Monday, October 31, 2011

Discovernator Fact

There has been only one documented case since 1974 of a deadly Halloween treat killing a child. His father did it.

No surprises there, huh?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pink Pumpkin

This is my first time to see a pink pumpkin. The grey ones look kind of nauseated, but the pink one  is cute. If it had fewer pustules it would be better but I suppose the pumpkin breeders can work on that. I still think orange ones beat the other colors hands down though. 
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shrub Daisy

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This is a shrub daisy. I bought 2 of these which were half dead from a clearance rack. It turned out all they needed was some water. They have done beautifully all summer and even now in my flower bed. They get full sun (well, for the most part), and water only when I water the rest of the bed. Clay based soil has it's benefits. It holds onto water and  requires less watering than loam or sandy loam that is typically thought of as the preferred soil type. These shrub daisies (Euryops  pectinatus) are members of the aster family and do best in full sun. During mid-summer they slack off  on blooming a bit, although they still have a few flowers, and right now are covered with blooms. In fact, some people think they prefer the cooler weather. Not too cool though, as they are hardy only to about 25 F. I had one planted in my flower bed last year and it did not return, although I did not get it planted till the fall and perhaps it did not get established. They are reputed to root easily, so I need to make some cuttings and try that before frost cuts my efforts short. I hope I have not waited too long. Many plants do not root easily in the fall and winter unless you have bottom heat. Well, we will see....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ladies Tresses

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Seems like the ladies tresses orchids (Spiranthes) were late this year, another thing I attribute to the lack of rain. They seem to pop up unexpectedly and I am always surprised and pleased. They grow in one section of the yard in the grass and seem to come up in different spots. They are perrennial according to what I read so I guess different plants come up in different years. One year I had a big nice one at the bottom of the front steps, but have not seen it since that year.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mexican Heather and Celosia

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This is an example of what I got when I set my camera to dusk. It was dusk, and I thought the setting would brighten it a bit. Instead, it turned it blue.This is Mexican heather. The flowers in background are not blue, but have purple caylexes and white flowers sticking out. This is really a shrub that gets killed to the ground every year. It is about 4 feet tall and as wide. It blooms in the fall and hangs on to the flowers remaining beautiful for a long time. My only complaint with it is it can't be cut for arrangements. Well, you can cut it, but it smells like cat pee.
The big red thing in the foreground is a Celosia.  It is 6/7 inches across and  is beautiful in dried arrangements (well, fresh ones,too).When I cut it I save the round black shiny seed that drop from it. They will be the starts of next years crop. The cut heads (everybody says they remind them of brains) look great on a fall or even Christmas wreath.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Roadside Flowers for Autumn

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The roadsides have been aglow with several different kinds of wildflowers these past several weeks. I stopped to take some pictures and although these photos are not the best, they do at least call up a memory of what the heaps and mounds of flowers looked like. I stopped at one point and gathered some  larger type of wild sunflowers thinking  what a glorious arrangement they would make. I also gathered some great blue Lobelia that was on the same site, but by the time I got the bunch home, which was only a few minutes, some of the sunflowers had started to wilt. I recut the stems and submerged in deep water, but it did not stop the wilt and by the next morning they were gone. Some things just do not cut well, and maybe it is just best to enjoy them on the plant where they last and last.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Walnut Hazard

Posted by PicasaFor some time I have been looking at the large walnuts developing on my walnut tree that shaded the small fiberglass greenhouse. A few days ago I began to hear the hickory nuts banging the tin roof of the barn on their way down. My concern began to grow when I looked up at those extra large walnuts and how much taller the tree had gotten through the years. I knew I needed to do something about it, but I kept wishing the problem would solve itself. I should not have wasted my time. I had to get repairs to the fiberglass a couple years ago from walnut rockets. Of course I studied over it too long, and the next time I checked on the house, there were 3 dinner plate sized holes  in the fiberglass. I began hurriedly contacting everyone I knew with a chain saw to get the tree down NOW. Sunday evening a little before dark, Amos came and laid it over for me.  I was ever so grateful but now have to face getting the repairs done. I may have enough leftover fiberglass to fix it. Why on earth did I wait to get anything done when I knew what was going to happen?
 In addition to the damage to the fiberglass, I mourn the loss of the shade for the summertime heat. Perhaps I should get a fast growing bush or tree (without big fruits or nuts) and get it started now. To a gardener, every problem has a plant solution!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Angel Trumpet

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My angel trumpet (this one at least) started with a bloom or two in August, but it never really got going till lately. I think the dry season held it back. In fact, this is the only one of 4 angel trumpets that I have in the ground that has bloomed  this year. It is also the only one that benefits from run off of the house.
I passed by it a little before dark this evening and its fragrance was sooo wonderful!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Saving Electricity

I found this on the TREC site.


All news


September 12, 2011
If you leave your desktop computer plugged in when you’re not using it, you’ll pay around $5.40 a month for the power it uses. Your printer costs you about the same—even when it’s turned off. Your big-screen TV and microwave oven run $2 and some change when they’re plugged in but turned off. And phone chargers, cable TV converter boxes, modems and even power tools run up a tab if you leave them plugged in when they’re not in use.
The electricity they use is called “phantom power,” and it can add up to hundreds of dollars a year.
The reason: Any device with a timer or memory chip stays “live” when you turn it off so everything remains programmed correctly. Digital cameras, coffee makers, wireless phones—all use phantom power unless you unplug them when you’re finished using them.
So if you don’t need to leave an electrical device plugged in while you’re not using it, unplug it and save yourself some money.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What if we really lived like Christians

This piece by Tom Ehrich really pulled me up short and made me think. I am providing the link, but also the content of the article.

What if America truly were a Christian nation?
Not a Southern Baptist nation, or an Episcopal nation, or a Roman Catholic nation. Not grounded in the doctrinal and ecclesiastical isms that have grown up over the centuries. But a Christian nation, doing what Jesus did.
Well, we wouldn’t be arguing about sex, that’s for sure. Jesus devoted no time to matters of sexuality.
We wouldn’t be leading cheers for any particular economic system, capitalist or socialist, for in his many teachings about wealth and power, Jesus saw both as snares and delusions.
We wouldn’t be taking votes on who gets medical care, or who gets to live, or who gets to learn, or whose rights matter more, or whose race or religion can’t be allowed to breathe freely. For Jesus gave healing to all who asked, defended the lives of sinners, taught all who were eager to learn, welcomed all to his circle — even outcasts, lepers and children. He had no regard for his own tradition’s finely tuned boundaries.
We wouldn’t be loading great wealth onto the already wealthy, but rather would be asking them to follow the lead of biblical tax collector Zacchaeus and to give away half of what they have.
We wouldn’t need as many lawyers, because generosity would trump tax-reduction strategies, parables would trump rules, property would be shared as needed and people would be forgiving — not suing — each other.
If we were a genuinely Christian nation, we would be gathering the harvest of this abundant land and sharing it with the hungry of our own land and of many lands. We would forgive our enemies, speak truth to power and go forth to serve and to sacrifice, not to rule.
We would stand with the poor when predators circled around them. We would stand with sinners when the self-righteous picked up stones. We would join hands with nonconformists and strangers.
We would become God’s beacon to the nations. And when the tired and poor followed that light to our borders, we would greet them with open arms and make room for them in our communities.
That’s what Jesus did, and that is what it would mean to be a Christian nation.
So to those who insist that America be a Christian nation, I ask: Is this truly what you want? Do you want the I-was-hungry-and-you-gave-me-something-to-eat of Matthew 25? Do you want the
Sermon on the Mount? Do you want to shine God’s light in the darkness?
Your behavior says no.
Your shouts against generosity say no.
Your penchant for oppressive culture says no.
Your willingness to shower wealth on the few while the many suffer says no.
Your hostility to freedom says no.
So stop pretending. At least be as honest as the hedge fund manager who paid himself $8 billion last year. It’s “all about the Benjamins,” not the Gospel. It’s about stifling any freedom but your own. It’s about imposing your cultural preferences on others. It’s about turning your fears and appetites into law. It’s about you, not about Jesus Christ.
That’s the nature of politics, of course: one “you” versus another “you.” That’s fine, and it’s why we formed a democracy, so that our various interests could compete fairly. Just spare us the religious posturing.
If America became a Christian nation, doing what Jesus did, you would be aghast.
Tom Ehrich 

Click here for the link.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lenox Tea Pitcher

While I was touring Belk's, I ran up on this pitcher and was absolutely stunned that a design like this could escape a major company and actually get to market. My first thought when I saw it was URINAL. What else?  I had to get out my camera and document this truly unique item.
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