Seed Sorting

Maybe a better title would be “Seed Hoarding.”


January is the time to sort seeds. We start sowing in February here in North Carolina.

I must say that sorting would be easier if Flower had done a better job of storing them. Note the envelopes with 2015 on them. (Sigh)

It seems as though any old bag will do.


Accurate labels are not important either.


Thankfully I took an Economic Botany class in college.

Our final was identifying hundreds of seeds by sight.

Moonflower : Ipomoea noctiflora

I do throw in a few pods with  the seeds.

Red Double poppy

If I did not, I am afraid that Columbine seeds could be mistaken for a bag of mouse poop.


I found these unidentified seeds in a tiny bucket. (Anybody recognize them?)


Seeds do have their own character.

Love-in-a-Puff: Cardiosperma halicacabum

Here are some Hibiscus seeds that were husked today.


Jack-o-Lantern has never grown here. I’ll try again.

Jack-o-lantern , Chinese Lantern: Physalis alkekengi

I seem to have sown a seed in my coffee.



Ice Art

I spent the weekend at Winter Fest in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

My favorite part was the ice sculpting.

The artists set up huge blocks of ice in the middle of the town park.

This was the finished product .

There were also frozen signs made for different businesses around town.

These pieces were lovely, but did not inspire me to become an Ice Artist.

I was too cold to stick around and watch the artists work.

I did return later for photos.

By then I was rather tired, but there was only this seat available.

So I just stood around with the bear.

Better to stand with a frozen bear, than sit with a frozen rear.


The Green Patch

I made a trip to the green patch today.


I was happy to be snipping in the sunshine.

I got a basket full.


Not enough to cook up a mess.

They aren’t for me.

They are for the bunnies, of course.


There is nothing more yummy to a bunny tummy than fresh greens.

See that smile?



Raindrops on Rainbows

I had to go outside today despite the cold and rain.

I have been pacing like a trapped animal in the house.

I was happy to see this colorful spurge, Euphorbia x martini.

Spurge Euphorbia x martini ‘Ascot Rainbow’

‘Ascot Rainbow’ is its variety name.

The raindrops added a nice touch of sparkle.

Thank goodness for some color on a dreary day.



Amaryllis Anticipation

Each winter I order at least one new variety of Amaryllis.

This year I ordered two.

Half-and-half is still blooming and has sent up a second stalk.

Benfica is making me wait.

Its buds are dreamy red velvet.

Every day there is slow progress toward blooming.

It is a joy to watch.

I will be happy when I finally see the faces of its flowers.

Until then, I am enjoying the anticipation.



Conk up: Tree down

I am fascinated by all things fungi.

This particular conk, Inonotus dryadeus, has been featured in my posts before.

It was growing at the base of  a huge oak in my neighbors’ yard.

Another name for this type of fungi is “white rot.”

It is a symptom of the decline of the tree it is on.

The more conks present, the more disease.

Conks are a symptom, not a cause.

Last week the tree came down,

with some help from a team of men with ropes and chain saws.

My neighbor left the conk on my stone bench because she knew I would want to keep it.

Here it is now out of the ground and upside down.

I think it is beautiful.

Maybe I could make it into a hat to match these shoes?


Preening on a Post

I have watched this Great Blue heron for hours.

It has stayed on this post all morning.


Once I looked up to see the post empty.

Next time I looked, the heron was back.


I have spent the entire morning on my computer

while my friend has spent this time preening on a post.

I tried to sneak down to the shore for a close-up,


but it flew away…


to another post.