sharpchick_2011: (Default)
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My 3 year old clematis on the fence finally bloomed.
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The potted one by the front door was gorgeous as always, but needs a good pruning.
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After nearly 10 years, the cold weather and a tree limb broke the large terra cotta pot that had been home to this Japanese maple. My neighbor helped me repot it.
 photo Japanesemaple.jpg


And what to do with the very large shards?

Make a planter for some succulents, because everyone knows you can never have too many succulents...

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We love Japanese maples around the cottage, so we have, um...seven. Here's a smaller one.
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The journey is good.

I am remembering to smell the roses.
sharpchick_2011: (Troll)
We had a lovely soaking rain for about 24 hours, starting late yesterday morning.

So unusual for this time of year around these parts. Yesterday's high was 72 in the cottage garden. Quite drizzly. Last year on that date, our high was 103, and we were in the middle of a critical drought.

But yesterday, the universe gave me wonderful weather for planting my backside on the couch and catching up on reading.

Which I did.
Okay, now this lotus is just toying with me.

I have been watching this bud for over a week now.

It gets bigger, and the color deepens but there's no hint of it opening.

 photo lotusbud3this.jpg


I never understand ponders who post this kind of photo, and say something like...

Well, I declare! I had no idea there was a bud. That flower just crept up on me...

Do they not visit their ponds every day? If not, what's the point?

My pond is one of the little bitty pieces of nature entrusted to me that restores my soul.
And so this morning, one of the wees got bolder and came out with the grown-ups for the morning feed.

 photo goldsandbaby072713.jpg


He's (she? do not know - have not looked between the tiny little fins) a new one to me.

There are two other new-to-me wee ones also.

Which now brings us up to six.

And I fear that's really something like 36, or 76...

They do like their citrus.

 photo golds072713.jpg

The journey is good.

And full of all sorts of interesting surprises.

Namaste.
sharpchick_2011: (Man belongs to the earth)
My sub-tropical and tropical sundews (drosera) in the terrarium for year round growing. Four are cape sundews (capensis) and two are rosettes.

d. aliciae - a rosette form
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d. capensis narrow, red
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d. capensis alba
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d. tokaiensis - another rosette
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d. capensis narrow, with flower buds. Yay! Seeds!
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the alba, 6 minutes after being fed a thawed bloodworm.
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the whole tank - I recycled a retired 20 gallon long
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sharpchick_2011: (Scorpio)
All these are sundews. None of them need winter dormancy, and if I chanced having them outside, I might lose some of them, although other CP fans do report them handling some sub-freezing temperatures for short periods of time.

I'm trying a terrarium.

I am fascinated with these plants.
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d. capensis narrow leaf red photo dcapensisnarrowred.jpg

d. capensis wide leaf photo dcapensiswideleaf.jpg

d. capensis narrow leaf photo dcapensisnarrow.jpg

d. capensis alba photo dcapensisalba2.jpg

right tank shot photo partialtank.jpg
sharpchick_2011: (Scorpio)
After triple digit air temps earlier this week, we are having a brief respite. And the humdity is much lower, too.

chicks on my hens - I love the purple of these leaves, and the little tiny teeth on the edges of the leaves that must have some purpose.

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grandchick chair on the front porch

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the bloom only lasts for a day, but it is sensational while it's there

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salvinia minima in the pond - look at the tiny little hairs on top of the leaves

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lotus

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nymphaea Sioux lily - the mottled leaf color is stunning to me. I can't wait to see the bloom.

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sharpchick_2011: (Default)
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Twelve spotted skimmer dragonfly

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Hens and chicks

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The traps are working - see closed trap on lower left for the shadow of the prey...
Venus fly trap 'King Henry'

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Five lined skink emerging from the lily pot...

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Spiderwort, coming up as volunteers...

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sharpchick_2011: (Default)
5 lined skink...

I was afraid the little sucker was drowning in my lily pot, but then I Googled them and found that they can hide underwater, holding their breath for several minutes, to escape predators.

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The "dew" on sundew plants is the plants way of attracting insects that think they are in for a nectar treat. Very sticky stuff, that dew...Dinner, anyone?

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Professional gardeners and landscape companies call the blooms on hosta "insignificant."

But I never have...

 photo hostablooms.jpg

The journey is good.

Early morning in the garden is wondrous.
sharpchick_2011: (Default)
I potted these succulents on May 2.

I'm pleased with the growth so far. We've had a cooler than normal May, and above average rainfall.

Hens and chicks on the deck

 photo Hensandchickscollage.jpg

Pots in the rock garden. I potted these rather than plant them out, because only the sedums would be hardy this winter.

 photo Pandacollage.jpg

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sharpchick_2011: (Default)
Viburnum in bud
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Carolina jasmine covering the roof of my shed, cascading down and smelling delicious.
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My old faithful azalea is full of buds
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Little girls have a special place to sit...they love it because they feel hidden.
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Serenity
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The east garden has my special project for the season.

I'm converting the water feature of the last five years to a goldfish pond. See far left, in the background.
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I designed a bog filter for the 275 gallon stock tank, and my son supplied the muscle.
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For anyone interested in how we built it, I described it step by step in this thread on an aquarium forum.

The pond and bog plants will ship the week of April 22, and after I plant and let them settle in for a week, the first two ryukins will go in.
 photo BlondieGypsy2.jpg


This pond will be ryukins only. Commons, comets and shubunkins get so much larger, and are so much faster, they can out-compete the ryukins for food.
sharpchick_2011: (Candle)
I'm taking a four day weekend.

Spent yesterday rushing about, doing chores and running errands.

So I could spend the rest of the time restoring my soul.
One of the best ways to do that is in my garden.

This morning, I had coffee and newspaper on the porch and then watered the garden.

This hosta is about 6 years old. When I watered, I also rearranged the pinecones underneath it, because I see a slug or two has been munching...
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Japanese painted fern...can't get too much of it, if you ask me. As long as you give it some shade and enough water, it just keeps on going, even in our Arkansas summers.
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Rosemary, anyone? Seriously, if you live nearby, just come on and get as much as you will use.
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Today, I have been graving.

Those photos will appear later in either my genealogy blog, or my cemetery blog.

So you will have to go here, or there to see them.
The journey is good.

And it's still only in the 80s here...

Namaste.
sharpchick_2011: (Default)
The guy who is doing the heavy lifting - and what mowing is needed - in my garden came yesterday.

There's a set price for mowing. I had some other things for him to do.

Like carting out all the little limbs and pine needles from the east garden.

When he got ready to leave, I asked how much he wanted. He gave me the same price for mowing.

Because, he said, you'd be doing this stuff yourself if you could.

I gave him a big tip. Fair is fair.

Afterward, I watered and filled the bird baths.

And then, sat down and enjoyed the morning shadows playing in the breeze.

Photobucket

The journey is good.

Namaste.
sharpchick_2011: (Moon)
I was afraid after our awful heat and drought they would poop out and just drop their leaves.

But no - they put on a brief, but glorious display.

We had a thunderstorm the other night and pretty impressive winds.

The ones in the west garden were sheltered from the storm by the lattice.

And how wonderful they are...

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In a brief spot of sunshine today...
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sharpchick_2011: (Cat with lime)
Overheard in the Barnes and Noble cafe yesterday afternoon...a wedding planner explaining to the bride that the wedding planner needs to have a seat at the $85 per plate dinner reception because of her "blood sugar issues."

I wanted to get the little fresh-faced bride aside and tell her to run like her hair was on fire...


My rain gauge had 3.6 inches in it when I dumped it earlier this morning.

We had a couple of really strong thunderstorms roar through last night and were under flash flood warnings.

The garden needed the rain.

The goldfish in the garden pond were glad to see me with their food this morning, and one did a few interesting flips and twists to get over to me.

Goldfish are like puppies with fins.


To shake off the horror that remains at the Arkansas State Hospital - yes, still - I've been spending as much time in the garden on the weekends as I can.

While I'm there, I've read three good books. All fiction.

The Best of Times, by Penny Vincenzi. Imagine a multiple car pile-up on a busy British highway, and the effect it has on the lives of not only the people involved in the wreck, but also the witnesses.

Le Mariage, by Diane Johnson. The difference in expectations of marriage across cultures - France and America - and whether it's really until death, or prison, do you part.

The Weight of Water, by Anita Shreve. I've read some of her other work, but had missed this one, published in 1997, which uses a true account of a century old murder mystery in New England to show just how far a woman can be pushed until she snaps.

Next up is daughters-in-law by Joanna Trollope. I'll probably start it inside the cottage, curled up on the couch.

Looks like more rain.


The journey is good.

Namaste.
sharpchick_2011: (Troll)
Have been coming home each evening to find both hummingbird feeders empty.

These are 16 ounce feeders.

I kept looking for the legions of hummingbirds, and not seeing them.

This afternoon I arrived at the cottage earlier than usual, and found out who was *really* swilling down all that nectar.

Squirrels.

Most likely young ones who are only about 6 to 8 weeks old.


So I rearranged the way I was hanging the feeders. Instead of on the deck rails, which made such a handy perch for the little shit I saw guzzling as I drove up, I moved the feeders to free-standing shepherd's hooks in the garden and moved the hanging plants there to the shepherd's hooks mounted on the deck rails.

And generously greased the poles with vaseline.

I hope the mama and daddy squirrels have fits with the juniors all hopped up on sugar water tonight...
sharpchick_2011: (Default)
My son gave me an early Mother's Day present yesterday.

He came over and mowed, used the weedeater, raked and cleaned up around the garden.

Okay, I did not let him get into my perennials.

But still...

Then, he climbed up on the roof, got all the pine needles off (which necessitated using the blower and rakes again), and spread five gallons of Silver Seal on the roof.

I got to see my chicklets, too.


Water's still creeping up on land in 22 Arkansas counties.

This flood could well rival the Flood of 1927.


I've spent a lot of time in the garden this weekend.

Friday evening, I caught this guy chasing the hummers away.
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The clematis by the front door must have loved being smothered with ice and snow this past winter.
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Did a little reading of internet news and commentary earlier.

I cannot find it again, but ran across a political commentary about Sarah Palin that made me laugh out loud.

Taking off on her Twitter feed where she chastises the President for not making the photos of Osama bin Laden public...

You know, with his head practically blown off?

She says Obama should complete the mission. The commentator reckons how Ms. Palin knows a lot about completing missions - after all, she completed her gubernatorial term in Alaska in about half the time it's taken other Alaskan governors...


The journey is good.

Namaste.

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