Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nothing New Under the Sun

For something new, take a look at this new plant recently discovered in Fiji.

Also, here in a video of some new animal discoveries found in the Mekong Delta.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Video of plants in the Buenos Aires area

This has some beautiful time lapsed photography as well as some stills. A great video for plant lovers .Just under 6 minutes. Take a look.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pigeon Roost Flooded

This is Pigeon Roost Creek in Chambers County, Alabama where is crosses County Road 53.
I don't really understand this flooding unless it had something to do with a beaver dam. The next creek over (Hoodlocka)was not flooded after the 2.25 inches of rain on Friday/Saturday.
The fog laying over the water made an interesting shot.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My First Daffodil of 2012

This is my first daffodil of the year, and it appeared last Wednesday, the 18. At least I think it did. I saw the bright yellows around in other yards before this lonely one appeared. I have a few of these old timey daffodils with the twisted petals, but every year they seem to bloom in a different spot. The trouble is... I need more.
I think they may be my favorite flower; I know they are my favorite January flower!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Abutilon (Flowering Maple)

This plant has several common names, among them flowering maple and parlor maple. I usually call it Abutilon, because I like the sound of the word.
I do not know the actual cultivar of this flowering maple, but perhaps it is A. pictum'Thompsonii '. It seems to be the most numerous one pictured on the web. I have had this one (or cuttings of it) for several years. It is a tough thing and survives to bloom in spite of uneven and careless horticultural practices. This is it's current state of bloom, in a greenhouse where I try not to let the temperature fall below 40F. (It has gone into the 30's on at least one occasion this winter). This garden year, I plan to put a cutting of it into the ground and see how big it will get. This one is about 2 feet tall, not including the pot.

 This is an Abutilon that I grew from seed this past year. I had a nice color selection as you can see from the picture below with the floating blooms. On the stem of the above plant you can see what is the main trouble to me of growing Abutilon: mealy aphids. They are almost impossible to get rid of on potted plants, and will spread to nearby plants. This lead me to plant 3 of my seedling plants in the outdoor bed last summer, where they thrived. In fact, they held their leaves till the last time it went down to 23F. I am still hopeful that they will put out new leaves this spring. I read on the net that they are hardy to 26F, and this coincides with my experience. So keep your fingers crossed for me that they will regrow in the spring.
 Meally bugs do not seem to be as bad outside, although they do occur. Perhaps there are critters out there that prey on them or maybe rain and overhead watering washes them away, but whatever the reason, putting a plant outdoors that has mealy bugs will usually help it if not cure the problem.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January Orchids

This yellow and bronze orchid is Odontocidium 'Pacific Sun Spots'. This is the first bloom for me and I hope in the future it will have more flowers on the bloom stalk. I cannot let January and February go by without getting  a cyclamen, which is sitting here beside the 'Pacific Sun Spots'. I love cyclamens, for both their unusual slicked back flowers and their beautiful leaves.
I believe this is also an interspecific orchid; in other words, they are crosses between two orchid genera. However, I do not have the name of this one anymore, if I ever did. It is big and beautiful and very crimson.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chocolate Persimmon

This persimmon tree was growing in the yard at the Brantley Citrus Farm in Daphne, Alabama. It  was a beautiful tree, maybe about 15-20 feet tall. Aunt Imgrid said it was called chocolate persimmon and that she liked it because it was not so soupy when it was ripe as some other varieties. When fully ripe, it is brown inside so that is where the chocolate part of the name comes from. I found them very delicious, and  I also liked that they were not so liquid inside when ripe. The smaller size was also appealing to me. The fruit size was larger than our native persimmon (these have no seed), but about a third the size of the ones I see in the grocery store, so I guess they could be described as medium sized. They are more oblong in shape than grocery store persimmons. The cheapest ones I saw online came from Willis Orchard Company in Berlin, GA, which is just south of Moultrie. Ummmm. Thinking about it...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Brantley Farm in Daphne Alabama

It's not often you see chickens running loose in the yard anymore, but there were some here. It reminded me of long ago, except the usual chickens were Rhode Island Reds. These are Dominicas and some variety of buffs. Beautiful. Here you see the fruit stand just out Aunt Imgrid's  back door. She has satsumas, Meyer lemons, kumquats, and some persimmons.

Friday, January 13, 2012

More Animals at Brantley Farm in Daphne Alabama

                                                                  Pot bellied pigs

                                                                   Horse and donkey

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Peacocks at Brantley Farm

These peacocks were on display at the Brantley Farm in Daphne.
I admire peacock plumage so much! I think these birds are just exquisite. The only thing about them that is not so good is their voice. That makes my skin crawl.
I did not see any females. Maybe they were somewhere setting eggs?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dora Kills Snake

On the second day of the year, Dora found and killed a snake, albeit a very small one. She likes to sleep in the sun nestled in the leaves. I did not see her find it, but I imagined it was lurking about in the leaves.
 She dispatched the snake and deposited it where I would not miss it--at the foot of the back steps. When I first saw it, I was sure it must be a copperhead as I sometimes see them around here and they are always small. But NO! This snake has a wee pointy head without the viper arrow shape to it's head. I do not know what it could have been. It was very small, smaller than the diameter of a pencil, and maybe 6 inches long. Any guesses?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


This guy does not look very happy. Looks like he had rather twist a plug out of you than not.
The Brantley farm in Daphne has not only citrus fruit, but a petting zoo and kid's birthday party location. (No need to point out that petting an emu might not be a good idea.)  In addition to emus I also saw pot bellied pigs, one of those horses with big hairy feet (if this was a Clydesdale it sure was small) , a donkey and I don't know what all as far as odd animals. The farm is in the middle of what is now a very densely populated area-surrounded by all sorts of homes. It seems like the area just exploded in population around what used to be farmland. I wonder how long they will be able to hold out against what must be extremely high land prices.  It is a relief to find this farm almost hidden from the world of shopping centers, subdivisions, and tourists.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Satsuma Grove

I visited a satsuma farm in Daphne, Alabama  during December and it was a real treat for both the eyes and the mouth. I don't think I had ever been in a citrus grove before and I found it perfectly delightful. The trees were hanging full of satsumas, sweet kumquats, and Meyer lemons. I managed to run my car into a hole while turning around and had to get some tractor help to get back on the road again. It was a great and fun time and I am going to show some more pictures of the farm in coming days.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

$600 Wreath

This lovely sea shell wreath was made by a friend of mine. I think it is positively gorgeous, but she had rather not see it again and be reminded of what happened  as a result of her decision to make it. While working on the wreath, she burned her arm with hot glue and put some cream on it to help heal the burn. She was allergic to the med she put on it and as a result she spent $600 going to the dermatologist to try to get it healed up. This is an example of a Rube Goldberg happening where one thing leads to another. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Kids for the New Year

These babies were born right around Christmas and belong to my nephew. One mother has three babies and the other two have one each. Kids are so cute I just want to pick them up and hug them, but of course they do not really care for that.
The brown goat in the top picture is the sire of these babies. He is sure not a looker! In fact he is hard down ugly in my opinion. Those horns are uggggly.

Broken Tree on US 431

Recently this old tree beside US 431 broke and fell. I was interested in it because of the way it looks and that it appears to be hollow all inside, even going up into the branches just like the oak in my yard that fell back in June.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Remember the Fawn from Early November?

The fawn has grown a bit since early November, but it is still quite small, and not very strong looking but it has lost its spots. It was grazing right at the back steps this morning. I am so tempted to put some corn out for it. I believe it has had to make its way in the world without a mother. In the above picture it has walked off a ways and thinks it is hid behind the bush. This has been its strategy in dealing with me from the beginning.

This picture is a little clearer . Not all this is bad photography; it was foggy this morning.
Blogging tips
Blogging tips