Friday, March 16, 2018

Study of Small Things

I wrote this poem after hearing last night's news.

Study of Small Things

Crystal H. Rogers

 Daddy heard USDA allowed

a small number of rat hairs
in peanut butter.

I laughed and kept eating.

Now we hear bottled water
has micro and nano particles
of plastic.

I pause to consider.

I know what happens to
rat hair when I eat it:
It’s digested. No harm done.

I do not know
what plastic
may do.

I think I hear butterfly wings.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Forsythia or Yellow Bell

Forsythia is long gone now. Every flower has dropped away and in place of a bright yellow flash in the landscape, I now have a hum drum green forgettable shrub. But it was pleasure while it lasted, and the great part is, it will be back next year, in spite of anything I may or may not do to it. It takes care of itself. It would be denser and produce more flowers if it were in less shade and was watered in dry spells and treated to fertilizer each year, and pruned a little. But Forsythia is not my only concern in life, so I let it take care of itself.
The easiest way to propagate Forsythia is to cut 4 or 5 twelve inch branches and stick them straight into the ground where you want them to grow. (Clay is OK). Keep them watered the first year, especially in dry spells, then before you know it you'll have a nice bush.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Rocks From Lake Superior

This plate of  "cookies"
was brought to me from the shores of Lake Superior at Whitefish Point, near the Edmund Fitzgerald Museum. (The Edmund Fitzgerald was lost with 29 souls aboard in 1975.) The collector of these beautiful rocks reported that it appeared that on this beach made of rocks, each one was different (isn't Nature wonderful?). I know that it must be a sight that lives long in memory, as this is only the second person I know personally who has visited Lake Superior, and both were struck by the stony beach. The waves were huge and pounding at the time these stones were gathered, and it was said that the waves and stones will grind many stones to sand in as little as 6 weeks from the time they arrive at the beach.
I call this a plate of cookies because every time I pass them sitting on the kitchen counter, I fleetingly think they are cookies and want to eat one.

Weather update: after 2 days of bitter (40's) wind that felt like it was off ice, this morning there was a pretty good frost. Just a reminder that we are not finished with frost yet, in spite of the warm temps  in February

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Edgeworthia (Paperbush)

I have posted about Edgeworthia (Paperbush) several years ago (look here). But I think it's worth an update. These fragrant flowers are always worth a second sniff.

My bush suffered a tragedy last summer. I don't know exactly what happened but most of the limbs broke or rotten off near the bottom where they came from the original stalk. Now it is about half the size it was when I first posted about it in 2016.
 I am studying over how I might reshape it by pruning after the blooms pass. I read online that clay soil (which I have) and staying too damp (remember how much rain we had last year) can cause a familiar form of root rot. Maybe I ought to plan to root some of my prunings and if I get that done and produce something to replant, I better try to make the soil faster draining wherever I plant it.

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
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