Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some Beautiful Time Lapsed Photography

Take a look at http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/8u7VqC/blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/05/04/incredibly-impossibly-beautiful-time-lapse-video/ this and enjoy.
The whole character of this would be different with different music.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shoal Lilies at Flat Shoals Creek in Harris County, Georgia

Today I went to see the Shoal Lilies (I know them as Cahaba Lilies, even though they occur in water systems throughout Alabama and Georgia). I had never seen them in person, but they looked so much like the pictures I have studied carefully that I felt I had seen them before. What I had not done was smell them. The fragrance is heavenly. The end of the creek trail led down to the water and I was able to step out on the rocks and walk a good ways into the creek going from dry rock to rock. I got the close-up pictures of the lilies, plus the little purple and white flower on the jointed stem. I am trying to find out what that one is.

I would like to know what this one is. I took several pictures before my camera battery went dead, but still did not get a good one of this flower.

There was such a din upstream that I thought some mechanical or man-made noise was going on. After I found these bugs, I had a better idea, that it was Cicadas making all the racket. They would call for a long time as a group, then the noise would taper off and finally quit for a while, then start again. I knew they were Cicadas when I saw them, but knew they were different from our Dog Days Cicadas in July and August. They made little grunting noises when I picked them up and put them in my pocket, but otherwise they were quite mild and did not even manage to escape my pocket. A little research showed me they were Periodical Cicadas, 13 year Cicadas in fact. The last time this group was out in the adult form was 13 years ago, in 1998.

There were some little index card markers on trees at the end of the trail indicating that continuing would take you to Cook's Cave. I did not know what that was, but I was game and struck out. After a steep walk, but not a bad nor long one, I arrived at a place on the creek bank where the rocks had split, and it made a little cave open to the sky. I imagined  a pirate taking refuge there. The rock above would make an excellent lookout for up and down the creek, and the 4 foot drop down into the hole would put him out of sight immediately. What fun for kids!
There were several wildflowers along the trail, too. Some I knew: Asarum (little brown jugs), wild azaleas (not in bloom), Indian pink, native oakleaf hydrangea, and some plant about knee high that may have been a Viburnum. There were wild blueberries everywhere, some in flower and some in fruit (Yum, delicious and flowery tasting)
Thank you, Mr  Johnson, for opening your property so that people can enjoy this wonderful special place of nature. Your thoughtfulness has provided a great gift to all who will take a short trip off the beaten track . I thank my friend Sarah who alerted me to this wonderful place, and I recommend it to all nature lovers. A little more info and directions to the site can be found here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Deutzia-Do You Have One?

These shrubs are so beautiful in bloom that I do not see why everybody does not have one or more. Perhaps it is the name- DeutziaPosted by Picasa. I admit, the name sounds bad. But that is the only bad thing about it. It is a rounded deciduous shrub that is extremely cold hardy, and flowers late enough not to be bothered by late frosts. Before the flowers are completely open, they have a pinkish cast and often a pink dot on the outside of the flower. They open to a pristine white and last at least a month in flower. They grow 6/8 feet tall and about 5 feet wide. They are not fussy as to soil, and after getting established do not require supplemental watering except in extreme drought.neither insect nor disease bother them as far as i have ever experienced. Plant in sun or shade. Prune like a Nandina, that is, every year after flowering cut away one third of the oldest growth to the ground. This will maintain the natural rounded shape of the shrub and produce the cascading look of the flowers down the branches.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kousa Dogwood

I have been waiting for this tree to bloom for about 10 years. This year ot finally made it's first flowers. They flower later than out native dogwoods, but are well worth the wait.
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Life Will Find A Way

This poppy germinated from a seed caught in a tiny crevasse in the brick. It germinated, grew, flowered, and now is producing seed, from almost nothing.

Monday, May 2, 2011

April Tornado in Alabama

This past weekend I visited Union Hill and Penton, Alabama. Neither community was impacted by last week's tornadoes. But, there were signs. There were little bits and pieces of insulation, roofing shingles, and wall board scattered everywhere. I even saw a baby's onesie. These were apparently carried on the wind twenty miles or more before being dropped. These probably  came from the Dadeville tornado.
I was so thankful that my loved ones had been spared, but I felt immense sorrow for those who have lost all their possessions and some even family members, as well as those injured in the tornado. The scattered debris made me very conscious of the randomness of such an event as a tornado. It can and does happen anywhere. God does not send these events, and they are not punishments nor lessons. God is there however, for our help and comfort when these horrible things happen.
We should open our hands for the affected people as well as pray for their recovery. Yes, there are looters and other  unscrupulous people bent on scooping up help meant for the injured, but that does not relieve me of the responsibility to help any way I can. When I am called to account, it will be for what I have done, not what anyone else has done.
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