Monday, April 27, 2009

Striped Coralroot

Usually parasites are considered disgusting wormy things, but this one is certainly pretty! This orchid feeds through the mychorrizal soil fungus, one of those beings whose existence utterly depend on the total ecosystem package of soil, fungus, trees, and other living things.
Standing tall with its hosts, as it sucks their bloooood.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dandelion Whine

Yup! that's me.

I've always loved dandelions, and spent a lot of time picking them, even before I could say their name. My dad let them grow in the side yard just for me. I love their bright yellow pop and watching the flight of the seeds...what's not to love? (Thus the whine...)

Turns out dandelions can practically cure cancer(and may well do that too!). I came across a wonderful foraging-foodie blog http://fat-of-the-land.blogspot.com/. I tried the recipe for Dandelion Bread and it turned out great!!! (recipe here http://fat-of-the-land.blogspot.com/2008/04/dandy-muffins-and-bread.html ). Even my boys loved it.
The recipe calls for 1 cup of petals, this was all I could find in my yard. They made almost a packed cup.

The bread even looks yummy. It has a cornbready texture with just the right amount of moistness. I had to tweak the recipe a tad because I had to sub sugar for honey, here is my modified recipe:
2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dandelion petals
1/4 cup oil
scant 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
scant 1 1/4 cups milk

I can feel that dandelion miracle cure zapping through my veins...my dad is visiting this weekend to celebrate his birthday, I'm going to make him some Dandelion Bread!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hummingbird Chick Photos

I've often thought about hummingbird eggs and chicks--how impossibly small and fragile they are. The grown up bird is a wonder in itself--so much ferocity and daring in a such a small package--and then this package dares to migrate a thousand plus miles twice a year! Kind of makes my own derring-do seem pansy by comparison(no offense to pansies). And the nest is an architectural work of art to boot.

Eggs the size of a tick tack. Will wonders never cease. NO!

http://community-2.webtv.net/Velpics/HUM/

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A New Leaf

After an extra long winter(for here), spring is creeeeeeeping in . My camellia is blooming a month late. Been puttering around toting rocks, making new garden beds, adding native plants. I've also started researching and experimenting with using "foraged" fertilizer--or rather stuff that the homesteaders here would have used a hundred years ago because a) they had no money and b)that was all that was available, just like my situation. This entails learning about the characteristics of my native soil, how it behaves, and how to work with it so it will grow happy plants. I'm finding there is quite a lot of good stuff just lying around! I'll report back on the native resources/chemistry/garden interface here. Still thankful, more every day, to be planted here. Utterly.