Tag Archive | help

Monday Memories 8-7-2017

Ilex vs. Rabbitsimage

Rabbit Deterrents:
•These trees have chicken fencing around them, but it’s right against the bark. It needs to be away (1 foot) from the trunk and at least 6 inches underground, as best as possible.
•There are commercial repellants to use, but need to be reapplied often & don’t generally work according to the experts.
•Spread blood meal, cayenne pepper, manure or dog or human hair around plants.
•Spray plants with a solution of hot pepper sauce and water or vinegar. Reapply the solution after each rain. This solution can be rinsed off of vegetables after harvest and will not affect the taste.
•Use a foul-tasting spray deterrent that contains bitrex. Do not use bitrex sprays on vegetable plants because it will affect the taste of the produce.
•The last solution is a fine rabbit stew. Mmm.

Ilex vs. Snails & Slugs

Euchemotrema hubrichtiPreventing damage should start from last year’s observations, if possible. Most likely, if you had them last year in your garden they will be back.
Clear leaf litter from around susceptible plants. Don’t give them a place to hide.
Make a barrier of eggshells, twigs, or ashes around the plants as they don’t like to crawl over rough or sharp material. Copper wire or pipe is also effective, relying on the premise that the copper delivers an electric shock to them.
Provide a halved orange upside down as bait at night, and remove the takers the next morning.
Use a shallow lid buried in the ground and fill with beer or lemonade. Slugs and snails cannot resist a free drink, and will come and drown in the pool.
For smaller plants, make a cloche by cutting the bottom off a plastic bottle, bury slightly, and remove the lid for ventilation.
Encourage frogs and birds to your garden as they can’t resist a meal of escargot!

Ilex VS Lawn Fungus

disease Triangle

Changing your lawn care habits might reduce your risk of fungi problems. A healthy lawn has a really good chance of pulling through a fungal infection, but that is up to you!

  • Water your grass regularly, but don’t water it too much because waterlogged grass invites fungi. Don’t set your irrigation and not monitor it.
  • Dry grass can also makes your lawn more susceptible.
  • A nitrogen-based fertilizer applied annually (in the fall) supplies your grass with the nutrients it needs to flourish.
  • When you mow, don’t remove more than one-third of the length of the blades of grass at a time. A healthy length for grass (from the thatchline) is 3 inches tall.

I’ve noticed many different types of fungus coming out in droves because of our weather this season. Some are fairly rare and hard to treat.

Ilex VS Sycamore Anthracnose (Apiognomonia veneta)

The most common signs of Sycamore Anthracnose are:image

  • *Heavy leaf and twig drop in late spring
  • *A thinning crown
  • *Random, dead leaves in canopy
  • *Distorted limb growth
  • *“Witches’ broom” growth (dense clusters of twigs)
  • *Cool, wet, spring weather will aggravate the spread of this disease.

If the average daily temperature at the time of leaf budding is below 55 °F, anthracnose infections will be severe. If the average daily temperature is 60F or above during this time, disease incidence will be greatly reduced.

 

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Finding Peace

noose

Peace

My head reels with the stinging pain of last night’s events.

Thoughts of you caused me to become disobedient.

At least this time it was a strong dose of alcohol.

You always said I would forever be your babydoll.

I remember a time when you loved with such passion.

You said no woman you’ve loved would fair in comparison.

The adoration you gave me was overwhelming.

I didn’t see the wound inside you festering.

I’ll never forget your white boy face and deep brown eyes.

Mystic, somber pools of emotion that terrifies.

Something behind them obsessed your heart and inner soul.

I felt myself helplessly falling onto a black hole.

I often think back to what you said pushed you to the edge.

That even a mere glance of me was your sole privilege.

Your possessiveness and insults made me such a wreck.

I saw the love in your heart through the marks on my neck.

I tried to leave but you wouldn’t pardon my release.

Hunting me down wherever I went to find inner peace.

You thought you couldn’t exist without having me.

There was no way in your mine I’d ever be free.

I finally decided I had to end this fate.

The pain and suffering wouldn’t let me hesitate.

I still feel your haunting stare upon me behind the shadows.

But at least I know it was coming from the gallows.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

 

12/12/2016 ~ 1,000 Posts For Ilex!

twodogsGood day Friends of Midwestern Plants!!

On March 10th, 2013, I started Midwestern Plants with my first post. The only ‘LIKE’ on it (to this day) is from my hubby 😉

I started this blog to build a portfolio of work to break into freelance writing, along with a photo library of Midwestern plants. I didn’t really think of making any money from the blog or even building a following, let alone find some really cool friends here!!

I shopped free blog sites and settled on WordPress. It was easy to figure out and they even had a nice app to use (I’m an app-fanatic!!)  This was to be my first use of a ‘social media’ type site. Suffice to say, I’m not a fan of Facebook or other social media, due to many reasons that I won’t go into now.  I think FB can be a rude, unsupportive place for a writer.

Although, I was worried that WP could turn into FB, I was pleasantly surprised that after 4 years of blogging, I’ve only had maybe 1 or 2 ‘troll’ comments. And on the other hand, I have made so many friends here!!! Not only have I met friends, I’ve gotten so much encouragement, support, camaraderie, ideas, praise, laughs… I can’t imagine my life without all of you! =-D

On January 12th 2015, I wrote my 500th post. Seems like I’m on par for about 250 posts per year. It was January, so I had just gotten my report from WP with my ‘crunchy numbers’ (WP term). I don’t look at these kind of stats on a regular basis, however I do like to read this year end report. My ‘Top 5’ of read posts hasn’t changed much since then, however the folks that are following and commenting has changed a lot. Out of the 14 folks I mentioned in my 500th post (2 years ago), only 6 are still actively blogging. Some of the folks I follow posted that they were taking a break for whatever reason, however others have just disappeared. I always wonder what has happened to stop someone who’s posted daily for years to just disappear. Did they get a full time writing job? (YES!!!) Taken by aliens? Joined a cult?  Lost in a forest? Got caught with kiddie porn? Die? Ironically, the kiddie porn one kinda happened! A blogger I followed had an outstanding warrant for touching kiddies and was extradited back to his home country. =-( And he seemed so NORMAL to me =-O Another woman told me that she had contracted a stalker and had to quit posting, so this person wouldn’t learn more about her.

The internet can be a scary and peaceful place at the same time. Although I don’t post photos of myself and am somewhat anonymous, I have physically met a few fellow bloggers. We had followed each other for a while, so I was not nervous to meet them. I would also love to meet others in the future. Many bloggers in my circle are local, however some are from islands very far away. Maybe one day I will do some puddle jumping 😉

I want to pay tribute to some awesome fellow bloggers that sure make blogging worth it for me. Although I can’t thank everyone I follow personally, I do want to say, THANK YOU all for the comments, the laughs, the support, the tears, the wisdom and the friendship I get from all of you! ❤ ❤ ❤

Travels with Choppy: I just can’t get enough of Choppy’s outfits and celebrations of holidays we all should learn (Letter Writing Day! Who knew?!?) Even tho he’s a cat, Schooner is pretty funny also. And now that #@}0*%ing ELF?! I never know what else I’ll be laughing at next being subscribed to her blog!!

Thanks Sarah, for making me have to change my pants after I’ve pissed them from laughing… One of these days, the fur kids have to meet… Schooner? Probably not 😉

Mad Cap Dog: Scifihammy has me in stitches, whether it be from her Sunday musings or the antics of her Little Monkey! She also keeps me sane with the beautiful, warm, colorful landscapes of Cape Town, while all I see is white 😛 She chills out to my snow posts, so it’s a win/win!

Scifi, I love ya! I’m so glad someone gets my Star Trek references… otherwise I’d be hearing crickets. Thanks for always letting me know you’ll be out for a bit. I would seriously miss ya, if you just dropped off. Dropped off writing, I meant 😉

Easy Weimaraner: I’m beside myself as I write this. Two weeks ago, Easy left us for the Rainbow Bridge. There will never be another Easy. He was hilarious, from his classroom teachings to his indoor snow creations. His staff are equally funny, as Dad can’t stop injuring himself and Mom can’t stop shopping.

Kathy & Mark, I can’t say enough how missed Easy will be, butt time will heal the wounds.

Mongolope: Mongo is a Labrador Retriever that lives with his family in Seattle, Washington. Mongo usually gets in a lot of trouble due to his appetite. He is very smart, however very food driven also. My favorite thing Mongo does is fetch the paper, how cool is that? Be sure to read about Mongo’s first Halloween… You’ll be in stitches!!

Mongo’s Dad, Love the stories you tell about your buddy, Mongo! He is so much fun to read about and sure has some, um, interesting habits 😉

Eddie Two Hawks: Eddie posts wonderful photos of plants from a tropical, Florida location, along with beautiful pieces of wisdom. The photos excite my eyes and the quotes make me think.

Eddie, Thank you for all the wisdom you have brought to my life. I always feel warm and fuzzy after reading your posts. Your photos bring back memories of all the tropical plants I had in my yard while living down there.

THANK YOU!!

I’m not sure what directions all of us are going, however I am so glad to have met you all and share what time we have on this big, blue marble. Lastly, I share with you a favorite tidbit about friendship:

Friends are in your life for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime:

When someone is in your life for a reason, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. S/he has come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

S/he is there to meet a need. Then without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, s/he will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes s/he dies. Sometimes s/he walks away. Sometimes s/he acts up or out and forces you to take a stand. What we must realize is that the need has been met.

When a person comes into your life for a season, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. S/he may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. S/he may teach you something you have never done. S/he usually gives you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Lifetime relationships teach you lifetime lessons. Those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. You must accept the lesson, love the person/people anyway, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Snapping Turtle ~ Chelydra serpentina

Common snapping turtles have a long neck and a long tail with sawtooth projections on the upper surface. They also have a large head with a strong beak instead of teeth. The edges of the jaws have sharp edges to rip apart food. I think their cute beaks look like piggy noses. =@)

They like to live in any body of water. They especially like shallow, mud-bottomed backwaters and ponds with lush aquatic vegetation. Exaaaaactly where we were walking the boys near Illinois State Beach Park.

April through July, is their mating season, which generally takes place on land, resulting in Mama turtle laying 20-50 eggs in a shallow clutch. Just like sea turtles, the hatchlings just know where the water is, and head for its safety.

They only seeking to escape when approached by humans in the water and are of little threat to swimmers. However, they are aggressive and menacing when on land. If you see one on the road and want to help it across… Be Careful! Watch the video below to educate yourself on how to safely pick up a snapper!

Vegetation is their main food source, however they also eat fish, snakes, and crustaceans. The turtle actually ‘inhales’ its food by using a strong suction created from its buccal cavity. They extend their necks to create a negative pressure and the prey is sucked into their mouth and down their throats! Now that’s how you gulp food! HaHa =-)

Snapping turtle’s heads are too large to pull all the way into their shell, so they have learned how to use that powerful jaw as defense and snap at their enemies. The hard beak on their jaw is attached to adductor muscles that are situated at an angle to the trochlear to create an enormous force. These guys are strong enough to remove a finger! Yikes.

image    image

Isn’t she* cute?!?

As there were many (100’s!)  leopard frogs leaping as we approached them, we were constantly looking down, hoping to avoid stepping on the ‘lil guys. Oreo stepped on one, however he seemed unphased and hopped off. Whew. So, while looking up to enjoy the landscape and down to avoid the hoppers, we got pretty close to this little lady before noticing her on the trail.

The trail is narrow, and both sides turn into swampy, muck pretty quickly, so no deviation off the trail is possible. We weren’t turning around either. We neared her, hoping she would just scurry away. Nope. Is she dead?? I inch closer…. Waiting for movement. Oh! She blinked! OK, now what? Us humans can jump over her, but the boys? I kept myself between Oreo and her and he virtually ignored her. So did Breck. That’s a Border Collie for ya… No movement, no fun! Thus, I have no cool ending to my post. The End =-)

Here’s a helpful video to learn how to help a turtle across the road!

*Sometimes I don’t know the sex of an animal and just assign it one, as I don’t like referring animals as ‘it’s.
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Trading Horticulture Advice for Photos!

Let me begin this post with a shout out to the awesomeness of TREES!

Can I hear a Hell-Yeah? =-D

imageI’d like to offer my services again to anyone who has any horticulture questions to please write me an email. The best way to make the most of our time, is to gather these few tid-bits of information along with photos – you can never have enough photos:

  • If you want me to identify a plant, I need clear photos of the leaf or buds of the branch, bark and a backed-up shot that gives me the whole plant. If it flowers, that too.
  • If you are worried about a plant, take pix like above and pix of the problem you are concerned with.
  • Describe any recent changes or observations.
  • The town you live in or general area.
  • If you want advice at to what to plant in an area, send a pix and what type of plant you are looking for; a flowering shrub, evergreen or perennials.

This is a win-win for us, as you get free horticultural advice and I get free post material! Of course you would have to let me use your photos, be sure to remove any license plate numbers or anything else you don’t want spread on the web.

Thank you for your help!!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Dilemmas In a Dogs Life IV

We love our tennis balls around here. We pay a small price for a bag of six each time we pick-up food for the boys. Not sure of the source for the balls, however a charity sells the bags for $3. a cheap price to pay for such enjoyment.

wpid-20130906_175310.jpg wpid-20130906_175321.jpg
Seriously Mom! Where did it bounce?!?

Dilemmas have happened in the past…
I II III