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  • Archive for January, 2013

    Ocala National Forest

    At work yesterday Fleetwood Mac came on the radio, Gold Dust Woman, and I was immediately transported back to Ocala National Forest and our short stop at the 88 Store, where we picked up our maildrop, showered, and ate ice cream and drank sodas. Gold Dust Woman didn’t come on the radio but Gypsy did, but I think any time Steve Nicks’ voice comes on the radio I will think about Florida and backpacking.

    Oddly enough when I went to pull up the photo on Flickr it said it was taken on January 31, 2011. How’s that for intuition?

    I also like this rendition by Gov’t Mule feat. Grace Potter.

    Pineapple Lily

    Back in Florida I grew a pineapple lily, I think I got in a trade, in a pot for several years until we sold all of our plants when we moved away. I’ve been drooling over some that I’ve been seeing lately at a few local nurseries and finally last weekend I broke down and bought one at Arbor Gate when we went to their fruit tree sale (got an apricot….and a magnolia, I know, not a fruit tree but we need to replace a tree we cut down).

    Pineapple Lily

    I have no idea which species or hybrid of Eucomis this is as the pot wasn’t labeled.

    Pineapple Lily
    I’m not sure as to their hardiness but they are from south Africa so I would guess their more inclined for warmer USDA growing zones. Maybe in cooler climates growing in pots and bringing them indoors during the winter would work.

    This beauty will be going in our new flower garden in a few weeks!

    IMG_0044

    IMG_0042

    IMG_0041

    IMG_0040

    IMG_0039

    Between one of our neighbors and our property is a raised flower bed lined in brick. Part of it is falling down and it straddles the property line. Eventually we’ll remove the bed—another project for another month—but several clumps of bulbs came up a month or so ago and now they are finally blooming. Turns out they appear to be paperwhites. We’ll likely relocate the ones that are on our side to another part of the yard. Aside from some other random plants in the bed there’s also a dogwood which is unfortunately not on our side. I bet it’ll be pretty come spring!

    So happy for warm weather and lengthening days!

    Finished compost bin!

    We finished the compost bin last weekend which is a nice weight off our shoulders. Slowly, slowly, the gardening side of the yard is coming together. Our next big projects will be amending our future flower bed and then building our raised vegetable beds out front. Those will take up the next several weeks at which point we’ll return inside to renovate our laundry room and finish putting our baseboards in the downstairs living and dining areas.

    And then we’re going camping in March and April ’cause I’m tired of being cooped up.

    Icelandic Turtleneck----2/3 done
    I haven’t been working on it straight, but if I can put in a couple of hours a night for a few nights in a row I get a lot done. It also helps when I get to a point that says ‘Repeat round 9 for 8(9,9,10,10) more times’. The parenthesis correspond to the appropriate pattern size one is making. If round 9 was easy then it makes the next 9 rounds easy too.

    Unfortunately I have 19 more rounds to do and my brief skimming ahead at them makes it appear that they won’t be mindless, I’ll have to count stitches and pay attention, likely because I’ll be adding width here and there as it descends down to the waist.

    Icelandic Turtleneck----2/3 done
    So far I am liking it and I think it fits pretty well but I am seeing a little bit of the puckering that Kim Werker saw in hers but not nearly as bad and I hope as the piece finishes that it will work out ok. Part of the problem is that there is no strict front or back to this which I think is a little frustrating, there should have been some decreases tucked into the back of the pattern somehow.

    I’ll also likely add at least one round to the sleeves to fill in some of the underarm gap, particularly if I plan on wearing this without a layering shirt underneath. Otherwise I think it is looking pretty good so far!

    It’s funny, Chris was seriously concerned about my yarn supply for this project but I’d told him I had another skein in my studio in case I ran out of this one. And now he keeps asking me if I’m *still* on the same skein as when I started, and surprisingly I am. I bought the yarn from someone who hand dyed it several years go and initially I wasn’t sure which size I was going to go with, the one I’m doing now or a size smaller. I bought for more just in case and I’m glad I did as it is working out well. If I don’t crack into the other skein I’ll be making some socks out of it later!

    Hoping to have it wrapped up by this weekend so I can focus on something else for awhile.

    Clematis texensis

    Clematis texensis

    Clematis texensis

    Clematis texensis

    Clematis texensis

    Clematis texensis

    Clematis texensis

    Clematis texensis

    First we were into passiflora (still are), but now we’ve found clematis! This is another game of once you see one plant you start seeing them everywhere! These were shot at Lost Maples State Natural Area in November.

    +Information via the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. They say blooming time is March through July….well, November is quite outside of that window so I don’t know it if was a freak of nature or what for them to be blooming at that time of year.
    +There are some cultivars of this species apparently, Duchess of Albany, Princess Diana, Gravetye Beauty were a couple I saw online.

    mailbox
    A couple of months ago the mailbox that our house came with was halfway knocked off its post. One of our neighbor’s was knocked off as well. At first I thought a: Drunk Driver or b: Teenagers With Too Much Time On Their Hands. But then Chris saw the deep scrape marks in the asphalt and decided it might have been the city lawnmower guy when he was mowing the ROW area.

    No matter, we wanted a new mailbox anyway and it took us forever to decide on one. I don’t like generic mailboxes. I don’t mind the ones bricked in but our house isn’t brick so it would look strange. Florida has a lot of manatee mailboxes and other assorted tropical mailboxes but I think they would be out of places in a pine woodland setting.

    Chris searched online and we went to a couple of different places to look for one we both thought would be distinctive enough before he found this one. It is simple but elegant and something that I thought would suit our house.

    mailbox2
    We got the cedar post at the big-box-toolstore and Chris also put the bronze top on it.

    And to keep up with being distinctive, Chris found Haitian Metal Steel Drum Art for house numbers, so once that arrives it’ll be complete. That shop has some really interesting pieces of art that we may have to look into later on.

    I like it! Let’s just hope no one runs into this one!

    icelandicturtleneck3
    Last week my first Interweave Crochet magazine in awhile came and it ignited my need for crocheting immediately. Chris might tell you I went a little loopy. It really was that my creative energies were instantly channeled and I didn’t want to do anything else but do everything and anything creative right-this-minute.

    It was lunch time and I had to go back to work.

    So, I waited until Friday evening and decided I was going to start the Icelandic Turtleneck from the Crochet Me book. I actually started this once before three years ago when I was in Florida.

    icelandic turtleneck wip
    Original attempt. I frogged this and started over. I’d missed counted and it was looking funky, plus I knew that the next time I picked up yarn might be awhile and I wouldn’t remember where I started, so in a messy ball it went. I have to thank my brother for winding up a lot of this for me….I believe we were camping in the fall of 2010 after we got back from the AT….I think the rat’s nest of yarn must have bothered him.

    icelandicturtleneck2

    icelandicturtleneck1
    As much as I have hopes to have this wrapped up rather quickly, we’ll just have to see. As long as the pattern doesn’t throw any brain tricking directions and I don’t get lost in counting my stitches, I should be good to go.

    I’ve made two other tops from this book: Lace top, and 5 o’clock tank.

    Back to stitching…

    Maurandella antirrhiniflora

    Maurandella antirrhiniflora

    Maurandella antirrhiniflora

    Maurandella antirrhiniflora

    Maurandella antirrhiniflora

    How ’bout those pearly whites, there?

    Chris had heard about snapdragon vines before and I *think* maybe we have seen them at a nursery or something, but we were walking the trails at Lost Maples State Natural Area a couple of months ago when Chris bent down to check out a plant that he thought could be the snapdragon vine. Well, all it took was verifying that it was indeed the plant for us to realize that it was *everywhere*. Funny how plants blend right in and pop out at the right moment only to be seen everywhere you look.

    A pretty interesting native, don’t you think?

    +Information from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
    +Information from Aggie Horticulture

    We got up early from our campsite in order to take our time driving back home, a good five hour drive without stops. On our way into Vanderpool we had seen several plant nurseries and other random places we wanted to stop, so in order to do that we arose early while the fog was still lingering and the crowds were snug in their sleeping bags.

    It would be an easy hike out along mostly flat trail once we descended the bluff. Our exit route was via Can Creek and the West Trail, merging with the East Trail and dumping back out at the main entrance road.

    lm16
    We arrived at our first stop, the spring, and took a few photos. It was very peaceful and the creek bed running the other direction from where we were going looked like a good place to snoop around if we’d had the time.

    lm15

    lm14

    lm13

    lm12

    lm11

    lm10

    lm9
    I think this is too deeply lobed to be Passiflora lutea, so I’m going with Passiflora affinis.

    lm8

    lm7

    lm6
    Near the junction of the east and west trails we found a small water fall and poked around there. Passing by campsite C was hard though, the smells of breakfast wafting through the air was enticing. This is the closest tangible walk-in spot for people with car camping gear. The trail on the way out there is relatively smooth and a cart could easily be utilized. So, everyone had their big camping stoves and the good food at this place!

    lm5

    lm4

    lm2

    lm1

    *And* that is it! *Phew* I’m sorry it took forever-and-a-day to get this written up, and I’ll apologise even more when I finally get to finishing up our trip to Washington state from August. At the end of most days the last thing I feel like doing is sitting down and working on photos when I’ve already spent 8 hours behind a computer. Sometime soon I’ll wrap up that hike and get it out for the world to see. I’ve made a new resolution to start using a point and shoot more often on hikes instead of taking the ‘good’ camera…less processing and easier uploading.

    Someday we’ll go back to Lost Maples but for now there are plenty of other places to explore!

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