A wheelbarrow of dark colored sand, gravel and rocks sits in a dry creekbed

    I'm not doing the Micro.blog September photoblogging challenge but thought I'd share a photo for today's Date in the life. For the past 22 days I've been working on our gravel road. Moving 5-8 wheelbarrow loads a day from our dry creek bed to fix a few washed out sections. 100+ loads total, 2+ hours of daily exercise, about 1,100 cal burned as a workout. I like getting actual, needed work done as a workout. Several more sections to fix, another few weeks of exercise. The road actually looks messier because now its a mixed up conglomeration of the original, uniform gray road gravel but with lots of dirt, sand and creek gravel all mixed in. In the process of digging out the shoulders to resurface the burried gravel, adding the creek materials I've raised the whole section of road an inch or two while also lowering the shoulders for better drainage.

    Obviously working with just hand tools takes far longer than using a tractor or other motorized equipment but I need the daily exercise anyway. 2 hours a day spent listening to music and working out in the woods to fix a problem makes sense. With two hours a day through September, October and perhaps a week or so into November I should have it done before the ground starts to freeze.

    Over the past 3-5 years we've been getting more intense, 7+" rainfall events each year. With each such event more excess gravel is left in the creek while more of the road gravel is washed off the road. Going forward I'll have to spend more time maintaining it but the work now should result in a more stable road and also better divert the excess water during storms. The goal is to have more water shed off the road rather than flow along it.

    Copperheads are fairly common in my area and I see several each summer. They're beautiful snakes. Venomous, yes, but in my experience never aggressive. Just respect them and let them have their space, they make fine neighbors. And frankly, they're beautiful animals.

    The tail of a copper colored snake is visible while the rest of the snake is hidden under a silver metal trash can

    Tiny little fungi! Witch's Hat, Hygrocybe conica.

    a very small, glossy red mushroom pushes through moss. Its cap is conical as it has not yet opened.

    two mushrooms, growing near each other. They have orangish, stems and red caps. Surrounding the mushrooms is a mix of forest floor debris, including small steaks, and leaves. 

    Unidentified mushrooms  two very thin and small white mushrooms

    Seen on a morning walk, Campanula americana, American bellflower

    A blue flower with five pointed petals. The center is a white circle with a long, curved center pistil

    I've found the most comfortable position when working from the bed/futon in my tiny house. Never thought I'd use a pillow stand but was given one and it actually works really well with the Logitech Combo Touch. Perfect eye level and typing angle and really stable when placed on a pillow.

    An iPad configured in a Logitech Combo Touch keyboard is propped up on a tablet pillow stand and is being used in a bed

    Tiny little Splitgill mushrooms, Schizophyllum commune. So tiny but both the top and bottom sides are full of texture.

    The underside of several very small, cream colored fungi growing on a branch. The underside consists of deeply lined gills

    The top of side of very small, cream colored fungi growing on a branch. The texture seems fuzzy or spongy. The outer circumference is not smooth but rather looks like a bunch of small toes.

    This morning I discovered a small group of pawpaws growing just 150 feet from my cabin! 🤗 I planted 2 in a different spot last spring but these volunteers are growing in the other spot I was considering. Which leads me to think there must be more in the area that I have yet to discover. 🤗

    A small tree/shrub about 2 feet high with very large, dark green leaves. The leaves are smooth, elongated coming to a point at the end. Leaves are each 2-4

    Oh, this cute boy wants attention.

    An adorable black dog with beige jaws and prominent eyebrows his his nose rested on a keyboard attached to an iPad. The screen of the iPad is behind the dog's head. On the screen is a wallpaper of the Earth and several widgets.

    A white ceramic bowl full of ripe blackberries sits on a wood shelf.

    My favorite and most eaten breakfast and snack is oatmeal. Simple, healthy, easy to prepare and so many optional variations. Most recently, it's blackberries because my bushes are covered. I just blend a cup of blackberries with a teaspoon of sugar, pour it over the uncooked oatmeal. Stir, add a wee bit of water if needed then microwave for a minute.

    A bowl of uncooked oatmeal with a black-purple sauce of blended blackberries poured on top

    A bowl of cooked oatmeal that has been mixed with blackberries making the oatmeal a pleasant plum colored purple

    From a recent morning walk. Some beautiful sun rays and a tiny little wildflower. The sun shining behind several trees casting light rays onto a gravel road that is bordered with a mix of trees and grass

    Dianthus armeria, the Deptford pink A very small 5 petaled flower. The petals are darker pink on the outer portions, gradually becoming lighter and almost white at the center. The background is blurred greed leaves of the forest floor.

    From the morning walk. The smoke from the Canadian wildfires has made its way down to mid Missouri, a bit hazy this morning, but a pretty sunrise.

    A red sun in a pinkish hazy sky rising over a field of grass and flowers

    Spotted water hemlock, Cicuta maculata, highly poisonous.

    A macro photograph of many clusters of very tiny flowers

    Futzing around in my photos, these were taken a few years back.

    Panorpa helena, scorpion fly.

    A winged insect is perched on a leaf. It's long with clear wings with several black bands. Its body is primarily orange and it has an elongated snout, black eyes. It almost seems friendly.

    Unknown bee on Spiderwort

    A small bee gathering pollen from the bright yellow anthers of a vibrant purple Spiderwort flower.

    A nice morning dog walk with all of the usual characters. I'm getting better at identifying bird song. Today: White-eyed vireo, yellow breasted chat, northern parula and cardinals.

    Also, flowers: Queen Anne's Lace A cluster of very tiny white flowers with a deep red magenta flower at the center

    Chicory and a green bee, perhaps Agapostemon virescens.

    A tiny green bee is collecting pollen from the center of a vibrant blue flower set against a blurred green field

    Button bush, Cephalanthus occidentalis is always popular with the butterflies and bees. They have a very nice spicy fragrance too.

    Pipevine Swallowtail

    A predominately black butterfly with orange spots along its wings is perched on a cream colored ball that is covered with delicate white stems, each topped with yellow.

    Milesia virginiensis, known generally as the yellowjacket hover fly. They look intimidating but are friendly.

    A large intimidating looking hoverfly is striped alternately in black and yellow giving it the appearance of a stinging yellow jacket. The fly is perched on a cream colored ball that is covered with delicate white stems, each topped with yellow.

    Eastern tiger swallowtail

    A predominately yellow butterfly black wing borders. The bottom wings also have orange spots within the black borders. It is perched on a cream colored ball that is covered with delicate white stems, each topped with yellow.

    From my archive, a buffet of Purple Coneflowers being enjoyed by pipevine swallowtail, Battus philenor and monarch butterfly. Native wildflower gardens always bring the prettiest critters. 🥰

    A black butterfly with white and orange spots along the edge of its wings rests upon a purple coneflower gathering nectar. Other purple coneflowers surround it and woods are visible in the background

    A monarch butterfly with its predominately orange and black wings rests upon a purple coneflower gathering nectar. Other purple coneflowers surround it

    I needed some images for a project and while searching photos from 2020 I came across these. Taken when I was able to get out on longer gravel rides on the back roads. Taken on an early morning ride when there was still a bit of fog in the low lying areas.

    The golden sun is rising through early morning fog and trees.

    An early morning foggy sunrise over a field with two small horses

    A foggy morning sunrise over a distant hill beyond a mostly open field with scattered trees

    Trail photos!

    Hydrastis canadensis, Goldenseal

    A white-cream flower with very thin string-like petals and yellow-green center grows from strongly textured green flowers

    Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae, the fungi that causes apple cedar rust. Such a strange and beautiful fungi! An alien looking orange fungi that has a circular core with many orange tentacle looking growths

    A few recent photos taken around the cabin and on the trail.

    Camonotus castaneus, chestnut carpenter ant

    A semi translucent orange ant, perched on a green bulb flower bud

    Arilus cristatus, Wheel Bug Nymph. This one was tiny and moving quickly hard to capture up close.

    a very tiny assassin bug with an orange abdomen, black legs, and black head

    Ramaria caulifloriformis, coral fungi

    a cream colored coral fungi, which resembles coral found in the ocean, some think it resembles cauliflower hence the name

    From today's trail ride.

    Ramaria caulifloriformis, coral fungi

    A pale yellow fungi that looks like a coral or califlower growing in the woods

    A fat back leaning against a very large tree near a creek in the woods

    Cortinarius distans or Laccaria, not sure!

    A orange-brown mushroom grows out of decomposing leaves in the forest

    After breakfast this morning I had about 90 minutes before the rain was scheduled to come in so I got out for a walk with the dogs.

    There was a lot of bird song so I took the binoculars and went slow. They were deep in the woods, so I didn't see many but they were all around me: blue-winged warbler, Wilson's warbler, white-eyed vireo, red-eyed vireo, summer tanager, ovenbird, Carolina chickadee.

    Birds that I did get to see were: indigo bunting, chipping sparrow and a gray catbird

    Got back just in time to take a quick ride down to the creek. A peaceful twenty minutes before the storm listening to the birds and the light rain dripping through the forest.

    A few hours later an unexpected visit from a friend who I've not seen in awhile (Hi Bill!). We spent some time catching up on the porch and listening to the bird song. He has an uncanny ability to identify birds by their song and it's always a delight to visit with him. While we chatted another welcome visitor stopped by, a bright red summer tanager landed on a branch not too far away.

    A few photos taken around the cabin yesterday. It's so easy to miss the beautiful but tiny critters.

    Camonotus castaneus, chestnut carpenter ant

    An orange ant is on top of a green bulb of an unopened flower. The ant is facing the camera, aiming towards the left bottom corner

    Augochlora pura, a solitary sweat bee found in the Eastern US. A small green bee is collecting pollen from a small white and pink aster with a yellow center

    Halictus ligatus, a eusocial sweat bee A small black bee with yellow striped abdomen is collecting pollen from a white aster with a yellow center

    Observed on the morning walk: honeysuckle and Auricularia fungi.

    A pale pink flower with yellow anthers is lit by morning sun rays.

    An orangish brown fungi grows along a log on the ground

    From the trail ride today: Polystichum acrostichoides, Christmas fern Tradescantia, Spiderwort

    A vibrant purple flower with 3 petals and bright yellow anthers

    A fat tire bike leans against a tree next to a trail in the woods

    A green fern photographed from above. The plant consists of six stems of leaves and the ground around it is a mix of decomposing leaves, soil, sticks.

    My photos only show a small area along the trail but this hill is covered in Mayapples. It's quite something.

    A woodland trail through a large patch of Mayapple plants which grow low to the ground and look like small umbrellas. The trail is on a steep hill that slants upward towards the right.

    A woodland trail through a large patch of Mayapple plants which grow low to the ground and look like small umbrellas.

    Lots of Mayapples on the trail as well as Andersonglossum, wild comfry which has simple, five petaled flowers. Very pretty evening bird song including: summer tanager, northern parula, and red-eyed vireo.

    A fat tire bike leans against a tree in the woods near a trail. To the right of the trail is a group of low growing, large leaved mayapple plants that look like small umbrellas

    A large leaved plant with simple looking flowers that are grouped at the top of a hairy stem. The flowers are blue and have five rounded petals

    A fat tire bike leans against a tree in the woods near a trail.

    A large leaved plant with simple looking flowers that are grouped at the top of a hairy stem. The flowers are blue and have five rounded petals

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