Unraveled Wednesday: Oops!
Macro Monday: Hosta time

3TT: My natural world

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

Here are three things happening in my natural world (aka, the back yard)...

1 -- Walnuts. Baby walnuts.

Last Friday night there were a couple of hard PLUNKS on the roof above my bedroom -- a metal roof. PLUNK.PLUNK ... PLUNK.

On Saturday night, there were a LOT of hard plunks at irregular intervals. PLUNK.PLUNK ... PLUNK (roll) PLUNK.PLUNK.PLUNK.


Gah! It woke me up, kept me awake for hours, and even drove me to find the earplugs in my travel bag. It was nighttime so I didn't have my glasses on, but I stepped on something weird as I opened the cupboard outside the bathroom. It turned out to be a *%#&%*@% cricket (I had to bend down -- too close -- to identify it).

We had Airbnb guests... and my roof is right outside the upstairs bedroom windows. OMG, it was AWFUL!! (They never said or acknowledged anything, so maybe they slept like rocks. I hope.)

Overhanging the roof at the back of the house is a walnut tree and these little guys, hardly bigger than a marble -- but heavy & dense -- were raining down on my roof in the wee hours, surely having been dislodged by raccoons or squirrels.


I called a guy on Sunday, and he said he'd be happy to come over, take care of the critters, and collect $500, but that he'd surely be back in a week to do it all over again... and again and again. He suggested trimming the walnut tree. I got a quote for that yesterday... YIKES!!

Meanwhile, we have nature-loving Airbnb guests this week (newlyweds... it's practically a honeymoon) and this is what I wrote to them on Monday, prior to Tuesday's arrival:

There's been some on/off partying in the walnut tree and roof at the back of the house in the wee hours -- raccoons, squirrels -- Friday night was so-so, Saturday night was raucous, and last night was next to nothing. Hopefully, they got it all out of their system and have moved on... just wanted you to be aware. There is nature happening literally right outside your window.

Keeping fingers crossed, but Saturday seems to have been the big party night -- maybe there was some territorial scuffling going on -- and it's been so-so or better since. Sheesh.

2 -- Catalpa trees. 

There are two in our yard, both volunteers. They're weeds and not in the best locations, but I have a couple of soft spots for catalpas.

  1. I never noticed or knew what a catalpa tree was until I spotted a huge one in the park across the street from where Sharon lived in Milwaukee 30 years (or so) ago. She was working as a City arborist at the time and was pretty knowledgeable.
  2. There was an equally huge catalpa tree between our neighbor's and their neighbor's years ago, which surely provided the seeds for ours. My neighbors at the time wanted to relocate their garage and driveway, but their neighbor's tree was in the way and would need to come down. It was agreed and the deed was done. My neighbor knew that my dad turned wood and made lovely bowls & things, and asked if perhaps he'd make one from the wood for their neighbor. It was a nice gesture, and their neighbor happened to be a delightful retired school teacher (my brother's kindergarten teacher) who, at 90 or so, still wore her long hair in braids criss-crossed atop her head, and she'd sometimes chat with us from the upstairs bedroom window while she braided and pinned -- I loved that sweet woman -- so was happy to tap my dad for the job. Unfortunately, the sweet woman who was their neighbor died before the wood could be cured & turned, so now the catalpa wood bowl is mine... and I treasure it.


I thought I'd show the long view(s) from whence the most recent Macro Monday view came. I stood on the pergola bench to take the close-up photos.

On the way back up the stairs, I spotted a nest under the top step.

3 -- Things that go buzz. And that sting.

The nest is similar to this one that I spotted from the bedroom window the next morning. That's under the eve right off the end of the back porch.


Both are in areas where the kids play. Ugh. So, in lieu of both large pest control and tree trimming, there will be small pest control. They can't come until Wednesday, so that gives me time to assess the entire perimeter of the house (which is scheduled to be painted soon). Last year, I had a problem with similar getting under the siding. I've never had so many pest problems before! (I'm not even mentioning the tiny ants... oops, I guess I am!)

_ _ _ _ _


Happy 4th of July!



We had a catalpa tree in our yard when I was a kid, my brothers and I called it the string bean tree! We've had a lot of small green walnuts on the ground this week - maybe the weak ones are easily shaken off the tree? I don't know but Jackie is obsessed with picking them up and that's not a bad thing!


I have a paper wasps nest in the corner of my front door overhang. When I first saw them start building I told myself to go that evening and knock it down...but I forgot! By the time I remembered it was pretty big and I hate to destroy their home and colony. I looked them up and they aren't aggressive unless they feel threatened. We've been getting along pretty well, but I'll be glad when they go away. I don't want anyone who might come to the door to get hurt.

Have a great day!


I do hope the party in your walnut tree is over, for your own sake and your Airbnb guests. Both tree trimmers and guys with traps are expensive! I have fond memories of the only catalpa tree I've known -
the one in my grandparents' yard. My sister and I tried every summer to make catalpa perfume, but sadly only managed to make moldy catalpa flowers.

Nature is nice, but only when it doesn't wake you up or sting!

Robin F

Oh my nature is giving you headaches, Literally. Wasp nests are no fun- we had a large one in the eaves of our first house- We had to have it removed by the pros (it was sooooo big) and I'm allergic to them. Sounds like you're gonna have some new walnut trees after the party is over. I had to look up catalpa trees, I'd never heard of them but realized that I've seen them. They are so pretty and messy when the blooms fall. Hope you and your Airbnb guests are able to sleep.

Robby H.

My best wishes on eliminating (relocating?) the stinging pollinators. We had some build a nest in the master bathroom fan vent a couple of years ago. DH killed 23 of them in about an hour in our bedroom. Of course it was a Saturday afternoon. The first company that came out did some spraying for them which I learned later was mostly ineffective. The second one that came from our HOA wisely removed the nest and searched for others. They said that should do it, but if there were more problems they'd come right back out. I was thrilled to have them gone, especially since they had to climb up on the roof of the second floor. Hope your job is one and done.

Happy 4th!

Caffeine Girl

I think I need to hire you to come and redecorate my house. Everything about your house is just so adorable. You have a great eye. Actually, I used to like my house, but then I remarried and Keith moved in with a ridiculous number of antiques, and now the house has too much furniture and it doesn't match and we don't agree on what to get rid of. Still, he's worth it.


I'm not sure I've ever seen a catalpa tree ... which seems kind of crazy since they apparently love the climate where I live?! the blooms sure are pretty. (and oh my so much better than the paper nest growing on your eaves ...)

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