Mexican Dust

Several days of ago we had a bit of winter in Texas.  Some parts had snow, but our area had red dust.  Cars that were parked outside were covered with the dust.  I thought I got left out, but found the red dust on my slate steps.  The dust was picked by the storm from a dry area in Mexico and came back to earth in the rain.  It is interesting how nature is interconnected.

Reaching for the Sun

Towards the end of summer, I noticed rather large leaves were growing in one of my trees.  It turned out to be a canna reaching for the sun.  The normal cannas grow about 3 to 4 feet tall.  This one popped up in the shade of the tree and headed for the sun stretching to 10 feet.  Nature is so interesting.

Backdoor Beauty

This pink and blue beauty has always amazed me with its striking color combination.  My Aechmea gamosepala has had a long but difficult life. It lived in the ground for a while until the rabbits found it.  Its life in a pot has kept it alive, but not totally thriving.

This past summer it had to live in my wooded area and as luck would have it, the Aechmea loved it and put out more flower spikes than it has in years.

Now it is positioned next to my backdoor, so my cat and I can enjoy it all day.

Update on Looking Like Spring

After posting today, I took a walk around the yard and found Azaleas blooming.  Normally, they do not bloom until the second week of March.

It’s Beginning to Look Like Spring

I found it surprising that Spring seems to be on the way.  Maybe it is because I have not done my Fall clean-up.  The first two photos are two different salivias that are holding on to old growth while the new stems are already quite tall.  The other photo is rosettes of the cardinal flower well under way.

It has been an unusually warm winter and the cannas, gingers and drimiopsis seems to be coming up too early.

The native onion grass is popping up in the leaves along with corocosmia and snowflakes.

Even the Rose of Sharon seems to have had a short rest.  As always, there is good and bad with all this growth.  The good part is looking forward to a wonderful early blooming spring, but winter is not over and a hard freeze will knock all this new growth back to start over again.

Pine Needles

Lobolly Pine Trees, Pinus taeda, surround my house and grow in my yard.  They grow up to 110 feet and drop their lower branches leaving bare trunks with the branches and needles at the top. They are found in low, swampy areas (or my yard) and their name means mud hole.

The long needles fall on everything and give trees and shrubs fringes.

They bury plants.

And pierce leaves and flowers.

Pine needles fall on the ground, sidewalks and roofs.  But they are very useful as mulch.  They cover the ground in my natural areas and help keep moisture in.  I collect the needles and use them to mulch my beds, as they do a good job keeping weeds and fungus down.  And best of all they are very light and easy to gather.

Instant Season Change

In these modern times, we can go from winter to the end of summer in a matter of hours.



After spending time in an Appalachian snow, we touched down to green trees and flowers.