A Better Sign

Red Velvet okra.

Red Velvet okra.

A beauty, even without color. Okra – Red Velvet, this variety in particular – is an impressive 5′ tall architectural plant in the edible landscape. See the obvious indication that okra is a member of the Hibiscus family? (Hibiscus esculentus)

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A Bad Sign

Why is this image "pixellated"? It's because the image was cropped and enlarged. Would you attempt a close-up with an iPhone lens?

Why is this image “pixellated”? It’s because the image was cropped and enlarged. Would you attempt a close-up with an iPhone lens?

When a Northern Copperhead is lying in the path, it’s prudent to change direction. Although it’s one of three venomous snake species in Virginia a bite is rarely fatal to humans, but the bite can cause extreme pain and tissue damage. Most bites occur when the snake is either accidentally stepped on or an attempt is made to pick it up for removal or destruction. The Northern Copperhead has an important role in controlling rodent populations – reducing crop damage and rodent-spread diseases. If you spend any time in natural settings it pays to learn to identify snake species.

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Woodworks in Progress

A planned gift for my son, in honor of his completion of U.S. Army basic officer training at Ft. Benning, GA.

The basic components.

The basic components.


Mixing and matching grains and textures.

Mixing and matching grains and textures.


Three coats of oil & urethane.

Three coats of oil & urethane.


Nearly finished product. It's a tray/bowl/stand.

Nearly finished product. It’s a tray/bowl/stand.

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The Rockets Red Flare

"Red Flare" tropical water lily, family Nymphaeaceae. Location: Reflecting pond at entrance to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden conservatory.

“Red Flare” tropical water lily, family Nymphaeaceae. Location: Reflecting pond at entrance to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden conservatory.

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Carota Comet

Best carrot yield yet, in terms of carrot shape. There may be just enough time to sow more before frost. In the spirit of Where’s Waldo, find the forked carrot.

The stubby carrots aren't the result of dense soil... they're a cultivar called "Atlas" from Johnny's Seeds. Atlas is described as a "small, round Parisian Market type."

The stubby carrots aren’t the result of dense soil… they’re a cultivar called “Atlas” from Johnny’s Seeds. Atlas is described as a “small, round Parisian Market type.”

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Gourd Gosh

We often say a weed is just a plant growing in the wrong place. There are also the happy accidents, where volunteer plants provide interest – like these long neck ornamental gourds from a mystery squash plant. Of course, it took a little patience to wait to see what fruit would be produced (and if edible or not), and luckily enough space was available for the sprawling vine.

Long neck gourd cluster.

Long neck gourd cluster.

Long neck gourd close-up.

Long neck gourd close-up.

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Another Beautiful Bean Tree

Mimosa, a native of China introduced to the U.S. in 1745, is a legume, just like the Redbud, a member of plant family Fabaceae. Beautiful in the summer, but they crowd out natives. Like all legumes the mimosa tree fixes nitrogen in the soil, but robs other plants of available nutrients. For horticulturists it’s a love/hate thing, mostly the latter.

Yes, saturation & contrast have been pumped up.

Yes, saturation & contrast have been pumped up.


This image has a strange level of detail for two reasons: the wind is blowing (soft focus); the iPhone zoom enlarges pixels.

This image has a strange level of detail for two reasons: the wind is blowing (soft focus); the iPhone zoom enlarges pixels.

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