Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Bowling Balls and a Big Butterfly


This display is in the yard of a house near Dave's parents. It appears to be bowling ball art. I'm counting 176 visible bowling balls in that picture, and I suspect there are many more that we can't see (given that there are bathtubs filled with bowling balls). Don't even think about buying a piece of bowling ball art, though -- it's not for sale, according to the signs.


Here's the adjacent house. Someone has creativity to spare!

Today is my last in Michigan. I'll be on a plane across the Atlantic tonight. Dave is flying to Indiana at noon. I'm looking forward to seeing Olga again, but I'm kind of dreading being back in England given the drought there. It's been so nice to experience rain here in Michigan.


Speaking of our garden, you know how much I like teasels. Well, they grow wild here, as well as purple loosestrife and other familiar plants. Unfortunately loosestrife and teasels are both considered exotic invasives in the United States. I took this picture yesterday morning, when I took a walk up to our local Walgreen's to run an invented errand (I really just needed some exercise). Walking in this area isn't easy or much fun -- there's a lot of traffic and not many sidewalks. But I survived.


Another brush with nature yesterday at Lowe's, where we went to buy a few plants for my in-laws' yard. This swallowtail butterfly was visiting the flowers in the parking lot, outside the garden center. I saw some bees there too. You have to admire the adaptability of insects that don't find a parking lot a forbidding place. Anyway, I believe this is a giant swallowtail, which according to Wikipedia is the largest butterfly in North America, and it's known for being hard to photograph because it doesn't sit still. It continually flutters its wings even while feeding, as you can see in my very short video.

Last night Dave's parents treated us to dinner at Sibley Gardens, a longtime local restaurant in nearby Trenton. I had two martinis, which were delicious. I think I had some food too, but I can't quite remember. (KIDDING -- I had chicken in a marsala sauce with dried Michigan cherries. It seemed like a good idea to get something with local ingredients.)

I'll be coming to you tomorrow from London, insha'allah, with Olga by my side!

24 comments:

The Padre said...

Happy Girl - Dig The Video - Travel On Brother

Cheers

Bob said...

Safe travels, Olga is waiting!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Insha'allah? Oh Christ, you have not become a Muslim have you? All in all, you seem to have had a great trip to Dave's home state, seeing many different things - including the rather unique bowling ball art. As I write it is almost thirty degrees centigrade here in South Yorkshire.

The Bug said...

I love houses where people go crazy with outdoor decorations - I think they're so much fun. And I LOVE the teasel picture! I want to be there!

Ms. Moon said...

The blue house looks like it belongs in Florida. The bowling balls are, well, unique in an artistic sense, to say the least.
Can't believe you're going home already. I'm sure that Olga will be beyond happy to see her human. Or at least one of them.

Mary said...

There will be a happy dog in London tomorrow. Although she may punish you by ignoring you for a little bit. I mean you did leave her at home. :)

Safe travels for both of your onward journeys. Hope Heathrow isn't too nuts for your arrival and that the e-gates are working and TFL, too.

Ellen D. said...

You have had a busy vacation so I am sure you will be happy to be home again. There is something about climbing into your own bed after a trip that feels so great! Olga will have a big smile for you!
Safe travels, Steve!

Sharon said...

I've tried many times to photograph a swallowtail with not much luck. It must be exhausting to flutter around like that.
Safe travels today!

NewRobin13 said...

That swallowtail is so beautiful. What a nice surprise to cross paths with that beauty.
Have a safe flight home, Steve. Olga is going to be so happy to see you!

Boud said...

Wonderful travelogue for us stay at homes, thank you. And yes,video is the only way to catch that swallowtail. Same with the tiger swallowtails I've been seeing this year, just a blur!

The dastardly purple loosestrife is deadly to nj native water plants, choking them out to make a monoculture, starving the birds fish and insects that need the native plants. They're the fascists of the plant world! Not that I'm passionate about this or anything.

I love those houses, clearly not retirement development zoning!

Welcome back to the UK and a deliriously happy Olga. Safe journey.

ellen abbott said...

I wonder if the people in the blue house owned a bowling alley and closed it down. Where on earth would you get that many bowling balls? Safe travels home. I know Olga will be very happy to see you too.

Barbara R. said...

What a hoot! Bowling ball sculptures! Loved seeing that swallowtail go about his day.

Colette said...

I've so enjoyed this trip to Michigan!

Moving with Mitchell said...

Am keeping good thoughts for your trip home! I'm sure you'll want to create some of your own bowling ball art when you get there.

e said...

This was a great trip. Safe travels to you both.

Kelly said...

Butterflies never stay still long enough for me to photograph! I enjoyed your short clip AND the musical accompaniment.

Looking forward to seeing Olga again, and hope your garden has weathered the drought okay. Safe travels!

Linda Sue said...

weather forecast for London is rain on Monday/Tuesday and Wednesday- Your timing is very good! So glad you took us along to
Michigan- I feel that I have been there in the best part and am not compelled to make the trip myself. Thank you.

Allison said...

Safe travels!

The bike shed said...

Fantastic butterfly - seeing that would make my whole trip!

Debby said...

Safe travels, Steve. You really covered your trip well, and I enjoyed reading along!

jenny_o said...

Thanks for taking us along on your trip. You always find the most interesting things to photograph. I bet Olga will be happy to see you again :) I'd wave at your plane again but it's dark out; you MIGHT miss seeing it. I'll wave in my mind instead. Safe travels :)

Margaret said...

Having never been to Michigan, I enjoyed reading about your adventures and hearing your observations. Bon Voyage!

River said...

Lovely butterfly :)
I like the yard art a lot and that other house too. Makes me wish I had my own home and yard to do stuff with.

Jeanie said...

That sounds like a fabulous dinner! Gotta admire someone who can manage that many bowling balls!