Sunday, February 22, 2015

Week 10- February 22, 2015 -February is almost over

Complaining about the weather is now officially old. I am tired of being tired of the weather. I declare it gone. For the moment I will no longer talk about....I was about to talk about what I was not going to talk about.
So there.

Here is the positive.
The days really are longer now. It is light out when we get home, even if it is close to 6.

I have seedlings coming up in the basement. I had great germination for the Iceland poppies. In addition I just had some lupine seeds break the surface. It is definitely time to start seeds if I am to put them outside by April 1. I should go to the seed store this weekend. Seed shopping is relatively inexpensive.

My three little orchid cactus seedlings are still there.

Spring training for baseball starts on March 2. That is just about one week away.

How about some pictures?
Your winner last week was the orchid cactus.

The full voting was
Cactus 22
Daylily 18
Orchid cactus 12
Lupine 10

We are now at week 10. That means several things. First February is almost over. This week will bring you the last of the 40 pictures I picked out for the contest. Next week will start the 3 weeks of the playoffs among the winners (plus 2 wild cards.) Then in a month, at the end of March there will be the finals. If it is still cold at that point I will figure something else out.

This week's contest  features the last  pictures from the 40 that I selected from 2014.

Fall crocus
This is a fall crocus. The picture was taken October 25.
Fall crocuses look much like spring crocuses. They bloom from late August until November, depending on the variety.
Fall crocuses provide that wonderful color at a time when the color in the garden is shutting down.
This variety might be the one that provides the saffron spice. That is called Crocus sativus. I think you can click on the blue words and go to more information on this crocus. Those orange things are called stigmas.
The spice is clipped from the orange parts. One can understand why it costs so much. Mr Internet tells me that by the pound, saffron tends to be the most expensive spice on the market.  Requiring more than 150,000 flowers to produce a kilo, the price of saffron can range from $500 to as much as $4,500 per pound.

Jack in the pulpit seedpod

What is this you ask? This is the seedpod from the jack in the pulpit. This wonderful addition to the garden shows up in late summer. This picture was taken on September 8. Each one of those things is a seed that will form a bulb or corm for the jack in the pulpit.

Siberian Iris

 This is a Siberian iris. We think of Siberian iris as being purple. They do come in all sorts of other colors. There are whites and yellows. This blue is striking in a kind of muted sense.

Here is your final picture for the week. There are special moments for me with my garden. I sometimes think of them as "exclamation" moments. That is because sometimes when I go walking around, particularly early in the morning, I see something that makes me exclaim something out loud. Hopefully that something is "wow", rather than "oh dear".
This is a picture of a primrose. This picture was taken on November 8, 2014. That might give you clue for why this flower was the cause of one of those exclamation moments. This flower mostly blooms in May. This rebloom caught me entirely by surprise.

As I think about it, and as you can tell, the leaves were covering up the garden at that point. It was really a remarkable happenstance that this little bit of bright color pushed its way to the surface just when I was wandering past.

Primroses are really special. One could have a list of the flower types that one could pursue with vigor. Primroses would be one such group. But then again, for me that list is long.

I did struggle with which picture of this exclamation mark to include in the contest. Please see the bonus section for the choices. I elected to go with the picture that would begin to capture to scale involved. It was precisely because this flower was so small, lost in all those leaves, that it was so special.

I have also talked about how I like the color contrast in the early spring. Where you have color from a crocus or an aconite, the background is brown or gray. Later in the year the background is green.
Color in the fall can provide that same early spring feature. The fall crocuses also work that way.

Here are your bonus pictures for the week.

Let me give you the other primrose pictures of that flower.

First you should understand the time of year. This was the second week of November. Here is the backyard at that time. The first frost happened about November 1. Most of the leaves are down, even though the Sycamore tree holds onto its leaves until about then.

This is what I first saw.

As I looked closer here were the images along the way. This image at the right just makes me laugh. Is there a flower in that picture? Really? You could make this into a jigsaw puzzle.
The picture right below is of course the one I picked for the contest. Actually I am curious which of these four images of the primrose you like best. I will just put up a second poll this week and ask you. I know that might be hard. Give it your best shot.

Here are more fall crocuses.

Here are more pictures taken after September 1.

I took this picture on November 16. It really did not look exactly like that all winter. But it does look like that today.
Stay warm and enjoy the pictures.

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