#5 Is A Bull Calf!

Hello AGAIN! I had to go out of town this afternoon so I didn’t go out and check on the cows until 6:30. A few of the cows were on the southeast side of the pond bank so I went there first. This cow was laying next to her calf, who was sleeping, and I thought it looked a little different. It looked new… I went around to where I could see its face and it was all white. The first calf has an all white face but this was a new one.

 

I started looking it over and saw it was a bull calf. Mom decided I had looked long enough and taken all the photos I needed. Touching was off limits and she didn’t even want me to touch her. I reached out to pet her and she thought a headbutt was a better idea. SO, I went on.

 

There were seven Yellow Legs on the pond bank so I had to watch them for a while. Several of them were very small and for a little bit I didn’t think they were all Yellow Legs. Their legs are very long but I could tell that some of their legs were way down in the mud. They are so funny to watch.

THE NEXT AFTERNOON…

I went out to check on the cows and #5 walked right up to me.

 

He smelled my hand so he could remember me…

 

And I showed him how good a little rub felt.

 

And a little scratch behind the ears.

That’s all I have to say right now. Until next time, take care, stay well, be thankful and GET DIRTY!

 

 

#4. It’s A Heifer!

Hello again! I started working on the electric fence issue this afternoon and the first thing I noticed was the wire between the chicken house and gate was broke. I think probably a deer must have done that because the cows had been content in the hayfield where they weren’t supposed to be. HAHAHAHA! I think if the cows had have done it they would have been in the backyard. One other time the wire was broke and some of the cows were right next to it but hadn’t noticed yet. I get a strange feeling when that wire is broke because it keeps the cows out of the yard. There three places dad put an electric fence that I just don’t understand. Between the chicken house and gate, behind the lagoon, and in front of the south hayfield. Make that four. The electric fence along the swamp behind the south hayfield. If the cows get out any of those places… Now, if they get in the hay lot because of a broken wire that is usually as far as they go. But, if there is a broken wire somewhere around the hay lot, that would be another story, too.

One way or another, I am going to put up barbed wire everywhere it should be instead of an electric fence. Seriously, it is kind of stressful wondering if the cows are where they belong or out grazing on the neighbor’s lawn. Most of the electric fence is rusty and needs replacing anyway.

Anyway, while I was working on the fence and the cows were in the hayfield, I heard a cow let out a LOUD moo. She was down by the walnut trees giving birth. I was back and forth from the chicken house to plug in and unplug the electric fencer as I attempted to find the short. Earlier, I had disconnected the wire going to the electric fence and the fencer went from 0.0 to 14.0. So, I knew there was a short but finding it was a different story. I did figure it out and the last time I checked the fencer was reading 16.4. 🙂 Only one cow, the one who broke the fence, will be brave enough to touch it. She is smart enough to know, since I was working on the fence, that it is working now so she may not even touch it either. Cows are no dummies!

 

By the time I was finished with the fence, the new calf was already up and nursing. I walked over to have a look and saw it was July (the cow’s name). I could tell it was her mainly because of her personality since she is a regular pet. Well, I spoiled her at a very young age. She had no problems with me coming right up to her and petting her. Hmmm… Maybe this isn’t July. Well, for now, this is July unless I find out different.

 

Some calves have issues nursing, but this one had no problem. It took the second calf almost all day to figure it out.

 

What a cutie, huh? One thing good about using a Hereford bull is that all the calves look different. With the cows, you have to get to know them to tell them apart. Maybe they have a white spot on their udder, a white tip on their tail or their navel is bigger. The older cows have bigger udders, too. If all else fails, their personalities are all different.

 

She has a lot of whiskers, too. Just look at the freckles on her nose and those long eyelashes!

 

She already has her moms personality! She walked right up to me and her mom didn’t object one bit. If this had have been one of the first two cows, this would have NOT been allowed.

 

Now she knows who I am and a little scratch behind the ears feels good. The first and third calf won’t let me pet them but the second one does. This afternoon after I finished up with the fence, he was laying just inside the hayfield, almost under the electric fence. I pet him a little then rolled him under it. Since he is a couple of days old now, his mother is OK with it. Plus, I helped him walk to the shade behind his mother when he was just a few hours old. I pet #3 while he was sleeping out in the hayfield but when he realized I wasn’t his mother licking him, he got up and took off like he had been shot.

 

When I first came back in 2013 I would sit out in the pasture and the calves would come up behind me and check me out. Eventually, we became good friends and July is one of those calves. I also kept one of her half-sisters.

Calves are very curious and will follow you until you turn around. After a while, when I am moving the cows from the back pasture, the calves will be waiting for me to come up the lane behind them.

Well, I suppose I better close this post. It is about 1 AM and I guess I should go to bed. Until next time, stay well, be safe, positive and be thankful! As always, GET DIRTY!

#3. Another Bull Calf!

Hello there! I hope this post finds you all well! I came back from town a little after 6 PM yesterday and saw a cow by the hay lot licking her calf. I looked toward the pond and the other two were there. I walked out to the fence by the chicken house to get a closer look.  So, I went inside and picked up the camera then went back outside to investigate.

 

Another one of the older cows had a bull calf. This cow isn’t quite as protective so she didn’t mind me getting closer.

 

I mentioned the last calf’ had a lot of whiskers, so this time I took a close-up of the calf’s face. He doesn’t seem quite a hairy as the last one but he still has a lot. I looked at the heifer and her face isn’t as hairy. I wonder if this is a newborn thing and some of the facial hair falls off. Hmmm…

While I was looking at the calf, the cow that was in the hayfield yesterday morning was looking the electric fence over and gazing off into the hay field. Since she got in there yesterday, she knew the fence wasn’t hot. I looked at her and said, “Oh, I know what you are thinking.” I knew she was about to try something.

After dinner I decided to go visit a friend I hadn’t seen for a while. I looked toward where the calf was and sure though, the cows were in the hay field. I went out to see what they had done and found the gate wire was broke. Since the electric fence is having issues, I knew there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it. They were in the 12-acre hay field, calmly eating, so I decided that was much better than them getting into the hay lot or the yard.

Yesterday the repairman came to recharge the AC and I had him check the voltage where the fencer plugs in. It read 110 which is what it was supposed to say. He suggested the fencer lost its ground and I should put in a new ground rod. We looked over the line between the barn and chicken house and made a plan to replace it.

So, after he left, I went to town and bought a new rod and line. Then I put in the new rod and hooked it all back up. STILL, it reads 0.0 instead of 13.0. If the rod isn’t deep enough, it still won’t work. GEEZ! I drove in 6 out of 8 feet already! Well, I have some experimenting to do and I am going to run the wire from the barn to see if that will temporarily charge the fence. While the cows are in the hay field, contently eating, and not getting into more mischief. One thing I need to do is eventually, but soon, eliminate some of this electric fence…

Until next time, stay well, stay positive, be prosperous and get as dirty as you can!

#2, It’s A Bull Calf!

Hello, everyone! I got up Monday morning and went in to make my coffee and dad said there was a cow in the hay field. Well, the electric fence issue still isn’t solved and I figured if one cow was in the hayfield they were probably all in the hay field. Maybe the calf was in the hay field as usual and the mother went in after her. I realized there was no use getting in a hurry because there wouldn’t be a whole lot I could do about it. Then dad said I should let them all in the hay field to get something to eat. I had a big question mark in my mind when he said that! “LET THEM IN THE HAY FIELD?”

After a few sips of coffee, I went outside to check out the situation. Well, sure enough, there was a cow in the hayfield. She was just standing there looking at me, not grazing. The rest of the cows were in the pasture under the mulberry tree. I decided to go ahead and feed and water the chickens as I thought over the deal because this was weird. Her calf must me in the hay field and she was with it. She is looking at me like maybe she thinks she is in trouble.

After I was finished with the chickens, I walked toward the gate to the hay field and the cow started walking toward me. I thought, “this is going to be easier than I thought.” Then the other cows noticed I was walking toward the gate and started coming, too. Then I noticed the cow in the hay field was NOT the cow that had the calf. I counted all the cows and there were eight instead of nine… GEEZ! So, I walked all over the hay field and the missing cow was nowhere. Then when I came back to the pasture, there were nine plus the calf. The insulators were all on the posts so I have no idea where the cow got in the hayfield.

BUT, one of the old cows was about to have a calf…  The other cows were heading toward the gate to the back pasture and she headed that way, too. I told them there was no way they were going anywhere, so the birthing mother went back and laid down under the mulberry tree.

 

I went back inside and after a while, she was making a lot of noise. I never heard any of the cows make so much noise while giving birth so I thought maybe she was having trouble. I went back outside and she had already given birth and was just talking to the baby. She was cleaning it off and pushing it around more than usual. Maybe she thought it was dead and that’s why she was acting like that.

 

After a good licking and being pushed around for a while, it started trying to get up. Now, folks, this cow was another one that doesn’t particularly care for human involvement, especially in the beginning, and she let me know several times she didn’t need my help.

 

So, after she had it all cleaned off and I determined it was a bull calf, I went back to the house.

I went back later, without the camera (GEEZ!) and the calf had managed to get up and was trying to nurse. If you haven’t been around newborn calves, I will tell you it is quite an effort. They look all over for it and sometimes it takes a while. Sometimes I can help out, but sometimes I am not allowed and this was one of “those times”. The cow didn’t like where the calf was, right out in the sun, and she seemed to be asking for my help. So, she let me help her guide the calf to the shade.

While I was mowing the yard they were along the edge of the pond laying down. Then later in the afternoon they were on the other side of the pond where she was grazing and the calf was sleeping AGAIN. Well, at least they were away from the pond.

 

Then, about sundown, they were laying down in another spot…

 

The little girl is doing fine.

 

As with all calves, she runs around with her tail in the air and practices bucking like a bronco. Her two back feet are white.

One thing I noticed about the little bull calf was his hairy nose. I need to get a photo so you can see what I am talking about. 🙂

All life is special and newborns of any kind are a miracle of nature. I always wonder what they must be thinking when they get squeezed out then licked all over. Then after a few days, they are walking around exploring and getting into mischief.

Well, I will close this post for now. Until next time, stay well, stay positive, get out and breath in some good fresh air. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you and realize how AWESOME this universe really is. And YOU are AWESOME and part of this AMAZING planet. GET DIRTY!

A Visit To The Greenhouses With My Sister & Niece.

Hello everyone! I hope this posts finds you all well and enjoying the nice spring weather. My sister and niece came down from the city on Saturday to do some plant shopping at the four local Amish greenhouses. The above photo is my sister’s trunk AFTER I took out my plants. We had a great time and there were A LOT of people shopping. You would be really surprised how many people come from the city to shop at the Amish greenhouses and two stores. Wagler’s Greenhouse and the Kuntry Store are southeast of town and the Wildwood, Mast’s, and Muddy Creek greenhouses are northwest of town, along with Lilac Lane Country Store.

Since my sister and niece came, I had a good excuse to go. I was the guide. 🙂 Even though I was somewhat disappointed, I did manage to get a few plants…

 

FIRST STOP-WAGLER’S GREENHOUSE

Last year Mrs. Wagler gave me an Amorphophallus which had this really nice Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae growing in the pot. I moved the Amorphophallus outside a few days ago, which is STILL dormant, and the Oxalis hadn’t come up either. So, while I was at Waglers I found several pots that I thought I needed. I told her you can never have too many. The bigger pot has a good-sized clump.

A good friend of mine gave me a few of these while I was living in Mississippi, but they didn’t grow as large and had smaller leaves. You would never know the taxonomists have had a little fun with their name because they seem perfectly happy. I think the larger “version” is Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae and the smaller species is Oxalis triangularis. They can be either green or purple. Common names include False Shamrock, Wood Sorrell, Love Plant, etc.

 

Wagler’s also had a couple of the Oxalis tetraphylla which is also known as the Iron Cross. Now there is a REAL four-leaved clover in the backyard. 🙂

Then when I was putting the plants on the table behind the shed I looked over at the pot of Amorphophallus

 

How about that! The Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionaceae came up now hopefully the Amorphophallus will be next! Now, you may be wondering why I bought two more pots. Well, for one, I didn’t buy them. I give them plants so they give me plants that are offspring of their own collection. If I pick plants they bought or seeds for, then I have to buy. Remember, you can never have too many Oxalis. 🙂 I am sure we all have Wood Sorrels in one form or another. Plants of the World Online lists 551 species.

 

I bought a Heliotrope a couple of years ago so I decided to bring home another. These would look very good clustered with something red. Wagler’s had several of these but I had to really look for one that was in fairly good shape. The label says MARINE Heliotrope, which is actually Heliotropium arborescens ‘Marine’.

She has several other perennials that are just coming on and I did spot some taller Coreopsis (Tickseed) I may go back for later. I am not ready yet.

 

THE KUNTRY STORE

After we left Wagler’s I asked if they wanted to stop at The Kuntry Store. I told them they had plants that were sometimes different than Wagler’s. My sister picked out a few more plants and I found an Agastache ‘Kudosâ„¢ Gold’. I had an Agastache ‘Black Adder’ a few years ago and it did very well. So, we’ll see how this one does. The deer liked the last one and came to the house for a nibble once in a while. At least they didn’t eat much of it each time.

The tag says Mexican Hyssop but they also go by Hummingbird Mint and probably other names. They have a nice honey-minty-licorice scent. Well, at least that’s how the scent is described online but you really have to have a trained smeller to get all that. Kind of like wine tasting. I went to a wine store in Minnesota with my brother a few times and the descriptions of wine and their flavors were very interesting. I am definitely not a wine connoisseur or sommelier and I could never figure out how to separate the flavors. I do have a vivid imagination sometimes, but there must be a limit. Personally, I prefer a glass of sweet tea to wine any day.

 

I also found a MUCH NEEDED Crassula ovata ‘Ladyfingers’. He had several other succulents, but like this one, they were unlabeled. This was the only Crassula ‘Ladyfingers’ he had so I didn’t hesitate. I did very well, I have to admit, not buying unlabeled plants. This was an exception because I already knew what it was. I wonder where he gets his plants anyway.

Of course, we went inside the store and browsed around a bit and they picked up a few other items.

 

WILDWOOD GREENHOUSE

From The Kuntry Store, we went to the other side of town and our first stop was the Wildwood Greenhouse. I can never think of the name of this place! Anyway, even though this is the smallest of the four, their quantity and quality is always VERY good. There were several of these Delosperma cooperi ‘Jewel of Desert Grenade’ (Ice Plant) that my sister and I both had to have. As with last year, they had a nice selection of Sempervivum (Hens-and-Chickens) from Chick Charms. Even though I would like to have a whole collection of “named” cultivars, I didn’t buy any.

They had this HUGE, HUGE Aeonium in a combination planter I nearly drooled over. There were several smaller ones in single pots but they were ALL unlabeled. SO, I didn’t buy. I have never had an Aeonium as a companion but I am wondering…

 

However, I couldn’t resist this AWESOME Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’. What a bright plant! Now there are two bright plants in the shade garden. Last year I brought a Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ home now there will be a chartreuse-green Coral Bell. 🙂

My sister bought several plants at Wildwood but I only bought two there. This is where I found the Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ last year and I was hoping to find another. I asked him and he said he got his order in too late. He said he had to buy Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’… Well, CRAP! I grew ‘Coffee Cups’ in 2012 in Mississippi and I have been wanting to try them here, so maybe I will go back and get one later.

I needed another Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ because a few days ago I discovered mine must have rotted toward the end of the winter. Every time I checked during the winter it was still OK. Now I am ‘Thailand Giantness’.

Oh, yeah… He also had several nice miniature variegated Agave I passed up. I may have to go back and adopt one of those, too. They have labels! 🙂

 

MAST’S GREENHOUSE

From Wildwood, our next stop was Mast’s Greenhouse. They are probably the largest and always have a nice variety. I found this Oscularia deltoides. This is a “type” of Ice Plant and was first named Mesembryanthemum deltoides. Well, any succulent with “Mesembryanthemum-type” flowers were in that genus at one point. One of the common names of this plant is Pink Ice Plant, but the one I like best is Deltoid-Leaved Dew Plant. That is much more catchy. This is a native from somewhere in South Africa where many very interesting succulents come from. I really like it’s curious looking leaves. My thanks to a member of the Facebook group, Succulent Infatuation, for identifying this plant. Yep, it was unlabeled. I will get a page written about this plant soon.

 

When I was finished looking, my sister was still not satisfied so I started following her around. Wouldn’t you know it, she spotted a few Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ I had missed. I told her she should get one and told her sometimes the flowers would be bi-color, sometimes solid white or reddish. She said she wanted one that was all bi-color and didn’t buy one. GEEZ, SIS! I don’t think she got what I said… There were only two or three left so you can bet I brought one home. I read how to propagate them so I am going to give it a try. 🙂

I did NOT venture to their tomatoes even though they always have a lot. I brought home whiteflies from Mast’s last year and I am not going to do that again…

 

MUDDY CREEK GREENHOUSE

Acalypha pendula-Chenille Plant from Muddy Creek Greenhouse.

On farther down the road from Mast’s is Muddy Creek. Muddy Creek is laid out very well, very clean and SPOTLESS! They are very good sized and have a great variety and some of their prices on some items are better. This is where I found the Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Empress Wu’ last years, plus the Buddleja ‘Pugster Blue’. I think I also bought most of the tomatoes here and should have bought them all here.

I didn’t buy anything there but my sister bought this Acalypha pendula (Chenille Plant) for me. I think she had already bought one at one of the other greenhouses. I brought one of these home last year but was undecided whether to bring it inside for the winter. I have always read where they can have issues with mealy bugs and other critters. I was also going to try to overwinter the Begonias and didn’t want any bugs on them. By the time I thought I would bring it inside, mother nature was tired of waiting and sent a good zap. That was that.

Also last year I put the Chenille Plant in the ground instead of a larger pot like most normal people. It did fine and spread out over the gound very nice. This time I believe I will keep it in a pot and let it hang over the sides and then bring it inside for the winter.

Ummm…

 

I picked up this Fan Flower, Scaevola aemula ‘Scalora® Brilliant’, somewhere but I can’t remember where. I brought a Fan Flower home from Wagler’s last year but they didn’t have any I could see this time. So, I am pretty sure it didn’t come from there. Maybe I found it at Mast’s? Maybe Wildwood? Heck, maybe I found it at The Kuntry Store… No, it isn’t a sign of aging because that would be impossible. I am immortal. 🙂

I mentioned earlier I was disappointed. I was looking for plants for the south side of the house and didn’t see any like I found last year. I’m sure you all experience this same problem when you try to find plants you always had and now can’t find them. It’s like they have suppliers that persuade them to buy certain plants. There were plants I would have bought if their tag didn’t say “MIXED” or some cultivar I didn’t like. Most of the time I buy “MIXED” they turn out pink! I want the old tried and true cultivars or the straight species but they are hard to find at garden centers… I ordered a catalog from the Missouri Wildflower Nursery and I am VERY tempted… I think there may be something whacky with some of the hybrids and cultivars that won’t come up the next spring. I found some… Oh, I will wait for that one. 🙂

I am not complaining about the Amish greenhouses and realize they all work very hard. They do a very good job and present their plants very well. They do a lot of work on their hanging baskets and combination planters and they always look really great. One problem is that there are four greenhouses, and while that does bring in many customers, they all go to every greenhouse. While they may start some of their own plants from seed (very few) they buy a majority of the plants they sell. Some are taken from cuttings of their own plants, too. But, by buying from suppliers, they get what is trending or what their supplier’s suppliers are trying to promote. Most of the time when I go to the greenhouses the rush of traffic is over. This time, the customers were out in full force and I was able to observe their reaction. Many were just walking around looking and couldn’t find everything they were looking for. Sure, they had a lot of plants that many people buy and they were selling a lot of plants. Impatiens, petunias, vinca, begonias, and so on just as usual. Cultivar’s change but unnoticed because they almost always look alike.

I have my eye on some Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) up the road. Problem is their location. In front of a business sign, in a businesses yard, on the corner… Well, I took them some free eggs last summer so maybe I should pay them a visit with more eggs and mention the Echinacea. 🙂 They will probably tell me they are renting the building… GEEZ!

Since I already know what the local greenhouses have, the next trip will be the Green Street Market in Clinton. There is also the plant sale sponsored by one of the local garden clubs I need to be watching for. I need another Bee Balm or three because the one I bought last year didn’t come back up. I know why, so maybe I will do better this time.

But for now, I better stop rambling because I have photos for three posts ready. Oh yeah, the calf is doing fine but she likes sleeping in the hayfield. She goes under the electric fence and up about 20 feet or so in the hayfield in the old sage grass and hides. A few days ago she walked under the fence by the chicken house, walked around the corner into the other yard and laid down in front of the trailer. She isn’t getting a very good ZAP because there is a problem… I think the electric line between the barn and chicken house needs replaced and the current is bleeding out somewhere along the way. The fencer says 0.0 in the chicken house where it is plugged in and over 13.0 when I tried it in the barn. There is still a little current because I checked it… No, I didn’t stick my tongue on it. 🙂 The repairman is coming to charge the AC Tuesday and I am going to get his opinion.

OK, now I am finished. Not really because I am going to continue in the next post. Until then, stay well, be thankful, be safe, positive and GET DIRTY!

First Calf of 2018-It’s A Heifer

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all well! It’s that time of year once again when the cows start calving. Yesterday, when I was going to take the cows to the back pasture, they all headed for the gate except one of the older cows. She was completely not interested. I walked up to her and said, “Don’t you want to go to the back?” She said, “No I better not.” I walked up to her and started looking her over. Normally, I can walk up to her and pet her with no problem unless she is in one of her moods. She was definitely in one of her moods yesterday and tried to give me a good head-butt. So, I left all the cows in the front pasture.

For the past few weeks, I have been observing certain signs you just learn to watch for if you have cows. Their udders start getting bigger as they get closer to having a calf for one thing. This morning her udder was very full and she had a little, umm, discharge. I pretty much knew today would be the day.

Then, in the afternoon, I went out to do some work on the fence and she was in the corner by the walnut trees in front of the south hay field. I worked my way up to where she was and could tell she was very close. She was up and down and keeping her eye on me. I worked my way up to within maybe 100 feet of her and decided to give her privacy. I went to the pickup and watched her for a few minutes. She said, “Do you mind? I don’t need an audience and I have done this many times.” So, I left her in peace. This was about 5 PM.

At a little after 6 PM I went out to the gate by the barn with the binoculars and saw a big white spot… I looked through the binoculars and she had her calf already. It was up walking around and nursing.

So, I had to go meet our new arrival and take a few photos. Most of the cows have no problem with me handling their babies, but never this one.

 

The rest of the cows walked to the gate to the back pasture as if they were saying, “OK, she’s done now.” I told them, “Do you know what time it is? This is when I normally bring you back.” They just looked at me and said nothing. I have news for them tomorrow because they are STILL not going to the back pasture.

I apologize for not doing the post about the beds and their location yet. I am about ready, though. I did move the plants from the basement outside on Sunday but the cactus and succulents are still inside. We had some pretty good wind the past couple of days but none of the plants blew over. I put bricks around their pots and gave them a good soaking.

I will close this post for now and hope you all stay well. Stay positive and be thankful. IT’S SPRING! Time to get growing and GET DIRTY!

Dead Nettle VS. Henbit & Viola sororia

Hello AGAIN… While I was mowing Friday I noticed a patch of Henbit that didn’t look like the others. These were not as tall and at the time the flowers seemed a little bluer. So, today, I decided to go investigate further.

Upon further research, I found I had been mistaken before. I thought Henbit and Dead Nettle were the same and my photos were all labeled Lamium amplexicaule… As it turns out, Dead Nettle and Henbit are two different species…

 

As you can tell, the leaves of Lamium amplexicaule, commonly known as Henbit, are small and round.

 

The plants I had been calling Henbit are actually Dead Nettle, Lamium purpureum. The plants are taller, up to 10″, and the longer heart-shaped leaves are arranged in groups of four with a pagoda or pyramidal-type growth habit.

 

Other common names for the Lamium purpureum include Red Dead Nettle, Purple Dead Nettle, Red Henbit, and Purple Archangel.

The entire Lamium genus is known as the dead-nettles. They are native to parts of Africa, Europe, and Asia but somehow made their way to North America. Currently, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 29 accepted species in the Lamium genus.

Both species are edible (stems, leaves, and flowers) and have a sweet peppery flavor and reminiscent of Celery.

Both species are very important to the ecosystem as they are one of the first wildflowers to bloom. They are very important to bees when they first come out of hibernation when food is scarce. I am not sure about the Henbit, but Dead Nettle has red pollen, so if you see bees with red on their hair you know they have been feeding on Dead Nettle.

The leaves are also eaten by deer and rabbits and their seed is eaten by birds. So, both these plants are very beneficial…

 

The Common Violet, or Common Blue Violet, is now flowering here. Originally, I had their folder and photos labeled Viola papilionaceae but today I noticed that name is now a synonym of Viola sororia. There are A LOT of these in the yard behind the old foundation and in the ditch by the street. There were also MANY in the backyard of the mansion in Mississippi.

 

Last spring I noticed a HUGE patch of these “oniony” looking plants growing by the lagoon. I didn’t mow them off at first, but after a while I did. It was strange I hadn’t noticed them until last spring. Where did they come from and how did the colony get so large without being noticed? I mentioned them to dad last spring and he didn’t have any comment. Sometimes I think he probably wonders about me… Well, anyway, they returned again.

 

They are fairly tall and the leaves don’t seem as thick as they were last spring. The weather has had a big impact on many species growth this spring. Although these definitely do look like some kind of an onion, their leaves don’t have much of an “oniony” odor when I squeezed them. Well, you never know… There are Grape Hyacinths and chives growing in the yard and they all look the same. I can only tell the difference when I mow over them or smell their leaves… Normally, the Hyacinths are all flowering this time of the year while the chives are not. This year, no. Most of the Hyacinths are not flowering (at least not yet).

While, no doubt, they are some kind of an Allium species like onions, shallots, garlic, etc., who knows which species. There are 960 Allum species… I would definitely like to know more about this colony so I will have to either mow around them or relocate them.

That’s it for this post. Now, I will work on the yard and bed tour… Until then, stay well, be safe, count your blessings and be thankful. Don’t forget to hug your loved ones and tell them they are AWESOME! They may even tell you that you are AWESOME, too! GEEZ! I feel a much-needed post coming on… Well, I have a problem I need to talk about but it will have to wait…

As always GET DIRTY!!!