Entering Summer - 2014 - This backyard view from upstairs in the dining room.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ABC Wednesday - G is for "Gentle Giant"

Can't get more "Gentle" than something this cute and inanimate on a street corner!  :-)



Suppose he was looking for a hand-out?
I was Grinning from ear-to-ear as I Greeted him!  :-)

 He's on "North Federal" Avenue, Mason City, Iowa.

Guess you'll have to click on the ABC Wednesday logo to see more "G" posts!
Enjoy!
SG
http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.com/


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ABC Wednesday - a Fungus Amungst Us!!

"For Heaven's Sakes!  What in the world??  And what are you doing hanging around my hosta??"

(I'm sure those were my exact words about two weeks ago when I discovered some thick, white, globby stuff growing around on the mulch, all around a hosta's stems...)

I also didn't know what it was, until today.  At lunch with three friends, one of them pulled out her iphone and showed me a picture.  "Know what this is?" she asked.

"No, I don't.  But it was in a flower garden a couple of weeks ago."

"It's Dog Vomit Fungus. (Ugh!)  My daughter found it and looked it up.  It usually starts out yellow, and as it turns white, it gets thick," she said.

"It does!  I was afraid it would hurt my hosta, so I scraped it all up.  It was thick, and gummy, and hard to get out!" I replied.

Here is an excellent link to a site with description and photos.

I didn't take a photo at the time, but I've just now hopped outdoors with my camera.  Forgive these dark, blurry shots... it's getting dark outdoors!  This photo is just part of what I scraped away from my hosta a couple of weeks ago..

Speaking of fungus, look at what I found in the backyard a couple of days ago!!  In doing a little on-line "search and re-search,"  I found what I believe to be Omphalotus commonly known as the Jack O' Lantern mushroom.  According to my reading, these are deadly poisonous, causing difficulty in breathing, a drop in blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and respiratory failure.  They also exhibit bioluminescence by glowing in the dark.

This is "hearsay" only, because by the time I discovered these facts, the fungi were already a few days old and looked more like this


I noticed another type of fungus outdoors this morning.  I've seen these before, but not for a couple of years.  These are Mutinus caninus stinkhorns.  They are odorous (stinky) but loved by flies and other insects!  This is a link that will show you what they look like after they "sprout."

And this is what they looked like a few hours ago. 

Frankly Friends,
these are most of the Fungus that I've noticed Amungst us!  :-)

SG

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

ABC Wednesday - E "The Entertainer"

When I think of "The Entertainer," I think of Scott Joplin. What a musical genius!  Click on the photo below to listen to a Youtube recording.  :-)


http://youtu.be/fPmruHc4S9Q

A true Garden Entertainer is Lycoris squamigera (resurrection lily).  This plant is in the amaryllis family.  Often called Surprise Lily or Naked Lady, the early spring foliage appears alongside that of daffodils.

Where daffodil leaves have a more pointed tip, Resurrection lily leaves have a rounded tip.  The other, most significant difference in these plants deals with their blossoms.  Daffodils bloom in early spring, whereas Surprise Lilies are blooming right now.  They began growing here a week or so ago.  Pretty much the first of August.

Called Naked Ladies by many people, there is no sign of foliage when these plants bloom.  A stem with a flower bud suddenly begins to show through the soil, growing taller every day.  At about 2 feet tall, the flowers begin to appear!

Enjoy the "Garden Entertainer!"  :-)








An Exceptionally beautiful flower!  :-)
Thank you for your visit today.
SG

(To enjoy posts by others participating in the ABC Wednesday meme, click the logo below!)
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Thursday, August 7, 2014

ABC Wednesday - D is for Destination Hosta Farm!




Three friends and I were Determined to make garden forays to a couple of "garden centers" in extreme SE Iowa.  They area both located on Highway 2, west of Fort Madison a ways.

Hobbs Hilltop Gardens is owned and operated by Gerald Hobbs.  Gerald has been a daylily hybridizer for many years.  This link will take you to a list of his nursery stock.  Here are a couple of photos taken on Monday's trip.

 These little tree toads were Decidedly Doubtful about their territory being invaded!  :-)


Credit as to the owner of this photo, etc. is in the photo below.
I came home with Volcano (spider daylily) from Hobbs Hilltop Gardens.
http://www.stoutgardens.com/media/0a/a20792012e93046d3f4187_m.JPG


Today's foray found us exploring hosta heaven at Hillcrest Hostas, a couple of miles west of Hobbs  Hilltop Gardens on U.S. Highway 2, on the south side of the highway.  This is a link to their website.  Make sure you click on each of the tabs for more photos!

 ***

 They also have a few daylily beds, but are not yet selling them.  They do not wish to compete with Mr. Hobbs.  However, this is another photo of a Dainty tree frog hiding in a Daylily!

I believe he Definitely resented the interruption of his afternoon nap!  :-)

Okay!  Do you want to see photos of the hostas I brought home today?  Here you go!

Names, not in any particular order, are:  'Autumn Frost', 'Grant Park', 'Happiness', 'Korean Snow', and 'Choo Choo Train.'
  Happiness Is . . .  


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Decidedly Happy!  :-)
SG

Friday, August 1, 2014

ABC Wednesday - The word is C for Curious!

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Click the ABC Wednesday logo above to find a list of other participants in this weekly meme! 

Curious, indeed!

 I had earlier thought it curious . . . once the phlox began to bloom.

Even though, last fall, I had dug out a particular clump or two of
phlox that mildewed badly over the previous three years,
there seemed to be Many More plants, and groups of plants, than I'd remembered there being . . .

Curious, indeed!

We will begin by taking a look at the number of  "clumps" of phlox we see in these front beds.  Yes, we can see some across the yard... but for now, look at these closeups!


Now, let's look over the following photos.  What do you notice?






Here, in a shady bed that was once dominated by David (white) phlox, we see something that has been transpiring over the past three years . . .
 






And this is in the Shady "Raised Bed" area, not far away, where lavender David seems to be enlarging his territory . . .  thanks to the pollinators?


 A CURIOSITY?

P.S.  I'm trying to keep these two phlox "out of the mainstream!"  (Both given me by my Aunt MEA)

 'Laura'


 and "Mattie"



Enjoy a Day of Curiosity!
:-)  Shady Gardener

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beautiful Birds, Bees, and Butterflies!

...(and Sphinx moth) Began this past Spring and continue!


 Click o the ABC Wednesday icon below to see the list of other contributers this week! And Have Fun!!
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Giant Swallowtail


left of phlox - in front of pole... Sphinx moth ("Hummingbird Moth")


Bumble Bee on Dianthus


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on dianthus


"Mrs." Baltimore Oriole

 "Mr." Baltimore Oriole



Robin in Barbie's tree


 "Mrs." Rose-Breasted Grosbeak" at left,  "Mr." R.B. Grosbeak in center, Downy Woodpecker at right

Summer Tanager

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

A few of the Be-winged Blessings!
SG