In Bloom Today: Cosmos, etc.

Here’s the Cosmo I mentioned yesterday, in a position today where I could photograph it. I think it is so pretty!

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Here’s the Rose of Sharon flowers opened up during the day:

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And another one:

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Here’s the white Zinnia in better focus, in the sunshine:

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Here’s another one of my Spiderwort plants, taken in the sunshine so it doesn’t show the true purple it is.

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And here’s what was on said Spiderwort, which is why I took a photo in the sunshine – a pretty little Butterfly, which needs identification. Does anyone know what this is?

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Here’s a bee moving around on my Echinacea (I’ll still get one sleeping when I can):

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And in case you thought I was actually going to make it through a post without talking about the dreaded Poison Ivy – I took a photo of it *dying* *dying* *dying*. Die plants die:

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Please know that I am not normally this way. There are just a few plants that I don’t like, here’s a short list off the top of my head:

  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Oak
  • Poison Sumac
  • Garlic Mustard – taking over *everywhere*
  • Purple Loosestrife – choking out cattails – it frustrates me when I go to a public garden and see it growing there as a garden plant.

Oh, and speaking of stupid commercials again, what is up with that “Head On” one, the one where a lady is banging her head with something and they repeat “Head On” three times? I gain a headache from just listening to that commercial. If a person has a headache, banging something against it wouldn’t seem to be as beneficial as taking a dropperful of Cayenne extract in water or a glass of carrot juice, which is what helps me when I get a headache.

Thank you Susan Gets Native!

Susan from Susan Gets Native has a blog entry about my poison ivy, and a photo of possible a poison ivy plant in her yard. I think it is poison ivy, based on my “Leaves of Three, Let It Be” rule and from looking at photos in books and the internet. Thank you Susan, for reading, and for blogging about me! It’s nice to know there are nice people like you who care!

When I went to get my mail from today and Saturday it hurt my poison ivy rashes/blisters very bad to be outside. If someone could explain that, I would really appreciate it. It’s like the air outside has spikes that stick right into my skin. This having to be stuck inside on these gorgeous days is really getting to me. I’ve taken to watching TV (boring, snore), reading through a stack of magazines, blogging too much here and elsewhere, all while tending to my leaky, itchy, painful skin. So while I’m reading through a magazine I overhear a stupid commercial on TV for Diet Cranberry Juice. Two guys are standing in a cranberry bog, and at the end they refer to Wheatgrass as if it is the type of grass growing in the lawn (something like “it’s way better tasting than your lawn, which you wouldn’t want to eat anyway”) How ignorant is that? Wheatgrass is excellent for humans to juice and drink (starting in a very small quantity at first because it is *very* powerful stuff). I drink wheatgrass every day. It is an acquired taste, but it tastes so good once you get used to it. There’s lots of information about Wheatgrass out there – my favorite is Ann Wigmore’s The Wheatgrass Book. And no, wheatgrass is not on the list of turf grass. Okay, I know I need to get a life, I’m trying to get better, and then my blog will return to some semblance of normalcy, maybe.

Momma and Baby

I looked out the bathroom window again last night (as I do every time I go in there, even in the winter – it’s frosted glass so I open it wide so I can see what’s going on), and I saw a doe eating my Comfrey (that’s okay, it grows very fast) and a fawn eating weeds. As soon as I opened the sliding glass door curtain to take photos, Momma knew something was wrong (I did it real slow and noiseless, too):

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Here’s a close up of the fawn (I couldn’t get a close up of the doe):

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Momma must have made a sound because right after I snapped this photo the fawn ran towards her and ran right over the top of her. Then they both took off.

I saw a bee sleeping on an Echinacea flower petal again, I tried taking a photo through the window screen, but it came out really fuzzy. So I’ll try again tonight when I go outside.

I’m doing an experiment on a small patch of poison ivy on my skin. I’m using something called No. 3 Full Strength Salamanca Herb Salve, manufactured by H. F. Freeman in Salamanca, NY. The patch is looking better than the other patches, so I may try some more little patches. Unfortunately the company went out of business years ago.

Flowers

So I spilled 3/4 of my bottle of Dr. Schulze’s Deep Tissue Ointment all over my hardwood floor as I was putting it on my painful, itchy skin, so I had to wipe it up, not think about the waste, not cry over the spilled ointment, hope it won’t eat through the finish on my floor since it still looks very nice, and call and order some more so I make it through however long this poison ivy siege is going to last. I got really annoyed with having to be stuck inside and be a klutz (which I’m not normally), so I went out, watered my plants, added water to the bird baths and took photos of some of my flowers. I didn’t realize Cosmos follow the sun like sunflowers do. I was going to take photos of one of them as it was pointing towards the outside of the garden this morning (towards the sun), but this evening it is pointing in towards the garden (towards the setting sun) and I couldn’t capture it tonight. And now my poison ivy spots are very itchy again. Something about being outside really aggrevates them. How annoying. I tried reading outside earlier and the same thing happened.
I didn’t realize that Rose of Sharon flowers close up at night – this one was fully open earlier today:

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Here’s one of my little marigolds – it didn’t come out too good, but I’m not going back out to take another one – until tomorrow, hee hee:

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One of my zinnias – photo kind of blurry – the first one to come out, which is beautiful to me, with colors coming along soon:

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And here’s some of my wave petunias that make me very happy, too:

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I had a very bad thing done today. I had Roundup sprayed on that poison ivy. I do not use chemicals of any kind in my outdoor space, but that had to go. It’s close to the neighbor’s yard on the other side of my garage and her son uses all kinds of chemicals on her yard (I won’t get started on that subject).

There, now I feel better (in my mind) after being outside for a few minutes.

Deer

This is what I saw as I looked out my bathroom window a few minutes ago:

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Here’s a closer photo of the one on the left:

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Here’s a closer photo of the one on the right:

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The one on the right got up to munch on some foliage:

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They better not be hanging out to raid my garden after dark.  I’m watching guys.  You better behave your little selves!

Poison Ivy, again

More on Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans or Rhus toxicodendron). I was under the mistaken impression that Poison Ivy leaves are shiny, which is why when I saw the leaves of three I wasn’t really concerned. Okay, here’s the deal, when Poison Ivy is young, it has shiny leaves. When it grows up, the leaves are no longer shiny. So “Leaves of three, let it be” is now my motto forever.

Poison Ivy from poisonivy.org

This photo is “borrowed” from poison-ivy.org, and it is the summer version of poison ivy. This is what I saw, except for the shiny ones. I wasn’t going to go near the area to take any of my own photos!

I don’t feel so dumb anymore though, because my field botany professor told me that one of the other professors didn’t know about the leaves not being shiny bit, and got it all over his, uh-hum, well, he went to the bathroom, and oops, there it was going to be, because he had touched the poison ivy with his hands before he went. I think I’m in agony, I can’t imagine *that*.

Last night the blisters started getting bigger and the infected areas were very painful, and I got scared. So I got my Dr. Schulze’s American Botanical Pharmacy catalog out and his recommendation for poison ivy is to take his Echinacea Plus internally and to use his external forumlas Deep Tissue ointment and Anti-I on the infected areas. Fortunately I had all of this on hand (I love herbs and herbal formulae) and the Deep Tissue ointment took the pain away right away! Today I’m dealing with weeping blisters, so I’m pretty much keeping my legs horizontal, which is a hard thing to do this time of year! I’m also fresh juicing and putting Dr. Schulze’s Superfood Plus into my juice. I can’t wait to get over this mess!

Bees, Poison Ivy

I like seeing Bees hanging out on plants when it is just a little bit cool. Yesterday as I closed the front window I saw a bee hanging out on an Echinacea flower petal. Which reminded me of the trip to Cornell Plantations with my Mom last August, and the bees hanging out on a sunflower head there:

19Aug2005 042cOn Monday I busily eradicated some saplings and a couple of bigger trees between my garage and the neighbor’s fence. In this area I noticed I was rubbing up against plants with “leaves of three” as in “leaves of three, let it be.” Too late, I was already in it, and now I have a painful case of poison ivy, especially on one leg, and it’s spreading to my other leg and arms and chest. I went out to the garden to pick my evening salad, and the plants / weeds made the poison ivy hurt really bad just by lightly touching my legs. Needless to say, I’ve had to ban outdoor activities, and the weeds in the garden are taking full advantage of the situation. Oh well. Two weeks can’t go by fast enough for me. I know that herbs don’t help it go away, but I alternate between Dr. Christopher’s Plantain Ointment and Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme. Both of these take the pain away. Okay, I’ll stop complaining now, since I was the dumb one working in an area with “leaves of three.”

Northern Cardinal, Snake & Another Old Postcard

This morning while I was shutting the windows to leave for the day, I saw the juvenile male Northern Cardinal on the bird bath. I don’t think he liked the depth of the water, because he would hop in and immediately hop out like he was going to drown (not). He would then flap his wings while standing on the side, sharpen his beak on the edge, hop to another spot on the side of the bird bath, then hop back in and repeat the series of events. This was too cute to watch. He’s getting more red feathers every time I see him.

I saw my snake sunning himself on the front lawn the other day. He was brown/gray and has a yellow stripe down his side. I need a snake book to identify him. This calls for a trip to my local Barnes & Noble (like I need an excuse to go browse in a bookstore)! By the way, I live in an area that is relatively free of scary poisonous snakes so I’m generally not afraid. Until I go to Arizona for a vacation, or a swampy area around here.

And since I try not to make photo-less blog entries, here’s another photo postcard from my Great Grandmother’s photo albums, this one of the Missisquoi River and Jay Peak from No. Enosburg VT:

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Purple Finch

This Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) came in for a quick second, only enough for me to catch a far away photo, and then he left. I still think he’s beautiful:

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There were two Tufted Titmice after each other tonight, and they landed on the Rose of Sharon for a second. Here’s a quick shot of one of them:

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Here’s another far away photo of one of the Northern Cardinal family that is still hanging around. I hear them all day long, but they remain elusive, flying from one sheltered place to another:

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The Black-Capped Chickadees are still enjoying the bird bath for their little drinks of water. The water level is much lower now that some big fat birds have taken big, splashy baths!

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Today was an absolutely gorgeous day outside – in the 80’s F and a nice, gentle breeze. Great for working outside!

Canadian Pinnacle, East Berkshire, VT

Given that it was way too hot (high of 97 degrees F) and humid to be outside today without feeling like I was going to die, I opted to stay inside with the air conditioner (first day using that, I usually hate air conditioning) and finish transferring photos from my Great Grandmother’s photo albums to an archival photo album for my Dad. My Great Grandmother was born in Canada, and loved Vermont. Here’s one of the photo postcards from her album labelled Canadian Pinnacle, East Berkshire, VT:

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