Brambles

Twenty minutes in the brambles, 15 minutes prep time and 45 minutes in the oven. The cobbler, with its lemon poppyseed top, was well worth the chigger bites and scratches earned wading into the blackberry patch.

blackberries
FRESH -- Wild blackberries were quickly domesticated into a cobbler.

 

Angry birds

They look cute with their big dark eyes and their wee tiny feet, but make no mistake, hummingbirds are ruthless when it comes to protecting “their” feeder. Normally, it’s Napoleon or some other dominant hummingbird who chases the others away, but this morning, a big red wasp had succeeded in turning the pecking order on its head. The wasp aggressively chased off every feathered rival, including Napoleon, at both feeding stations. The wasp met its match in the form of a flyswatter. It managed one comeback, but hasn’t been seen after a second strike.

battling hummingbirds
DOGFIGHT -- Two hummingbirds collide in a battle for nectar.
Three battling birds
THREE FOR ALL -- Three hummingbirds battle for a chance at some nectar.
Wasp on feeder
MINE -- This wasp dominated the feeders for a good part of the morning. A good whack upside his head sent him off for some time, allowing the hummingbirds to return.

All about the arc

Two random objects, a sprinkler and a wild grass seed panicle, united by two things: 1) they represent different facets of our current near-drought and 2) their graceful arc.

sprinkler
ALL WET -- The trajectory of the sprinkler's flow is backlit by the morning sun. The limited manual capabilities of the camera rendered the drops in short streaks.
Seed panicles
DRIED OUT -- These seed panicles reach over and down, offering a tempting meal for the avian population.

The thistle defense

Derided as weeds in many places, thistles can be quite both brightly charming and an effective biological weapon of sorts.

The Scots adopted the thistle as a national symbol in the 13th century thanks to the role they played in thwarting a Viking attack.  As the story goes, a party of raiding Norsemen removed their shoes, hoping to launch a silent attack on the sleeping Scots.  Running aground on the land urchins, the Norsemen’s howls awoke the Scots, who defeated them.

Thistle
SNOW DUSTED LAVENDER -- Beautiful, but handle with care.

Runt corn

With summer solstice just around the corner, corn should be getting ready to tassel. Never having grown corn before, thought this year, we’d toss a few seeds in the ground and make a go of it.  The corn came up, and while it’s certainly not high as an elephant’s eye, it may struggle to knee high by the Fourth of July. That’s provided that that the rich variety of grasshoppers and hungry deer don’t get to it first. A look at our corn as of June 18:

Runt corn
ON THE SMALL SIDE -- Real corn producers will shudder. The planting density is too great and who on earth uses mulch around corn? Still, we're just pleased the corn came up and seems to be living happily between the basil, lavender and rosemary.
Green grasshopper on corn
WELL HIDDEN -- A green grasshopper matches his surroundings, taking refuge in the broad leaves and whorls of suburban corn.
grasshopper in corn
IN THE SHADE -- A brown grasshopper takes shelter in the arches formed by the corn plant's broad leaves.

Summer storm

Summer’s pop-up thunderstorms can be spectacular, whether you’re under the cloud watching its power or scores of miles away watching the cloud expand and evolve with convection and eventual dissipation. This June 15 storm was apparently a favorite for photographers. KARK had many viewer photos of this storm from different parts of Arkansas.

Storm head
This storm, its billows defined by the setting sun, traveled west-southwest, over Dallas and Cleveland counties. It looked like a snow covered range from 80 miles away.
storm head
A close up of the most active part of the June 15 storm. This head was lit from within by lightning.

Fire

Fire takes many forms, interpreted many ways.

sunrise
FIRE IN THE SKY -- The fireball that keeps us warm, drives our climate and lights up the aurora borealis, had a groggy red look this morning as it tried to cut through the low ceiling and condensation.
stone with colored bands
SET IN STONE -- As if the earth captured what it saw above in a sunrise.
firewheels
FIRED UP -- Firewheels, a native to Arkansas, reach for the sky.