Friday, January 27, 2012

60F at night, Fog, Thunder, Heavy Rain....

....transitioning quickly to bright sun, 25 mph sustained winds with 40mph gusts. There was only a matter of a few minutes between the top picture, with the fog and rain, and the sunny exposure. The winds were so strong that I gave up on blowing the paths; as soon as I cleared an area, the wind littered it with random debris..

I guess I'm beginning to sound like a broken record when I start on the weather. It's all over the map though. Hey, we've had years when the temperature never got above 55F for the month of January. This year it looks like one out of three days has been or will be in the mid-fifties. I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth though. I'm just going to enjoy it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lippia sp.

I tried to make sense of the labels but I'm getting old and losing my edge. Except for the flower color, it certainly could be Lippia graveolens. I don't know but it's pretty and fragrant.

There're always flowers in Poly 7

Polyhouse 7 is where we keep our sub-tropicals over the winter. It's a great place to go when snow or cold or some other aspect of winter overwhelms you and you just need a jump start. Today was a pretty nice day outside so it felt like self-indulgence to walk through in the afternoon. I enjoyed it anyway. The Asclepias currasavica and the palms made me other-home sick for the Florida garden.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adonis amurensis and Helleborus's still January!

This is early even for us. We've had a mild winter but with some fairly cold days mixed in. It hasn't been cold for long though; today the temperature got up to 56F. It's going to drop 15-20 degrees tomorrow but than only gets us to a little above average. I hope this weather doesn't turn my three "spring" walks into summer walks!

Turkeys at the US National Arboretum

Before this year turkeys had been few and far between at the Arboretum. There have been recent years when none were spotted. This year various people, including me, have seen groups of two or three.  This picture was captured by an unmanned wildlife camera. Thanks you Sue Greeley for sharing it. Sue is the wildlife czar at the Arboretum. She monitors populations of various animals and attends to injured animals and corpses.

It's exciting to see those birds. My brother-in-law Larry, past president of Izaak Walton, has been telling me for years about how successfully turkeys are coming back. They're residents in every county in Maryland and in the District. Like other shy wild species, they seem to be able to adapt to living in populated areas; I remember a flock of at least 30 birds that wandered openly around a subdivision we vacationed in in Hawaii. I'd love to have a big flock resident at the Arboretum and it looks like we're headed in that direction.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Phyllostachys edulis seed are germinating. I only planted them two weeks ago

I've never germinated bamboo seeds or, for that matter, even seen the seedlings. Hey they don't set seed very frequently. And when they do they die. I spent an hour or so cleaning the seed two weeks ago and now here it comes. The seedlings look like little bamboo plants. Can't you just imagine them 80 feet tall?

A friend of Scott sent these seeds to us....and we are working on our bamboo collection. The seeds are from a cooler part of the range of P. edulis and so we hope that between global warming and the provenance of these seeds, we'll be able to grow it to 25m and 18cm diameter. That would be some serious bamboo. We'll have to "enclose" it, but not for a while.