Tuesday, June 5, 2018

In The Poconos ... A Walk In The Woods In Early June

Springtime in the Poconos can be very different from year to year. Cool and rainy seems to be the norm these past few years. Since my gardens aren't really showing any color right now, my hubby and I had recently decided to take a walk on one of the nature trails at nearby Tobyhanna State Park to enjoy the view of the lake.
The lake was calm with barely a ripple across the water. The trees were fresh and green, and the air was warm and a bit muggy. We headed down the trail at a leisurely pace as the sun began to peek through the clouds. Parts of the trail were still muddy from the rain earlier in the morning. Sidestepping the puddles, I ventured closer to the shoreline hoping I might spot a frog or two. 
No frogs, but I spotted this small, star-shaped wildflower.  I quickly pulled out my pocket camera. What is is? Don't know. Cute, don't you think?
As we walked along, I quickly spotted the red berries on this ground cover.  No clue what it is. CLICK!
Further down the path I noticed this pretty little flower. Swamp Buttercup ... maybe? Of course I couldn't resist and SNAPPED another pic. 

This low-growing flowering shrub (no idea what it is) caught my eye a little farther down the trail.  SNAP!
Then we came upon these. They look like a forest of mini pine trees! CLICK!
99% sure these are wild blueberry bushes! SNAP!
Fleabane ... at least I'm pretty sure that's what this is. CLICK.

Pine cones ... absolutely certain. SNAP!
No idea. Interesting and pretty though. CLICK!

A Dandelion Puff ... go on and make a wish!


Monday, April 23, 2018

What's Going On In My Pocono Garden In Late April

The snow is gone ... finally.  We've had 3 beautiful days of 60 degrees, but some rain is coming for the next 4-5 days. It could just as easily have been more snow. Thankfully, Mother Nature has had a change of heart.  Anyway, let me show you what's happening.
Bleeding Hearts are like beloved, old friends. When I start to see their little red heads poking up through the soil, they always make me smile. It amazes me how a tiny clump of leaves can transform into a 3 foot tall, beautiful green-leafed plant with lovely arching sprays of heart-shaped pink flowers.
This is the 4th year for my Walker's Low Catmint. This past Winter into Spring, my plants were covered with snow for just about all of March into April. Didn't faze them in the least. I pulled aside the dead leaves and trimmed off the dead growth left from last Winter to reveal the new growth of fuzzy green leaves. I have three nice sized clumps that just get bigger every year. Come Summer, I sometimes stop and just watch the bumble bees as they spend hours flitting from one tall purple flower to another.
This tiny little clump of small fan-shaped leaves is a Siberian Iris. Last Fall, I dug up a crowded tangle of Siberian Irises that just didn't seem happy where they were in my yard. The soil was very dry and compacted and the area didn't get much sun. I separated the irises and replanted them in a moister, sunnier spot. I didn't know if they would make it, but I hoped for the best. Well, they made it through this very bad winter. Tenacious little things.
I have another bunch of red heads, only these are Peonies. I have 4 bushes and they love our cold, Pocono winters.  They get larger every year. I wish the flowers lasted longer than they do.
Can you figure out what these are?  No? Well, I know I wouldn't have had a clue either. They are a mix of tall purple and white Alliums.  They were ... taller. Either the deer or the squirrels got to them. I still can't make up my mind who to blame. At first, I thought it was the deer, but recently began having second thoughts. The flowers came up last year and weren't touched at all. This year though we've had more squirrels around than in the last 5 years. Guess I will just leave them where they are, and when the leaves dry and shrivel up, I'll dig the bulbs up and replant them into my front garden which is fenced. 
This is my fenced garden in the front of the house. The green you can see are Daffodils and Alliums. I also have 2 Peony bushes, 4 Astilbes, 3 clumps of Tall Garden Phlox,  and Poppies (that reseed) and bloom in this garden. At the moment, they are barely visible.  Things will be looking quite different by the time June rolls around.  Hurry up June!

Happy Gardening to all!

Friday, April 6, 2018

It's Coming ... It's Coming ... Spring In The Poconos

It's April. I want birds tweeting ... flowers budding or blooming  ... the groundhogs coming out of hibernation. Heck! I wouldn't even mind seeing a bear knocking over a garbage pail! Oh ... you didn't know we have bears in the Poconos? Anyway, I want ...
this too
Mr. or Mrs. Groundhog
some of these
the Bobbin' Robin
these would be nice
and these
for the hummers to come back
I did say bears, didn't I? Hee Hee

Friday, March 30, 2018

Adventures In Winter/Spring Seed Sowing On March 30th In The Poconos

I decided today I would begin my outdoor Winter/Spring seed sowing project. Talk about being disorganized. I have gardening stuff all over the house!
This bag of potting soil has been stashed next to the living room couch for at least a month.  My excuse ... I didn't want it to freeze in the garage.
And as for my seeds ... I have 50 plus packages of seeds stuffed into a plastic Ziploc bag. Unfortunately, they are in absolutely no kind of order. Today I put the packages on top of my living room sofa hoping I could sort them out a bit. I finally chose 4 packs that could handle the chilly April temperatures in the Poconos.
Almost forgot. The Ziploc bag filled with packs of seeds that I told you I had placed on my living room couch? Well, they were stored in this little cabinet also next to the living room couch. If you look close, you'll see two Amaryllises, a Mini Rose Bush, and one sorry looking African Violet on the top of that little cabinet. They were there ... first.The bag of potting soil was just keeping them company.
Where was I? Oh, yes ...  for at least a month, I was also piling plastic milk and water jugs next to my Curio cabinet on the other side of the living room. Thankfully, I did have the foresight to prepare four containers ahead of time and was able to use them today. I still have to cut these remaining ones in the middle, then poke holes in both the top sides and bottoms of the containers. I'll get to them, eventually.
 Well, as you can see, today, I did manage to get some seeds planted in the 4 containers.
I filled them with the moist potting soil and then duct-taped the containers closed and used a marker to label them. I planted:
Viola, Forget-me-nots, Royal Carpet Alyssum, and Columbine seeds. Under different circumstances, I probably would have direct sowed these seeds right into the flower pots on my back deck where they happily would have sprouted requiring no future transplanting ... except

this year I had no way to get to the flower pots to do it! Thanks to the last four March snowstorms that came barreling into the Poconos with a vengeance ... one right after the other ...  I still have 2 foot snow drifts piled up on my back deck! 

Welcome to the Spring of 2018 in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Note: Heavy Sarcasm here. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

2018 It's the first day of Spring In The Poconos. Hurry up! Go get an egg! What?

Spring has sprung. Finally ... The Vernal Equinox. The 1st day of Spring. Equal hours of daylight and darkness. Well, sorta. Actually, the daylight outlasts the darkness. Either way, all I know is that today marks the end of Winter. Yay!

   The arrival of Spring also heralds in other momentous events to behold.

Once again Spring flowers are in bloom. Unfortunately, not here in the Pocono Mountains til mid-May.

Once again, our beech trees are green with new leaves. Nope. Not til the end of May in the Pocono Mountains.

Lambs are being born by the first day of Spring  ... nowhere in the mountains of the Poconos. Late March perhaps in the more western or southern areas of PA where it is much warmer.  

    and ducklings are exploring their new world ... in June in the Poconos.  

Now for the most exciting thing about the first day of spring ... and it has nothing to do with weather, location, or temperature. 
Today's the day you can make a raw egg stand on end all by itself! It is only possible to accomplish this astounding feat twice a year ... on the first day of Spring and the first day of Autumn. Hurry up and go get an egg! You don't want to miss this opportunity. Be the first to amaze all your friends!

Hmmn ... you really got excited about this, didn't you? I bet you definitely were going to try it. Well, it is true. You can stand a raw egg on its end.  Only ... you can do it any day of the week and any time of the year. It's all about trial and error. Texture and shape of the egg. And a steady hand. Don't have a nimble fingers? Use salt as a base. Make a small mound of salt on a flat, hard surface and carefully position your egg on it until it's perfectly balanced. Then gently blow the salt away. Ta-Da!

Believe in the myth. Sometimes it's more fun than the truth.
-Jane Rutkowski

Posted photos from Pixabay and morgueFile.