Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

On Friday Iris came up for a visit and we had a very pleasant day wandering a bit, enjoying the dogs (mostly enjoying), talking and eating, and taking short walks.

Litter-sisters Totty and Pila had a tiff while Iris was here. Her front left leg was injured which required a trip to the vets for Pila. She's fine; a little fluid and swelling but no stitches, no blood, and an x-ray was taken to be sure. Kennel-dad stayed with her the whole time which was interesting. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

 After storms, the bottom sediment in shallow water is often stirred up a bit by wave action and the near-land water of Lake Huron turns a sandy color. (See above.) Part of the sandy color may also be due to the sediment run-off caused by the heavy rain which raised the water level and resulted in erosion along the banks of the small creeks and streams.

This grass is flowering now and, in the right light, the flowers have a lovely shade of purple to them.

There are several species of clover growing here, all of which I leave because their nitrogen fixing nodules enrich the soil; the soil here is very poor. This particular species is very tall and a favorite with the rabbits.

Evening primrose (Oenothera fruticosa)

I've introduced several native kinds of flowers into my small prairie here; it's exciting, for me anyway, to see a few of them making an attempt to flower this summer. The old maxim is: - "Sleep, creep, leap". That refers to the first three years of growth after planting. Perennials are very slow to get established (sleep) and seem not to be doing anything their first year. The second year they have survived and may look a bit larger (creep). By the third year they take off and make a much better show (leap). I'm hoping that will be the case here.

Clover, daisies

Rosa rugosa

Because there are no good nurseries and greenhouses here, I have become good friends with plant catalog companies. I had some trepidations about buying bare root trees and shrubs because I'd never done that. When you have good nurseries nearby, you get a good looking potted plant with well established roots which makes transplanting easy.

Virtually all of my roses, shrubs, and trees have come bare root. I planted them immediately upon arrival and waited, sometimes for many months. I'm converted. Virtually all of them made it. Most are doing very well. A few got off to a slow start but at least they survived. It has been fun watching and waiting for growth. I would not hesitate now to buy most shrubs and trees bare root.

Tradescantia occidentalis


I have tried in the past to grow Shasta daisies; they do fine the first summer and maybe even the second one but they are, like many hybridized plants, not long lived. They are what I call - "picky eaters" - because they just don't last for years - often. Wild daisies look as nice, in my opinion, and are tough!

 I couldn't resist taking a photo of Kermit resting on lily pads (above). There are flower buds so the water lily flowers should be right around the corner. I brought a small division of the water lily from my Royal Oak pond and also brought a small division of the narrow leaved cattail that I rescued from 12 Mile and I-75 and that lived in my R.O. pond for many years. That 12 Mile clump is gone now, killed by the alien invasive phragmites that out competed them and that are killing cattails all over the US. Scientists say that we have now entered the "anthropocene era" - the sixth major die off of thousands of species - this one is being caused by mankind.

Clivia - flowering again

I think my Clivia love the light they're getting here. (Thank you for my windows Brian.) Some have flowered twice or thrice in the short year that I've been here. In the past I was lucky if I got one flower stalk per plant a year.

Yellow Clivia - n.b. the yellow seeds on the upper right

Those two seeds have been growing for about a year and a half. They are being nurtured by a direct connection to the mother plant which will give the seedlings a head start on life when they finally separate. The larger of the two seeds shown above has a bump on the bottom which will eventually become the new root. Mammals also nurture their young before they are born as do several species of fish, etc. We are not alone in the care and head-start given to offspring. Very cool to see that other organisms do what we do. We were not the first or the only species to give that "legs up" to offspring.

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