Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gold Hill Warehouse




Posted by Picasa

These pictures are of the old warehouse at the railroad tracks in Gold Hill, Alabama, on SR 147. This structure has been here for more years than I have been on the scene. And looks basically the way it always has, except than somone has started to remove the roof tin from the back section. I am sure it won't last much longer now, which is why I decided to picture it while I could. The first yard sale of the contents was several years ago and I was very interested to see what was there. Although there is less stuff than there was at the yard sale, the inside looked a great deal like it does now, a disorderly array of cast off used building supplies. The door is left unlocked now, inviting a look around.I guess the assumption is there is nothing there anyone will want.
At the time of the yard sale it was stated that the foundation at the back corner had given way, so maybe there was no real way to sensibly save this historic icon. I do feel sad about it though. Maybe it is just my basic dislike of change and an underlying assumption that whatever replaces it can't possibly be as good or as intriging.
What little I know of its history came by way of Robert Heath, a recently deceased but lifelong resident of Gold Hill. He said it was a warehouse (he never used the word depot) that was used to store freight that came in by train. It was then distributed to surrounding areas, I suppose by wagon.
The Gold Ridge sign visible on the west side of the tracks at the crossing came about because train freight would frequently be mis-routed because of name mix-ups between Gold Hill and Grove Hill. Changing the name helped freight move more smoothly. Thankfully the name change only applied to the railroad tracks and we still have our original name. If anyone can offer any more historical data about Gold Hill and environs, please let me know, and I will try to post it. The people with first hand knowledge are largely gone now.

Sweet Autumn Clematis

The white flowering vines you've been seeing along the roadsides, yards, and just about everywhere is Sweet Autumn Clematis. They are beautiful, hardy, and smell great, plus the seed heads are beautiful in their own right. What's not to like?.... Well, for starters they reseed so if you want to grow anything else, be vigilant. Don't let it go to seed. When the bloom has finished, but before the seed are mature, give the vine a violent pruning.They bloom on current season's growth, so you will not decrease next year's show.
For years I thought my SAC (Sweet Autumn Clematis) was either virginiana or paniculata, but each year I noticed more seedling plants and this year after doing a little research, I have concluded that what I have is probably C. ternifolia, one of the more invasive types from.. where else...Japan. The taxonomy of the SAC is out of control. Paniculata seems to be another name for ternifolia and that is not the end of the naming mess.
There may be dozens of different ones, but the only native may be virginiana, which is reported not to spread so readily. But I still like them anyway. If you are thinking of getting one, I will be glad to supply you with a plant,freshly dug. But you may want to enjoy them by the roadsides and stop and pick fistfuls of the flowers. They look wonderful alone in arrangements or as filler.
Looking back, I see I am beginning to repeat myself, maybe because the plants I like come around every year. Any way, the pictures are new and some of the ruminations.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Unusual Apple


Posted by Picasa

Unexpected things greet us everywhere. This is a grocery store apple (Washington State) straight out of a bag. The divided coloration is in a precise line as if it had been done with a straight edge. I might have easily overlooked it, but I was glad I saw it because it reminded me of how many marvelous things there are in the world to be seen and enjoyed.
Once at Southern Homes and Gardens store I saw a succulent that was green with a white edge along the edges of the leaf. It was so perfect that a friend thought it had to be painted on. Nature does not need our help to accomplish wonders.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Computer Troubles

I have been having computer troubles for about 2 weeks, and since I have only rudimentary knowledge of computers, I have to rely on someone else to fix it when something goes wrong. I got a Trojan horse which slowed my computer to a very disagreeable degree. Additionally, I kept getting these message that said I had a virus and to go to a website to get the protection. At the website they asked you to pay $40 and I am sure if I had paid it all I would have gotten was $40 less in my pocket. Hiram was eventually able to fix it, but it took several hours. He had to reinstall Windows twice before he got it fixed. He also had to download all the updates from Microsoft for Windows as many of these updates close loop holes that a virus can get into.
Long ago Hiram suggested that I get an external hard drive, and all but the most recent photos had been downloaded to that hard drive. I eventually got a CD burned with the last pictures on it and he scrapped everything else and started over.
In the process of fixing my problems, I found out several pieces of information as Hiram grumbled along on the repair. First, Macs almost NEVER crash. They also last for years and years, unlike PCs which last 4 or 5 years for me. Secondly, Macs almost never get viruses. This is probably because PC's control about 85% of the market and it is just more fun for hackers to mess with more people. There is also a contention that viruses do not even exist, but rather are some sort of malfunction.I don't know enough about that to discuss so I am just mentioning it in passing. If you know more, please post.
So... maybe next time I have to get a computer, I am thinking of trying a mac even though they cost more. The extra cash might be worth the aggravation I feel when trying to deal with all these problems.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mother's Birthday Party

Mother's church recently gave a birthday party for her and her best friend. Mother will be 92 next week and her friend is 97. Another friend who is 102 was also there along with about 25 well wishers. A woman who often makes pound cakes made the cake, and ice cream was provided. There were balloons (one of which got whacked by the ceiling fan, but that did not stop it from singing Happy Birthday in a very electronic voice). A good time was had by all. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate a long life well lived.
Mother was very interested in my daughter's recent trip to Egypt in part because she had been there herself years ago. She is still very interested in the same things she has always liked- birds, butterflies, and all sorts animals and bugs as well as flowers and other plant life. Although her ability to get around is severely curtailed by a stroke, and she does not hear or see very well, she is still the same woman she has always been in all the important ways. Although she is prevented from going to church by her condition,her interest still lies with the church at the crossroads and those who attend there.
We who are her family and friends have much to be thankful for as she still prays for us and provides an example of how to cope with what to her must be a terrible health situation.
When my granddaddy had quit driving because of his age, one day he drove to Mother's house. She ran out to meet him, sure that something was wrong. What he said provided me with a window to the future and helped me understand that the basic part of a person never changes. He said to Mother,"Your mother is driving me crazy." Although we have laughed about this in all the years since, that a man that old could still be driven wild by his wife is purely a reflection of what he had always been. The same things that drive us to distraction when we are young will still do the same in old age. We often do not know how to cope with a person who was always vibrant and has become weak and frail. It is helpful to remember that they are the same people in their hearts and minds.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Posted by Picasa

Here is my moonvine that is blooming now. It is an annual and a mixed up member of the morning glory family. It is Ipomoea calantha. Instead of opening in the morning it opens in early evening, about 6:15 CDST for me. The flowers unfurl rapidly enough for you to see them open.They release bit of sweet fragrance as they open. They should be planted where they can be easily enjoyed in the evenings. They are strong climbers and will scramble to the highest reaches of whatever they can find that accommodates their upward thrust.I have strings from the ground to the eaves of my porch on the sunny side. They provide some afternoon shade also. I can see them out my kitchen window in the evening as I prepare supper.These flowers are about 5 inches across.
Although moonvine seed can be difficult to germinate, you can grow them easily after germination. I soak my seed overnight beginning in hot water from the faucet. They next day I plant them, keep them moist, and as soon as they are up, jump back. They do grow rapidly. There is not much use to plant them early because like okra, they prefer hot weather. They usually begin to flower for me from a June planting in late July. They continue through August and the hot days of September.
I collect a small handful of seed for next year when I pull the vines down after frost. Some may fall and come up next year, but I have had only limited luck with leaving them to their own devices and prefer the insurance of saving my seed. Besides, I might want to share some .

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wild Petunias


Posted by Picasa

Ruellia,the wild petunia is found in many places. It occupied large areas of flower beds nearly everywhere in Florida. This is probably a testament of how easily it grows and spreads. I have grown it before, but found it to be such a spreader that the next years were spent controlling it. My aunt in New Orleans collected the seed while on a walk near lake Pontchartrain and sent them to Mother. These were 3-4 feet tall. Currently I have some shorter ones in my flower bed that do not spread as readily, and some are pink as well as purple.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Penton Sunflowers

Posted by Picasa

These sunflowers are growing beside SR 77 north of Penton. They are so beautiful I just had to stop and admire them. I assume they are being grown for bird seed but whether it is to attract doves or to sell I do not know. They are so near the road I can't imagine they are going to allow a hunt there. I don't how that person jumped up in my picture.

Unusual Bird Activity

Last evening a little before dark I was at the mall. When I got out of the car I heard a
cacophony of bird sound. Looking up, I saw a huge flock of birds flying round and round although not in synchrony. They were staying together in a group, but some were flying one way and some another. I attempted to talk to a couple people about the birds, but clearly no one I spoke to was interested. One woman said she guessed they were happy. What a dumb thing to say. Anyone could see they were not happy, but very disturbed. Most people appeared not to notice. I bet they would have noticed if those birds had taken a synchronous shat. Excuse me, I can't help myself. Really, how could you not notice or care about something so unusual. Another person offered that maybe the birds were trying to tell us something. Now, seriously, I doubt those birds care anything about us. I see now that for the most part the 2 species were just not interested in each other.
When I came out of the mall it was dark and I couldn't see the birds, but I could still hear them. Is there an ornithologist here who can offer a suggestion? I do not know what kind of birds they were,
Blogging tips
Blogging tips