Thunderstorms, Mini Nature & a Leak

Unlike my sister Hope's photos, my aphid herding ant picture turned out fuzzy.  So you just get the aphids on a wild drape vine. :)

Unlike my sister Hope’s photos, my aphid herding ant picture turned out fuzzy. So I cropped out the fuzzy ant. 🙂

This is the first campground we’ve ever stayed at where we’ve gotten bored.  I think it’s because it’s such a tiny place, and there are no trails.  So once you walk past 24 campsites, you are back where you started.

Our forecast

Our forecast

The thunderstorms aren’t helping.  This morning Ron told me there was water dripping on his pillow last night.  I pulled all the clothes out of the overhead cupboard, and, as I suspected, the leak was coming from the cable connection.

Baby grape leaves

Baby grape leaves

As it was starting to sprinkle again, and I had no tools to do a proper job, I just ran silicone around the connection cover faceplate, and will replace it when I can get the parts.  I sopped up the soggy carpet, opened all the cupboard doors and ran the air conditioner all day.  It feels dry in there now.  Sure hope it doesn’t leak again tonight.

Sheba was sick yesterday, complete with diarrhea.  I cleaned her up when we got back from our walk yesterday afternoon, and so far she seems to be okay.

Young wild grapes

Young wild grapes

Since we’ll have thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow, we thought of leaving a day early.  We still may.  It depends how we feel in the morning.

I took Sunny with me to try to find photo-worthy shots today.  I couldn’t find a single thing to photograph.  After a while, trees and water shots start to look the same and uninspired.  Then I decided to concentrate on closeups of cool things I might find.  Ah!  At last I had something to intrigue me and make the day worthwhile!

Poisonous buckeye

Poisonous buckeye

Poisonous horse nettle flower.  Note the sharp spines

Poisonous horse nettle flower. Note the sharp spines

Natural planter

Natural planter

Poison ivy and tree knot hole

Poison ivy and tree knot hole

Poison ivy berries

Poison ivy berries

Photo showing all three leaf shapes of a young sassafras tree --three lobed, mitten shaped, and oval.

Photo showing all three leaf shapes of a young sassafras tree –three lobed, mitten shaped, and oval.

Skink

Skink

Curly tendril

Curly tendril

Unknown

Unknown

A natural valentine.  :)

A natural valentine. 🙂

Wildwood flower -- too much country music lately!

Wildwood flower — too much country music lately!

Lunch with the Girls, Bracken Fiddleheads & Luna Moth

Lunch with the girls. Left to right are Evelyn, Teressa and Julie.

Yesterday I met with friends at the Square in Carrollton.  We had such a wonderful time together.   We did decide that we are going to have to do it a lot more often.

After I got home, Ron and I went out to dinner, then shopping.  I found three beautiful blouses at Goody’s.  Very unusual as I have an almost impossible to fit shape that is a mixture of petite and normal.

Then we went to Walmart for Easter Basket supplies.

Bracken fiddlehead beginning to unfurl

I’m planning to make baskets for a neighbor who is single and doesn’t have family to celebrate with, and for Ron… just because everyone needs an Easter Basket on Easter!

I still have to decorate eggs this afternoon — something I haven’t done in many years!

In between trips, I wandered around the property to spot new wild edibles.  The bracken fiddleheads are up now.  Ron and I used to love them.  They turn a beautiful burgundy color when cooked and taste just like asparagus.

However, I’ve read a lot of material on how carcinogenic they are–enough that it has scared me away from enjoying them anymore.  But Samuel Thayer, who is the modern day wild edible plant expert, who has studied and thoroughly debunked many wild food myths, states that the carcinogens are no worse than those in grilled meat, potato chips or coffee.  The plant does become poisonous after the green fronds begin unfurling, though, so if you experiment, make sure the fiddleheads are still all gray colored.

Bracken fiddlehead

Nevertheless, I think I would only eat them if I were truly hungry.  But I still get excited when I see them emerging from last years dead bracken fern. (For more information, see the quote at the end of this post.)

The little wild strawberries are plentiful, but the ones along the edge of our property grow among young poison ivy plants.  Very fortunately neither Ron nor I are affected by poison ivy.  But I have read that can change, so I still am very cautious around them.

Wild strawberries and poison ivy growing together

Last night we got home pretty late.  I was in the kitchen and heard something hitting the kitchen window.  It was a huge luna moth trying to get closer to the light.  So I went outside and turned the deck light on to attract him to the wall so I could get a photo of him.   It worked!  Here is a photo of it next to a smaller, “normal” sized moth.

Luna moth

And finally, I just want to post a picture of a beautiful hosta that has lived in this same pot for 9 or 10 years.   It has survived drought and all the difficulties of container growing and still emerges beautiful and unscathed every year.

It also has beautiful blooms when I remember to pamper it with liquid organic bloom booster fertilizer.

Note:  Further information that puts the carcinogenic properties of bracken fern in perspective:

“Bracken fern contains a chemical, ptaquiloside, that is known to be carcinogenic to mammals in high doses. The International Agency for Research on Cancer places it in the same risk category as coffee and sassafras. This doesn’t mean that if you eat bracken you’ll die of cancer; many things that we commonly eat contain carcinogenic chemicals, such as char-broiled meat, potato chips, and all smoked foods. I still occasionally eat bracken fiddleheads.” — Samuel Thayer

Hosta - a long term container resident

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