Saturday, May 29, 2010

Time Keeps On Slippin Into The Future

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Thankfully, I took these photos last weekend while the lilies were still at their best. I just love the way the pollen is sprinkled so liberally like gold powder on the white petals, even though my allergies aren’t quite so thrilled.

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I have been so wrapped up in trying to save a fledging blue jay, I haven’t given a thought to taking pictures or blogging.

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In spite  of the advise from the wonderful volunteers at the Williamson County Wildlife Rehabilitators, our efforts were fruitless, and Jay died Thursday. Hubby was very helpful, and buried him for me. Sometimes it seems as though it is a miracle that any birds make it to adulthood with all the dangers and predators they must be wary of.

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Charley was especially upset when she came home from school Thursday and found out the sad news. She would check on his condition before getting a snack, which gives an indication how serious she was taking his care. She, also was the one who named the bird Jay.

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Can anyone identify this flower? It looks as though it could have been in a Dr. Seuss drawing. That’s the problem with buying a flower mix—you never know what you are going to get! I’ve gone through all the listed flowers, but this doesn’t match any of the ones listed.

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I have begun preparations for Memorial Day. The house is promising to be full of family and friends, which is just the way I like it. I have decided on a very traditional cook-out to kick off the beginning of Summer. We have a number of vegetarians as well as meat-eaters, so I will have lots of salads and side dishes for those that can’t eat hot dogs and hamburgers. We will be celebrating Hubby’s birthday that will actually be NEXT Sunday. So, I am planning a special cake with lemon curd , cream cheese, and fresh blueberries, as well as homemade ice cream for the little ones.

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When I was young, we would have picnics Memorial Day and the 4th of July at the Rock Island Arsenal where my grandfather worked . I loved watching the peacocks that strutted all over the island and climbing on the cannons that were on display from the Civil War. We also walked through all the graves at the cemetery reading the names and dates of those that died for their country. The day would always end with a fireworks display.

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Speaking of little ones, I don’t think I have told you that we are expecting another grandchild in October. Little Loudon is going to be a big brother! He is not quite sure he is happy about this change of events, and I am sure he will be less so when his little brother comes. He is due on Loudon’s birthday, and it will be quite exciting for all of us (except possibly Loudon).

I hope that whatever your plans are, you have a wonderful day, and you find yourself safe and happy, filled with good food and fellowship.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May Flowers

We seem to be having May showers to go along with our May flowers…and May wind…and May heat. It seems to be consistently 10 degrees warmer this Spring than last year.

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The bees are so busy collecting pollen.  Although my camera isn’t fast enough, I will see 3 or 4 bees working one flower.

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Even though I try to have a white garden in the front of the house, behind the garden gate is a riot of color. I occasionally will pair complementary colors together, but usually, I just throw them together to see what works.

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I had an art professor in college that was fond of saying, there are no mistakes in art, only happy accidents. I guess I took her philosophy to heart because I have never forgotten it.

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The poppies are still going strong, and the bees are loving them. They look as though they are in pure ecstasy as they burrow their little bodies amongst the stamens gleaning every bit of pollen they can hold. 

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Every time I look at the lovely larkspurs, I think of MSS at Zanthan Garden, who was so generous with seeds last fall when we met for the first time to tour the San Antonio Botanical Gardens.

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Could this be PPPP?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Poke Salad



Phytolacca americana



Also known as Poke Plant, Pokeberry, Poke Salat, Inkberry, Polk Bush, and Poke Root.

The greenish white flower stalks develop into purple berries. Many species of birds are attracted to the berries. Although they are poisonous to humans, horses, swine, and cattle, birds can eat them without any ill effects.

Native Americans used the berries for dye, and introduced it to early settlers. The early American settlers used the berries for ink as well as dye. The Declaration of Independence is said to be written with fermented Pokeberry ink.


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All parts of the plant are considered poisonous and  much effort has been taken to warn people of the danger of eating poke salad. Although it is not as popular a food source as it once was, interest in it persists.

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Writer - Windows Live

In the spring, the tender shoots are picked. They must be boiled for 5 minutes, drained, then boiled again to remove toxic properties. The greens can then be finished off in an iron skillet with bacon drippings, salt, and pepper. Sometimes eggs and/or cornmeal may be added. One half cup of the greens contain 35 calories, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 90% of the daily requirements of Vitamin A, 60% of Vitamin C, 8% Calcium, and 6% Iron.*


*nutritional information was taken from