All posts filed under: Non – Food

The Brown Bird of Stupidity

I’ve been catching glimpses and flashes of brown out the kitchen window all afternoon today. I figured house wrens had finally discovered the potting shed and were making good use of the rafters, beams, nooks and crannies in the roof line to nudge in a little mountain vacation home. I was wrong. They seemed to have preferred a pot… on a rack… Right by the door. I assume he’s still in the “I gotta get me some of that” mode and hasn’t found a mate, so I considered relocating the pot, with it’s nifty nest hat, to the potting shed – but on closer inspection of the rack, he’s attempted to build nests in EVERY single pot on the shelf. I think he’s got a thing for the shelf… by the door… that I use 3 to 4 times every day. I don’t see good things happening here.

Garden Project 2014 – A Fistful of Dollars

You know… when I started the gardening project with the Hay Bales, it was supposed to be a cheap and easy way to add a little extra produce to our grocery budget without breaking the bank. But when you get right down to it – it’s just expensive to “grow your own.” And, although I say I’m doing soil gardening now because I’ve finally got the chert conditioned, what I’m really saying is – “Wheat straw bales are now $5 a piece – and I buy 12 every year. So that’s $60.00 just for the medium; another $25.00 for the ammonia nitrate; plus $15 for the general purpose fertilizer; plus anywhere between $0.99 to $5.00 for each plant I want to grow (and that can be upwards of 15 to 20 different varieties); plus gadfly and ladybug larvae for pest control (we wont even go into what those cost); and let’s throw in 2 to 3 bags of potting soil so I can fortify the bales so they can make it through the long growing season here; …

The Weekly Wildflower ~ Blue-eyed Grass

  Say hello to Sisyrinchium angustifolium or “Blue-eyed Grass, Lucerne” While not really a grass, Sisyrinchium is in the iris family, and is more closely related to Wood Flags or Wild Iris. Color-wise they can vary from white, to pale blue, to bluish purple to true blue…. depending on the variety. The Blue/Purple or Purple Montanum variety has a purple blemish on the stalks just below the bloom head, where the Eastern varieties are typically solid green. Blue-eyed grass gets it’s name from the slender grass-like leaves that clump out between rocks or on sunny hillsides. Easily transplanted, sisyrinchium can be found scattered across most of the Southeast where bird have deposited seeds in droppings. An excellent choice for rock gardens and sunny borders, Blue-eyed Grass reseeds easily, and spreads through seed distribution as well as rhizomes and tubers. Sun Exposure – Full Sun to Dappled Shade Flowers –  Medium Blue / Purple / White.  5 Petaled flowers with a yellow center ans stamen or eye Blooms – Late Spring/Early Summer Foliage – Herbaceous, Seasonal, Grass-like Care – Average Water Needs; Water …

A Little Face Painting

  After seven years, the cottage is finally starting to settle in and looks like it belongs here on the ridge. But, with age comes a certain amount of wear… and wrinkles… and fading. Jane’s wanted to paint the doors for some time now, but finding the exact color for something you’re going to look at every day isn’t easy.   You want something brighter, and inviting we looked a a multitude of blues, and purples, and creams – and lighter browns But none of those really did the trick. Then we found this! Glidden Pure Periwinkle and yes… it’s High Gloss! It’ll be making it’s way around the house this summer, going on all the exterior doors, the garden gates, and even the Potting Shed.             h

The Weekly Wildflower – Rue Anemone

  Say hello to Rue Anemone, an early blooming perennial in the buttercup family. It is found in late March to early April in established woods with loamy soil. Typically growing on leafless clearings or on wooded slopes, the Rue Anemone prefers dappled light as opposed to full shade, and does not tolerate full sun. The plant becomes dormant and dies back in the summer, but returns each spring with new growth appearing  through the darkened dormant leaves. Common Name: Rue Anemone Type: Perennial Cultivation: Reseeds and transplants well in desirable conditions Bloom: White to pale pink Sun: Part shade Water: Medium Tolerates: Drought, Heavy Shade, Dry Soil  

The Weekly Wildflower – Hawkweed ~ Rattlesnake Weed

Say hello to Hawkweed or Rattlesnake Weed. Known in many circles as an invasive weed because the plant does introduce toxins into the soil that will inhibit other types of plant growth. However, if you’re doing like we are, hawkweed can be used in natural wooded settings and mossy areas where you aren’t terribly concerned about grass growth. Unlike the “other” weed called rattlesnake, this plant does not produce the rattle shaped tubers, instead getting it’s name from the location where it’s found. As in – found in the same places you’d see a rattlesnake. There are over 700 species of Hawkweed, and resides in the same family as Asters, Sunflowers and Dandelions. Each plant produces a single type of flower – either orange or yellow with angular, rough edged petals (similar to a carnation.) The plant is easily spotted by the flat oval leaves that are somewhat hairy and are dark muted green with either burgundy or purple veins. Although hawkweed will invade grazing lands and grassy areas, in a naturalized setting competition with other …

The Weekly Wildflower – Sessileleaf Bellwort

Generally speaking, any plant with the word “wort” in it’s name, was once considered a food or medicinal plant – even if the reasons for the designation were rather lopsided. Bellworts were considered a medicinal for throat ailments because the flower resembled the uvula… (that little waddle-y thing hanging at the back of the throat…) In clearing the woods this Spring for new walking paths, I figured we’d uncover a bounty of native wildflowers that had been blanketed by “years” of leaf decay – finally getting their day in the sun – so to speak. I haven’t been disappointed. Say hello to Sessileleaf Bellwort, or Wild Oats – a member of the lily family. There are 6 types of bellworts in the States – 2 varieties are common to Georgia. The Sessileleaf Bellwort (which we have on the property), and the Uvularia Grandfloria Bellwort (also known as Merry Bells). A spreading variety useful and beautiful as a woodland ground cover. The plants typically grow 8 to 12″ with 2 single, yellow bell-shaped flowers per plant. I’ll …

Where did you go…. and what did you eat?

This is a slightly different kind of post. If you’ve read it before – I apologize. But I’ve been a little stuck on writing ideas. So… I figured I would catch some people up to date on some of the things that have happened on a social networking site I belong to. The list below came about from completing one of those “check off what you had done” bucket list chain letter thingies. I realized after I had checked off all the “Done Thats”, I had done about 95% of what most people had included on their respective bucket lists. And, I had eaten 100% of what most people thought they would never eat. Submitting my answers to the  ethereal inter-verse – I began to think about it. I’ve eaten some really… I mean really odd stuff over the years. I have always believed that when you travel – look for (and try) what the locals are eating. You never really get a complete, rounded picture of what life and culture is like, until you …