Saturday, March 30, 2019

Spring is here

Everything is so green now! The trees are covered in leaves; azaleas are blooming in many yards, and the temperature is perfect for sitting out on porches and patios. Here is the view from my front porch. I even spent several days power washing the paving stones along the front. I may be the only one who sees them, because everyone except the mail carrier and UPS guy use my back driveway. But for springtime it seemed like a neat thing to do.

In my backyard a Lady Banksia rose bush is getting established and I am training it to run along the fence.

We don't have Texas bluebonnets, but this little ground cover, Ajuga, is making a nice substitute.
 My pansy bed was planted in November and I have enjoyed blooms ever since. There is a huge parsley plant (enlarge to see) and lots of oregano; I added basil and a rosemary plant. My "Rosemary Christmas Tree" didn't survive the winter.  You can see it here if you want to look back.
The oxalis (fighting for space with oregano) looks like large clover that I want to pull like weeds. But then it has these lovely little pink blooms that make me realize I shouldn't think of it as a weed after all.
The hostas die down and are covered in pine straw for protection over the winter. It is exciting to see them beginning to fight their way through the straw.
I have only one houseplant--a Christmas cactus. It lives on a table by an east window all year. Even though it is supposed to get a certain amount of dark in order for it to bloom, it forgave me for this neglect and produced a slow but constant blooming period from November through March. Here it is at the end of March with perhaps its last three blooms.
Two blog posts this month! There is hope I will do better next month.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Marching through March

Or maybe I should say Zooming through March! Winter officially ended after only two below freezing nights to worry about protecting the orange tree and geranium. The geranium seems to love winter and is covered in blooms.
Geranium (with pine pollen on leaves)
My youngest granddaughter got married in Texas, and Linda and I had a lovely trip over to see all those Texas folks. We were a couple of weeks too early for bluebonnets, so I will enjoy pictures.

Mark and Melody Ginn with all six daughters and families
Nephews almost stole the show with their cuteness
I've been playing with fabric-wrapped cord bowls; the wrapping takes more time than sewing, but this was a good diversion for the trip. Elizabeth had to try this one on for size.

My life is usually pretty uneventful, but this week had some unexpected excitement. About midnight one night I was getting up from the computer and was startled to see a SNAKE coming out of the wheel of the other chair in the room. He wasn't actually coming out--but about 24" of him was sticking out of the slit in the wheel.
Diamond black king snake

 Another part of him (containing the tail and some skin) was on the floor nearby. I have no idea how he got there and particularly how he was so tightly bound inside the wheel. What to do at midnight? Who could I call to come? The chair would not roll with the snake tangled up inside one of the wheels. He did not have a triangular-shaped head (indicating a poisonous snake), and I thought he was a king snake, which is known to be a good snake which eats bad ones. My solution was to get a thick wad of paper towels and grab him and pull him out--easier said than done, but finally done and stuffed into a box and tossed into the garage. The next morning I saw that he had survived long enough to try to get out of the box, but the pulling and stretching had done too much damage for him to survive.

Enough excitement for one night.