Friday, May 31, 2013

Friendly Flowers

My mother liked to walk around her yard everyday and look at all her flowers.  She said,  "They remind me of the friends and family members who gave them to me and bring back pleasant memories."

Today, I walk around my yard and look at my flowers and remember my friends.

I don't know whether these are Coral Bells or Choral Bells but they remind me of Mother.  She always had some in her garden.

Our Mock Orange Bush reminds me of Mother, too.  It is a descendant of the bushes Mother gave us shortly after we moved into this house over forty years ago.  She said her mother always had mock orange in her garden.  Their scent reminds some people of the scent of true orange blossoms.  Below is a close-up of the flowers.

My neighbor across the street who has lived in her house longer than we have lived in ours gave me a start of this ground cover last year.

Another neighbor gave me a start of Moneyplant when my children were all in elementary school.  She and her husband passed away years ago.  Below is a photo of the seedpods from this plant.  Before long, they will turn a silvery color, the color of coins.  I have seen Northern Cardinals peck open the thin pod to get the seeds.

The neighbor who lived beside us from the time we moved in and whose daughter babysat for our children when they were young gave me starts of these peonies,  both the pink and the white ones.  This neighbor as passed on, also.

The start for this plant came from Tom's sister, Phyllis.  She calls it Wild Geranium but it is different from the wild geraniums in the Miami County woods.

Chuck, husband of my college roommate, gave me the seeds for these columbines and for purple ones as well.

This is the rose I painted from at Andy's Garden two years ago when the Plein Air Belles got together there.  I liked it so well I bought it.  I gave the painting to the friend I walk with on Saturday mornings.

We bought the two Weigela from Tom's college friend who owns a nursery.  We are pleased he suggested them.  The top one is red, the bottom one is variegated.

My daughter gave me this miniature red rose many years ago for Mother's Day.

My garden always has at least one of these.

Dandelion...What a lot of wonderful memories.  Memories of picking them when I was a child.  Remembering a certain grandson to whom I was giving plants to take to his mother.  "Mom doesn't need any of those yellow flowers.  We already have a lot of those."  And Cinda, the Gentle Breeze, who loves dandelions more than anyone I have ever known.  She taught me they are good to eat, full of vitamins that we humans need.  She taught me, too, that a tasty treat is a dandelion flower from a field untreated with pesticides dipped in pancake batter and deep-fried.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

2013 Hug the Earth Festival with the Banana Slug String Band

The Banana Slug String Band from Santa Cruz, California was back in Miami County, Ohio last week for the sixteenth annual Hug the Earth Festival.  This is the second year that the five-day long celebration has been held at the Stillwater Prairie Reserve.  The Festival outgrew its old site, the Garby Big Woods Reserve.

Besides the hour-long concerts in which the students performed with the slugs, they enjoyed ...

Earthball activities...

Digging for special rocks like limestone and fossils and shark teeth...

Screening for gemstones...

Petting animals...

Learning about exotic animals...

Climbing trees...

And speeding through the air on Zip lines.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary, May 13, 2013

Tom and I missed visiting Garbry the first Monday in May because we were birding at Magee Marsh beside Lake Erie.  But on May 13, we were back for a Monday visit.

As we entered the woods we saw wild geraniums (Geranium maculatum) on both sides of the boardwalk.

There were still wild ginger blossoms (Asarum canadense) among the leaf litter.

There were still hundreds of Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) but many of them were turning pink as they do before they die.

The Jack-in-the-Pulpits (Arisaema) were preaching throughout the woods.

For the first time, we found lots of Mayapple or Mandrake (Podophyllum peltatum) blooms.  This photo is one of Tom's.

We both photographed Sweet Cicely, also known as Aniseroot (Osmorhiza claytoni).  The first is my photo, the second is Tom's. The flowers are tiny and white, both features which makes it hard to get a good picture of them.  If I chew on a leaf or stem, the taste is similar to black licorice jellybeans.

I didn't get a good photo of White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) but Tom did.  The berries which develop after pollination are sometimes called Doll's Eyes because they look like those round opening and closing eyes of dolls...white with a dark spot or "pupil".

Tom took this photo of Wild Hyacinth (Camassia scilloides)  The woods was full of these flowers. Tiny Sweet Cicely blooms accented the patches.

And here is a photo of Tom taking a photo near another patch of Wild Hyacinth.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Magee Marsh...American Woodcocks

The birder is pointing to a warbler.  I know because UP is where the warblers were last week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

But there are always birds to see. An American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) was on a  nest enclosed by the yellow caution tape in front of the women.   It was  there on Tuesday morning and still there when Tom and I were there on Thursday morning.  It was pointed out to me twice before I remembered to look near the solitary clover plant in the taped off area.
See it?

How about now?  If you click on the photo, you can see its eye.

Earlier in the day my cousin got this photo with her Olympus Digital Camera.  This woodcock was probing with its long especially adapted bill for earthworms in a wooded area.

When I saw my cousin take photos, I decided to try with my Fujifilm JZ300.

There were photographers to our left...

And to our right.

and this is where we found the woodcock.  It is the leaf colored spot behind the green plants a little to the right of center.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary, April 29

Th twenty-ninth  was the fourth Monday of April that Tom and I walked the boardwalk at Garbry.  Tom took lots of photos.  Here they are.



Carpet of Large-flowered Trillium and Nodding Trillium

Large-flowered Trillium

Nodding Trillium

Ohio Buckeye

Golden Seal

Rattlesnake Fern

True Solomon Seal

Wild Blue Phlox

Wild Geranium