Tuesday, July 26, 2016

milkweed II

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

This plant is the larval host for monarch and queen butterflies.  It's also an important food source for native bees, honey bees, and bumble bees.  I'm proud to say I grew this plant from seed.  It has spread in my yard just a little bit.

my last POST on milkweed (with more information and links)
Information and Growing Guide (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)
Monarch butterfly  Monarch Watch.org
Queen butterfly Butterflies and Moths of North America

photo by me © 2013  all rights reserved

Sunday, July 24, 2016

random cool things II

Have you heard of these?!
My friends Marc and Claire are the organic farmers at Ohio's only agri-community, Aberlin Springs!  Nestled among over 140 acres of preserved forests and meadows, the community will be centered around the farm.   Being developed with a "Farm-to-Table" philosophy, residents will be active participants in their farm's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  The idea is to share community in a variety of ways while reconnecting with the natural world.  House building will begin this fall.
© Aberlin Springs
Aberlin Springs  
Finn Meadows Farm Marc and Claire Luff's farm
other agri-communities 
article about Serenbe (Georgia)

Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacteria present in soil, appears to be a natural antidepressant.  These microbes seem to cause cytokine levels to rise, which results in the production of higher levels of serotonin.  How do these microbes get inside you and how long do the "happy" effects last?  The microbes can be inhaled as well as enter through breaks in the skin.  Studies say the effects may last up to 3 weeks.
So go out and play in the dirt!

These photos are from a year ago.  There was a group of about 15 of us who helped revamp this community garden.  In 4 hours we took this garden from mostly decrepit to beautiful.  It was so much fun working together!   
Here's the article

© 2012 google
Artist Jon Rafman has zeroed in and screenshot many of google's street views.  Some amazing images have appeared!
Google street views on Tech Insider
Jon Rafman's site (even more photos)
aerial earth views (I'm adding this just because there are some very interesting ones.)

LA CITÉ DU VIN (The City of Wine)
©XTU-Casson Mann-ANAKA-La Cité du Vin
This wine theme park and museum in Bordeaux, France will offer a comprehensive, immersive wine experience. Yes, please!  Learn about the history of wine, get educated in wine tasting, make wine, visit vineyards, dine at restaurants, enjoy a bazillion (slight exaggeration!) different wines.  To learn more, click the link below.
Forbes article

What cool things have you seen lately?

all images © by the individual attributed websites   all rights reserved

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Beautiful, fragrant flowers abound on the common milkweed plant!  This plant is most associated with being nectar food for the larvae of monarch butterflies, but is also enjoyed by a host of pollinators.
The numbers of monarchs have drastically fallen in the last 10+ years.  Its caterpillars depend solely on milkweed for food.  And milkweed is being destroyed due to herbicide spraying both by homeowners as well as farmers on genetically engineered crops.
Deforestation due to illegal logging and environmental factors has reduced the acres of available over-wintering sites for the butterflies that make it to Mexico.

Washington Post article about the destruction of monarchs
Monarch Watch.org
monarch population chart (scientific study)
Center for Biological Diversity
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center explore

milkweeds (Asclepias--There are >140 species):
common milkweed
swamp milkweed
butterfly weed

Consider planting one or more of the beautiful milkweed plant varieties in your yard!

Wordless Wednesday/Wordy Wednesday--where I linked up:

Create With Joy (Those Irresistible Eyes)

A Southern Daydreamer (Lantana)

photo by me ©2016   all rights reserved 
(This photo was taken at the Cincinnati Nature Center where there is a small "milkweed forest" at the Herb Wall.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


"Butterflies of the Caribbean" is the current show at Cincinnati's Krohn Conservatory.  The garden room is alight with fluttering butterflies!  delightful!  Some even land on people.

Krohn Conservatory  several photos at beginning of post
July  first photo

Butterflies and Moths of North America
Krohn Conservatory

Wordless Wednesday/Wordy Wednesday--where I linked up:

Create With Joy (Magellan's Cat Cave)

A Southern Daydreamer (beautiful azaleas)

The Art and Tree Chatter of Aquariann  (Shenandoah Caverns)

photos by me ©2016    all rights reserved

Friday, May 6, 2016

beautiful orchids

Cincinnati has a wonderful plant conservatory.  Recently, I enjoyed the butterfly exhibit.  While there, of course, I had to visit all the amazing plants!  These lovely orchids covered in water droplets caught my eye.  If anyone knows the variety, please share.

Krohn Conservatory
orchids Sierra Flower Finder  

Where I linked up:

Floral Friday Fotos 



Photo Friday

photo by me © 2016 all rights reserved

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

garden serenity

Ambling around the grounds at the Cincinnati Civic Center a couple days ago, I came across this lovely pond.  The explosion of lush greeness and blooms in this city oasis was so soul refreshing. 

Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati

Wordless Wednesday/Wordy Wednesday--where I linked up:


Create With Joy (Celebrate Our Pets)

  A Southern Daydreamer (beautiful wisteria photos)  

a few more words!  note the beehive.  There are wall (or Lazarus) lizards sunning on the rock in the foreground.  These non natives were brought to Cincinnati in 1951 and released into a backyard.

photo by me © 2016  all rights reserved

Thursday, March 31, 2016

It's Spring!

Spring is here!  Spring is here!

Spring is that delicious time of year when the Earth renews its loveliness and reveals secrets once hidden in the frozen ground.  Let's celebrate!
I love the contrast of the riotous pink against the stark bare tree branches.

Magnolias are so glorious!

A robin delights in the day.

Flowers are medicine for the soul.

species tulip


Daffodils dance in the breeze! (12 second video)
Click to activate.

Spring audaciously revels in its glorious renewal!

My Blogging Business Artisans team on etsy hosts a new Challenge every month. The purpose is to encourage us to explore our creativity, to stretch our imaginations.  
Cynthia of Antiquity Travelers set forth the following Challenge for the month of March:

"Early Spring.  Since our friend Punxsutawney Phil said we'd have an early start to spring...let's celebrate!  and hope he is right (fingers crossed)."

(He WAS right!  at least where I live.)

QUESTION:  What inspires you to create?

© photos by me  all rights reserved