Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Monday, August 09, 2010

Summer thoughts, katydids and a yearling cub

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Whew. Summer is packing a punch this year. Even though I’ve been enjoying this weather from a pool perspective, it’s getting a bit old. Lots of sun and no rain. It’s starting to feel like Colorado around here, and that is not necessarily a good thing since no one here can water their lawns because most of us are on wells in the country. Even people in larger towns do not have the in-ground sprinkler systems that are absolutely necessary there. Our lawn is crisping up and there isn’t much we can do about it. We water our new landscaping in the front only as needed. Where is the rain? I am tired of seeing the relentless sun every day!

The season is starting its decline though. The sun’s angle is lower week by week. Areas of the pool that used to stay in the sun until late afternoon are now shaded. Soon that will lead to a cooler pool temperature than the steady 82 degrees that it’s been maintaining for a over a month now.

At least one person is benefitting from all these brown, crispy lawns. A man who owns a company spraying lawns green with dye is making lots of money. Can you imagine? What does that say about us culturally? We’re so into our green perfect lawns that we would dye them green and potentially harm the environment? He states that his dye is safe for children and pets but I have to wonder. Unless he’s using food coloring! Will the grass need its roots touched up as well?

The other morning I was in the computer room when I heard Bella bark. I thought she wanted to go out, but when I got to the sun room she was looking up at the screen door. Clinging to the inside of the screen was a large green bug. mom, there’s an intruder in the house and i don’t know what it is! Me either, Bella. Never seen one like this before. When I tried to capture it to take it outside it emitted a noise not unlike a cicada, only it wasn’t a cicada. This got everyone’s attention, cats and dog alike. what is that thing?  I took this video so I could try and identify it later on.

Katydid from Rick & Lynne Robinson on Vimeo.

Bella was very intrigued by it. I think it was injured to begin with because it could not fly away.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

The next morning there was another one clinging to the outside basement wall of the house. I took photos and headed off to Google it. I typed in “green bug that looks like a grasshopper but is not” and came up with a solution. Meet Mr./Mrs. Katydid.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

We’ve long thought the the cicadas were getting back up from something else like crickets, and here is the proof. But why haven’t we ever seen one before?

The turkeys come around every day and I usually give in and feed them some sunflower seeds and cracked corn. I have one that comes all by itself early in the morning and it just stands there looking at the house, willing the front door to open and for me to come and throw a few handfuls of food out. The other day around midday the big turkey family came (three hens and assorted aged babies) and I went out to feed them. The dumb clucks left instead of hanging around to eat the food and I figured the squirrels, birds and chipmunks would make short order of it. When I looked out an hour later this is what I saw instead.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

oops. I’ve done this countless times before without bear visits. Trust me, this was not intentional! Not the same little cub as in the previous post; this one is probably a yearling.

what do you mean this isn’t my food bowl?
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

who is that crazy lady hanging out the window up there talking to me?
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

i think i heard something
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Right after I took this photo the cub ran off into the shelter of the woods and halfway up a tree. I don’t know what it heard that spooked it, but it was afraid of something. A few minutes later it decided it was safe and back it came.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I’ve been keeping my eye on these grapes growing by the side of our street. Concord grapes. They are tasty and sweet but have a lot of pits! If we don’t get some rain they will just turn into raisins on the vine! I hope not as I plan to snatch them the minute they get ripe.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

We had a full weekend with a picnic to Bear Mountain, dog walks, farmer’s market and pool time. On Saturday night we did something we’ve talked about doing for a long time. We “camped out” in the cabana for a while. After our nighttime swim we brought out the air mattress and pillows and just lay there listening to the cicadas (and katydids!). We both fell asleep and sometime later I felt Rick shaking me awake. Time to go back inside before the dogs miss us.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
(taken this way on purpose! I happen to like warped nighttime photos.)

Sorry for the rambling post about a mishmash of things. I just sat down and started typing and this is what came out!

I have more to share this week with photos of our drive to Harriman State Park and Bear Mountain on Saturday and the surprise we got on Sunday morning while washing Mia, so stay tuned!


I think it’s time for a rain-dance!
Yet still people in town insist it rains every other day…oh the ignorance.
Great shots of the bear, any ideas for a name!?
They are such docile, emotional creatures;
yet we can’t live in peace with them?
I wonder if you’ll be fighting our little cub to get those grapes once their ripe!

Luke, rain dance for sure! Know any good ones? I saw that in the thumbs down about raining every other day. I wonder where they live?? Not here! Wait until you see what I have to say tomorrow on the subject of being docile!

Great post - luv the bear photos.

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