Category Archives: Mother Nature

Some Days

Krafty Max

Like the forecasters said, it’s raining, and raining hard now. If they’re also correct re the AMOUNT of rain, it’s impressive – forecasting 5 to 8 inches of rain by the end of the day tomorrow.

I’m busy being thankful that we’re not getting hail, high winds, or tornadoes today – the threat last night. We lucked out, but it really gets my attention when the weather monitor says, “Take Cover! Tornado Warning! In the path, Greenwood!”

We timed our errands today just right, getting home just as the rain started to get more serious. Right now it looks like night as I glance out the window. I had to close the door to the porch because the rain was blowing into the living room. We feel lucky to have a nice, dry house. Our animals are thankful, too, though they’re not very vocal about it. As you look around the house, though, one cat is sleeping in the bed at my feet as I type. Two dogs are on the bed in the living room. The other cat is in my husband’s lap as he reads. And Sally, the fish, blows bubbles at me, begging for more food every time I pass the bowl.

We’ll curl up with books today and beef stew.

I hope you’re warm and dry today.

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Tornado Warnings Expired

science – HowStuffWorks

We’ve had a very interesting late evening here in Greenwood, Arkansas.  We were watching TV and our weather alert started making all kinds of noise in the office. I discovered we were under a tornado warning – not watch – until 11:58 pm.

I’ve told you before that my husband and I are complete opposites. I tend to get nervous when ‘tornado warning,’ ‘Fort Smith,’ and ‘Greenwood’ are all mentioned at the same time by the weather alert thingie. My husband scoffs and wants to go outside on the deck and watch the storm come in. We’ve learned to compromise over the years. I try not to freak out. He tries not to make fun of me. We take care of our animals and listen to the local TV station and stay alert until the danger – or at least most of it – passes.

The warnings have been cancelled. Whew. We had lots of lightning. We haven’t had any rain yet, but I expect a lot of it over night. The TV guys were talking about two areas of rotation reasonably close to us. One seemed to touch down in a rural area in southeastern Oklahoma, right over the state line from us. It was moving in a northeast direction, and the cone of possible travel seemed to skirt past us to the west. Then they added rotation in the Fort Smith area. I don’t think anything happened in Fort Smith, other than hail. That was happening in Oklahoma, too. In fact, they showed a piece of hail that had a measuring tape beside it – measuring 4 inches long!

We’re still under a flash flood warning through Sunday, with 5 to 8 inches of rain forecast by Sunday. That’s a LOT of rain. We have several rivers and creeks that go through the area, and a lot of those won’t crest until Monday or so.

We’ll just keep all appendages crossed that everyone comes through this weekend all right.

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Rain, Rain…

Izismile.com

 

Friday: Potentially severe storms along the warm front after dark; Hail primary threat; tornadoes possible.

WEATHER ALERT DAY SATURDAYExtensive Flash Flooding 5-8″ of rain likely.

Sunday: Rain ends, cooler. River flooding remains possible.

_________

SO – we may need a boat before this is over. We live on top of a ridge line, so we don’t have to worry about flooding in the house or the shop. We may have a lot of flooding in Greenwood and Fort Smith, though, with Arkansas River flooding, plus flooding from lots of other smaller rivers throughout the state. Spring is usually rainy, but this is a little much.  Our biggest danger up here is tornadoes. I’ve lived in Oklahoma and Arkansas (aka ‘Tornado Alley’) for most of my life and I’ve never actually seen a tornado. I’ll be delighted if this remains true the rest of my life.

The saddest thing is that the worst day for the rain is supposed to be tomorrow, when the 30th annual car show is scheduled on Greenwood’s square. It’s a fun event, with lots of people coming from all around to show the great work they’ve done on their cars, with some of the cars from the 1920s. They provide a fun day for lots of people, and then give a check to the city to use for community projects. I’m hoping that either the forecasters have misread their maps, or that the car show can be rescheduled.

Meanwhile, all has been planted and will appreciate the rain (I hope!) I’m a bit worried that my garden plants will get hailed on again. All appendages crossed that we’ll ONLY get the rain…

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Outside – Days 2 and 3 of 3

APA-Sick Child

A couple of days ago I told you I was going to use the 3 days of sunshine we had to finish planting the flowers around the yard.

Day 1/of 3 was productive.

Day 2/of 3 we bought a bunch of flowers and two grape tomato plants. Before we went to do errands and buy the plants, I wasn’t feeling up to par. By the time I got home, I was feeling BAD. Something I had eaten didn’t agree with me. I ended up asleep under my throw in the recliner most of the day.

Today is Day 3/of 3 – and it’s been a good one. I’m feeling 90% back up to par.

 

Shutterstock.com

I just came in from getting all of the planting finished. It took me several sessions, but things are good now.

I planted

  • 4 yubi/purslane/portulaca plants
  • 4 gerbera daisies
  • 2 geraniums
  • 1 whole flat of petunias
  • 1 whole flat of periwinkles
  • 2 grape tomato plants in the garden

It’s almost 2:30 now – time I fixed lunch and I’ll continue to rest and re-hydrate.  Then I’ll go out and take some pictures to share with you.

This is why I’ve had to hurry to get the plants in. I’m trying to be thankful for every drop.

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature

The Sun is Shining!

After several cool days and rain, the sun is shining! HOOOOORAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!

We have what looks like a three-day opportunity to spend time outside before four more days of cool and rain this week.

It’s been SO cool and rainy, I haven’t checked on our garden in several days. I’ll do that today. I’m hoping there will be some good things to harvest. If so, I’ll post pictures later.

I have flower planters to clean out, weed whacking to do, and planters to get ready for new plants. We’re hoping to go to the local nursery tomorrow for a flat of periwinkles, several purslane plants, some geraniums, and maybe a flat of gerbera daisies – one of my very favorite flowers – if they still have flats for sale.

To celebrate having such a nice day today, my husband suggested that we get steaks to grill on the deck tonight. We always turn on the rope LED lights while we’re out there, and we can listen to our wind chimes on the porch and the new hummingbird bird bath waterfall while we sit, enjoying the evening and each other.

The errands are done for the day. I’ll finish my coffee and head outside to see how our garden is faring.

I hope you’re enjoying a fabulous Sunday, too!

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Playing in the Rain

In Lieu of Preschool

 

The 80% chance of rain started in early this morning, with dark clouds, wind, rain, and an almost 20 degree drop in temperatures. It only sprinkled on us as my husband and I got the mail, enjoyed our friends at Lunch Bunch, and did a few errands before coming home and starting a comfort beef stew in the crock pot for tonight.

The rain came again as we were settling in. Perfect timing! The forecasters are saying we could get 3 to 5 inches of rain by noon or so tomorrow. We may need a boat! Usually, when we have a good, wet spring, we have a long period of NO rain for a couple of months of the summer, so I’m enjoying every drop we’re getting now.

My husband has come up with a new project –

He ordered a Blu-Ray DVD reader we received today. He wants it to read his collection of DVDs, storing each movie in a special storage drive.  When each has been stored, we’ll sell the DVD. This will eventually free up a lot of our shelving in our entertainment center. He’s started moving stuff around in the office as I type. This rainy day is a good time to get started on the project. I hope he’s happy with the results. My part in this is to add to his spreadsheet of his movies, listing main actor/actress, plus a short synopsis of the movie.

I hope that you have a fun day planned. Stay dry, my friends.

 

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“Sweet Stream”

“Sweet Stream Wash Me Down” – Paul Militaru Photography

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A Glorious Day

As I walked around the yard a few minutes ago, three of our four furry friends walked with me. (Bambi was inside asleep on his bed.) This is Abby.

 

Our hummingbird bird bath came on automatically as it should this morning with NO LEAKS! Hooray!!!!!!!

 

Camellias are starting to bloom.

 

This is Molly.

 

Rio Samba Rose Bush

 

Smoke and a hydrangea plant.

 

We’re enjoying clumps of blooms like this all around the yard and down one side of the driveway. I had hoped that the dark purple iris and the pale yellow iris would bloom at the same time, but the purple iris is gone before the yellow iris starts to bud.

 

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“A Little Purple – Magnolias”

“A Little Purple – Magnolias” – Paul Militaru Photography

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“Let’s Get to the Bottom of Things”

“Let’s Get to the Bottom of Things” – Paul Militaru Photography

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My Plants are Insulted

No Time for Flash Cards

My poor garden veggies have been/are under triple assault: hail, bugs, and weeds. I just came in from a session of weeding, cutting off broken limbs, harvesting some of the broken/hole-y stuff, pitching the rest. It looks like it will take several sessions to get my plants happy again.

We’ve had a lot of rain (with hail and other severe stuff), then good sun, resulting in all of the problems. I do pretty well for an hour out there, particularly with our new raised beds,  but I think it will take three or four more sessions to catch up. And THEN, guess what! We have more rain forecast for four days next week…

 

 

When you first glance at things, it doesn’t look very  bad.

 

 

The closer you get, though, the more you see.

Here you see a BUNCH of broken tops on the onions. This doesn’t matter as much on onions as it does on other plants.

The spinach has broken leaves, and someone is trying to eat the spinach before we do. I harvested a BUNCH of  broken leaves that will still make good eating, but not ‘pretty.’

This is one of the spaghetti squash plants. You can see the holes in the leaves. I don’t know if that will kill the actual squash trying to grow or not.

The romaine lettuce is basically really healthy, but you can see  broken and/or eaten leaves, plus little bitty weeds that have sprung up in the last couple of days.

Red lettuce leaf isn’t really a ‘pretty’ plant to my eye, but it tastes good IF it doesn’t get beaten down by hail and eaten by bugs…

The celery plants are still alive and kicking! You can again see the teeny tiny weeds, though.

I’ll try to get back out several times today and again tomorrow. The rains aren’t supposed to start until late tomorrow night – and hopefully, we won’t have hail this time…

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Small Setback

Clover Gazette – WordPress.com

We had hail in at least a couple of the thunderstorms a couple of nights ago. The day following was too wet and cold to play out in the garden, so I didn’t bet back to it until yesterday.

The hail did a number on my tender veggie plants. :0(

Many of the leaves on the lettuces and spinach are broken off. I’m going to spend some time this afternoon finishing weeding, but also harvesting some of the sweet, broken leaves. I’m hoping that the roots are still robust and that improving weather will bring them back to full health in a few days or a week.

Fingers crossed.

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Praise of the Yellow Iris

I posted some pics of the beautiful yellow iris we bought from Nanna’s Garden in Clarksville, AR. It had two beautiful blooms on it and two buds. This was several days ago.

I walked into the kitchen this morning and it took my breath away. I cut off one bloom, but –

 

I can’t believe it’s still blooming, when all our other iris only last a day or two, PLUS the buds bloomed! I can’t say enough about the quality of the iris we got from this lady. I think she grows and sells 1700 different iris. I didn’t even know there WERE that many different colors of iris!

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“White Tree Flowers”

“White Tree Flowers 2” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Trip Around the Yard

My husband has three clematis plants he’s trying to nurture. This year they seem to be happy. Were walking around the yard this morning and found these.

 

Our purple iris are still blooming nicely in clumps around the yard while yellow iris are just now starting to bloom.

 

These are growing down one side of the driveway. There are a couple more ‘drifts’ further on down, but this is the main one.

 

This is one of our Rio Samba rose bushes. I cut them back harshly this past year because of various problems. I didn’t know whether they would live through my efforts or not. One of them didn’t, but two of them did.

 

 

 

And the pale yellow iris have started.

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Rodales Organic Life

 

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.[1]”

 

I’ve liked this rhyme since I was a child, but I no longer garden by it. Now my garden is not only the wonderful square foot gardening, started by Mel Bartholomew, allowing people like us to bypass our awful, rocky ridge line soil, having a chance to enjoy a garden, but now I have a RAISED BED square foot garden.

This lady is hopelessly spoiled now. I can plant, water, weed, and harvest – all without having to bend over double or get up and down endless times off my knees. I have SQUARES of plants now, rather than rows, and the plants seem very happy about it.

 

Our total garden is approximately 25 feet long and 15 feet wide. It’s surrounded by fencing, and then chicken wire around the bottom. We have all kinds of critters roaming around because of living on top of a ridge line, outside the city limits, in a more wooded area, so we have deer, possums, raccoons, rabbits, roadrunners, etc., who need to be kept out of the garden. We have a neon pink surveyors tape around the middle of the fencing to let deer know the garden is there before they run into it.

 

The garden has six 4 foot by 4 foot ‘boxes’ that are 8″ deep on metal support tables. They’re about chest high. We then marked off sections with stretchy string. I had some little bitty weeds trying to get a foothold in the garden yesterday. I weeded the whole thing in about 45 minutes with little effort, other than trying to make sure I got all the ones I could see out.

 

We have our irrigation system on a timer that goes for 5 minutes at 5:00 daily right now. We can change this any time it’s needed.

Last year I had some beautiful broccoli and cauliflower LEAVES, but didn’t get a lot of actual VEGGIES from the plants. I have no clue why. I’m hoping for some good eating this year. I’m also trying to grow celery and spaghetti squash for the first time this year.

So, you see why this lady is spoiled beyond repair now, happy as a clam, playing in my plants, and looking forward to eating romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, radishes, spaghetti squash, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and tomatoes this year!

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“Yellow Roses”

Roses on Facebook

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“Pink Tree Flowers 1”

“Pink Tree Flowers 1”- Paul Militaru Photography

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Blooming Its Heart Out

My husband came into the kitchen, saying, “You’ve got to take some pictures of the azalea. It’s blooming its heart out.”

 

I particularly love the color of this one. Several others around the yard aren’t doing well, but THIS one is really singing now.

 

In the next planter over, We have big buds on our camellia plant. Every year it tries to give us a really nice display of showy white flowers, but severe weather beats it to a pulp. Maybe this year – although the forecast is for severe weather tonight – we’re southeast of Fort Smith in the orange blob…

I hope you’re having a beautiful day wherever you are.

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Windy – Hopefully Rainy – Day

Robert Doisneau – Pinterest

 

We’re just home from Lunch Bunch and errands – hurrying because we have a 100% chance of wind and rain, possibly severe, from now until sometime tomorrow. We really need the rain – not so much the wind and ‘severe.’ It’s blustery and ominous-looking out there now.

True to form, my husband is out in the shop, oblivious to the weather, loading more bullets, while I’m securing furniture on the deck, tying up wind chimes, etc.  I think we’re as ready as we can be for whatever comes our way. What would be perfect would be a long, soaking rain. We’ll take whatever we get.

Maybe – if I’m lucky – my exercise today will be dancing in the rain! :0)

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“Spring Came Suddenly…”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow via The Bloomsbury Review via Cathy Ruggiero

I love the photo here, and the quote gives me the most wonderful mental picture. :0)

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Filed under Arkansas, Favorite Quotes, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Break Time Goodies

I took my camera on my way out to see my husband in the shop.

Right now I’m really pleased at the display of twice-blooming deep purple iris we have around the yard. Here are some pictures –

 

 

 

 

 

Here you get a feeling for how they’re blooming much of the way down one side of the driveway. (You can also see the flying pig we made :0)  )

 

Here are a few I cut to bring in today.

 

The orchid my friend, Nora, gave me several years ago is going nuts. I don’t think it has ever bloomed this much. :0)

 

My spinach sprouts on the window sill croaked. :0(    I’ll try again.  Meanwhile, here are the latest celery plant and several spaghetti squash plants ready to transplant into the garden. (The glass on the left is a try at being able to grow romaine lettuce from some bought at the store.

And last, but most important, the reason I went outside in the first place (other than to stretch my legs), is my husband at his reloading station in the shop. I offered him lunch, and he took me up on it.

 

Now that my break is over, I’m back to my ‘important stuff’ list…

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Lewis yard art, Mother Nature

A Gazillion Greens

Casa La Strega

This isn’t my photo, but it gives you a glimpse of why I love spring.

We were driving home yesterday from errands. My husband stopped to ask some men what they were working on beside the road. (They were running water to a man’s shop at the top of a hill. ) My husband went on talking about the road work, but all of my senses  were captivated by the rolling hills and valleys at this time of the year.

My spirits lifted as I was unable to count how many different shades of green I was seeing! It was like trying to count hummingbirds. :0)  I stopped at a gazillion…

I felt totally filled by how beautiful the land is between the city of Greenwood and our home about 4 miles outside the square. This time of the year is a feast for the eyes and heart. Soon all will seem to be the same green, with the exception of the evergreens, but now it’s a smorgasbord of greens.

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Playing in the Garden

Delightful Children’s Books

 

I’m very happy that our garden is alive at all right now. Our weather has roller-coastered between hard freezes and a high of 90 today. We also had a timer malfunction on the garden irrigation system, so the plants were really badly overwatered at one point before we figured out the problem and replaced the timer.

 

Now I THINK we’re finished with the hard freezes. Our temperatures are still roller-coaster-y, though. 90 today. 60 tomorrow. 80 the following day….

 

I need to take some sharp scissors to clean up the plants. Some have bad leaves. I did get out a few arrogant weeds today, though. :0)

 

Here you see red lettuce leaves and spinach.

 

As you can see in this, and the next, pictures, some of the celery is doing well. Some has croaked.

 

 

This is the south side of the garden. I’m growing Georgia Sweet Onions in the back, red lettuce and spinach in the middle, and broccoli, cauliflower, and celery in the box closest to you.

 

Romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, and red lettuce in the planters in the north row.

 

Spinach sprouts on the window sill.

 

One celery plant and two spaghetti squash sprouts here.

Hopefully, things will settle down now and my plants can grow in peace.

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

“Waterfall”

“Waterfall” – Paul Militaru Photography

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“Delicate White Beauty”

“Delicate White Beauty” – Paul Militaru Photography

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“Dillon Reservoir Wildlife Area 2”

“Dillon Reservoir Wildlife Area 2” – Sergio Dardon

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“Hyacinth”

“Hyacinth” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Blooms

I love spring, with all the plants coming to life again. As I walk around our yard, the combinations of color really lift my spirits.

This color combination of the forsythia and the wisteria really caught my eye this morning. The daffodils are almost gone now, but so much is happening, it’s hard to be sad about that.

 

Here is one group of our twice-blooming deep purple iris. We’re trying to get these planted all the way down at least one side of the driveway. Since our driveway is about 650 feet, it’ll take us awhile.

 

My husband saw these at the store the other day and picked them up. I planted them in a brick planter right outside the garage so he’ll see them each time we come and go. They are happy looking flowers, aren’t they?

 

There’s a pretty sharp contrast between things that are greening up and the leftovers from the winter.

 

 

 

I’m trying to gather the energy to gather up some of the hundreds of small weed trees our wonderful helper, Shane, cut down for us last fall. I’m thinking I’ll try to gather stuff a little bit each day and see if I can make things look a bit neater…

Happy Spring!

 

 

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“Dillon Reservoir Wildlife Area 1”

“Dillon Reservoir Wildlife Area 1” – Sergio Dardon

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“Yellow Tulips 1”

“Yellow Tulips 1” – Paul Militaru Photography

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