New Rain Gauge, New Plants, Sparrows Evicted…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. The grass is really greening up and the trees are budding out nicely. We had rain and thunderstorms this weekend and there 2″ in the new rain gauge. Ah, yes… A new rain gauge. The old one broke so I looked online and locally and was shocked at how much a new one costs. There are all sizes and types adorned with this and that that I wasn’t interested in. I just wanted something simple that I could attach to the railing on the back porch. I found some cheap enough on Ebay so I bought one for $2.42 with free shipping. It arrived in a box from Lowe’s and was definitely shipped by Lowe’s. Inside the box was even a receipt from Lowe’s. I thought that was somewhat strange because I didn’t buy it from Lowe’s. Anyway, it is simply a glass tube that holds 5″ of rain with a piece of flimsy metal holding the tube in place that attaches with a couple of screws to the railing. It will serve the purpose and if it breaks I haven’t lost that much.

 

I had to go to Lowe’s on Friday because I needed a new light for the elevator at church. The elevator at church is, um, very old. If I am not mistaken, this elevator was installed in the early 1980’s and those lights are original A while back one of the fluorescent lights in the elevator burned out.

 

Luckily, Lynn Wilson found one in his garage with the same type of plug. We both knew then if the other light burned out we wouldn’t be so fortunate. Well, a couple of weeks ago the other light burned out. I looked locally and online and couldn’t find one with the same type of plug. The bulb in the old light cannot be removed and the whole fixture needs replaced. The writing on the fixture says GE Light Stick… Just imagine. These lights are about 40 years old and they just now burned out.

 

The bulb is actually glued to the fixture. Anyway, Lowe’s and Menards didn’t have any with that type of plug either. So, I wound up buying one locally and I will have to cut and splice the wires.

Of course, while I was a Lowe’s I had to go check out the plant department. I mainly wanted to see if there was any new cactus. It is just an addiction that can only be helped with more plants. Do I need more? No. It is kind of eating when you aren’t really hungry or going to bed when you aren’t sleepy. OK, so maybe that isn’t in the same category for most people. 🙂

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Lowe’s did have cactus… The rack was in the garden center where morning low temps are still pretty cool. I wonder if they move them inside for the night… Anyway, I hadn’t been to Lowe’s for quite a while so I have no idea how long they have had these cactus. Their soil was actually and surprisingly dry which is a good thing. Maybe they have an employee that knows not to water them when it is cool. Well, maybe that is a long shot…

I couldn’t take photos of the new plants until the next day because it was dark when we arrived back home. I started my plant name research on Plants of the World Online right away. Unfortunately, the Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) website was not working. Then, the next day POWO wasn’t working either… Three days later they are both working again. GEEZ! Their plant pages aren’t all ready so I have included a link with each one for you to check them out on Llifle if you choose.

Introducing, in alphabetical order, the new members of the Belmont Rooster collection…

Echinopsis mirabilisFLOWER OF PRAYER

ek-in-OP-sis  mih-RAB-ih-liss

Echinopsis mirabilis

I thought this Echinopsis mirabilis was a strange looking creature that needed a new home. I think the very dark green color and its odd fuzzy appendages are what caught my eye right off. In a world of cactus where so many look alike, this one is definitely weird.

The label says this cactus is a Setiechinopsis mirabilis. HOWEVER, this species was named Echinopsis mirabilis by Carlo Luigi Spegazzini in 1905 (Echinopsis mirabilis Speg.). Curt Backeberg and “ex-author” Th. de Haas attempted to rename this plant in 1940 as Setiechinopsis mirabilis (Speg.) Backeb. ex de Haas. Well, it is back to Echinopsis mirabilis again.

The common name for this cactus is Flower of Prayer. Llifle and Cactus-Art both say the same thing about this cactus (and most all cactus, succulents, etc.) because I think the same guy did both websites. ANYWAY, he says Echinopsis mirabilis is “much underrated in cultivation, perhaps because it is so easy to grow, notwithstanding this, it is one of the most fascinating and showy species.”

 

When you buy a plant there is only so much a small stick-on label can tell you. This plant actually has more in common with some Cereus species than species in the Echinopsis genus. The flowers open at night and for only one night. The flowers are self-fertile and supposedly produce “hundreds” of seeds per fruit whether they have been pollinated or not. BUT… this silly plant is strangely monocarpic which means it will die sometime after flowering. Fortunately, it will produce several flowers in succession. The fuzzy appendages will apparently lead to more flowers. The one coming out of the top is from an old flower and the dried seed pod is hanging off the end. They flower in ther second year and the plants seldom grow to more than about 6″ tall. This one will be interesting to watch for sure. Click HERE if you would like to see the flowers on Llifle.

 

Euphorbia mammillaris-Corncob Cactus, ETC.

yoo-FOR-bee-uh  mam-mil-LAIR-iss

Euphorbia mammillaris

This is a Euphorbia mammillaris who’s many common names all include the word “Corncob”. It was named and described as such by our friend Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. Typical of all or most of the 1,986 species in the Euphorbia genus (currently), it has a milky latex sap. I have grown several succulents in the genus and all have been interesting companions. Llifle says, “It is a short-stemmed dioecious shrublet producing a dense cluster.”

 

This species has 7-17 ribs with hexagonal tubercles in vertical rows resembling an ear of corn. It also has a few spines.

 

I like the small leaves and there are remnants of its small yellow flowers. To read more about the Euphorbia mammillaris on Llifle, click HERE.

 

Ferocactus wislizeni-FISHHOOK BARREL

fer-oh-KAK-tus  wis-LIZ-en-ee

Ferocactus wislizeni

This is the Ferocactus wislizeni (Ferocactus wislizeni (Engelm.) Britton & Rose) commonly known as the Fishhook Barrel Cactus. It was named and described as such by Nathaniel Lord Britton and Joseph Nelson Rose in Cactaceae in 1922. It was first named Echinocactus wislizeni by Georg (George) Engelmann in 1848. The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) says Engelmann’s description was published in Wislizeni Tour North Mexico 96 but gave no date. I looked the name up on the Tropicos website and it says Friedrich Adolph Wislizenus was the “in author” and the description was published in Memoir of a Tour to Northern Mexico in 1848. The tour was connected with Col. Doniphan’s Expedition in 1846 and 1847.

 

Anyway… This plant had a ridiculous “strawflower” hot-glued to the top of it. I was fortunate to be able to find the others without the strawflower. I was able to snip off most of it. I had a similar Fish Hook Cactus several years ago that died not long after I brought it home. I had been looking for a replacement because I really like the HUGE recurved spines.

This plant is very small but in the wild they grow HUGE and are very long-lived (up to 130 years). They have a tendency to lean south toward the equator which apparently led to one of its common names, Compass Barrel Cactus.

Llifle (and Cactus-Art) have a lengthy description about this plant which you can view by clicking HERE. The species is “variable” and this plant is very small so it will change somewhat with age.

 

Gymnocalycium saglionis-GIANT CHIN CACTUS

jim-no-kal-LISS-ee-um  SAG-lee-oh-nis

Gymnocalycium saglionis

Hmmm… Giant Chin Cactus? That is an odd name for the Gymnocalycium saglionis. The label says Gymnocalycium saglione but when I looked the name up on POWO I saw it was spelled incorrectly. Gymnocalycium saglionis (F.Cels) Britton and Rose was named and described as such by Nathaniel Lord Britton and Joseph Nelson Rose in Cactaceae in 1922. It was first named Echinocactus saglionis by François Cels in Portefeuille des Horticulteurs in 1847.

 

Since this plant is small, it has 1-3 nearly straight central spines depending on where you look, and 7-8 recurved radial spines. Llifle says the species has 1-3 central spines and 10-15 radial spines. The felted areoles sit on top of strangely large and globose looking tubercles. The apex is spineless on this plant but that could change. The subspecies Gymnocalycium saglionis subsp. tilcarense has longer spines and larger tubercles than the species. I haven’t seen the species in person, but my plant appears to have large tubercles and fairly long spines. So, it could possibly be the subspecies.

The plant can grow fairly large and grows abundantly in protected habitats in Argentina. To read more about this cactus on Llifle, click HERE.

 

Parodia magnifica-BALLOON OR BALL CACTUS

par-ROH-dee-uh  mag-NIH-fee-kuh

Parodia magnifica

This neat little cactus kind of sorta reminds me of the two Parodia lenninghausii already in my collection. As with them, the label had the incorrect genus name, Notocactus. Parodia magnifica (F.Ritter) F.H.Brandt is the correct and accepted name for this species of cactus. It was named and described as such by Fred Hermann Brandt in Kakteen Orchideen Rundschau in 1982.  It was first named Eriocactus magnificus F.Ritter by Friedrich Ritter in Succulenta (Netherlands) in 1966. The name Notocactus magnificus was given to this species by Hans Krainz and ex author Nigel Paul Taylor in Cactus and Succulent Journal of Great Britain in 1980 (Notocactus magnificus (F.Ritter) Krainz ex. N.P.Taylor).

 

It’s eleven ribs seem much more prominent than Parodia lenninghausii and its thin spines aren’t quite as long. It doesn’t really make you want to reach out and pet it as much although it is still fairly soft to the touch. I like how the wooly areoles show up well all along the ribs with the contrasting yellow spines. Very nice looking plant.

Llifle says, “This species grows in hilly grassland and on walls between cracks in the rocks or in the shade of larger growing plants in deciduous forest. It grows in one of the most temperate regions of the countries with warm and cool seasons and weather can become very cold during the winter nights, often it will fall to just above freezing without harming the plants as it is also very dry. The soil there is well drained and has a fairly high organic content, derived from the decomposition of other plants.” It has a small fragmented range in Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul) Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. Click HERE to read more about this plant on Llifle.

 

I finally cleaned out the Martin house and gave the sparrows their eviction notice. Susie is patiently waiting for a few of them to get into a squabble and forget she is there. I kind of felt sorry for the sparrows over the winter when it was cold so I let them use the house. Soon the Martins will arrive so the sparrows will have to find other accommodations.

 

They aren’t very happy about the situation… I wonder what they are plotting.

 

UMMMM………

I took a nap in the afternoon and woke up to my son Nathan and his friend Chris on the back porch. Once again, they have done some rearranging… I reminded them that the cactus go in that spot and the table will have to go back on the front porch. They found an old percolator in the basement and had to try it out. I have been alone for a while and “certain things” go in “certain places” and “certain places” have “certain things” there. The kitchen has been rearranged and I often have to go look for “certain things”. I explain to Nathan where “certain things” go and he asks why do they belong there. My answer is simply “because they just do.” 🙂

They have been here for a few weeks now and it has been OK for the most part. Their sleep schedule is worse than mine, though. Basically, they have none at the moment. At first, I had to get used to someone being up and sometimes in the kitchen in the wee hours in the morning if I needed a snack. Old habits are hard to break especially if you enjoy those old habits. I have been told to lead by example. GEEZ!!!

That is about all I have to talk about now.

OH, WAIT A MINUTE! There is one more thing I almost forgot!

A few days ago I noticed this little shoe sitting on the floor of the back porch. I had never seen it before so I asked Nathan and Chris if they had noticed it. They said they did but we all just left it there. It was odd to me because It reminded me of another shoe I had found several years ago in the strangest place. I was on a ladder at the mansion in Mississipi cleaning a light fixture. The fixture was hanging from a chain next to the stairs across from the dining room. The shoe was on top of the light. I left it there hoping that someone would find it after I left and also find it odd. I don’t remember the color but this shoe definitely reminded me of it. Hmmm… Makes me wonder where this shoe came from on the back porch. Could it be?

Now I am finished. Until next time, be safe, stay positive, take a deep breath of spring air (if you are where it is spring).

Sunday Discovery

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ on 3-4-19, #556-7.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing well. I am normally a very patient guy, but my impatience got the best of me. This time it was a good thing. This afternoon (Sunday) I decided to take the camera, get the hand trowel, and go searching for the Hosta that hadn’t come up on the 7th and 10th. Guess what? I found them!

I first went to the spot where the Hosta ‘Whirlwind was supposed to be. I put the trowel in the soil past where it should have been and raised the soil a little. Then, using my fingers, gently scraped off the top a little. I didn’t want to accidentally break off any sprouts that may be just emerging. Low and behold, I found Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ starting to come up. Perhaps with the freezing and thawing throughout the winter, the roots had gone deeper which delayed it coming up.

 

Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ on 3-24-19, #556-2.

I went to where the label of the Hosta ‘Abique Drinking Gourd was and dug down a little in the soil behind it. I found nothing. I thought that was a little weird. So, I removed the leaves in front of the label and found it. GEEZ! I usually put the labels in front of the Hosta not behind them! Well, I suppose I must have forgotten about that even though I bought it in 2017. There are three Hosta planted the same distance from the old fish pool, so after finding this one, I have an idea where the other two are now…

 

Hosta ‘Guacamole” #2 on 3-24-19, #556-4.

I went to the spot where I thought I put the Hosta ‘Guacamole’ #2 last spring and removed the leaves and some of the soil. AH HA! I found it! Now I can move it back with the other Hosta ‘Guacamole’ so I won’t have them in two spots.

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 3-24-19, #556-3.

Then I moved to where the Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ was supposed to be. Remember the last post I showed a photo of a hole where I thought it should have been? Ummm… Behind the label? So, I removed the leaves in front of the label and found the remains of an old flower stem… I removed some of the soil and found Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’.

There is still a vacant spot where the Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’ was planted in 2017. It did not come back up last spring so I should find a replacement for that area. There needs to be four Hosta about the same size along the old goldfish pool.

I also found no trace of the Hosta ‘Red October’.

Then I moved to the bed where the Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ and H. ‘Blue Angel’ has already come up to see if I could find the Hosta Krossa Regal’.

 

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ on 3-24-19, #556-5.

I removed a lot of leaves in the area where the 3-4 Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ were supposed to be. I had moved them to this area in 2017 and also divided the clump. I ran my fingers through the soil a little and found two sprouts. I didn’t look for any of the others yet because I know now they will be peeking through any time if they survived. Since this one survived, there is no reason to think the others haven’t.

Then I went to check on the Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’.

 

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ on 3-24-19, #556-6.

I knew finding the Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ may be a little tricky because the label disappeared. After removing a bunch of leaves and running my fingers through the soil I finally found it!

So now all the Hosta except ‘Red October’ are accounted for. WHEW! That makes 12 cultivars…

Then I went to the bed behind the old foundation (along where the back porch of my grandparent’s house used to be).

 

Echinacea purpurea on 3-24-19, #556-1.

The Echinacea purpurea (Purple Cone Flower) have started coming up now. I planted several in this bed as well as one in the southeast corner bed by the house. They are all coming up now.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum on 3-24-19, #556-9.

I took a better look at the Sedum kamtschaticum in the bed and saw how much it has spread. It has been here for several years but never spread this much before. Last year it sprawled out quite a bit and the stems took root where they were touching the soil. NICE! As always, there is a lot of Chickweed and Lamium amplexicaule (Henbit) coming up in this bed.

 

Sempervivum ‘Killer’

While I was at it I decided to replant the Sempervivum ‘Killer’. The older plants had died since they flowered last spring and left behind a mass of dead leaves and roots. Since they are monocarpic, they literally flower themselves to death. The plant in the center on the left side of the photo may be the remains of one that flowered than hadn’t completely died yet. They were in the center of the planter but I moved them closer to the east side. Now there are 15.

The Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) is getting bigger so working in this planter is a bit tricky. It stuck me a couple of times when I was removing the Sempervivum even though I was being careful. I may just have to move it somewhere else.

 

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) and Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 3-24-19, #556-8.

I removed the leaves from the corner where the Obedient Plant are to see how much they have spread. I think they must spread over the winter under the leaves that blow into the corner. To think it all started with only one plant in 2017…

That’s it for now. Until next time, be safe and stay positive. I am happy now that I can start getting my fingers in the dirt again.

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’, The Crocus, and Monarda

Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house.

Hello everyone. I hope this post finds you well. I checked on other perennials Sunday afternoon to see if any more had sprouted. Not much has changed because the evening temperatures have still been cool.

While I was at it, I took a photo of the Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house. It is very strange how much different they grow in certain areas. I think I will do an exclusive post about the species later.

 

Crocus sp.

It was great to see the Crocus I mentioned in the last post is up and flowering. It would be good to find out the species of this Crocus but I would REALLY like to know where they came from…

 

Crocus sp.

According to Plants of the World Online by Kew, there are 245 accepted species in the Crocus genus. Plants of the World Online is a very good website for plant names now, but their distribution maps are strange. They say Crocus species are native to Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Austria, Baleares, Bulgaria, Corse, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, East Aegean Is., France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Kriti, Krym, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Morocco, North Caucasus, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sardegna, Sicilia, Spain, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Xinjiang, Yugoslavia.

It also says they were introduced to Arkansas, Belgium, Connecticut, Great Britain, Ireland, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Netherlands, New York, Ontario, Oregon, Utah, West Himalaya. Hmmm… With the THOUSANDS of bulbs sold every year, how can that even be possible? There have to be millions growing in much of the United States. Raise your hand if you have seen Crocus in your state (both hands if you have some in your yard)… 🙂

I’m not complaining because I am sure it is a lot of work to manage a website like Plants of the World Online. They have done a GREAT job!

 

Cylindropuntia imbricata...

The Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) has gotten its green color back. Now it will start doing weird things with itself. This cactus is really neat and for several months it will be doing something different every time I take photos… It keeps us entertained.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’.

Finally, Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ is sprouting! GEEZ! I always start checking the Hosta at the beginning of March. There are always a few that have already started coming up. I have no idea when they first begin because I don’t check on them in February. I get pretty anxious because some don’t appear as soon making me wonder if they have survived the winter. The size of their “sprouts” is also variable… Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ sprouts are always large in comparison to the other Hosta I have grown. The above photo shows how tiny the sprouts of Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ are and it is supposedly the largest Hosta in the world…

Even though the Hosta are coming up, lingering cool temperatures will keep them from growing. They can sit like this for WEEKS! Continually freezing and thawing can have an adverse effect on Hosta. It is better for the ground to stay frozen, which you can prolong with a good layer of mulch that won’t blow off.

 

Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’.

I was really surprised to see the Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ with new growth. I had to carefully examine the old stem to make certain the leaves were really coming from it. Sure enough, at least one of the two has survived the winter. The other one didn’t have new growth yet.

It is only mid-March so we have a ways to go before some of the perennials and re-seeding annuals will come up. The grass is greening up now which is a good sign.

 

I started this post on Sunday but I wanted to wait until today (Monday) to finish to see if the Crous flowers would be open. Sure enough, they were. There aren’t many, but they are still pretty neat.

 

You never know what will pop up, even when you have been at the same place for many years.

That’s it for now. Of course, I will keep checking on what else will be coming up. Probably every day or so. It is such an anxious time of the year!

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. I think it is plenty warm enough now to get really dirty!

Signs of Spring

Achillea millefolium on 3-10-19, #552-1.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I took a few photos of the first perennials and bulbs coming up on March 7 and 10. Some have started coming up while others are a little slower. This winter has not been near as cold and we did have snow off and on which was different than last year. It makes a big difference as to what comes up and when. The constant cold spells and followed by warmer temps and thawing in between can cause some problems for some perennials. Even older well-established perennials can rot during winters like this one if not in a well-draining location.

The above photo shows new growth on the clump of Achillea millefolium closest to the house (o the north side) The one farther away from the house has not started coming up. I haven’t checked the one in front of the chicken house or by the barn. I haven’t noticed if the “wild” Achillea millefolium has started to come up or not. 2019 is our 8th anniversary.

Some of the Hosta has started coming up in the shade beds, but Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on the north side of the house is showing no sign. Hopefully, this is because the soil is still too cold in this spot.

I am going alphabetical order with the photos…

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ on 3-7-19, #551-1.

The Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ (Bugleweed) under some remaining snow on March 7 is green and sending out new growth. 2019 is our 9th anniversary.

 

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ on 3-10-19, #552-2.

The colony that is by a Chinese Elm is still looking brown…

 

Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ on 3-10-19, #552-3.

The Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ is starting to emerge from its winters sleep in the southwest corner bed. I need to keep a watchful eye on this one when its bugs start to open to see if it is really a ‘Lunar Eclipse’. I think someone goofed and put the wrong labels in the pots. The flowers on ‘Lunar Eclipse’ change color and I could have missed the “yellow” phase. I still think something is whacky though.

 

Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ on 3-7-19, #551-2.

All of the Heuchera (Coral Bells) are growing new leaves now. They don’t usually completely disappear over the winter even though they are dormant. Above, Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ is getting ready to strut its stuff again in 2019. It was definitely a top performer last summer even though the Japanese Beetles stripped its shade.

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ on 3-7-19, #551-3.

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ struggled a little last summer but hopefully 2019 will be better. Maybe a little of ‘The Good Stuff’ is in order. This plant was nibbled on last spring but I am hoping it will escape that fate this year.

 

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ on 3-7-19, #551-4.

I AM THANKFUL for the Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ continuing to do well after I almost lost it a couple of years ago. I moved it only a few feet from where it was to a new bed and it perked up. I really like this cultivar. We are celebrating our fifth annversary.

 

Heuchera ‘Venus’ on 3-7-19, #551-5.

Heuchera ‘Venus’ made it through the winter very well and appears to have started growing before the others. Maybe it is getting off to a good start for an AWESOME 2019. 🙂

If Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’ returns it will be a miracle. It struggled last spring so I moved it to a new location. It continued to struggle and remained small although it was growing new leaves. It basically fizzled out by the end of the summer. BUT, you never know…

 

Geranium sanguineum on 3-10-19, #552-4.

The Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) has had a few green leaves all winter. I wanted to move a few of these here and there last spring but didn’t. I think it would do better in a better-draining location. Sometimes it does very well here but sometimes not. To damp and crowded seems to cause a bit of a crown rot issue. They have survived here since dad relocated them from the “other house” in 1996. I planted them first in 1981 when I lived I “the other house” after grandpa died. Maybe this spring I can spread them around a little more. I guess this is the 38th anniversary of when I first bought the Geranium sanguineum from Bluestone Perennials in 1981.

 

Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ on 3-7-19, #551-6.

To be or not to be, that is the question… I bought this Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ from Mast’s Greenhouse last June 7th but it remained very small. That was very strange since this cultivar is supposed to get big. I am not sure if it was mislabeled or if the company they bought it from used a growth retardant to keep them small. Maybe they didn’t want to put them in a bigger pot. That would be weird since it is a Hosta and it seems they would have put them in larger pots in the first place (since ‘Blue Angel’ is a large Hosta). You just never know… I will see what happens this year… If it remains small I will have to figure out what cultivar it is.

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ on 3-10-19, #552-5.

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is getting off to a good start although it is looked like this most of the winter. It is kind of weird and seems to like a good part of its, umm, clump above ground. I put it deeper last spring after it got going, and then again later I think and here it is like this again… GEEZ! This is my first miniature Hosta so maybe this is normal for them. I don’t know… The roots have not heaved up because it is firmly in the ground. Weird… I am just thankful it survived two winters doing the same thing.

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ on 3-7-19, #551-7.

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ is getting ready to start its second year. This is a very delightful gold-leaved Hosta that always brightens up the area. NICE!

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 3-7-19, #551-8.

Hmmm… There appears to be a hole where Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is supposed to be… What kind of a deal is this? Did it rot? Maybe it fell into a mole run… I will have to check in a few days.

 

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ on 3-10-19, #552-6.

One of the Hosta ‘Guacamole’ is just barely beginning to emerge while the other hasn’t even started. Hopefully, they will both come up so I can put them back together again. This is our 5th anniversary.

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 3-7-19, #551-9.

The always AWESOME Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ is up and ready to rumble. When this Hosta starts coming up and temperatures cooperate, there is nothing that can stop it. It takes off and starts growing like crazy. This is quite a beautiful large dark green leaved Hosta that I really like. This may be our 10th annversary.

 

Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ on 3-7-19, #551-10.

The Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ is just beginning to come up. Its clump is pretty large but only 1-2 sprouts have come up so far. This multiple award winner is always beautiful and one of the reasons I like Hosta so much. This is our 10th anniversary.

Hosta’s ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’, ‘Empress Wu’, ‘Kossa Regal’, ‘Red October’, ‘Sum and Substance’, and ‘Whirlwind’ have not appeared yet… ‘Empress Wu’ was coming up last March 3 when I took photos. ‘Abique Drinking Gourd’, ‘Krossa Regal’, and ‘Red October’ take a little longer. ‘Sum and Substance’ and Whirlwind’ were new in 2018 so I am not sure when they normally wake up.

 

Lycoris squamigera on 3-10-19, #552-8.

The Lycoris squamigera (Ressurection Lily, Surprise Lily) are up and beginning to give their spring display of green leaves. After the leaves die the bulbs will lie dormant then flower around the first part of August from their dormant bulbs. I thought they were Amaryllis belladonna for many years because they look and behave very similar. Both are members of the Amaryllis family Amaryllidaceae. These have not been flowering very well for several years and no doubt have been here since at least the 1960’s. Oh yeah, it also shares the name Naked Ladies with several other members in the family.

 

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ on 3-7-19, #551-11.

The Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ (Creeping Jenny) is off to a good start for 2019 because it remained all winter. When winters are very cold like last year, it completely disappears. No telling where it is heading this summer since it didn’t die back over the winter. GEEZ! That’s OK because there are several bare spots I can stick it as well as move it around here and there. It makes a great groundcover and living mulch. 🙂 This is our 5th anniversry.

 

Nandina domestica on 3-10-19, #552-9.

The Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) has had a few green leaves all winter. I really love this shrub and I am very glad I bought it with me from Mississippi. Although it is a Japanese native that has become invasive in some areas. The Missouri Department of Conversation website says, “Many cultivars are available having more or less reddish leaves, smaller overall size, and so on. These are currently very popular in garden centers. We urge you to try a native-species alternative.” Hmmm… Heavenly Bamboo are evergreen in warmer climates. If you haven’t tried this shrub, I suggest you do. You will see why they are one of my favorites. It has been 11 years since I met the Nandina domestica.

 

Narcissus pseudonarcissus on 3-0-19, #552-10.

These Narcissus pseudonarcissus (Daffodile, etc.) have also been here on the farm since the 1960’s when my grandma, no doubt, planted them. There is a HUGE group of them beside the Lycoris squamigera. If these plants could talk I am sure they could tell you a lot about their history.

 

Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ on 3-10-19, #552-11.

The Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) is growing again and ready to have the old trimmed away. I really like this plant because it is about as care-free you can get. Thriving in the fill in the corner by the back of the house and back porch, it doesn’t get a lot of attention but still performs amazingly well. I have concluded ‘Walker’s Low’ is a cultivar of the hybrid Nepeta x faassenii instead of Nepeta racemosa because it doesn’t seem to spread by seed. The seeds are sterile so this cultivar stays in a tidy clump. If it were a cultivar of Nepeta racemosa, it would be spreading by seed as well. Well, I am making that point because some websites call it Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ (i.e. The Missouri Botanical Garden). One of the parents is N. racemosa… Ummm… One reliable website also says Nepeta faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ which is also incorrect. It should be written with an “x” to say it is a hybrid… Strange how the Missouri Botanical Garden says it is a cultivar of N. racemosa then say it has to be propagated by division because the seeds are sterile… Just saying… This will be our 3rd summer.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 3-7-19, #551-12.

I uncovered the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ last week to see how it was doing. I usually keep a big flower pot over it over the winter just in case. The leaves didn’t even turn all brown and crispy this winter. This is our 6th anniversary.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 3-7-19, #551-13.

I was glad to see new growth early again this year and I am always HOPEFUL it will flower. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. I thought surely it would flower last year since it got an early start but it didn’t. You just never know… I thought about switching places with it and the Baptisia, which I still might do. The Baptisia gets taller and somewhat pushy…

 

Physostegia virginiana on 3-7-19, #551-14.

The Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) has been covered with leaves in the southeast corner of the old foundation. Leaves always blow in this corner so the Obedient Plant is well protected over the winter. It has spread quite a bit which is why I wanted it in this spot. It is one of “those areas” I wanted something to fill in the corner which makes mowing and trimming easier. Putting “invasive” plants in corners where they can fill in seems like a good idea to me and it works nicely. Only our 2nd anniversary.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 3-10-19, #552-12.

I really need to do some work on the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’. I have them growing in various places and they all do OK. BUT, a couple of years ago I put a few in the northeast corner bed of the old foundation. It this spot they have gone completely bananananananas so they need to be spread out a little. There are also several Rudbeckia hirta (the wild species) in this location which has also done well. This is our 7th anniversary (from Walley Morse in Mississippi).

 

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ on 3-10-19, #552-13.

The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (May Night’) is always jumping and raring to go and the first of the perennials to emerge. This plants clump has barely gotten larger since the spring of 2013… This is our 6th anniversary.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’ on 3-7-19, #551-15.

The Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’, like the other Sedum, are all aglow in their winter colors. Well, I suppose it isn’t really glowing, more like blushing. The lower leaves of the sedum fall off during the winter while the top leaves remain and turn a reddish color. I thankful Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’ survived the winter. Hopefully, the plant with the mostly white leaves will return so I can attempt to take a few cuttings. Such a joy when one of your plants “mutates” into something different. This is our 7th anniversary (I brought it from Mississippi).

 

Sedum kamtschaticum on 3-7-19, #551-16.

The Sedum kamtschaticum (Orange or Russian Stonecrop) that isn’t variegated sprawled out a bit last summer which led more plants. I really like the bigger chartreuse-green leaves on this Sedum. If it does well, maybe I can determine if it is the subspecies Sedum kamtschaticum subsp. ellacombeanum which is larger with bigger leaves. This is our 3rd anniversary although it seems much longer…

 

Sedum spurium on 3-7-19, #551-17.

I still haven’t decided if I should call this Sedum spurium the cultivar ‘Dragon’s Blood’ or not. It has always done well but it doesn’t appreciate being called ‘?’. There are other options besides ‘Dragon’s Blood’ which determining the cultivar somewhat difficult. ‘Dragon’s Blood’ has been popular for many years and since I bought it unlabeled from an Amish Greenhouse, it is pretty likely that is what it is. This could be our 4th anniversary.

 

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ on 3-7-19, #551-18.

The Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ has really spread a lot since 2017 and it kind of getting out of its boundary. It tells me since it is a Sedum spurium it doesn’t have boundaries. I think we need a new contract specifically describing its limitations…

 

Sempervivum ‘Killer’ on 3-7-19, #551-19.

Last summer the Sempervivum ‘Killer’ amazed me with so many flowers! I had not had any Semps flower before, so I was pretty impressed. The problem is, Sempervivum are monocarpic which means the plant that flowers die… That has left a lot of dead plants in this cluster although there is a number of smaller pants that are taking their place. I just have to clean up the clump and make sure all the rosettes are in the soil. There are quite a few that are just laying on the surface of the soil. This is our 2nd anniversary.

 

Stachys byzantina on 3-10-19, #552-14.

I think there is only one remaining clump of the Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear). I am thankful it survived and has spread somewhat so I can relocate a few. This is our 6th anniversary.

 

Syringa sp. on 3-10-19, #552-7.

There are several Lilac (Syringa sp.) in “the other yard” that are very old. Heck, they were old and overgrown when I was a kid. There are different species of Lilac and they don’t all bud and flower at the same time. Only one is budding at the moment but the other two will soon follow. There was another one but it had Poison Ivy growing in it. I sprayed the Poison Ivy after a few years of trying other means to eradicate it. Next thing I knew, the whole Lilac bush was also dead…

 

Tulipa sp. on 3-10-19, #552-15.

The AWESOME cluster of red Tulips are up and soon will dazzle us with flowers. There was a big bed of tulip in the “other front yard” grandma had planted many years ago. when I moved to the farm in the 1980’s I dug what I could up and moved them along the fence by the garden (I also added more I bought). None of them are there now but there are always a few that come up in the old bed. They are still there because the bulbs are so deep I couldn’t find them.

I haven’t noticed the yellow Crocus in “the other yard” that magically came up last spring. Neither dad or I planted them and neither one of us had ever seen them before. That covers a 37 year period…

Well, that’s it for now. I hope your spring is filled with joy and happiness and you have a great summer ahead. I am so glad to see the grass beginning to turn green and the trees budding out. Time for some color! Time to GET DIRTY!

Until next time, be safe and stay positive.

TOP 10 Likes & Dislikes + Being Thankful

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all doing well. I am seemingly at a loss for ideas to write about this time of the year. So a few times I have followed the suggestion of fellow bloggers. This time it appears Mr. Jim Ruebush of “HOW I SEE IT” has made another suggestion…

I mentioned getting stuck was on my top ten list of things I don’t like in the last post. Then, in his comment, he asked if I could fill out the list of top ten things I didn’t like. We both agreed it would be interesting to see the list of other people as well… Then Debbie agreed a top ten list would make a great post.

However….  What would a top ten list of things we don’t like without a list of what we do like?  You need to follow negative thoughts with 1-3 positive thoughts that relate to the same thing. 

For example… “I hate it when I am in a hurry and my boot string breaks.” Followed by “I love my Redwings Boots. I like having spare shoestrings on hand.” Or maybe, “It’s a good thing the strings are long enough so I can just tie a knot in the string.”

Now, what can I say positive about poison ivy? That would be tough except it wouldn’t have to be about poison ivy. It could be about a vine or a vine that turns red in the fall. Well, I’ll just stick with the fall color because I am not particularly fond of any vines…

TOP TEN THINGS I DON’T LIKE:

POISON IVY-leaves turn red in the fall

THORNS-Jim also mentioned in his comment his dislike for thorns. The one reason I don’t plant Roses is because of their thorns and having to prune them. Blackberry bushes are the same. But I do enjoy the flowers and I am thankful for the berries. 

JAPANESE HONEYSUCKLE-But I do like the flowers and the hummingbirds like them, too.

GETTING STUCK-Thankful for having experience and being careful NOT to get stuck.

FLAT TIRES-Hmmm… This recently happened on a gravel road out of the blue. I put on the mini spare and it was also flat. It has not ever been used and the car is a 1996 Buick. But, I was thankful that my best friend lived close so I walked to his house We brought his air tank, aired up the flat and I drove to town and had it repaired (then bought new tires). 

DEAD BATTERIES-But I am thankful for the battery charger. 

LOCKING MY KEYS IN THE CAR-GEEZ! Thankful for coat hangers and the fact the driver window doesn’t close all the way. I am thankful I have only done this a few times.

LOCKING MYSELF OUT OF THE HOUSE-Thankful there is at least one “secret way” to get inside. Thankful I have only done this three times and weird why it happened at all.

RUNNING OUT OF SOMETHING I FORGOT TO REPLACE-Thankful I can do without until I go shopping again. Doing without shows us we can live without certain things. It also helps us to remember next time or to make a list.

MOLES, VOLES, RATS, AND MICE-The only thing I can think of is the opposite. Not having moles, voles, rats, and mice. Using poisons isn’t always a good thing, but if there are mice or rats in the chicken house… Guess what? I use a bait called Tomcat. It works very well. I have been tempted to use it in the garden for the voles, but I have been told that wouldn’t be a good idea. I have no idea why… When I moved back here in 2013, I went to the chicken house one night and it was ALIVE! I told dad there were a lot of mice in the chicken house and he said the cats would get them. Well, there were a couple of holes in the foundation of the chicken house and the cats did sit outside waiting. But, to say there were a lot of mice was a complete understatement. Dad was 82 at the time so how long had it been since he was in the chicken house at night… After a couple of years, I couldn’t take it anymore. I bought a package of Tomcat from the feed store. In three days there were no more mice… Chicken feed consumption went down by around half. 

A couple of months ago I saw a piece of bait outside by the feed room door. I thought that was pretty weird… I opened the door and “HOLY CRAP!” A rat had been very busy and had dirt piled up about 2 feet high (I am not exaggerating). Just think of the hole under the chicken house floor… I had ran out of Tomcat so I went right to the feed store for more. Problem is, it doesn’t work as well on rats. It took a couple of days. Then a week or so ago, another rat was trying to move in. I have not seen a rat, or any evidence of any, for many years until this year. 

GETTING STUNG-For the most part, bees and wasps are beneficial and harmless. BUT, there are members that have bipolar disorder that are so territorial and protective of their nests they will chase you down the street. For those, I am thankful for wasp killer. Not just any old rinky-dink spray, I am talking about the cans that can shoot 20 feet away.

BEING SHOCKED BY ACCIDENT BY THE ELECTRIC FENCE-Sometimes I touch an electric fence to see if t is working so I get just a tingle. There have been times when I have accidentally touched it and the results have been mind-blowing. It was like a shotgun going off in my head. It made me wonder if all my memory had been erased. I am thankful we do have electric fences good fences in general, though. Well, I think this is one of those times when you say positive affirmations in the hope of having better fences in the future and won’t need to use electric. Electric fences are OK, but they need to be maintained. You have to make sure the deer haven’t screwed them up every day or so. Even though the “local” deer know where the electric fences are, dad always said that deer that are new here don’t know. I think they can see the current that we can’t although I am not sure. Sometimes they get spooked and pay no attention to where they are going. Just think about it… How many times have you ran into a closed door during the night, or stumped your toe on a table leg that has always been there? 

PLANTS DYING-I hate it when a new plant dies, or even one I have had for a long time. But, I am thankful for the plants that always do well. I am thankful for having had the experience with the ones that have died. I am thankful that there are so many plants to choose from and for the ones I haven’t met yet.

WINTER (cold, snow, frost, freezes, ETC…)-OK, so I am just going to say winter in general. Even though I close to hate winter, I have rather enjoyed the “S” this year for some whacky reason. I must have slipped a cog… Hmmm… Maybe it is the stillness on a winter’s night. I realize if you live in the city or a neighborhood where there is never a quiet moment you may not experience this. If you live in the country there is nothing quite like the stillness of the night during the winter. Especially when there are a few inches of snow on the ground. So, I am thankful that winter only lasts part of the year. I am thankful that maybe some of the Japanese Beetle grubs won’t make it through the winter. Plus all the other insects pests that feed on plant leaves. I AM thankful for the opportunity to live in a tropical climate. 

CLEANING HOUSE AND DUSTING-I don’t like cleaning house or dusting but I don’t like a messy house or dust even more. Therefore, once in a while I do have to clean. Especially when company will be coming. So, I am thankful for company once a month or so…

WEEDS-The age-old “what is a weed” statement has been overused. How about, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” I have a lot of “weeds” because to me they aren’t weeds. Well, I suppose that completely depends on where they are growing and what they are. There are many “weeds” growing in the pasture along with wildflowers. Ragweed, Ironweed, and Jimsonweed are weeds because their names say so. In my opinion, any plant that is invasive and not useful as a pollinator or food for wildlife and/or growing where it doesn’t belong is a weed. Jimsonweed is a beautiful plant, but not in the garden (or the pasture for that matter). BUT… I am thankful for trimmers, mowers, and being able to pull them up.

DECEPTION AND BEING LIED TO-Believing something that we have been taught is true all our lives only to find out it isn’t true (or at least the way we have been taught). But, when you find out the way it really is, it a very liberating experience. Then you find out the endless opportunities and how AMAZING life really is… “The truth will set you free, and when you are free, you are free indeed.”

NOT BEING ABLE TO PAY OFF DEBTS-Have you ever made debts thinking you could pay them off as long as “this or that” happens”. A series of unfortunate events happened a couple of times in my life which left me unable to pay off a few debts. Not big debts necessarily… Not to mention “other” debts that keep growing you can’t seem to do anything about… GEEZ! The positive thing is that we learn by our mistakes and hopefully won’t repeat them.

CAMERA BATTERY DYING-I am thankful to have electricity and a charger.

Ummm… I think that is more than 10. If you stop to think about it, there are a lot of little annoyances we have to deal with. So many things are avoidable and we learn to “maintain” our lives so we don’t have to deal with them. Like running out of clean clothes so you won’t have to wear dirty socks for a week. You just have to buy more socks or maybe do laundry more often. I try to have as many shirts as socks so I will run out at the same time. I have two pair of jeans, one stays clean while the others get dirtier all week. Keep at least one extra of everything you use and run out of frequently. 

TOP TEN THINGS I LIKE:

Well, this one is a little tricky and not necessarily in order…

MAKING CONTACT… I could write a long paragraph about that, but those “who know” know what I am talking about. 

Ummm… I can’t mention the second thing.

A plant flowering for the first time.

Finding new plants.

Spring.

Good movies.

Watching the birds.

Comments on my blog and blogging.

Experiencing new things. 

Sunset.

Sunrise.

Hearing the birds in the morning. Being able to buy birdseed so they will also be thankful.

A well-groomed lawn… Not necessary my ard for the past few years.

Gardening. There are many reasons I enjoy gardening.

Discovery.

Trying something for the first time and it works.

Good friends.

Talking walks in the woods or on the farm.

GREAT FOOD! 

Feeling good.

My new mattress. AHHHH YYYYEEEESSSS! I recently bought a hybrid mattress on eBay. It came rolled up in a box, 10″ springs plus foam and all. That was quite an experience in itself. I placed it on the old box springs, careful to make sure it would jump in the right direction. You can imagine what happened as I started cutting the plastic wrap… Yeah, that’s what happened in a split second… 🙂 I was thinking about making a post about this and I should have set up the camera and taken a video. Anyway, the mattress is great!

Of course my iMac and camera.

Smiles and laughter.

I better stop there or you will think I can’t count… There are so many things I like and enjoy I just can’t even begin to write them all down. I (we) have so much to be thankful for. 

I was reading a few days ago that we should name three things we are thankful for each morning before we get out of bed. So, I do this every morning. 

Every night when I go to bed I give thanks. This is a good idea whether you thank God, the Universe, The Creator of All, Mother and Father God, the Archangels, or whoever you choose to give thanks to. I am not so sure it really makes any difference at first who you thank. Just saying thank you can make a big difference. You should say “thank you” for any little thing that comes along as well as the big things.

You can give thanks for the air you breath, fresh water, good food, your vehicle, the birds, the sky, the sun, your healthy body, your taste buds, your hands, your feet, the plants, the flowers, the moon and stars, your eyes, your ears, your job, the money to pay bills, your friends and family. All the good things you enjoy you should be thankful for. Even if you don’t say “thank you God”, just say thank you… After all, who is God anyway? OK, don’t get me started on that one. That would NOT be a good item for a post for someone with a research disorder… I would take you all the way back to the Sumerian Tablets. Hmmm… 

I just deleted the next paragraph…

I do have questions about a few things that I am STILL working on. Things I just don’t understand. It isn’t right not to know the answers to all our questions. In fact, we have the right to know. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t know. It is your life, it is my life. We need to embrace life and all it’s awesomeness and with all our awesomeness. We are spiritual beings with energy that connects to everything. This is a scientific fact. Not mere words… There are many things that we are told we aren’t supposed to do that we are supposed to do. Things we are told there are no answers to that there are answers to. If you have been brought up as a Christian you have fallen through a funnel and into a bottle. Well, I have crawled out of the bottle. Now I call myself a “Progressive Christian.”

I don’t know why people are sick and suffer through life. I just don’t understand… To be perfectly fine one day and the next miserable. I have known many perfectly healthy people that have died or now has cancer. WHAT THE HECK!?!?!? I have read a lot about cancer and watched The Truth About Cancer series. I understand but I don’t understand either.

One thing that really bugs me, and I hate to bring it up… We make people live when they want to die, or need to be able to make the choice. I am not heartless, but if I were born a quadriplegic and couldn’t feed myself… What quality of life would I have? Quality of life… We are body, soul (mind), and spirit. When your body dies your spirit moves on (one way or another-LOL!!!)!!! I say one way or another because it depends on what you believe and I am not going to argue with you. You can believe what you want, but like I always say, “THE TRUTH IS THE TRUTH WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IT OR NOT.” So, in reality, we are a spirit living in a borrowed body. So, does your spirit want to live in a broken body? I better stop there, but this could be a really good topic for discussion. How do we make a decision for someone else? After all, one of the greatest scientists of all time was quadriplegic…

One thing I have been doing lately is taking several courses on DailyOM. My thanks to Masha (A Sweeter Life) for sharing the website with me. 

I have watched a lot of documentaries on Gaia.com and some of the recent discoveries would really amaze you. From the scientific community, through archeology and spiritually. It is all coming together. We are finding out many answers about our hidden past, things we weren’t supposed to find out and how it sometimes relates to our future. Science has come a long way just by asking “who are we?” It is like the Universe is answering. It’s pretty amazing! There are also a lot of very good documentaries on YouTube. Just be aware that some people have different opinions and some are a little whacky. 

OK, I better end this post or I will never finish. I do hope you comment and even maybe post about your opinions on your blog. Everyone has thoughts on many subjects… The spoken (and written) word is very powerful.

So, what else are we going to talk about? You name it, I’ll post it. 🙂 Within reason, of course.

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, take a good deep breath, and always be thankful.

Ummm… And AGAIN!

Hello Folks! I hope this post finds you all doing well. It seems when one snow melts another comes to take its place. This one will be followed by VERY cold temps… The forecast originally said it was going to start snowing at 2 AM and snow for 10 hours. It also said we could expect a total accumulation of 6-7 inches. Well, at 2 AM the forecast had changed and said it would start around 3 AM and would last only 6 hours. I think I checked about 4 AM and it still hadn’t snowed. I don’t exactly remember the time I last checked because I was half asleep. I remember checking the radar around 3 AM and it was weird. I should have taken a screenshot. The cloud was like a horseshoe shape and we were in the middle then it surrounded us.

 

The wind was blowing when I got up and there wasn’t a bird in sight. They have been enjoying their new feeder in the tree in front of the house. One day a Purple Finch and a Gold Finch were on the feeder at the same time. By the time I got the camera, they had flown off. It is sometimes hard to take photos of the birds in front of the house because every time a car goes by the birds fly into the tree.

 

I am not sure how much snow we actually received because of the wind but I am sure we didn’t get 7 inches. Some of the drifts are well over 12″ deep, though.

 

My son and his friend are here now and they piled up some of the brush from the ice storm. Then yesterday we helped the preacher from church (not the church next door) remove the brush in front of a lady’s house (who goes to our church). Ummm… For some reason we brought it here instead of taking it to the city barn. The yard was a bit soft but we had no problems until the last load. I told the preacher to just put it in drive and not to put his foot on the gas pedal. That worked the first two times but not the last time. The tires started spinning and I told him to stop and I would get the tractor. Well, I had to air up a flat tire and I needed to charge the battery a little. By the time I was able to get the tractor ready he was stuck much worse. Over the years I have learned a few things about getting stuck in mud and snow. Once the tires start to spin you need to stop. If you can’t get anywhere in reverse, just stop and make a new plan. I rate getting stuck in the top 10 of things I like the least. I suppose in the winter it would be number 1 while in the summer it would move down the list and be replaced by poison ivy. Maybe thorns…

 

Snow and frost (the “S” and “F” words) are pretty high on the list. The “F” word is number 1 in the fall. I do like the patterns the snow makes from the wind blowing.

 

There was a drift on the north side of the old foundation in “the other yard” which I DID NOT jump into. I may have when was younger but it has been a while I have played in the snow…

 

Another drift along the southeast side…

 

Ummm… The Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) doesn’t mind the snow. Last January was so cold it turned maroon!

 

No plants on the front porch yet…

 

Nothing to say about this…

 

Everywhere you look is a bright white on a sunny day.

 

The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ has been tucked under this flower pot for a while.

 

The Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) seems to be holding on to a nest of snow.

 

There was an old bird feeder in the barn so I decided I would stick it in the ground yesterday. This was dad’s feeder when I was growing up where we lived before.

 

A Flicker was wondering where it came from…

 

Back in the front yard, a few birds were enjoying their seed. Usually, there are a lot of Juncos but this time there were a few species of sparrows and a pair of Cardinals.

 

While taking the photo of the birds through the window I noticed the Stapelia gigantea is growing a new side branch. It is going to be really exciting when it flowers…

 

The forecast has changed somewhat over the past few days. For several days it said the low for tonight was going to be 1° F. Now it says 2… Well, at least it sounds better. Of course, the wind chill is a different story. Currently, at about 3:30 PM, the temperature is a windy 15° F and it feels like -6. 😐

That’s all I have to talk about for now. Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Stay warm or keep cool depending on where you live.