Category Archives: CabinCountry

Cabin Country – Lost and Found

The sweet peas are in bloom as are the yellow iris.
I was sad to see that the cat bird nest in the lilacs has no resident and is falling apart and looks like a bunch of twigs. I will miss the MEOW call.
Remnant of the Cat Bird nest

It’s a year of losses.
Last May a neighbor died, and their home was sold in the fall. The home next door was also sold.

Yellow Iris and Sweet Pea bushes
The furnace wasn’t working when we arrived and the backup wall heater saved the day, as there were no broken pipes, just a 60 degree basement.
Now that I have the mowing and twigs under control, I plan to check the igniter next week. Last year we secured the furnace roof vent, so I’m not expecting to find any dead bats down the flue this year.

I spent most of the day outside, mowing and pulling an invasive weed. I can’t spray to kill all weeds or 90% of the lawn would die. This weed doesn’t play nice and completely takes over and kills the grass and other plants if allowed to spread.
For now I will even be happy with creeping Charlie in the lawn.

It was a cool and windy day. It was nice to be outside as opposed to the office, where my desk is 2 floors underground and the air is stale by 3PM.
In the afternoon as the clouds rolled in, I decided to take a walk and snap some current pictures from around the house and lakeshore.

Lakeside Ferns

On my walk I found a unique rock. The area had been a Native American burial ground. In the 1940’s all the graves were excavated. I believe that this is a stone skinning tool. It has a sharp edge and fits nicely in your hand. All other rocks found around the lake are rounded river rock and glacial debris.

Stone Skinning Tool

Have a good week!


Cabin Country – Mowing and Ground Bees

We’ve been having a lot of storms this summer, so mowing has become a game of Pick-Up-Sticks.

Last weekend, I gave up and started raking all the twigs before mowing each section of the yard. When I reached lake-side, I noticed something fly past me and then disappear INTO THE GROUND. I watched for a bit to be sure that I could locate the opening and marked it with a twig.
Mowing stopped.

Today I finally decided to tackle the side-yard and then try lake-side again. I watched some of the workers fly in and out as I tried to decide what exactly they were.
Last weekend I watched black and white paper wasps/hornets flying around the yard as I mowed.
Today’s critters looked like BEES to me.
I came in and did some digging and Googled, “Ground Bees.”
Most results said that “Ground Bees” were actually yellow jacket wasps.
I looked at several websites comparing Bees to Wasps.
This image from sheboygan was the best for comparison.
Note that Bees have a furry appearance and wasps have a glossy hard body.
Identifying Bees and Wasps
I went out and double checked the critters that I saw flying into the hole in the ground.
These were fuzzy, OK they are BEES. The orange color on their bodies confused me. These were not ordinary bumble bees.
I read-up on how to mow around them. I put on a long sleeved shirt as a precaution and mowed as close I could to them. One did come flying by my head when I started to get close to their home. So there is a section of yard that won’t get mowed for a while.

They appear to be some kind of bumble bee. Checking the inter-web I found similarly colored bees.
I think that I have a colony of orange-belted bumble bees.
Wikipedia – (Bombus ternarius)

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I had a hard time catching the bees with my camera.
The image at the top of my post is wonderful! It shows how fuzzy the bees are and a close up of the coloring. Image credit goes to this blog which contains the photo credited to Christine Hanrahan. Flying_home2wg