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sjc48

new-june fotess swap - let's take a break!

sjc48
10 years ago

Hi Everybody, and welcome to the Friends of the Earth-Simple Swaps for June!

First of all, to participate in these swaps, you must be a member of FOTESS. If you would like to join, we'd love to have you! Contact Jeanne or myself to learn how to join!

In the past eight months, since we started FOTESS back in October, we've done quite alot of seed swapping. My thoughts for June were, maybe, by now, everyone would be ready to take a break from swapping seeds, from signing up on time, from mailing packages and meeting deadlines.

I thought it might be nice instead, to talk about all those seeds we received and what we did with them.

And just in case you've forgotten:

Last month we sent cuttings, something new to some of us, tell us what you learned! Any successes yet?

In April, we wrote poems about our seed compulsions and sent our excess seeds on to someone else!

In March, Jeanne hosted a swap for miniature seed types, any minis growing out there?

In February we tried to chase the winter blues away by sharing blue seeds. Any True Blues?

In January, Jeanne introduced us to Upcycling, which has made me look twice at anything I'm about to pitch!

December saw us sending Feathered Feast out to the birds; how many kinds of birds did you have at your feeders this year?

November was our Soltice Swap. We shared 4 packs of seeds, to be wintersowed, one pack each for Remembrance, Leap of Faith, Life and Mother Nature.

And October was our inaugral swap, in which we started "Sowing the Seeds of Recycling, Seeding and Reading".

How about it? Are you ready for a break? We would love to see all of our members post at least once and let us know how their gardens, seeds, recycling/upcycling efforts are going, also any good books, fiction or otherwise you've read lately.

If you can't remember who you got those seeds from, or even what they were, you can check back through the FOTESS threads. It's all in there!

I'm taking a break for the month of June and I hope you'll join me! I'll be back later with updates on ALL those seeds I received!

Shirley!

Comments (90)

  • poisondartfrog
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I've got some left over plants too, Shirley. They look awful and I need to dump them in the compost heap, but I keep walking by trying not to notice them, lol.

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    YAY!! Progress!
    I got out 5 of my 30" planters and transplanted most of my leftover plants today! Not sure if they will stay in the planters but at least they are in soil, not styrofoam cups or plastic glasses. Time enough later to decide where they'll go. I still have two shelves loaded with plants for the new bed, now all I have to do is finish it!

    I did have to dump some, felt bad but I knew they weren't going to make it and I don't have any ground left for them. And the 5' foxglove went. nuff said. The passiflora is going to go too; it's going everywhere and when shoots from a plant turn up 20' away, it's time to re-evaluate.

    And the sweetpea vine? Well, I got the new 6' trellis in behind the plant without breaking anything and got some of the vines tied up. I couldn't pull any of the plants out because they were all entwined-that will have to wait for fall. It still looks pretty bad but at least it isn't shading all the other plants. It's blooming, really pretty, wish I would have had the bigger trellis last fall.

    Willie the cat has taken up residence in my supply cupboard; hisses and spats when you go near her. She has been acting strange since her operation. Can't be the meds because she wouldn't take them. I just wish she wouldn't lay on the printer inks.

    Okay, I'm done babbling for the night, see ya all tomorrow!
    Shirley!

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  • smitties
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    So I went to visit a friend today. She had told me a local greenhouse was getting ready to close for the season and would I want anything. I told her to pick up about 5 or so. Well, I get to her house and there was a flat of 15 plants waiting for me. They were all perennials that were marked to a buck. We went back and I pick up 10 more. How can you pass up a deal like that? I bought some wonderful new things and might just go back on Friday for more. :) I haven't picked up any annuals so might get them as well.
    Now I need to get out and plant them.

    My husband and I are going camping with my daughter and new son in law this weekend. After being so busy for so long, we all want a nice getaway. They were not able to take a honeymoon so won't go on one til December. It will be nice to go and relax. The other kids have agreed to man the fort while we are away. Gotta love em.

    Margo

  • canyonwind
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Shirley, great idea "Let's Take A Break"!!!

    Overall, I have had great success. So many seeds that I have received from fellow FOTESSER'S have been sown and are happily growing. I can not recall what everyone sent as I do not keep records but I do know that....

    Jaynine sent me Moonflower seeds in the November Solstice swap. They are growing up the Pigmy Palms by the Pergola...doing wonderfully.

    Heidi sent me a favorite of hers, Gaillardia Punchella. No flowers yet, but that is OK. As the heat kicks in in July and August, blooms will come! Fortunatley, in Southern California, Gaillardia bloom all year.

    Margo's stamped spoon signs from the Upcycling swap in January....I just love these. I need to do this. Margo, I am determined to get Echinacea seeds to grow. I am failing in a big way...LOL! I need some pointers on how to get these babies to grow.

    Between dog friendly snail bait and cloche protection (lots of water bottles with holes, left over screen etc), I have not lost to many plants to the snails and bunnies.

    I have so much enjoyed FOTESSING with all of you. Great concept, great ideas.....thanks for your generosity.

    Something I have meant to do for years and finally did in February....we all eventually run out of space (maybe), so I planted potatoes in large 33 gallon heavy duty bags (with drainage holes of course). And it was a happy success. Lots of taters. I need to pick up some sweet potatoes and do the same thing. Funny growing potatoes in bags...but...you do what you must...LOL!

    Happy Thursday to all!

    Annie

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hey Annie, good to hear from ya! Have you ever tried WSing echinacea? I have had amazing luck with them, at least 80% germination. And I've seen those grow bags for veggies, how much better to use garbage bags. Lots less expensive!

    Margo, you CAN'T pass up a deal like that, why would you want to? Good going! Hope your camping trip is fun and relaxing!

    Well, need to go watch OKC defeat Miami again. Talk to ya all tomorrow!
    Shirley!

  • xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I've been busy with Middle School kids in the new Children's Garden (community garden). There are 2 dozen raised beds and some have signs "Pizza Garden" "Salsa Garden" "Peter Rabbit Garden". A little girl asked me, "Can you grow a pizza?" We had a nice talk. I really didn't believe kids were that disconnected from nature as we're a rural place surrounded by agriculture. Just proves we need to put the computers away and get in the dirt. The kids have said over and over, "It's so relazing here."
    Bergamot had 1 bloom on it. I'm getting tired of yellow-coreopsis tickseed, yellow buttons, a yellow rudbeckia that came up like gangbusters, stella d'oro. The liatris is getting ready to bloom so those purple stalks in front of the yellow blooms will be a pretty contrast. Sorry, no whining...just be glad they are growing!
    Perennials for a buck! Margo...touch me...you must be Lucky, Lucky, Lucky! I'm sure you're smiling!
    Heidi

  • oliveoyl3
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hope your weekend away is terrific, Margo! You deserve a break.

    Shirley, I like cutting perennial sweetpea flowers and watching the colors change as the flowers age. Plus it encourages more blooms.

    Annie, aren't homegrown potatoes tasty? We are growing so many potatoes this year we're also using cardboard boxes in the back part of the garden. Whether bags or boxes it will be easier to harvest! The 1st ones are flowering now and we staggered the planting, so that we'd have later potatoes for winter storage.

    Heidi, great names for kids' gardens! I hope you have helpers for 2 dozen beds.

    Have a great weekend, Corrine

  • sandlapper_rose
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Happy Father's Day tomorrow to all the dads!

    Thanks for the ideas about growing potatoes in trash bags or cardboard boxes. I may try that next year. Last year I tried old hay bales and that did not work well for me. This year they are in the ground, but for some reason don't look too happy. However, I did get to pick my first tomato two days ago. It was soooo good!

    I also wanted to mention that I have a blog about writing and reccently interviewed Shirley and just posted that on my blog today. I sent each member an e-mail in case you want to read it. The April swap is discussed a little leading into the interview.

    Is anyone else in the group a writer? We had some great poetry going on here for National Poetry Month.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Jeanne

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Everyone!
    Corrine, I like the flowers, they are colorful and huge, what I can see of them. The vines are so entwined it's hard to see what's what.
    What a great idea for potatoes. Good system for those with no garden space.
    Heidi, how great that you get to share gardening with the kids. I agree, get outside!
    Jeanne, good edit!
    I've been seeing more dragonflies this year, in the gardens. Got some pics today, but the little blue ones won't hold still long enough!
    Well, moving on over to the NBA!
    See ya all tomorrow,
    Shirley!

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Moved over to the NBA a day too soon; the third game is tonight - DUH! GO OKC!

    Happy, Happy Birthday to FOTESS member lindaruzicka-Linda! Hope your day is a great one, Linda!

    Happy Father's Day to all the Dads!

    Looks like it's going to be a muggy, overcast day here; good day to work at organizing the small bedroom - again!

    Have a good day!
    Shirley!

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Good Morning!
    Just wanted to wish FOTESS member Robert-rqeversole a very Happy Birthday! Hope your day is great, Robert!
    Talk to ya all later!
    Shirley!

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Everyone! Has anyone else noticed the photo feature that is directly above this box? Is this something new, or have I just missed it for the last two years? It is so easy! All my latest pics are on my desktop in folders, but I think you can access pics from anywhere on your computer.
    I thought you all might like to see the infamous sweetpea vine-can anyone spot the problem?

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    And here are some of my WSed pansies!

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Drat, that was the wrong pic. Try this one!

  • sandlapper_rose
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I can't find the new photo feature. Where is it? I've noticed GardenWebbers talking about it. Maybe it didn't come to my computer? Hmmmm....
    Pretty pansies. They are one of my favorites, they but grow as a winter flower here - just too hot for them in our summers! By the end of May we usually don't see them any more.
    Happy Birthday to our members with the recent birthdays. I hope you had a wonderful day!
    There are things blooming here in my garden, but it's not as exciting as when so many of the daylily flowers were opening all at once.
    Talk with you soon.
    Jeanne

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Jeanne, the photo feature is right underneath where it says "post a follow-up"

  • smitties
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ok, here goes. This is my test. I am trying to post a picture of the eagle that landed on the dock in our pond. If it works, I will be excited to be able to share pics of my flowers now. I am no genius when it comes to computers so an easy button works for me. :)

    Have a wonderful relaxing weekend camping. It didn't start out to great. My hubby went to hitch up the camper to our van and it wouldn't go down far enough to hitch up. It was a stumper and after two hours, I said, "lets just use a tent". I wasn't going to cancel my getaway. LOL We threw everything we would need for a tent trip into our car and my daughter and son in laws car and headed out. It worked out great and I didn't forget anything. We had rain most of Saturday morning but I even remembered the screen tent so went fine.

    Hope my pic works out. Margo

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Margo, great pic! Did you use the feature here on the forums?
    Nice to have you back. Is that a truck out on 75 in the background?
    Gotta go play bunco, I will post a pic of some of the seeds you sent me, that are already blooming, when I get home!
    Shirley!

  • smitties
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Shirley, I did use the feature you explained here and it was so easy. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I am not sure what that is in the background, maybe a building at a farm that is on that corner. I75 is out front of our house about 1/4 mile. It isn't too bad to be looking out at it. We do most of our things out back anyway. If the wind is going in the wrong direction, we can hear the traffic. Tonight it is going in the right direction and it is very nice and quiet outside.

    Very hot today but the evening was cooler so I got some of the 37 plants I have to get in planted. More will get done tomorrow night. I had to set up sprinklers and water all the gardens. I didn't get it all done so will do more tomorrow. I think I will have to do it each night until we get another decent rain. At least for a while. It is so dry, most stores are out of sprinklers.

    Hope someone is getting some rain. Margo

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, didn't win anything at bunco, lots of laughs and great desserts so it wasn't a total loss!
    It is very hot and muggy here, will need to get out there early tomorrow and water!
    Margo, these are the Pink Baby's Breath and Candytuft seeds you sent me in one swap or another - I think I need to pinch everything back a little to make it fuller. That's Nigella in the middle.

  • kchd
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi all,
    I have been stopping by every few days via my iphone to catch up on all the latest posts. Reading about everyone's gardening adventures, and looking at all the photos has become somewhat addicting. Love the bird photos, too!

    Margo, it sounds like the wedding went off spectacularly. And I love camping, too - - sounds like a great getaway.
    Shirley, sounds like your plant sale was a complete success. If I were nearby, I would certainly come by to scoop up some plants. You have listed several species that I am interested in growing.
    Corrine, loved that photo of the little chickies! We have juncos here in winter, but by breeding season, they are gone.
    Jeanne, I received your email and went and read your blog. Very cool. I am a writer, but it is not fiction - - more along the lines of science/biology/ecology. I am looking forward to reading more, and also seeing what you have in store for us for the FOTESS July swap. The month of July will bring more travel for me, as husband and I will be traveling back to Wisconsin to band 1,000 cormorant chicks all in one night :)
    Annie, your creative container potatoes fascinate me! I have no lack of space, but I could foresee having a lack of good soil. I hope the composting will aid in that regard.

    So now that I have some time at an actual computer, without distraction, I thought I'd post an update. Work kept me out of town until June 9, as I was in Wisconsin working with cormorants. I returned home to MS briefly, and then drove down to my hometown Baton Rouge to spend a week with family. My 90+ yr old grandmother is in poor health, so I spent several days working in the yard alongside my aunt. Also spent a few days working in my sister's yard (and building her a "chicken tractor"). This also included 2 trips to the garden nursery [insert big cheesy grin]. Came home with plants for grandmother, sister, and a few I couldn't resist for myself, too.

    My lanceleaf coreopsis, which I grew from seed after direct sowing in January, has finally produced a first bloom. It's lovelier than I expected. These plants (tons of them!) came up sturdy and strong, and have had no trouble with our hot & humid climate.

    While out of town, our bluebirds chicks finally fledged. I have been snapping photos every few days by sneaking a camera into the nest box opening. This photo was taken shortly after the clutch was complete. Good thing they don't really care about my monitoring. They come back every year. This year the same nest box also hatched out a family of tufted titmouse earlier in spring. It's the favorite nest box, and the different pairs of birds fight over who gets to nest in it every year, despite 6 boxes around the property.
    I think that bluebird was threatening to peck my eyes out...

    Reading about the upcycling swap was very exciting, and an idea I love. So in that spirit, I thought I would post a photo of our upcycling project from this spring. We made 2 compost bins from old wood pallets, and lined them with plastic mesh. We placed 2 of them side-by-side to allow for easy mixing/aerating/transferring from bin to bin to achieve active composting. The front door swings down, drawbridge style, for easy access.

    Happy gardening to you all,
    Katie

  • smitties
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Katie, enjoy your posts. I am taken by your job that takes you all over banding birds. I am jealous. Where do you find 1,000 cormorant chicks? I love the picture of the bluebird too. I hope to get a box up one of these years here. We have 2 1/2 acres out back in the soil and water conservation. Although I have never seen a bluebird back there, I am sure I can get some.

    Great idea on the compost bin too. Isn't it neat to see a bloom on a plant you started from seed. Good for you.

    Shirley, the plants are very pretty. I just can't believe the success you have with winter sowing. Are those in a pot? I will warn you to deadhead the Nigella before they go to seed because I can't keep up with mine. Their reseeding is ridiculous.

    Hot here and we are waiting for the cool down coming this weekend. Margo

  • sandlapper_rose
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Great picture of the bluebird and I like how you made your compost bins, Katie.

    I plan to post the July Swap early next week and will continue taking sign ups until after July 4th. With this time of the year and some people traveling, I want to give everyone a chance to read about the swap and sign up if they want to be in it. It will be a simple one - and I hope lots of fun, too!

    Jeanne

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Good Morning!
    Nice cool morning here, got my watering done already. For as hot as it has been, the ground isn't drying up very quickly.

    Hi Katie, nice to hear from you. I, like Margo, would love your job! 1000 Cormorant chicks? Good Grief! We are just starting to get a population of them out at our state park.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. I didn't know that different birds would "take turns" sharing a nesting box or bird house. Did I read that right?

    Margo, that is a huge wooden box my son built me for Christmas one year. The only place I had to put it was right in front of the dryer vent, as you can see in the pic. He built me two for the front yard too, and as soon as the BES start blooming in them, I'll post a pic!

    Looking back at all the swaps we've had and the seeds we've shared: Jeanne hosted the November swap, a Solstice swap. We sent 4 packs of seeds, one each for Remembrance, Leap of Faith, Trees and Life (?). These were for Wintersowing. Jeanne was my partner and she sent Goldenrod, Balsam Impatiens, Formosa Lily and Chaste Tree. Sadly the squirrels nailed the impatiens, twice. The Chaste Tree was stored in the wrong envie and so it will be WSed this year! The goldenrod germinated and is planted with the others that I have. I planted out some of the Formosa Lilies and sold the rest!

    Jeanne, looking forward to the July swap!
    Have a great day, All!
    Shirley!

  • kchd
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Exiting news for me this afternoon. After cold stratification for months, followed by >90 days of warm temps after planting, my 40+ pawpaw seeds are starting to germinate! *Finally* I was beginning to wonder...

    This winter/spring was very warm here in MS, and I got a late start planting. So, most of my seeds that needed cold stratification were stuck in the fridge. I had cardinal flower seeds that need 60 d of cold. Started those in March, planted in May. Germination happened, then I accidentally killed them by leaving them out in too much sun. OOPS! Had to start all over and throw another batch of seeds in the fridge to cold stratify for another 60 days. :/ But, I had read in Prairie Moon Nursery's cultural guide that sometimes you can get away with 30 days for seeds that require 60 days. Started that little experiment last week with some of the seeds. Looks like it worked, because upon returning home, I now have tiny little seedlings. Score 1 pt for the traveling gardener!

    As for banding of the cormorant chicks, there are some breeding colonies we work on in Door Co., Wisconsin. Two of those colonies host between 2,000 - 5,000 nesting pairs of double-crested cormorants. There's no lack of chicks to be banded. Two crews go out to each island at night and band 500 chicks on each. It's an all night affair of chicks, poop, puke, and banding banding banding! A labor of love, to be sure. I usually wash my clothes twice after that night.

    The titmouse and bluebirds actually fight over who gets to nest in the favorite nest box. This year, the titmice won in April. Once their chicks fledged and they left, I guess the bluebirds decided to move in. The bluebirds could very well have been working on their 2nd clutch of the season. Last year they raised 2 clutches.

    Margo, I think you can get some bluebirds, too. The key is to have the correct size bird house, with the correct size hole. Having bluebirds around helps, too, but they will prob find it.

    Have I mentioned that I'm looking forward to the July swap?

    Katie

  • smitties
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Katie, that sounds like so much fun although a lot of work. Can I ask what the purpose of banding so many birds is. I know banding keeps track of birds and where they go but what will you be studying with these birds?

    I love to experiment and try to beat the odds when it comes to plants. I like to try things that should not grow in our zone etc to see what I can accomplish.

    We finally received rain tonight. We had a nice rainfall for a bit over an hour. I am so excited to see this as everything was beginning to look so weak. I was worried I was about to lose things. Self watering just isn't the same and I have a lot to water. Now I can get out and weed and finish planting my plants. I found out that the $1 quarts I bought did not have just one plant. I put a white balloon flower in and found there were three plants. I noticed this with the columbines as well. I got such a deal with 3 plants for a dollar. I have to check the pink balloon flower to see if there is more than one plant. I didn't notice it but when I look at it now, it is a pretty full plant so think it is more than one. I will plant them and then use them in swaps next spring. I bought two quarts so that means 6 plants. Too many.

    I will be watching for that July swap Jeanne. Margo

  • poisondartfrog
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Great compost bins! I've been mulling some options and you have given me inspiration, Katie.
    It is so dry here that I have been reduced to watering the main vegetable garden, something I just don't do ordinarily, but I have a nice crop of tomatoes, peppers and green beans going and I am not willing to lose them now. Rain seems to happen all around us, but we keep getting missed.
    As usual, we are just entering what I think of as "high summer" but I have already planned next years plantings and have new seed wishes on a list I will post on my trade lists soon before I forget I want them.
    I don't remember what swap it was in (FOTESS or MNF) most likely, but rosemctier sent me seeds for Emilia "Irish Poet". I have always had the red Emilia javanica and have tried to find the yellow species (sonchifolia lutea), but this one is just blooming from a direct sowing in May and it is orange. I love it! I have been working on an orange butterfly garden and it is perfect. I can't wait until it really gets going.
    Take care everyone.
    Alana

  • kchd
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    For those of you who are interested in the compost bins we made out of pallets, here are a few more details.

    We incorporated ideas on design based on suggestions from the Composting 101 website. There is a wealth of info there.

    We wanted plenty of airflow, so we lined the pallets with plastic mesh. We found 3 ft wide x 15 ft long rolls of black plastic mesh at Lowes for $13/roll. We wanted the size to be at least 3 ft x 3 ft x 3 ft of volume capacity, and easy access for loading, unloading, and mixing. A couple of sturdy hinges at the bottom, and a screen door latch at the top makes up the hardware for the drawbridge door. The only other hardware was a box of screws to attach the sides to the floor pallet, and staples to attach the plastic mesh.

    Mixing seems to be easiest if you simply shovel material from one bin to another. Use a pitchfork; it will be your best friend in this endeavor. Moisture is another critcal component, so we have a garden hose nearby. We save and stockpile "browns" & "greens" to have a big enough pile to start up the active composting all at once. They say you want a 50:50 mix of browns to greens (by weight). We have plenty of greens from yard clippings right now, but a shortage of browns. But, shredded office paper and cardboard work great as browns. We just got some wheat straw bales that will help supply browns, too. Come fall, there will be plenty of leaves in the yard again.

    Next composting adventure: vermicomposting. I've scoped out plans to build a wooden worm bin. Anybody else vermicompost? Lovely, rich compost + free fishing bait? Can't go wrong with that :)

    Happy composting,

    Katie

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Good Evening Everyone!
    We had a nice, much cooler day here today. Sunny but not quite so stinking hot!
    Katy, congrats on the pawpaws! I bought and am trying to raise just two, they are a host plant for Zebra Swallowtails. I know I am just slightly north of their usual range but it could work! I would love to see one out there!

    Margo, you always come up with the best deals on plants!

    Alana, what other "orange" flowers do you have in your orange butterfly garden?

    A friend and I are going up to Howell, MI tomorrow to a hot air balloon festival. Neither one of us have ever tried to get pics of these, so it should be an interesting day.

    I think we'll shut this swap down as soon as Jeanne posts July. It's been nice chatting with ya all!
    Have a great weekend!
    Shirley!

  • smitties
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Bummer that we have to close this up soon. Thanks Shirley, it was a lot of fun getting to know members better. I like this idea and I think it would be nice to do it again in the future.

    Have a good weekend everyone. Margo

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, Jeanne hasn't posted July's swap yet, so we can go on chatting! I haven't finished my "reviews" of all the other swaps we did. Need to go back thro the threads to see what went on in October!

    I saw a small, blue butterfly flit thro this evening! Usually, you can't see the "blue", they bask with their wings up. I have all kinds of stuff for them to eat out there, hope more of them show up!

    And I have a chyrsallis (sp) on my black willow! I think it is a Red Spotted Purple, keeping an eye on it and taking pics, can hardly wait to see what it is!

    Hey, bedtime!
    Shirley!

  • smitties
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Shirley, my coral nymph is blooming and they are so cute. I just love them.

    Anyone else having trouble with the small grasshoppers which I am assuming will turn into larger ones in no time? They are all over the place in my gardens and even in the lawn. They made my cut and come again lettuce look like lace. I swear, every year it is something that causes me problems as far as vegie gardens go. I am going to just give up and stick with flowers.

    Ironically, I found a small blue butterfly this morning in my garden that I have never seen before. It was so small and pretty. I hope to see more.

    Margo

  • poisondartfrog
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Shirley, my orange garden has orange Asclepias tuberosa, Asclepias currassavica, Lantana, Bronze Fennel (I know, but it associates well), orange Gem Marigolds, and Orange Zinnias along with the Emilia. Shades of orange range from golden orange to red orange so it does not look as boring as it sounds, lol.
    I would go take a picture, but it is too dang hot. Maybe next week I will get a chance to do that.

  • xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My first spider lily! (Not just this year...ever!) I planted them last year and then read in my area I needed to lift the bulbs in the fall and I chalked it up to another learning experience, but here it is and 4 more to bloom!

    I had a few of those beautiful blue tiny butterflies. I tried to take a photo, but the blue didn't show up.

    Anybody know what this is? (Flower? Weed? Alien eggs on stalks?)I'm talking about the white flowers.

  • canyonwind
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Jeanne and Shirley, so enjoyed reading the blog. Thanks Jeanne for sending it out.

    Katie, nice compost bins. And very interesting cormorant chick reading!!!!

    I have lots of Zinnias from the Fotessers ready to go in to the ground. I have been putting it off....the bunnies most likely would enjoy them more than I. I better get to it.

    Stay cool. I would just love some of your rain!

    Annie

  • elliesfun
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi everyone,

    Been absent to even reading what everyone is doing since I have been so busy. Decided to go to summer school and take computers. Maybe I will learn a few things "actually how to use it".

    Loved the bluebird picture. I have been trying to get bluebirds for years with no luck. Had my son make 10 bluebird houses this spring with the proper hole size but to luck only got other types of birds. Guess thats better than anything. On the farm just south of here we had lots of bluebirds but then we were in amongst the pine trees. It will be years before I have a tree that is big enough for a bird to even land on.

    Nice compost bins. The county I live in supplies us with free plastic type bins. When not is use the screws can be removed and rolled up. Love them because they take up less space (no space when not in use).

    Margo, no grasshoppers but ANTS and they are in the house and they are eating wood. Tiny ants, but this week I need to call someone from the pest control. Don't want to wait until one day and have no house.

    Looks like its going to rain "again" today. Had another storm last night. At least it helps on the water. Need to get out before it starts again.

    Ellie

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Everyone!
    Thought you all might like to see a pic from the Balloon Fest/Challenge yesterday.
    It was much easier to get the pics than I thought it would be. Altho it was a little hectic during the launch! For about 10-15 minutes I felt like I was spinning!

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    And here is the GLOW!
    I'll be back later to catch up with everyone!
    Shirley!

  • sandlapper_rose
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wow, I love the balloon pictures! They are great.
    I'm glad everyone is still chatting. I will get the July swap posted later today. I know what it is - just to type it out and get it posted.
    Wonderful flower and butterfly pictures, too.
    I don't know if anyone follows college baseball, but our University of South Carolina Gamecocks are trying for their third national championship in a row so I have spent lots of time watching baseball on TV this past week. The games tend to end around midnight and then it takes me awhile to wind down and get to sleep. Arg!
    Anyway, once I post the July Swap, feel free to keep coming to this one until the end of June. I'm with you, the chatting has been great!
    Jeanne

  • sandlapper_rose
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I got the July swap posted, so take a look at it and I hope you want to join in!

    Jeanne

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Happy Birthday, Annie! hope your day has been great so far!
    A seed update for your b-day - most of the seeds you sent me in one swap or another are up and blooming; the Calendula are getting ready to bloom! Usually, I have a hard time with even the common variety; the "fancies" you sent are doing well!
    Shirley!

  • sandlapper_rose
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Happy Birthday from me, too, Annie. This day is also my younger daughter and her husband's wedding anniversary - so it's special all the way around!
    Have a great day.
    Jeanne

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi, hope everyone had a great day, it was much cooler here, good sleeping weather!

    Alana, the orange garden sounds beautiful, you've got lots of textures and shapes going on too! I WSed bronze fennel this year, it is a great looking plant and I'm hoping it doesn't get as tall as the common fennel, which is about 6' high right now.

    Margo, my coral nymphs are blooming too, and I've already collected some seed! Kind of early. My Red Texas Hummingbird sage has disappeared, but there is so much in that bed, it's hard to tell.
    You know, we live in a good area for the little blue butterflys - namely the Karners. The Kitty Todd Preserve, just outside of Toledo, is one of very few places they can be found in the States.

    Heidi, thanks for sharing the pics! Very pretty!

    Ellie, always good to hear from you, wish we had some of your rain!

    Jeanne, how are the Gamecocks doing? Still playing?

    Katy, why do you band the cormorant chicks at night?
    And, have you ever been to Baraboo, Wisconsin? I noticed on some of your emails that you had Aldo Leopold quotes; he lived in Baraboo, and, you probably know this, is considered the father of wildlife managment as we know it today. And have you ever visited the International Crane Foundation, in Baraboo? Great place, the birds were incredible! They breed and raise all 15 species of Cranes. Totally interesting and worthwhile!

    Jeanne's July swap is really going to be a great one, hope to see lots of our members join in!
    Have a great day tomorrow!
    Shirley!

  • kchd
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi everyone,

    Very nice, Ellie, that your county provides compost bins to its residents. Wish ours did that instead of spend money to collect yard debris.

    Alana, I love the sound of your orange-flowered garden. Orange colored flowers are some of my favorites.

    Shirley, great GLOW photo of the hot air balloons. What a shot that captures the moment!

    Jeanne, I watched the College World Series, too. I yelled enough to make myself somewhat hoarse. OK, so I admit to being a very "animated" college sports fan when I get into games... Although I am a die-hard SEC fan, I confess I was pulling for my husband's alma mater, U of AZ. Only fair, since he dares not pull against LSU.

    As for the cormorant chicks - When we band, we place a band on each leg. One is a small metal band issued by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Bird Banding Lab. The other is a plastic, colored band that can be read from a distance using binoculars or a spotting scope. Throughout the breeding season, we spend several days sitting in blinds, observing for banded birds that return to that colony. That enables us to get much more info other than through someone finding a dead banded bird and reporting it to the Bird Banding Lab. We can determine breeding site fidelity, survivorship, age structure, and other population demographics. Last year we re-spotted more than 400 unique bands at the 2 islands we conduct our observations on. Here is a "digiscoped" photo I took of one of the birds.


    As to why we do it at night - that is a matter of reducing disturbance as much as possible. All the birds are calmer at night, so we try to only go on the island when it is dark. That means banding all night long. It also means on observation days, we leave the boat dock at 3:00 am and don't leave the island until 9:00 pm. Makes for a long day, and you have to stay in your 5' x 7' blind for the duration (and that is why we bring a "honey bucket" with us). Hahaha.

    Happy gardening,
    Katie

  • kchd
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Gee, am I the only person who gets overly excited about posting, and then forgets to write half of what I intend to?

    Shirley, yes I have been to Baraboo, WI to visit the Aldo Leopold shack and the Center. We were working in the area last year, and went by one Sunday. What an awesome place to visit. Have you read A Sand County Almanac, or seen the Green Fire movie? We did not make it to the International Crane Foundation, but would very much like to. Sounds amazing.

    It has been unbelievably hot for us in MS, considering it is still only June. No rain in sight for us, either. Was hoping that Tropical Storm Debby would send us some relief, but no. No rain since June 12th. Hoping we get some next week.

    Katie

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Katie, haven't read the book, but would like to. His life story is very interesting. We didn't make it to his Shack or the center; only in town for day and a half. We DID go to Circus World, which was just excellent; very laid back, just a little old fashioned. We loved it. Saw some great Wisconsin farm scenery on the way back to Minney, didn't get a chance to stop tho. I would love to spend another 3-4 days in that area.

    Another pretty, kind of cool day here. Altho we need some rain too. My monardas, black adder hyssop, hyssop and cherry brandy rudbeckia are all blooming and the ligularia is coming on!

    Margo, when is your race? How is the training going?

    Have a great day tomorrow!
    Shirley!

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Happy Birthday to FOTESS member Lisa-lisam627!
    Hope your day was great!
    Shirley!

  • canyonwind
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lisa, Happy, Happy Birthday!!

    Annie

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, Folks, I think we can close this swap! Thanks to all who came in and shared with us!

    As you know, Jeanne has the July swap well under way and I know she won't mind if we all go over there and continue to chat! And share recipes and pray for rain!

    It's been great chatting with ya all!
    Shirley!

  • sandlapper_rose
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lisa,
    Happy Birthday. I think I am late with my wishes, but I thought I should post belated wishes here with June rather than in July.
    Okay, everyone see you on the thread for July.
    Jeanne