Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Winter Walk-Off 2017, Spoiler Alert -- There are Snakes

Hard to believe it is that time again, time for the Winter Walk-Off, a blog meme sponsored by my friend Les at A Tidewater Gardener. The rules are the same as last year, and all previous years-- Powered under your own two feet, explore your area and photograph it. No photos of your own garden. Post your walk and link back to Les' blog. His post is here, so you can read the fine details. Participants have a chance to win one of two prizes. I can attest to the fact that the prizes are pretty nice. 

So on with our walk. Last year, well really a year ago Thanksgiving, we started walking. I mentioned my daily steps last year in my Walk-Off post.  Last year my daily goal was 11,000 steps a day. I increased my goal to 12,500 sometime this winter. A daily walk, regardless of the weather, is good for you. I am so glad we walk, though there are days where I am not as motivated as others. 

Our neighborhood street, heavy traffic

 As we walked today, I noticed how early all the trees are budding and some are blooming. This is the time of year where I like seeing the pears. The white blooms are pretty, but what a weedy, thorny, invasive, weak-wooded tree.

The Houstonia sp., Quaker Ladies or Little Bluets, are blooming now. We have a couple different varieties. H. caerulea and H. pusilla are the most common.

Such sweet little blooms

As I said, we walk, the 'we' being my husband and I with our dogs. This past October we got a new puppy, my husband is walking her in this photo. Liebling is a German Shepherd. She will be 6 months old on Thursday. To see more puppy pictures, check out my Flickr link on the sidebar.

Here she is with our older dog, Skyler. He is thirteen years old and still active. Today we walked to our neighborhood gazebo- a longer walk than what we have done since getting Liebling, about 4 miles round trip. 

More early bloomers are the vines native to our area, Carolina Jessamine, Gelsemium sempervirens. It usually blooms a month or so later.  

Another tree blooming is the Winged Elm, Ulmus alata. Rather a scruffy tree, but with the 'winged' appendages it is quite sculptural.  

I hadn't planned on taking photos for this post today until I encountered this little guy--
The warm weather has the frogs singing and the snakes emerging. This is the first snake of the season for us. All photos for this post were taken with my cell phone!

Brown Snake
Kind of scary looking right? Not really. He is tiny. Brown Snakes are not large snakes but good to have in the garden. With all the voles we have in our garden, I welcome each and every snake! To read more about the Brown Snake, this website has some great information- Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. After our photo shoot I moved him off the road so he won't have a mishap with a passing car.

See, not that big!
Hope you enjoyed our little stroll. Go over to A Tidewater Gardener to see where Les walked and the others who are joining the Winter Walk-Off 2017.

©Copyright 2017 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dry Creek Bed Follow-Up (with rain!)

Many of you saw the dry creek bed that we added to our backyard garden area. The link to the previous post is here. Since then we have had little rain to speak of while I was home.  However, when I was in Minneapolis for the Garden Bloggers Fling a good amount of rain fell but I wasn't there to see how the garden fared.

When we had a small amount of rain I was able to make a few adjustments in the grass and pathways. This photo doesn't look like much but it is a slice cut into the low part of the grass area between the patio and the garden. I wanted to channel the run-off from the house to go around the garden. My husband wasn't happy with this, saying weeds will grow in the bare soil. Perhaps, but  I needed to try something.

Here is an overview from the porch to give you some perspective. See the channel in the grass?

Another spot that needed some adjustment was the pathway, the lower (right hand) pathway emptied to the grass on the far side of the creek bed. When there was rainfall the water ran down the path and the excess water pooled in the grassy area. I dug a small ditch and a berm on the far side of the ditch, forcing the water into the creek bed.

Well, yesterday we had enough rain to access my additional measures as well as getting to see, firsthand, how well the dry creek bed worked. I measured 1.58 inches over a 24 hour period. The video below shows it all.  I am narrating so you can listen or just watch. 

We have had some sand washout from the upper part of the creek bed where they put the french drain pipes which will need be removed.  I took the advice of fellow blogger Swimray about keeping the leaves out (and will continue to do so). So very glad we did this addition to the garden. It certainly channeled a lot of water without it creating its own new path.

©Copyright 2016 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Blogger Flings- Looking Forward While Looking Back

Spring house at Meadowlark
While I haven't written about this year's Fling in Minneapolis yet, I wanted to help tempt everyone for the Fling coming up next year in the Northern Virginia/Maryland/District of Columbia region. Our host, Tammy, put up a great overview for the Fling on her blog, Casa Mariposa. A couple of the places we are due to visit next year I have been to before. I was with the York County Master Gardeners on our spring study trip. Can't wait to see these gardens again. The dates are June 22-25th, will I see you there?
Here are the links to Brookside and Meadowlark from my point of view. Please check out the links both from here as well as the ones on Tammy's page to learn more about these gardens and all the others she has lined up. I was going to add more photos to help tempt you from my library of photos, but I wasn't as prolific a photographer in 2009!

©Copyright 2016 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.