Monday, June 29, 2009

Corn in the backyard 2009, week 6

June 28

With a week full of days over 90 degrees and dewpoints in the upper 70s, the corn accelerated its growth. Most plants are measuring about 48 inches this week, which means they've grown 3 inches per day for the last week. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The entire night sky in less than a minute

I don't usually appreciate blogs that simply point to something else on the web, but this short video is so impressive I had to share it.

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

You can view a larger version of this same video at by clicking on the title beneath the video. In the comments section on that page, the photographer also shares some of the techniques he used to make the photographs so brilliant. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Corn in the backyard 2009, week 5

June 21

More rain and a bit of hot weather made for a growth spurt last week as the corn now measures 27 inches tall. You'll notice it's well past the "knee-high" stage and the 4th of July is two weeks away. Still not tall enough to provide a privacy fence, but it's getting there. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A visitor at our window...

Last night we found this little visitor peering in our front window. Even though he's out of focus, can someone identify the species for me? Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Corn in the backyard 2009, week 4

June 14

Karen ran into Farmer Wagenbach in town last week, and he informed her that he visits our blog to check the progress of his corn. How many farmers do you know that use the internet to check their crops? Okay, so maybe this isn't the only way he keeps an eye on things, but I think he'll be pleased to know that on the 14th the tops of most of the plants measured 17" -- just below knee high.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tremont Turkey Festival

If one wants to see the Village of Tremont work together to produce something bigger than themselves, one need only visit the Turkey Festival. Hundreds of volunteers pitch in to prepare and serve barbecued turkey and strawberry shortcake, while bed races, tractor pulls, turkey tossing, a beauty pageant, a parade, and many other activities keep folks entertained. The main Festival activities don't get into high gear until Friday afternoon, so Thursday night is "Buddy Night" on the rides where two can ride for the price of one, and the crowds are not yet overwhelming. We invited some friends to join us for our quota of thrill rides and carnival food.

This is the view of the carnival area from the Ferris wheel looking west. Not huge compared to theme parks, but the biggest thing to hit Tremont each summer.

Lily and Karen sixty feet above Tremont.

On to "Pharaoh's Fury" where Gretel and Karen can't resist screaming.

Karen and Lily are up on the top of this ride somewhere, but you can't see them from here.

Gretel on the big swings with her friend, Emma.

Believe it or not, that blur in the middle of the photo is Karen and Jessica on what appeared to be the fastest, most gut-scrambling ride of them all. The forces were so strong they pulled a 5" hat pin out of Karen's hair, allowing her hat to be pulled from her head. Amazingly, both items were recovered and no one was injured.

As if that weren't enough for Jessica's stomach, Gretel convinced her to ride on this contraption that appeared to be a human sized bread kneader.

The strongest stomachs in the bunch. Although both seemed to have their fill by the time the night was over.

What better way to end an evening of stomach turning than with a funnel cake. Karen had one bite, Jessica couldn't stand to be near it, and it was all Gretel, Lily, and I could do to consume the whole thing. If my health insurer knew I was eating that I'm sure they would have cancelled my policy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Corn in the backyard 2009, week 3

June 7

There was a light rain in our backyard at 9 AM on Sunday morning, so the sky is not as friendly as usual. Nonetheless, the corn continues to thrive, measuring 11 inches tall this week. I apologize for the camera movement on the bottom photo, that's what happens when I try to hold the umbrella with one hand while focusing the camera in macro mode with the other hand. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pressure washing pleasure

Our activities today included lots of little jobs including seeing what the pressure washer would do on the stone planter at the front of the house. We knew it had years of dirt and moss on it, but it was one of those things that was easy to ignore. If I had known cleaning the stone would be so satisfying, I would have done it months ago!

I wish I would have taken a picture before I started washing, but this is how the planter looked after a bit of spraying working from left to right.

Finished. Our friends will have a hard time recognizing our house with a clean planter like this out front. That was so much fun, I can't wait to clean something else!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Corn in the backyard 2009, week 2

May 31

Here's a close up view again since the corn is still only about 6 inches tall. Past experience tells me the growth is about to accelerate!