Saturday, April 23, 2011

Second Chance Plant Sale

If you've missed our Plant Sales so far, there's a Second Chance Sale coming up this weekend.  I'm keen on the Sprouting Wings pots, bird's nests, and decorated eggs.

These blown eggs from our Sprouting Wings program are beautiful (I snapped them up yesterday at our Earth Day event).

There's still space in the Psanky egg-decorating class, too, rescheduled from last week to this coming Tuesday.

Sprouting Wings decorated eggs

Sunday, April 10, 2011

First monarchs

I didn't see them at the Garden, but in our front meadow at home (less than a mile away).
monarch on young milkweed shoot
I saw two monarchs flitting around, and one ovipositing (apparently) on our common milkweed plants (emerged and growing nicely).

Milkweed shoot (Asclepias syriaca)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Calycanthus fruits and a morel

Calycanthus fruits (seeds eaten by Golden Mice)
Along the Heusel Nature Trail last Saturday, we took a look at some Calycanthus fruits  -- the seeds totally absent, and the large openings (and chew marks) indicating the cause: Golden mice! Patrick mentioned that he recently did a video piece of a golden mouse eating the seeds for an upcoming Expeditions program.  Something not to miss.

My friend and former colleague at the Garden (Jennifer Bausman) was also part of the Saturday group. She was able to pass on this 'ecological story' to a group of OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) folks in a hiking group this week. It's a nice reflection of how learning about the natural world works.

We even saw a morel (a prized edible mushroom) along one of the woodland trails.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Northern Water Snake

Patrick McMillan took us on a great Garden walk this morning (more sightings -birds, and plants- to come), but I was glad to see the family group of Northern Water Snakes that enjoy the sun on the rocks supporting the Duck Pond Dam.

I'd seen them yesterday, all curled up together.  But today, I had my camera along.  They moved around a bit, but finally one was photogenic!

Northern Water Snake (Nerodia spidedon)

Folks often think these snakes are water moccasins or cottonmouths (they don't live above the fall line of South Carolina, so aren't here in the Upstate).