Tag Archive | nature

Happy Trails

Last time camping under the old, oak tree… I wish you the best, my friend.

I was thinking that my last post, the one that has been static on my site was a scary selfie of me in a welding helmet… That just can’t continue for any longer! 😉 This post will serve as a better landing spot for my blog and describe its status.

We recently went to our favorite campground, Hickory Hollow in Utica, Illinois. It is right near the Starved Rock area. Every September, you can count on us to be attending the wine festival! This year’s fest was a bit less chaotic, as last year’s fest was a madhouse. Because of this and the ticket prices doubling, we were able to get around much easier this year.

We were very melancholy, as the sand mine (just past the berm behind the camper) has bought the campground to destroy it for the sand it stands on. How sad is that?!? I can’t describe the pain I feel for my favorite burr oak tree (next to camper). It’s like knowing a friend with a deadly disease… knowing that in a short time, their life will end sooner than it should. I need a subject change… my blubbering is upsetting my dogs.

Updates….

I have been researching my future ventures en mass! I have a plan for my future schooling in Horticulture Therapy, which starts this January, finishing in the Fall of 2018. Not too long! I have also decided to try to open my own business revolving around Nature Therapy. This will include Forest Bathing (shinrin-yoku (森林浴) in Japanese), and other programs for nursing homes. I’ll try focusing in those arenas first, and see if I need to branch out or not. I will post updates…

Hubby is doing super at quitting smoking! It’s been 4 months now!

For our Annual Christmas Camping Vacation….. GALVESTON, TEXAS is the winning location for 2017!!! We’re already booked and have started researching things to see and do. If you have any insider info, please pass it on 🙂 We will also be needing a Texas themed audio book for the 18 hour ride down there. Last year we listened to, “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil” for our ride to Savannah.

Here’s a funny coincidence, well, maybe not so funny… We decided on Galveston one week before Hurricane Harvey hit them. Last year, we decided to go to Savanna, Georgia one week before Hurricane Matthew hit them. Hmmm, are we dooming the cities we choose to visit to hurricanes? Maybe next year, we shouldn’t pick a coastal city 😉

I hope everyone in my blog-o-spere is doing well. I’ve visited the WP Reader a few times. It’s really hard to be in there too long. I could have an hour blow by in what feels like a second. I love reading everyone’s posts, however I MUST STUDY!!! When my life has settled down, I will return to the reader and posting myself. Until then, I hope the best for all of you! I do miss our fun in the comment’s section!

Take care!!! Ilex

I’m Ready for the Eclipse

I AM IRON WOMAN

I think this may be my first selfie! At least my first POSTED selfie 😉 It wasn’t very easy to pull off, since I could not see my phone screen through the darkened welding helmet screen. Yes, it is perfectly fine to view the eclipse with a welding helmet, as long as it creates at least a setting of “Shade 12”. This helmet provides between ‘Shade 12 – 16’, so I’m well covered. Sadly, the sky may also be well covered also 😛 I’m in northern Illinois and we have a storm going just south of us… Hopefully, it won’t bring clouds with it.

I hope everyone gets out and at least tries to view the eclipse. The next full one to cross the U.S. will be in 2024.

 

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Filling a Gap

This venn diagram is super!

I think I fall into the ‘Lacks Passion‘ part of the equation. 2 for 3… Not bad!  Trying to ebb into the 3 for 3 ‘Sweet Spot’!

I’ve got a few directions to go now and I’m pretty manic about them. No worries, tho. I embrace some of my crazy. Better manic that depressed 😉 I will certainly share these directions after I completely commit.

I hope to get on-board with some career coaching, even. Does anyone have a reference or does this sort of thing? Please contact me with your rates. I see no reason that this can’t all be done on-line these days. So, it doesn’t matter where you are.

To that end, my posts and visits to your blogs will become a bit more sporadic, due to the focus I must place on my journey. I will certainly share posts about Horticulture Therapy, as I have always been a writer and can’t completely disappear 😉 I also learn so much when I write posts, not only from the research while writing, but from the comments section also! Writing about HT will just strengthen my knowledge.

Chase your dreams!!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 8-14-2017

Happy Monday =-)

I had a wonderful weekend, was able to make bail and get to work this morning!

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Helianthus pauciflorus ~Stiff Sunflower (Pretty sure)

     

Hibiscus moscheutos ~ Native hibiscus    ||    Eupatorium perfoliatum ~ Common Boneset

     

Hibiscus trionum ~ flower-of-an-hour, bladder hibiscus, bladder ketmia, bladder weed, flower-of-the-hour, modesty, puarangi, shoofly, and venice mallow     ||      Vernonia fasciculata ~ Prairie Ironweed

      

My summer pot looks fantastic!!    ||    Eryngium yuccifolium ~ rattlesnake-master

Carpenter bee on Ratibida pinnata ~ gray-headed coneflower

      

Milkweed bugs on milkweed    ||    Euphorbia corollata  ~ Flowering Spurge

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

 

 

 

Summer Blooming Flowers 8-11-2017

Woo hoo! It’s Friday!! And I’m gonna ice that cake with our annual birthday pig roast this Saturday!! Here is a past post. And another. I’m here for the bacon bread and the crunchy, salty, garlic skin. MMMMMM! Oddly enough, I eat little of the pig, else-wise. I like all the things the other folks bring, also.

My neighbor told me last week that the pig the neighbor cooked up (without my hubby around) was overdone and didn’t compare to my hubby’s. SNAP!!! What a compliment, the padewan has surpassed the master. 😉

I hope your weekend is as good as mine will be!! Namaste 🙂

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

     

Liatris spicata ‘Floristan White’ & ‘Floristan Violet’ & Phlox paniculata ‘David’ & (A very short) Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’

      

Pastinaca sativa ~ Wild Parsnip    ||     More Monarda

      

Solanum ptychanthum ~Black Nightshade    ||   Verbascum thapsus ~ Mullien and some Queen Anne’s Lace

       

Might as well have called this Blooming Monarda post!    ||    Free bird seed!!

      

Phlox paniculata ‘David    ||    An educated guess is: Agrimonia striata ~ Roadside Agrimony… Anyone???

Oenothera biennis  ~  Common Evening Primrose

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 8-9-2017

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Hydrangea paniculata’s on a stick

      

Errr, it’s in the mint family!    ||   Lobelia cardinalis ~ Cardinal Flower

Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’

Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blues ~ Speedwell

      

Persicaria lapathifolia ~ Knotweed    ||   Salvia reflexa ~ Sage

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo’

Rudbeckia triloba ‘Prairie Glow’

      

Not sure, weedy      ||       Perovskia atriplicifolia ~ Russian sage

Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

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