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Friday, May 31, 2013

Common Strawberry

Common Strawberry  
Fragaria virginiana

Rose Family (Rosaceae)
5 sepals, 5 petals, many pistils

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Common Winter Cress

Common Winter Cress
Barbarea vulgaris

From the Mustard Family (Brassicaceae).  One easy differentiator: it begins flowering in April whereas Black Mustard generally starts in June.  The Black Mustard flowers are a richer yellow-orange as opposed to the pale/bright yellow of the Winter Cress.  Leaves become smaller and less lobed toward the top of the plant.  Also called Yellow Rocket, it is often found in damp fields, roadsides, hay fields and brooksides.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Let Me In!

Raccoon Tracks

Raccoon tracks on the sliding doors.  In fact, on three of four sliding doors.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Power Line Massacre of May 22, 2013

Power Line Massacre - May 22, 2013
That was quite the thunderstorm last night.  The power went off at 10pm and stayed off through the evening.  Fortunately, our Kohler generator kicked on seamlessly.  For those affected without a generator, the lightning pretty much provided all the illumination that was needed.  My weather station measured 1.2 inches of rain yesterday and is at 1.9 inches so far today as I type this at 9 pm.

While leaving for work, I came to an abrupt halt at the scene of the massacre on the east side of the lake -- just a few houses south of the power line slaughtered on December 21, 2012 (see Waiting for National Grid, and Thank You National Grid!).

Calvary to the Rescue

The Quackenkill Ripping in Cropseyville

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Shadblow Tree

Amelanchier canadensis

Last November I had a post about the Elhannon Nursery and the shadblow tree we purchased last November.  The photo above, taken this week, shows what it's like in bloom.

Also called Canadian serviceberry, chuckleberry, currant-tree, juneberry, shadblow Serviceberry, shadbush, shadbush serviceberry, sugarplum, and thicket serviceberry (gasp for air!), the shadblow tree is named for its masses of white flowers that bloom in the early spring when the shad run up the rivers to spawn.  Native to eastern North American, it is a member of the rose family.  It has nice silvery gray bark its leaves turn to rusty red and orange colors in autumn.  It produces berries that birds love and is very disease resistant. The shadblow tree with grow well in sun or partial shade and thrives in moist soils, so it should do very well with our high water table.

Click here for an interesting video on Edward Steichen and his Shadblow Tree.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013