Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summer Summary





Summer will be over soon. I find it impossible to get good shots of butterflies. Can you spot the butterfly above? It moved just as I snapped the photo and the camera focused on the white flowers of the chives and the butterfly bush is out of focus. (The lavender and purple flowers are on the same butterfly bush,  it is just that the lavender color flower is in strong hot Georgia sunlight!)


In this heat, it has been important for us to keep fresh water for the birds. These are just plastic dishes (they are really the bottoms to flower pots!) but the birds love them.  The birds pictured here are brown thrashers and I have written about them before, the brown thrasher is the state bird of Georgia. The one on the right is a youngster, you can see the feathers are not the chestnut brown they will be as an adult.  And look at the size! It is funny to see them bathe in this tiny dish!



The southern part of our county (where we live) is in an extreme drought.  At my Dad's house, he has had a lot more rain! They will get downpours and then, the sun will come out and you would never know it had rained! (Still hot though!)
 Yes, I know you are thinking to yourself, "Kay, don't you ever get tired of taking photos of sunflowers?"  My answer?  Never! This photo was taken in July, and all the sunflowers have since gone to seed and the birds have had a "field" day!  HA!

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You know my Dad cut some of these sunflower seed heads for me to take home for my birds!

Besides walking up Stone Mountain, we also like to walk on the trails beside Stone Mountain Lake. The shade is most welcome.


We also do some hikes on the trails at Panola Mountain and we aim for the shady areas.   We found someone else who enjoyed it too and he was taking it very easy!


Not forgetting the wonderful Arabia Mountain, of course! I never tire of it!



What is your summer summary?  Do tell me!  Are you looking forward to some cooler days?  You know I am! And some rain would be nice! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pass Along Plants (Spider Lily)


We have some lovely flowers in the South and many of them are not native but are still very well adapted to the area without being invasive.  The flowers pictured above have many common names...spider lilies, magic lilies and apropos of my blog, British soldiers!  I saw these last September on the way to my family reunion. I wanted to stop and take a photo of them but alas, we were in a hurry.  Luckily for me, I discovered some blooming behind the building where the reunion was being held!  Aren't they gorgeous in their stand up and be counted shade of RED!

There is another lily very much like it that is blooming now, only it is pink and you will love this, they are called "naked ladies". No, I'm not kidding! In Southern Living magazine, there is a very good gardening columnist and he just wrote an article about them. You may read it just here.  He titled the piece, "Surround yourself with naked ladies"! He is very knowledgeable about plants and flowers but very funny too! (Called the "Grumpy Gardener", I think he should call himself the the "Hilarious Gardener"!)

Here's the thing- I saw so many of these beautiful red flowers last September that I felt sure that they were native.  Imagine my surprise to learn that they are really from Japan and to see so many of them, means that the people of North Georgia simply love these red flowers and have passed them along to each other for years! (Lycoris radiata...first from China, but then, to Japan, where they were then sent to the USA.)
One of my most vivid memories of my grandmother, is of her "rooting" plants to give away to others. I wonder if she knew of this red beauty?

According to Southern Living magazine, some of the top pass along plants in the southern United States are as follows:  

daffodil
spider lily (star of this post!)
canna
day lily
camellia
gardenia
   

How many of these do you know? (You know I know them all!)  Do you have any of them in your garden?  I think of these, the only one that is native to Georgia would be the canna.  The daffodil is native to northern Europe and the others are native to Asia.

By the way, if anyone has a spider lily and wants to pass it on to me, I will happily accept it! I would love to have that bright red in my garden! Better yet, maybe I could buy a spider lily bulb and then, pass it along to others.
Hey, I must be more like my grandmother than I realize!
Let me know if you have any of these flowers now, you hear?

Take care and don't forget to admire flowers wherever you are!



Sunday, August 21, 2016

High Five, Little Blog! Happy 50th, Pam!





Five years ago, I began writing this blog! Also, today is my sister's birthday, her 50th! Happy birthday, Pam! I was very pleased to see that someone else turned 50 this very same month, so she is the same age as my sister! Silke is a fantastic artist and you may find her blog if you click on her name! (Guess what, I was able to order one of Silke's prints and send it to Pam for her birthday! Silke doesn't know this yet, but I hope she will read it here!) *
Silke also lives in Georgia but she is originally from Germany. You would not be reading this blog today if it were not for someone else from Germany! Thank you, Meike! (Her blog is:


 In years past, my Dad has grown his own vegetables and shared them with me.  The photo above is from August 2010 and everything in that picture came from him, even the sunflowers! Aren't they beautiful! 

Our cereus cactus blooms in August. (You can't be serious, ha!) We only had one bloom this year (due to our weather, I suppose) but I can show you what it usually looks like in the photo above.  It only blooms at night, so you have to really watch for it, or you miss it!

Happy Birthday, Pam!


Happy Birthday, Kay's web log!




THANK YOU for reading this blog! It has given me great joy and I appreciate your kindness and support more than you could know.

This is KG, signing off, for today! (A baby was born 6 years ago   and she has the same initials as mine. Of course, I had to crochet a blanket and have KG on it, it was just the right thing to do!)

*Just to say, this is not like a creepy radio ad, where I am speaking with you and all of sudden, start trying to sell you something. Silke IS an amazing artist and I really DID send an art print of hers to my sister, Pam! When I saw they were born the same month in the same year, it just seemed right!



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Cocozelle Zucchini and Cucumbers (Peaches Too!)



The summer of cucumbers! I planted the seeds in May and when the plants came up, Richard transplanted them into large pots and he watered and watered and watered...you get the picture, and then, cucumbers! It has been ....what is the right word, it has been such a feeling of satisfaction! We think we have learned from our gardening experience and hope to be even better at growing them next year!


I also planted a few seeds of zucchini.  The seed packet said it was a cocozelle zucchini. Just look at that striped beauty above! (I had already sliced off each end of it before I asked Richard to snap a photo!)
Richard read in a gardening magazine that this was not a good year for zucchini in the South and I believe it, we only harvested TWO but hey, those two were very good! How do you cook zucchini?  I like to melt a bit of butter and then, add some olive oil to the pan and I saute very thin slices of it, seasoned with salt, pepper, minced onion and a bit of garlic powder.  Simple but very good.

Now, you see those sweet peaches sitting on my kitchen counter?
You know what they are doing? They are ripening! Look, if you buy peaches and they seem a bit firm to the touch, just let them sit out and they will ripen and become soft, so soft that you can just peel the skin off with the edge of your knife. Guess what, I just heard on the news that this intense sun and heat that we have had this year in Georgia was really very good for peaches, it makes the fruit that much sweeter.  Too bad it doesn't do the same for THIS Georgia Peach! HA!  (As if I could get any sweeter, right?  Wait, I don't hear too many of you jumping in here now!)

I have to tell you,I have been very, very careful when I am around the front flower bed where Richard planted the zucchini. Why is  that you wonder?  I am remembering seeing a creature make its way into this same flower bed... 










  

Do you see why I step so gingerly around this area?  This is a copperhead snake and it is poisonous!  Yikes! I better stay in the kitchen and slice some cucumbers!  Stay cool, my friends!
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Would you like to hear an oldie but a goodie? How about this one?




Saturday, August 13, 2016

True Blue At Arabia Mountain/Magical Sunlight

Slender day flowers!  It really is best to go early in the day to see them, the flowers only last for a day and in the heat of the sun, they wilt quickly. The petals are a true blue and from what I have read, this is very rare among wildflowers. They seem to be at their peak just now at Arabia Mountain.


If you look very closely, you will see that there are three petals on this wildflower. The upper two petals are the clear blue color but there is a third petal just below the other two, it is a pale whitish petal, so sheer that you can hardly see it.  Supposedly, Linnaeus who named the plant, named it after three brothers. Two brothers were hard-working but the third either died or was extremely lazy, the stories differ on this. No matter, this is a very beautiful wildflower and when you see them en masse on beautiful Arabia Mountain, it is a sight to see.


We walked at Panola Mountain recently and Richard took a photo of the early morning light falling upon the trail. This captured the magical feel of that moment perfectly! 
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My friends, once again I have not had much time on the computer! It has been very difficult meeting with all these record companies wanting to record my great singing voice! Okay now, you know I am kidding! I have been so busy at work that it has been a bit hard for me to type anymore when I get home at night.  
 Hope you are doing well and I hope you have noticed that Great Britain is third in the medal count behind USA and China! There have been some interesting stories from these Olympics, wish I could have had more time to view them!
I won't ever win a gold medal but I feel as if I have when I spot the very first yellow daisy blooming at Arabia Mountain!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Guess What I Did Today?



My friends, I know you won't believe this...but today, I got up in front of my co-workers and sang a song!  This was at one of our company meetings and we were asked to perform a song or skit.  I hadn't really planned on it but I just changed the words a bit of the song "Hello Dolly" and stood up and just sang my heart out, baby!
Isn't that a hoot!  Apparently, it will be on YouTube, so I MIGHT let you know. GULP.    You really don't have to see me on YouTube, just think of Barbra Streisand singing and you will know EXACTLY how I sounded. (Just kidding!)  I sang another song too, just to make things a bit more interesting.  Hey, by the time I finished, I think they were looking around for the hook.
I received some very nice compliments from my co workers.
It tickled me to hear, "you can really blow".  Apparently, that is a good thing!  


Have not had much time to see the Olympics but I do enjoy them, the bits that I have been able to see.  I am thinking of Louis Zamperini, who was in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and was on the same track team with Jesse Owens.


"We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort."    Jesse Owens

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly



Ebony jewelwing damselfly,  we saw several of them today on our walk.  You might think it is a dragonfly and they are related, but it is a damselfly. (Dragonfly- when at rest, the wings are held straight out from the body. Damselfly- the wings are folded together behind.)  The name fits it perfectly! It is solid black with a bright wing, like a turquoise jewel, Of course, there are two wings, but the tiny creature folds the wings together when at rest, so it looks like one.  It eats aphids, gnats and other insects like mosquitoes and is a very welcome sight in the summer.  

I tried to find a photo of an ebony jewelwing damselfly but I found a video that shows it off nicely.  You can see the color much better and also how graceful it is in its movement.





I have been away from the internet for several days but hopefully, will be able to visit all of you again very soon!  Hope you are all well and noticing beauty all around you.  Sometimes, even a tiny insect has the most amazing color, like a jewel. 
 The photo above was taken by our son, Christopher last August when he visited his grandparents in England.   It is the view of Eastbourne  from the Downs, walking towards Beachy Head. (You know I had to have a picture on my post and I love this one.)