Saturday, October 16, 2010

Eastern Great Egret (Ardea modesta)

I was on my morning walk yesterday with camera ready there is nearly always something to be seen in the woods and  there are 3 ponds and a gas pipe field so there is always something cool around. I am always looking for a shot of the big Gray Heron . Then I saw a shadow over head.
It was the Gray Heron chasing after a gorgeous Eastern Great Egret (Ardea modesta).





The heron lost him in the trees but I found him and got lots of shots. 
Then this morning I am out there and to my Big surprise looking across the pond there was a Coyote !
From Oct 2010 cool morning walk shots
 

I was blown away this is my first time seeing one here in NC.
To see these bigger just click a picture on the slideshow and it will take you to the picture album.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Do gargoyles have names ?

 Our new Gargoyle
Wonder if he will scare that darn rabbit off.
I hope to have more scattered around in the park and yard .

Do gargoyles have names ?
penny lane pansy / maybe an inch wide
We visited one of my favorite gardening store & nursery.
"Dale's Greenhouse" in Tramway/Sanford on US 1 & 15/501 at 2814 Jefferson Davis Hwy
They always have a get collection of flowers. Lots of seasonal decorations , statues ,pots , anything you could think of to make your yard beautiful . 
 The people there are always so Friendly ,smiling while they work and extra helpful (but not pushy) , informative too. What more could you ask for ? Oh I almost forgot they also have Dale's 2 ! With water features and a beautiful water garden
with pretty fish to reap ideas or just take a rest !.  
here's a gorgeous aloe plant at Dale's , I wonder how old it is ?

I had to take a picture of these trees growing with the building!
 I wish I had taken more pictures but I was too busy looking     and dreaming ,there is so much to see plants ,trees then I found my pansies a whole greenhouse full ...laaaa

I had a time trying to decide big or little this year?


I decided on both and every cool color I could find!

Two flats of 24 plants . Time to get busy planting. I so love to press these and here in NC they around most the winter and then up to May . I actually got over 1000 blooms pressed of this amount last year ! Now off to plant , come back soon to see the bulb bed I am planting and trimming it with some of these . Happy Fall , Peace 
here's Dale's link 


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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Golden Rod or Ragweed which to blame

  Poor Goldenrod gets blamed for allergies when it is really the Ragweed that is making You feel sneezy and stuffy . I learned a lot on this link , I had no idea there were so many types of Goldenrod here in North Carolina.
species_of_goldenrod_in_north_carolina_ 
 all pictures are from Flickr folks that shared their beautiful images to the world . You can see more of their pics by clicking an Image.

7225 Goldenrod on Virginia Worm Fence - Gettysburg
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This is Golden Rod notice the leaves . Much different than ragweed.
 


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Finding out this information is GREAT to me . I am always wanting to grab a bundle of Goldenrod and bring it home to press, but thought it caused allergies? 


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I used to get it and Press it outside ...
Now that I know it is not like Ragweed I can bring more home to press !





There are 2 main types of ragweed in NC .their leaves and appearance look very different .
Ambrosia artemisiifolia elatior COMMON RAGWEED
this is the short ragweed notice the leaves below.

Ambrosia artemisiifolia elatior COMMON RAGWEED
notice the purple stems

Ambrosia trifida GIANT RAGWEED
this is the Giant Ragweed it can get huge .


Ambrosia trifida GIANT RAGWEED
this is Giant ragweed close up of leaves


for more pictures and information try these links too.

great images here for short Ambrosia+artemisiifolia
 
Short Ragweed - Ambrosia artemisiifolia
http://www.bio.utulsa.edu/~leveties/short-ragweeds.html
good images here for giant 
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=AMTR

Giant Ragweed - Ambrosia trifida
http://www.bio.utulsa.edu/~leveties/trifida.html

Till next time , wishing You Peace and an allergy free fall 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Japanese Red Maples from Seed


these are beautiful trees and I truly love to press the leaves and make art with them . So I am going to try to grow some. Here is instructions I found on how I am going to try it. 
Growing Japanese Red Maples from Seed



1. Store your seeds in a cool dry place until you are read to start stratifying them. A paper bag or envelope stored in your garage is fine.

2. Select the date you would like to plant your seedlings outside. This should be after the danger of frost has past in the spring.

2. Count backwards 90 days from your planting date. Example With a planting date of may 15th, February 15th would be the day you want to start stratifying your seeds.

3. Stratifying is the process of tricking the seeds into thinking that they have gone through a natural cold, damp period outside. Break the wing off your seeds, and soak them in warm to hot water overnight. Use hot tap water, put the seeds in the water, then just let the water cool to room temperature with the seeds soaking in the water for 24 hours.

4. Next place the seeds in a plastic freezer bag in damp sand, peat, vermiculite, whatever you happen to have on hand. Any of these things will work. The medium you use should be damp, not soaking wet. Poke a few holes in the bag. Place the bag in your refrigerator. Do not put the bag too far back in your fridge where the seeds might freeze, you don’t want it quite that cold.

5. The bag should remain in the fridge for 90 days. Or until the seeds start to sprout. Check the bag once a week after 60 days or so. Once sprouting begins you can pick the sprouted seeds from the bag and plant them in a flat of well drained potting soil. Make sure the soil is well drained. If you’re not sure, mix in some perlite before planting. When you water the soil you want the water to run through the soil quickly.

6. When planting the sprouted seeds in the flat just barely cover the seed and the sprouted root with soil.

7. Water thoroughly after planting, but allow the soil to dry almost completely before watering again. It’s important that the soil temperature stay as close to 70 degrees F. as possible, that’s why you allow the soil to dry before watering again. A lamp shining on the flat will help to warm the soil.

8. If after 90 days your seeds are not sprouting in the bag, just sow them in a flat and treat as described in step 6.

I hope to have a bunch of trees to blog about later :>}