Thursday, July 28, 2016

the planet needs...

Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park in Washington state USA

"The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people.  But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind.  It needs people who live well in their places.  It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane.  And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it."
~David W. Orr (Ecological Literacy:  Educating Our Children 

photo by me © 2015   all rights reserved

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pink Double Delight Echinacea

Echinacea purpurea 'Pink Double Delight' (one of the varieties of Echinacea growing in my garden)

Growing Guide
photos of many varieties
herbal remedy usage (Echinacea is purported to strengthen the immune system.)

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

Create with Joy  (including a cat ball giveaway!)

A Southern Daydreamer  (hydrangea)

photo by me © 2013  all rights reserved

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
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 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.)