Saturday, September 20, 2008

Plants Are Smarter Than We Are

Calgary man gets a year for growing opium poppies

I just ordered some seeds of Papaver Somniferum, but not for umm...."high tea" purposes. I just think they're pretty, and a big challenge to grow here in Texas.

Stressed Plants Release Aspirin-like Chemical

"Fascinating," as Mr. Spock would say. I especially love the part about plants communicating with each other.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kinda Like Louisiana

Well, Ike is headed this way this weekend, probably in the form of a Tropical Storm. My particular area is expected to get 2-4" of rain and some pretty good sustained winds, but nothing terribly major, although the soil is already a little swampy from recent rains. Areas to the east and south of us could see some bad stuff, however.

The National Weather Service is warning people to prepare by filling up gas tanks, checking generators and stocking up on water in case widespread power outtages occur...even to the point where sewage pump stations lose power. I guess I never realized that having two 75 gallon rain barrels full of water could help us in that department. Hopefully it won't come to that. The older I get, the less I am into "roughing it", if you know what I mean.

I received my Louisiana Iris order from Iris City Gardens today. Once again, they sent big, fat, healthy-looking fans and a couple of extra freebies. My experiences with them have been nothing short of stellar. And, well, you've all seen the results of my previous purchases from them.

Here's what I got this time...and here's hoping I get these guys in the ground before Ike arrives so they can get a really good soaking...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Late Summer's Glow

I like the glow of my backyard gardens in late summer. The white flowers of the autumn clematis on the back fence really sparkle, and in the morning light, the swaying brooms on the Zebra Grass catch the sun in a lovely manner.

And here's a look at the afore-mentioned woodpecker. Actually, there might be a pair of them; this looks like a female to me, and I know I've seen a male with the complete red "hood" on his head. It's possible this is an immature male, however. Anyway, I'm always glad to see some new and cool birds in my yard.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Gustav On the Way

It's inevitable that DFW will see some much-needed rain from Hurricane Gustav in a couple of days. As I write this, my beloved New Orleans seems to be hanging in there, and that's great news.

Speaking of weather, I really wonder what kind of winter we're going to have here in North Central Texas. One Farmer's Almanac is predicting slightly colder and drier than usual, while NOAA says the opposite.

All I know is, a red-bellied woodpecker and a pair of chickadees have already shown up at my bird feeders.