Monday, October 19, 2009

White Angel Trumpet

Posted by Picasa

My white angel trumpet blooms late in the season. In fact when I see the buds on it, I know frost cannot be far off. I got it a number of years ago from a neighbor of my mother-in-law. I always assumed that it was late blooming because its genotype fitted it for a longer growing season than we have 200 miles north.
There did not seem to be any frost around my house last night. I get a lot of protection from the trees. But it is time I got moved back in the greenhouse and I seem to have a lot more and bigger plants than I thought. This happens every year. Why am I surprised?
The way I have it worked out is that I will just get as many plants in as I can in the time that I have available and try not to get overly concerned. It is obvious that I have far more plants than I can sensibly keep so some of them are going to have to succumb to frost. I do not really need 2 dozen of each plant, now do I? If I try to keep too many, the bugs and fungi will have a hey day. Everything will be better off not crowded.
I do wonder why my greenhouse sign down at the intersection of County rd. 21 and SR 147 keeps being stolen. The county road mowers seemingly take great delight in mowing the sign over and ripping it to bits or flattening it with the tractor tires. When that does not happen, someone steals it. I wish I had some kind of device that would make a loud explosive noise if anyone touched it, but that failing, I am looking for a real world solution. Got any ideas?

If you need a giggle, look here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Posted by Picasa

This gulf fritillary is sipping on dog pee. I declare I saw it happen. I have often seen butterflies (usually swallowtails) sipping from damp sandy areas. This is a documented phenomena called puddling and the butterflies are getting minerals from the soil. The male especially needs these minerals as they are enclosed with the sperm in a spermataphore, and the minerals help the female produce and lay her eggs. As it happens, both urine and dung are excellent sources of minerals.

Fun Way to Get More Exercise

Now this is a fun idea!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

For all you X-filers

The truth is out there. Click here to see what I mean.

Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.
- Bill Watterson

Squirrels Teach About Entropy

Judging from the number of squirrels I have seen this year, there must be a population explosion. But the problem, if there is one, may take care of itself. A great number I have seen were playing chicken with cars and the rest were flattened. They used to annoy me by spilling the seed out of the bird feeder and then jumping down to scoop up double handfuls to stuff in their greedy little mouths. I have a feeder now that pretty well thwarts their ambitions on my birdseed. It is a completely metal feeder. The top lid slides open to fill the feeder and the sides are made of chain link that allows the birds to peck out the seeds but presents a real problem for squirrels. They still check it, but it is not the banquet it was for them. I like seeing them, I just do not want to have them carry off my seed.
This is also the time of year when the pecans start falling and the squirrels dig up a lot of my potted plants trying to hide their nuts. I have to check my plants outside every day and replant the ones they dug up. Next spring they will be at it again, trying to find those pecans they planted. I have tried several cruel tactics that did not work at all or not very well. They are too smart for have-a-heart traps.
I think the best plan is just to try to live with them and accept a few losses. Just as all the dust cannot be removed from a house, or every bean picked and canned, or every hair kept in place, it seems to me that the search for perfection causes more trouble than it is worth. Entropy is going to triumph, and you better get used to it.

Devil's Walking Stick

Posted by Picasa

As I ply the roads between my house and Mother's, I have been admiring this plant for several weeks.It is Aralia spinosa and is growing in a low spot behind a dam.The top 3 feet or so of the plant is just visible from the road as I pass by. After several weeks of thinking how nice it was, I remembered to bring my camera. It is a very interesting native plant with many medicinal uses. you can read about it here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Poem by Billy Collins

I keep running across poems by Billy collins that I like. I actually snared this one from the Writer's Almanac. I have always wondered what the water in the earth was like and have tried to get people that seemed to be in the know to explain it. Either they did not know or I could not hear what they said because of my imaginating what I already thought.

Water Table by Billy Collins

It is on dry sunny days like this one that I find myself
thinking about the enormous body of water
that lies under this house,
cool, unseen reservoir,
silent except for the sounds of dripping
and the incalculable shifting
of all the heavy darkness that it holds.

This is the water that our well was dug to sip
and lift to where we live,
water drawn up and falling on our bare shoulders,
water filling the inlets of our mouths,
water in a pot on the stove.

The house is nothing now but a blueprint of pipes,
a network of faucets, nozzles, and spigots,
and even outdoors where light pierces the air
and clouds fly over the canopies of trees,
my thoughts flow underground
trying to imagine the cavernous scene.

Surely it is no pool with a colored ball
floating on the blue surface.
No grotto where a king would have
his guests rowed around in swan-shaped boats.
Between the dark lakes where the dark rivers flow
there is no ferry waiting on the shore of rock
and no man holding a long oar,
ready to take your last coin.
This is the real earth and the real water it contains.

But some nights, I must tell you,
I go down there after everyone has fallen asleep.
I swim back and forth in the echoing blackness.
I sing a love song as well as I can,
lost for a while in the home of the rain.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Spider on Zinnia

Posted by Picasa

I found this spider hanging out on the zinnia with her egg case. I would think this would be a wonderful place to snare prey when they come in to sip nectar.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Poem: What I Understood

What I Understood by Katha Pollitt

When I was a child I understood everything
about, for example, futility. Standing for hours
on the hot asphalt outfield, trudging for balls
I'd ask myself, how many times will I have to perform
this pointless task, and all the others? I knew
about snobbery, too, and cruelty--for children
are snobbish and cruel--and loneliness: in restaurants
the dignity and shame of solitary diners
disabled me, and when my grandmother
screamed at me, "Someday you'll know what it's like!"
I knew she was right, the way I knew
about the single rooms my teachers went home to,
the pictures on the dresser, the hoard of chocolates,
and that there was no God, and that I would die.
All this I understood, no one needed to tell me.
the only thing I didn't understand
was how in a world whose predominant characteristics
are futility, cruelty, loneliness, disappointment
people are saved every day
by a sparrow, a foghorn, a grassblade, a tablecloth.
This year I'll be
thirty-nine, and I still don't understand it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Video of Blue Cochins

This is a video of Lynda's blue cochins chatting together. These are such calm chickens and look so soft you want to cuddle them.
Blogging tips
Blogging tips