Thursday, March 19, 2015

Winter Walk-Off 2015

As winter winds down to a close, I am finally back to writing a post here. It is time for Les' Winter Walk-Off 2015. I have participated in this annual event every year he has hosted it. You can find my older posts here- 2014, 2013, 2012, & 2011.
The 'challenge' is to take a walk and photograph your sightings....nothing to be photographed from your garden. Not too tough to do. Over the years my walks have gotten shorter as my friends have gotten older and less interested in a long walk. They like eating grass on either side of the road. Maybe they are part cow? Newton, on the left, is now 13 + years old, and Skyler on the right, is 11 years old. Chasing bunnies and deer gets them running, otherwise they like to mosey.

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Our neighborhood is still a quiet place and our walks are generally uninterrupted by cars.  Just past our property is a stream that runs under the road and into the lake. The frogs are always singing up a storm. Love how the sunshine is dappled through the woods - you can see into the forest a good bit before the undergrowth fills in.  Looks like I need to clean my lens. 


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The wildflowers that pop up this time of year are so sweet. I enjoy the sea of purple along the roadside. I have shared pictures of this little beauty on Facebook and had to do a little more investigation to get the correct name. Common name is Bluets, botanical name, Houstonia pusilla.


Small four petaled little blooms, hardly a couple inches tall...but en masse--spectacular.

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As I was looking for the name, a site I use quite often is namethatplant.net. listed it as H. pusilla. For some reason I saw it listed somewhere else as Houstonia caerulea and thought I had misnamed it. Oops, not unusual, but hate to do that. I apparently misnamed it last year in my Winter Walk-Off post.
More research and  I found that these beauties, above, are in fact Houstonia pusilla, one of the distinguishing features is a red eye. Check! Then I noticed that there were some that didn't have a red eye....and they were white.

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See all those white little blooms and a pale blue one in the midst of them? White ones with a yellow eye are Houstonia caerulea and the pale blue are H. pusilla. The common name for the white ones is Quaker ladies, cute name.

Hard to photograph something so tiny...here is a side by side comparison.

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Larger plants are coming to life as spring is really just about here...TOMORROW!!! The maples in  the woods have that reddish glow as their blooms emerge. The grasses from last year are still that lovely blonde but at the base you see new growth starting to show. The winged elms, Ulmus alata, have already blooms and will be leafing out soon.  They are a scrubby tree and quite abundant in our area. Luckily the pines haven't released their pollen yet, thought the river of yellow will be coming soon.

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Another sign of spring on our walk is the blackberry brambles starting to leaf out. They are everywhere! We do get some blackberries but the birds and other wildlife get most of them. I pull out those brambles in my garden all the time and have thorn snags on my jeans to show for it.
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Please check out Les at A Tidewater Gardener to see other Winter Walk-Off posts from various blogs.

©Copyright 2015 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for the clarification on the Quaker ladies (so cute!). I'm going to get down on my knees to take a look at mine and see which one(s) I have. When it stops raining, that is! Arg, this rainy weather is making me grumpy. Anyway, I liked your walk and your companion walkers. :-)

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    1. Jean, I thought of you with the Bluets/Houstonias. There are also a couple other cultivars out there, but not in my area. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Beautiful Pictures as always, we surely are looking forward to spring around here. See you soon!, Paige

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    1. Thanks Paige! Not really springy around here today, though I did a lot of planting yesterday so am glad for the rain.

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  3. Janet, I am so glad you found time to join in again. Your part of the world seems to be a little ahead of here, but not by much. I think the cold and snow slowed us down some. This week the narcissus started blooming, magnolias began to open, and all kinds of buds are about to pop. Like yours, our red maples are now open, which is my favorite sign that winter is on the way out.

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    1. Thanks Les, I thought about the Walk-Off a couple weeks ago as I noticed the blackberries starting to leaf out and wondered if I had missed your post. While I am further south, I am still zone 7b/8a so my seasons are only a week or so different from Tidewater.

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  4. Enjoyed the walk! I'm hoping for a wildflower hike this weekend. Fingers crossed!

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    1. Marian hope the weather continues to improve for your hike!

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  5. Good to see you back here, Janet, and nice to see all the signs of spring in your neighborhood. The mass of bluets alongside the road is so pretty! Spring is slowly but surely arriving here, too, but I haven't seen too many signs of new growth other than the emerging bulbs. Looks like Skyler and Newton are enjoying spring, too.

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    1. Rose, thanks so much! Spring is here, whether or not the weather knows it! Skyler and Newton enjoy being outside.

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  6. Wow, I know it sounds strange, but that road looks so inviting. I haven't seen a road without potholes for a long time (. . . as I sit here writing while it snows outside on the first day of spring.)
    -Ray

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    1. Ray, Glad you like our road. No potholes on the road as it is a private community roadway...that and little to no snow to make the road rough. I saw on the weather report that you all have more snow today, bummer.

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  7. Isn't spring magical? I love the timelessness of the cycles, the reemergence of old friends. Your wildflowers are lovely - here it is the bright yellow of celandines popping up all over the place, replacing the far more subtle snowdrops. Its as if even nature gets excited at this time of year. Thank you for taking us on your mosey.

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    1. Janet, Love spring! The promise of renewal. Nice to have you visit, will check out your blog and see what's new in your world.

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  8. My neighborhood is so boring and cookie cutter that I never join these posts. I'm just not sure what I'd even show. Your area feels so quiet and peaceful. :o)

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    1. Thanks Tammy! It is quiet and peaceful....except for those loud frogs...haha. You will have to come and visit.

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  9. You have a beautiful place for your friends to mosey you. :) Wonderful Winter Walk Off, and now, hello to spring.

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    1. Thanks Hoover Boo. We have jumped from spring into summer now! In the 90's today.

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  10. Janet, I enjoyed your walk. Can't wait to see the Bluets this spring in my garden. They have become one of my favorites.

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    1. Thanks Lynn, you need to come down and visit soon. Do you have any Bluets in your area yet?

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  11. Janet what a treat to go on this lovely walk and not see snow...I did not do the walk this year as all I could show was piles of snow. Love all the little flowers.

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    1. Donna @GEV, we really didn't have much snow to speak of this year. I know you all had a ton!

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  12. Love your post! Glad to see you back. Those wildflowers are really lovely.

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    1. Kim and Victoria, thanks! I love all the wildflowers that appear in my area, it is a nice surprise.

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  13. What a great walk with your dogs. Hope spring is finally here to stay. Was cold here today.

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    1. Freda, we ended up turning on the A/C today, wish spring had lasted a bit longer.

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  14. Thanks for the lovely walk. I so enjoyed being with you. I've never seen bluets. Good to know.~~Dee

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