Early Fall Zinnias

(Toledo, OH) I purchased some zinnia seeds at the end of the planting season for a mere 10 cents per package, and the dimes I wagered were a colorful investment.

Even less expensive - and free - is the online auto insurance quote you can receive by following this link. Yes, that was an irrelevant and blatantly commercial aside, but beauty comes with a price tag in the modern world.

At least unless you have your own website.


American Goldfinch Redux

My sunflowers attracted a great dela of activity from a group of American goldfinches, a species of bird that until this year never visited my feeders. I occasionally saw a pair in the neighborhood, but the ticket to keeping these birds flocking to my yard has undoubtedly been the sunflowers.

If birdwatching does not interest you, there is always the prospect of searching for an online auto insurance quote. I'm just saying.


Rain Pouring Down

(Toledo, OH) It was a perfect day to be stuck inside recovering from an illness, as the remnants of Hurricane Ike fed a storm system that poured a near-continuous amount of rainfall on the ground over the past two days.

I felt bad for the delivery men who brought our new furniture into the house, as they had many deliveries in a torrential downpour yesterday. This would be an ideal day for rain gear and umbrella retailers to push promotional products, though I suspect that this is more likely to occur on sunny days to drive sales.


Monarch Butterfly

(Toledo, OH) I have seen only a few monarch butterflies this year, and I was beginning to wonder if this year's populations were down. Even my bright-colored zinnias, sunflowers, and marigolds failed to attract much in the way of Lepidoptera specimens.

The various black-eyed Susans in my yard, however, proved to be the flowers that brought around the monarchs. Glad to see that they are still around, and that I need not worry about cashing in mortgage life insurance on these insects.


Galloping Dogs

(Toledo, OH) Pictured on your left are two of my dogs, Eddie and Ramón. The lighter-colored Puggle is Eddie, who we adopted a little over a year ago, and the darker-colored dog is Ramón, a two-year-old beagle-bulldog mix we are fostering. While these two occasionally play too rough, they enjoy racing around our double lot together.

Of course, active pooches like these have absolutely no need for personal care items like acne products. Perhaps we all should spend more time running around the yard chasing squirrels and cats.

Brown-Eyed Susans

(Toledo, OH) Few flowers broadcast the idea of "summer" better than Rudbeckia hirta, better known as to me as Brown-eyed Susans. These perennial members of the Asteraceae provide many weeks of bright color, and they need very little in the way of TLC. I remember how the Brown-eyed Susans used to fill a field behind the house of my grandparents each August, turning the open space into a sea of waving yellow petals.

Personally, I prefer to spend more time enjoying the flora and fauna of my backyard than I would in expensive home theater furniture, but every person has individual preferences.