weapons and waiting for their interview.  Joker tried to make the time go faster by telling jokes but only he laughed at them.

Beast and Hulk had an argument.

Poor Beast.  Belle was in love with him but he was in love with Cinderella.  Beast died from love.

Cinderella and Belle didn't like one another.  In fact, they sang a song about their feelings, "What is This Feeling?"  The feeling began with "L" as you might expect.  Loathing was the feeling.

Joker really worked at settling the bad feelings between the girls.  She/He finally succeeded as she/he sang, "All You Need Is Love".

                                     Photo by Mary Meyer

Since Belle couldn't have Beast, she decided Captain America was really the one for her.

                                             Photo by Mary Meyer

Whenever Thor and  Captain America argued, all the contestants fled.  Thor had very bad aim with his hammer.  Finally they killed one another. (off stage)  Belle was without a boy friend again.

                                     Photo by Mary Meyer

Hulk had  jumped behind a bush.  Unfortunately, the bush was poison ivy.  As he itched and suffered, he sang about the bush of ivy.  The tune he used was "Rings of Fire", the song you probably have heard sung by Johnny Cash.  The poison ivy killed him off.

                                               Photo by Mary Meyer

 Eventually everyone was dead except Tony, Belle, Tinkerbell and Cinderella.  Tinkerbell tried to keep the girls' spirits up by singing, "Don't Stop Believing."  But then Tony came in and declared, "I don't believe!"  Poor Tinkerbell.  In the book (and play) Peter Pan, I learned that fairies die if people don't believe and that is  how Tinkerbell met her end.

                                    Photo by Mary Meyer

Tony consoled Belle and Cinderella by telling them that now there were only three of them and they could trust each other.

                                     Photo by Mary Meyer

But Belle and Cinderella were suspicious.

Tony asked them to get him some grapes.  Belle went off to find some.  All she found were some berries down by the creek which looked a little like grapes.  She fed one to Tony.  He choked.  "That wasn't a grape.  That was Deadly Nightshade."  He staggered off stage to die.

Back on stage again, the production ended with a lively chorus of "We Are the Champions".

                                     Photo by Mary Meyer
The final bows.

                                    Photo by Mary Meyer