Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mears Garden Picture contest-Week 13- February 27, 2011- Hello reality

Reality came back this week. Winter is back. There was no yard work this weekend. We now have a persistent snow cover, of just a few inches. And there is little melting at the moment.
On the positive note maybe the moles will decide to go further south. I have gardened for 25 years without thinking a lot about critters. I have to rethink that position. Many moles showed up last fall, leaving my little grassy places in tatters. Well not in tatters, but in some other bad shape. Maybe lumps. I think you know what I mean.
When I got out in the garden last week, the moles had already started their mole work. I have to look at mole repellants. I would have to repel them somewhere else. I can’t exactly live trap them and take them out to the country. I am not sure my neighbors will want me directing them at their property. So what is a person to do? I will take suggestions.

The nice thing about the picture contest is it is not real. You do not get your feet muddy looking at pictures. There is no mole picture in the contest. It is fantasy. After the reality of this week, I am all for a little fantasy.

In last week’s contest the winner was the Japanese iris.
Here is the full voting:
Japanese Iris 27 for 38.6%
Orchid cactus 22 for 31.4%
Daylily 11 for 15.7%
Crocuses 10 for 14.3%
Total voting 70

I should add that the Orchid cactus, on the strength of the strong second place finish, advances to the next round as a wild card selection. There are 12 winners and 4 wild cards. That gives us 4 weeks of this next round and then one final week about the first of April.

So what about this first week of the second round.

First up is the Daylily winner from week 9, San Ignacio. Somehow daylilies seem far away today.

This next picture seems right at home, as I look out the window. The winner from week 1 was the snowdrop. I have no real time snowdrops to report today. They are all covered with the 2 inches of snow on the ground. Maybe next week they will be there.

Then there is the blue Siberian Iris, the winner from week 6, the week of the heavyweights. Blue is always popular. In the next two months we will have lots of blue in the garden. I am really looking forward to squill. It not only looks good but also has a good name.

Finally there is this daffodil duo. This picture advanced as a wild card from week 4. Where are the daffodils from reality? Daffodils are now in the grocery store. That does not count. My mother reports they are up 3-4 inches in southern Missouri. No blooms are reported yet, even from southern Missouri. Soon they will be here. That is what we need to hold on to at this point. If we know something is going to happen in the future, is that reality or fantasy. Deep…huh?

There you have the first week of the competition of the winners.
Vote away.


For your bonus pictures this week I have two pictures that almost made it into the contest. Here is one of the toad lilies, a gem from the fall.

Here is also another late year picture, the castor bean, showing off its seedpods. Castor beans are so interesting. Out of the plant comes castor oil, a commodity that I saw is being sold as a mole repellant. I actually wonder if I could just drop one of these seedpods down the mole hole if that would work as well. Of course you also can get ricin, a deadly poison, sometimes used by bad people. This just suggests that I should not be trying to extract the castor oil myself.

Finally I leave you with this inspiration from last March 10. I was in the garden doing yard work. It was mid afternoon. I thought I heard some geese, far away. We have geese that are here all the time now; flying around often near dawn and dusk, going from one local watering hole to another. They mostly live here all year round.
I started to look around, and finally looked up. There way up in the sky were hundreds of geese, actually headed north. It was amazing. It was like finding the really wild animals after only knowing the tame ones.

These geese should be coming by any day now. I hope I see them again.

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