Winter Aconites

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These are called “winter aconite” for a reason …

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they bloom during the winter (today’s February 11).

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The flowers bloom in small clusters

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and in spreading groups.

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Their yellow blooms add color to the winter days, and also offer nectar to any flying insects.

The Clouds Continued

This is the second blog of the clouds that were just east and south of our house.

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I wonder if the clouds had conversations while they formed.

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They grew/enlarged quickly, changing almost constantly.

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I was alone and in constant “awe” of the event.

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Now I wonder just how many different kinds of spirits it took for this display?

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I hope I’m invited to the next meeting of the cloud spirits.

Clouds to Admire

I went out in the backyard yesterday afternoon for a walk around the yard.

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I didn’t expect to see mountains of clouds. Some of the clouds were partially hidden behind trees in the east and south.

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The clouds continued to grow and expand.

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 Some of the clouds were only in the south and southeast.

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It almost felt like they would pass over me, low enough for me to touch or disappear into.

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It would’ve been nice if I’d been out watching the clouds approach and forming.

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Being outside, alone, it almost felt like I was in them. Like they were a gift.

Evening Light

Our days have been cloudy for what seems like a long time…

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which made this sunset even more attractive …

It was such an unusual sunset with such unusual shapes and colors.

A Pine Tree … That Foams!

Our weather seems to be stuck on cloudy and wet … for months.

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I didn’t know pine trees could ooze foam, until today when I sat by the picture window, working on a blog.

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A light rain fell most of this morning.

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I went out three times to take pictures of the foam, since I’d never seen such a thing.

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I learned that water that runs down the trunk is called “stemflow.” Pine resin has been used to make soap and has some foaming properties.

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Salts, acid and particles from the air accumulate on the bark.

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Rain mixes these with water as it flows toward the ground.

An Aligator … in the Tree

 

 

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I have tried and tried and tried to get a picture of the alligator in the oak tree in our front yard. It’s about 10 feet up, on the east side of the tree. My previous pictures have turned out too light or too dark and way too blurry. The different lighting changes the appearance of the alligator. I’ve even taken pictures while in the living room siting on the couch.

  I feel much better now that I have proof of the alligator in our oak tree,

A Foliose Lichen

I find all kinds of lichens when I pick up sticks in the yard.

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The larger lichen with the leafy appearance is a foliose lichen.

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Blister lichen, with the dark disc-shaped fruiting bodies, is also a foliose lichen. The leafy part shows better in the upper right of the picture.

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The black “hairs” along the edges of the lichen are called “cilia.” I seldom see them on lichens.