Mud and Mushrooms

You may have noticed my latest posts are a little mushy.

It’s this R A I N.

Oh my. It has caught me at a bad part of my maintenance cycle.

I did get some weeding done, but ran out of mulch.

So that means W E E D S.

I am amazed how much growth has occurred this week.

I wish I had placed measuring sticks by each Hosta.

There are some upsides to the downpours.

I found some perfect animals tracks in the mud.

and then there are the mushrooms.

And let’s not forget the necessity for new garden clogs while my many pairs of shoes dry

after washing them.( Attention: Shrub Queen)

These are Backdoor Shoes.   I will let you know how they hold up.

Here is the second daylily to bloom. Dixie Boy.




Fairies Hire PI

When some serious snooping is needed, it may be necessary to hire PI.

No, not a Private Investigator, I mean a Super Hero.

Poison Ivy

She was here almost immediately to investigate the strange mushrooms.

She valiantly removed them from the nook in the fairy tree.

The she did a quick analysis to determine their toxicity.

They weren’t poisonous at all.  Actually, they were quite delicious.

PI then tracked down the Garden Ghoul.

Turns out she was checking the fairies out to see if THEY would make good neighbors.

Her name is Wingrid.  She hopes to move into Fernland under the fig tree.

Poison Ivy and Wingrid spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the stump discussing mushroom growing and sauteing methods.  They both use coconut oil.

Let this be a lesson to all of us.

Just because someone has extra arms, blue skin and no underpants, doesn’t mean they won’t make a good neighbor.

Welcome to the neighborhood Wingrid.

(But children, you still need to lock the door, wear clean underwear and not eat wild mushrooms.)





The Poison Ivy package says “vines included.”

It is a pesky tiny piece that I immediately lost in the yard and had to go back and search for.

This should be another tiny piece for the “magic box.”

All her joints seem to be ball-and-socket, so she is very pose-able. I am not sure how these tiny joints will hold up with much use. Also, her skirt makes it impossible for her to sit down. (Reality!)  I had to roll it up out of the way for the sitting pose. At least she had on undies.


Alien Invades the Bunny Yard

I spotted it early this morning,

hiding up against one of the deck posts.


I kept an eye on it all day.

By afternoon it had slithered around the side of the pole.

It left prints wherever it went.

Slime mold on the back of pole AM
Slime mold back of pole PM

I hope it leaves soon.


I’m not really scared of the thing.

I am pretty sure we can outrun it.



Two Baby Birds in a Frog’s Belly

My neighbor told me about this.

I thought things were amiss.

So I walked down to see,

about the three chickadee.

It turns out, by chance

he had a hole in his pants.

The mama went in to rest

and then built a nest.

Two eggs she laid,

Two babies they made.

We all think it’s sweet

to hear his pants tweet.



Wet Lilies

I know I should not complain about the rain.

After all it does bring out the Rainlilies.

Zephyranthus robustus

Another name for these is Fairy lily/ Zephyranthus robustus.

My daughters lily garden is starting to show blooms and buds are blushing.

A new daylily, Moonlit Masquerade is the first to bloom this year.

Moonlit Masquerade daylily

Its my shoes that are the problem. This North Carolina red clay sticks to everything.

I have run out of dry shoes. My shoe basket by the door is full.

I may be forced to go shoe-shopping. Poor me.




Changing Gloves

Foxgloves/Digitalis purpurea are a biennial plants.

That means that they grow one season and bloom the next.

They reseed themselves, so I have some blooming every year.

Because they reseed/self-sow, they tend to move a little way from the original plant

and they change colors.

(If you save the seeds, let them dry and sow them during the fall in partial shade.)

There are three different genes that determine the amount and location of pigments.

A recessive form of the pink gene (m) leads to no pink/white.

So when a white mixes with other colors of foxglove, white tends to disappear.

The pinks are blooming full now.

pink foxglove

I do have one with a white top. I don’t know how to explain this one genetically.

light pink and white foxglove

There are no whites in my gardens this year.

I usually try to keep whites by purchasing one every few years.

Instead,  I acquired a lovely peachy type this year named, Dalmation.

‘Dalmation’ foxglove

Its label says perennial, so I don’t have much confidence in its name either.

It’s a nice companion to an unnamed verbascum/mullein which I obtained last year.


I will see how its genes fit into the mix.

I expect this glove to change, too.




Trouble Visits Fairyland

Oh yes, there’s trouble!  With a capital G.

A garden ghoul has been seen wondering around in the fairy garden.

I hope the fairies keep their door locked.


She is making herself right at home.


Checking out everything.


I hope she’s not thinking of moving into the neighborhood.


Whoa! Get that chick some undies. (Look away children.)


Oh good. It looks like she is leaving.


Wait. What is this?  Mushrooms? She planted mushrooms in the fairy tree.


I bet they are poisonous.

Oh yes, there’s trouble!




There are three of these by Monster High.( Beetrice, Lumina and Wingrid )The other two (not my Wingrid) only have two arms. Some tiny accessories may need to be stored in a “magic supplies box.”

My Marching Friends

I am proud of my marching friends.

Wearing red in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The people taking the message to their government.

The education of our children is OUR future.

We need to invest more. Respect more. Test less.

I started teaching high school biology in 1984.

It was the best department ever. My peers are still my friends.

My next position was in a community college. I was the night shift.

It was lonely, but wonderful.

Then there was middle school. The hardest job ever.

When I finish the book I am writing, I may write Seven Years in Eighth Grade.

My personality in combination with that job ruined my health.

I had my doctor’s cell number.

I have realized that I am a shepherd, not just a teacher.

I know my sheep and they know me.

It started out great. Teams and teamwork. Science budget. Supplies.

TASC training thanks to Duke University and Glaxo-Smith-Cline.

Then came the testing, and charting , and graphing scores.

The money and science disappeared. In its place was testing and testing and testing.

I went back to teaching college again. It was great, but I was tired and damaged.

I cannot go back. This I know.

But my heart is still in the learning, the caring, the science.

I had to leave my sheep to save myself.

So I watch the marchers with hope and guilt.

Hope for better pay, more money for supplies, more respect for all, getting back to the subjects instead of the scores.

These shepherds need help with all those little sheep of OURS.

Our flock is OUR future.