Friday, February 23, 2018

Daffodils Popping Out like Crazy

Spring has jumped ahead of me (once again). It always seems like there is plenty of time to get seed started, get a few new trees and shrubs in the ground, etc and then suddenly it's getting late for all these things. I have planted a few pepper seed but no tomatoes or flowers yet. In fact the flowers I ordered from the American Horticulture seed exchange have not even arrived yet. But it is hot as blue blazes, 80 degree days and 60 or 70 degree nights. And it is far too early for all this heat. The weather man says that a Bermuda high is responsible for all this heat and lack of rain, and mentioned the drought of 2007. I hope we do not go there again!
But the daffodils are moving along at an incredible rate, as are the hyacinths. They all smell so sweet. (Well maybe not some of the Narcissus.)

                                                        Peeping Tom daffodil

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Hepatica blooms a long time

This Hepatica, an early wildflower, has been blooming since December, although it only has one bloom left now. I have to go out early winter and scratch in the leaves if I want to see it. Sometimes I miss it as it's so well hidden. The name Hepatica comes from the lobed leaves that must have reminded someone of the liver.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Mobile Bay From Fort Morgan

Mobile Bay as seen from Fort Morgan. Plenty of pelicans were enjoying riding the rocking water under the watchful eye of too many gas wells.

The remains of an old pier at Fort Morgan, with the gas wells in the background (again).

Pelicans and gas wells (again) on Mobile Bay. I keep showing these as I was amazed (alarmed?) at their proliferation since the last time I was there several years ago. At one point I could see 9 wells in the Bay, and I am not sure there were not more than that. Good Grief! Do they really need that many because of pockets or the way the gas is in the ground, or is this just an effort to suck the gas out as quickly as they can? It certainly makes for a miserable view. It destroys the calmness of gazing out to the horizon. By the way, does anyone know what happened to the money that Alabama schools were supposed to get from these wells? As I remember, these wells were touted in the news as being the salvation of Alabama schools. They could have everything, be the best. No more school taxes. The gas would take care of it. What happened to that promise, that dream? Close to 50 years have passed, and I do not remember a time when Alabama schools were not in need nor a time when they didn't need overhaul. I am not talking buildings as much as what goes on inside the buildings. Tell me, what happened and is happening to the money from these wells.

I have found some info  on the Alabama Trust Fund. It appears that the money just goes into the budget, not directly to schools as I had though. See info here

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Fort Morgan in February 2018

These are 3 iconic views of historic Fort Morgan which is about a 30-45 minute drive from Gulf Shores, Alabama. It stands at the mouth of Mobile Bay and was used in both the War of 1812 and the Civil War. This is a good time of year to visit the fort (especially with children) as it is not so hot and is pleasant to climb the many sets of steps throughout the fort and walk through the cool passageways.
 I "discovered" a passage that was too dark to see your hand in front of your face. It made several turns so that light was excluded, and ended in a small room that was used for ???  It brought a feeling of excitement and mystery that one seldom finds in any public places these days. I was standing in the tunnel to let my eyes adjust when someone came in from the entrance with a flashlight. He was very startled to see someone already there and started to go back. I invited him to come on by me and bring his light so that we all got to see and go on the adventure together.
 In 2008 an unexploded ordnance from the Civil War battle was found during construction. There are discoveries to be made, but some not so pleasant.
 Fort Morgan is a National Historic Landmark administered by the National Park Service. Admission is adults $7, students and seniors $5, but if you have a National Park pass, just drive on in.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

February Orange Beach Sunrise


William Stanley Braithwaite
I am glad daylong for the gift of song,
     For time and change and sorrow;
For the sunset wings and the world-end things
     Which hang on the edge of to-morrow.
I am glad for my heart whose gates apart
     Are the entrance-place of wonders,
Where dreams come in from the rush and din
     Like sheep from the rains and thunders.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Trees at Dusk

 One evening recently, I took these pictures of trees in my yard. They look like black lace against the sky.

                                              The previous  two are in the back of the house. 
                                                                  Such nice silhouettes!

Note the mistletoe in this one. We affectionately refer to this, our oldest and largest tree as 'Johnny Reb'. I don't think it has been around that long, but it has been here a long time.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Winter Sunrise January 2018

This is a winter sunrise out my back door, with the sandbox that was long ago converted into a rooting bed/ holding area for plants that were awaiting a permanent home. The wooden bar across the top is the remnants of a failed rooting  project on camellia where I put them under a plastic cover to increase the humidity. Now I use the bar as a stand to spray paint occasional projects. The green in the back part of the holding area is a combination of two plants: an enterprising red cedar and a tangle of Jackson Smilax that I  can easily dig and sell. The trusty clothesline appears in the far back with it's surround of brick. You can see my trail through the leaves. The color that morning was gorgeous, but short lived. The pictures are nice, but do not exactly capture reality. I let the leaves lay where they fall as I love to look at them, love to walk through them and hear them crunch, and anyway, come spring, the wind will have put them exactly where they should be.

Looking in another direction to the east the same morning, more trees and beautiful pink/purple
sky with a little orange thrown in. Bare trees against the sky looking like lace is one of the more beautiful sights on this earth. The orange dot in the far back is a pumpkin on its way to the next stage. The closer orange dot is the roof of a fairy house made for me by a friend. In spite of my patience, no faeries have taken up residence (yet).
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