Solstice surprise

After an early morning rain, some of the backyard trees and shrubs glistened with raindrops. With camera in hand, I decided to take a closer look. I didn’t have much luck capturing images of the raindrops, but in the process I happened to notice the amazing colors in the wet bark of our baldcypress tree (Taxodium distichum).

trunk of bald cypress tree Continue reading “Solstice surprise”

Magical frost flowers – again

It was just slightly below freezing this past week, and I didn’t think the temperature was quite cold enough for “frost flowers” (ice formations). However, I looked out the window and saw something white. I immediately headed for the backyard, and sure enough, there they were.

Fost flowers backlit by sun Continue reading “Magical frost flowers – again”

Wahoo adds hot pink fall color

I’m thoroughly enjoying the hot pink pods of our Eastern wahoo tree (Euonymus atropurpureus). I especially appreciate it this time of year when most of our fall color is gone. When we find it in the woods, we don’t usually see such abundant seed pods. I’m guessing more sun makes the difference. Wahoo tree seed pods This is a small tree or large shrub that’s easy to grow. Ours is now about 15 feet tall, and makes a much bigger splash than it did in 2010. In addition to the autumn color, pollinators visit the small flowers in spring, and birds feed on the red berries that drop from the pink pods.

I’m glad to have this tree in our backyard. I wish it was better known, and planted more often.

A prairie with many a blossom

My friend, Jannine, and  I recently enjoyed the Midwest Native Plant Conference at Dayton, Ohio. I learned a lot from presenters and other attendees. The conference concluded with field trips, and Jannine and I chose the 112-acre Huffman Prairie which is located on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. I had hoped for blossoms and was not disappointed.

Huffman Prairie - Dayton,Ohio

Continue reading “A prairie with many a blossom”