October Bird Quiz

Can you name this bird? The photo was taken in Colorado in October. I will post the uncropped photo on Saturday, giving you one more chance to identify this bird. The answer will appear at the end of next Monday’s post.

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Rainbow Roses and Unicorns

Rainbow roses! Rainbow chrysanthemums! Unique! Have you seen ads like this?

rainbow mum

20Pcs Rainbow Chrysanthemum Flower Seeds Rare Color Home Garden Bonsai Plant

Rainbow chrysanthemum is colorful, much beautiful than ordinary chrysanthemum.
People planted it in the garden, creating a colorful world.
All you need just a rainbow chrysanthemum to own a coloful garden.
Most beautiful chrysanthemum in the world.

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Noisy! Messy! Pretty?

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The neighborhood seemed quiet this morning. Was it the overcast skies and drizzle muting all sound? Was it that the kids are back in school instead of riding bikes around our cul-de-sac? It took me a bit of thinking before I realized what was missing.

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Don’t Wait. Plant Now.

Plants for sale @Lowe's-CS_2008aug02_LAH_5093If the cooler weather and turning leaves haven’t alerted you, the calendar can’t lie. Tomorrow is the first day of autumn. Can our first frost be far behind? It’s tempting to let the change of seasons put a stop to gardening for the year, but there’s still much to do. (See my previous post on “Putting Your Garden to Bed” for ideas.) Of course we know that many spring-blooming bulbs go in the ground now. But how about perennials, shrubs, and even trees? Can we plant (or transplant) them now? Even for those of us who live in places with cold winters, fall is a terrific time to plant.

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Birding Down Under: The Daintree

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A visit to tropical Australia has been at the top of my bucket list since I was 13. As we headed north on the Cook Highway, I was sure I was about to encounter a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There’s a reason UNESCO has designated this area as a World Heritage site. (Actually, there are four reasons, including geology, “exceptional natural beauty,” “superlative natural phenomena,” and the presence of endangered species.)

That’s a pretty impressive reputation. Would the Daintree live up to my expectations?

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A Visit to Missouri Botanical Gardens

MissouriBotanicalGardens-St.Louis-MO_LAH_3036

Late August isn’t the best time to visit most gardens, but that was when I had the opportunity to visit the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I’ve used their horticultural database for years. It’s one of the most extensive online resources available to those of us who want to learn more about plants. Home gardeners in particular should check out the Plant Finder, which offers helpful information on plants you might grow in your yard (just remember, Missouri isn’t Colorado!). Now I had a chance to see the gardens in person. I could hardly wait! Continue reading

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In Pursuit of Snipes

redwood-forest-santa-cruzHave you ever been on a snipe hunt? These nocturnal adventures are a classic part of summer camp. After explaining that a snipe is a small, furry creature, your counselor hands you and your cabin mates each a pillowcase and a flashlight. Then you’re turned loose in the dark and spooky woods (illustrated at right) to practice your “snipe call.” At various times, your counselor may ask, “Did you hear that?” or “I just got a glimpse—it went that way!” Of course, this sort of snipe is a mythical beast, and you are the butt of a practical joke that the counselors will find hilarious.

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