I was looking forward to seeing the Super Flower Blood Moon lunar eclipse on Sunday night but a storm blew in instead. I've never seen anything like this storm. There was a non stop lightning show lighting up the sky through the window. Ol' grandpa was somehow fast asleep during the entire storm. So, me and the dogs watched the light show when suddenly a white swirling cloud of water hit the bedroom windows, covering the night lights beyond. As debris and water began hitting the windows, we couldn't hear much else other than the occasional booming thunder that didn't seem to keep up with the amount of lightning. It was wild to say the least!! After about an hour or so, the storm subsided to a shower. The electricity went out at some point. Thankfully, it was restored before the sun came up.
We lost about ten huge oak trees. Some of them were very old and some were literally twisted, and others were broken in half at mid trunk! It's the strangest thing, I'm still boggled by how it happened. Even as an insurance adjuster for 14 years, I never saw anything like this and I saw some pretty astonishing damage caused by tornados and hurricanes. It must have been some weird tornadic disturbance to say the least. The damage seems very random and indiscriminate, yet isolated, if that makes any sense! How does it happen to twist an 80 foot tree in half, yet just a few feet away there are two little okra seedlings sitting in a pot on the patio table undisturbed.
In spite of all that, I am, we are so very greatful there was no serious damage to us or our home. Well, the roof lost some shingles but that's it.
Just a few feet from the patio, this picture doesn't do justice to the size of this tree that was standing about 70 feet high.
Or this 80 footer with a massive trunk that was broken in two, like a stick! Can you see that big vine draped across? lol! I think it's Virginia Creeper.
The other half still standing.
This big old tree was taken down at the roots! For reference, those trees in the background are over 100 feet tall. This same tree was hit by lightning a couple of years ago. You can see where that half was sawed off.
Anyhow, now we're doing clean up of all the debris (Well, I'm taking a break). Grandpa's on the roof repairing shingles and the dogs are laying inside enjoying the AC. The cat's taking his usual afternoon nap.
There's a lot more activity at the hummingbird feeders since the storm. I don't think they blew in since the storm came from the northwest but I don't know. It's strange times.
The Chitalpa tree is blooming for them.
Which reminds me to mention about the sugar. We've been mainly buying the same store brand of sugar for several years BUT this year it no longer says "pure cane sugar" anywhere on the bag. I know it used to because I still have a bag left from last year and it's right there. Now even on the ingredients it just says "sugar". I examined the bag because there were so few hummingbirds here and I wondered if there was something wrong with the nectar I was making them... that might very well be why some of them moved on. They won't touch beet sugar. But no telling what they are calling sugar these days.
Which now brings up a little rant of mine:
I remember last year going to the store to pick up some cokes because the kids were coming to visit. I was shocked when I looked at the label to discover it's now made with high fructose corn syrup! I checked further and saw that nearly all of the soft-drinks are now made with that crap. I asked my son and daughter-in-law when they started making soft drinks with high fructose corn syrup. They asked "what's that". So sad! People don't even know what they're putting in their bodies anymore! It's like one of the worst things to put in your body!! Causing so many health issues! I mean sugar is bad for you but that stuff is worse! That probably explains why both of them have become overweight over the past few years. That and canola oil. Two of the worst things to put in your body and they're probably having both every single day!
I told them to check out this article about "The (Not-So) Hidden Dangers of Canola Oil"
Okay, that's enough rant for one day. I could go on and on...and I probably will again another time.
I should plant those two little okra plants today.
Now that the storm rearranged the view from our bedroom window, I could see the moon more clearly last night. It had a beautiful rainbow surrounding it. I should have gotten up to take a picture but no, I didn't.
The black bellied whistling ducks enjoying the view.
Going to cook. I harvested the mustard greens. I noticed some beetles had shown up so I'm beating them to eating those greens. HA!
Japanese Giant Red
Psalm 25:4 Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.
Happy first day of spring! It's currently 65° and it looks like it's going to be a beautiful day.
Yesterday I repotted all of the tomato plants and put them outside on the back patio table to harden off. Hopefully it won't get too cold at night but if it does, I'll just put them inside or in the garage for the night. According to the plant out dates for this area, I'll plan to put them in the ground around the 7th of April.
We're down to one lonely chicken, she was the youngest of the group and she's near 9 years old. I'm looking at getting some new chicks and a rooster this year. But for now, she seems to have befriended one of the dogs. Haha! He's not very happy about it really. She follows him, he moves away, she follows him again! And so on...
Getting ready to go to a meeting at our community center today. The topic we've been discussing for about a year now, solar farms DO NOT belong in rural communities where they will clear cut the trees and destroy the natural habitat. It saddens me to think of what would happen to all the wildlife. Solar farms have their place, I suppose, but they would be better suited in the area where the energy will be going, on rooftops in the big cities; or out in the deserts of west Texas where nothing grows. But, it's not about what's best, it seems, but more about corruption and self enrichment for the few. As per usual, those put in power no longer serve the people they're supposed to represent. Micah 3:11 (ESV) Its heads give judgment for a bribe; its priests teach for a price; its prophets practice divination for money; yet they lean on the Lord and say, "Is not the Lord in the midst of us? No disaster shall come upon us."
Proverbs 17:23 : The wicked accept bribes in secret to pervert the course of justice.
Another Cardinal in the Vitex tree this morning.
A family of red-eared slider turtles sunning along the edge of the pond.
A full moon last night
A gift from the grandchildren, orchids in full bloom. I love them.
It's getting close. All the deciduous trees are still bare and there's still no obvious signs of green on the understory trees but I can feel, it's getting close. Spring is about to burst into action. After a recent rain, I could hear the tree frogs croaking in the forest. The bright yellow daffodils are putting on a show along the side of the road, green is poking its head through the earth and the birds are out in full force. Early this morning I watched a crow gathering twigs from a Willow Oak tree and flying off into the woods to make a nest, no doubt. The Phoebes are back, fixing up the nest (we left from last year) under the back porch. See there, spring is on the way!!
Feeding the birds for a little while longer...
Purple Finches, two males
I'm guessing that's a female purple finch on the left. And a cute little chickadee in the background on the right.
Dark Eyed Junco, male Cardinal and a White Throated Sparrow.
I'll have to come back with the name of this one...
Poser!! So funny.
Yuck! Eastern Tent Caterpillar egg case.
Spider eggs? on the ground.
Nature is full of love and truth. But they go together, love and truth. I pray that we all find them.
Trout Lily, a harbinger of spring----
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
p.s. HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!
Woke this morning to 30° temperature outside, which is a lot warmer than yesterday. I started planting yesterday, the first seeds sown of the year. And, started this blog post but didn't finish it. This is yesterday's report:
Sunday, February 13, 2022:
It was a cold 19° this morning that warmed up with the sun and now it's 62°, a perfect day to start seed sowing.
Although I didn't sow as many seeds as I wanted to, as usual, it's a start and very satisfying.
Here's what's started. The tomatoes are sitting under the runner lights on the kitchen counter. The peppers are in zip lock bags on top of the stand up freezer where the heat from the motor is just warm enough to prompt the seeds to germinate. Once the peppers have sprouted, I'll put them, along with the tomatoes, on the south facing windows of the sun room until they can be planted outdoors...
Amy's Sugar Gem (cherry)
West Virginia Sweet Meat
Black Sea Man
Perth Pride, a dwarf variety
Ray's Pusa Jwala
And two varieties of orange bellpeppers:
All of the peppers will probably end up in pots again. Peppers do well in pots, even with multiple plants of each kind together. I think they actually like growing in groups which works out great for me; less containers to contend with but more fruit!! DOUBLE WIN!
DH, aka Grandpa loves this time of year, when starter plants show up all over the kitchen counters. Well, okay, he doesn't love it but he doesn't complain much as long as it doesn't interfere with his meals! HA!
Now here it is already February 14th, Valentine's Day and this is my first post of the year. I really want to post a picture of this beautiful Cardinal. There are lots of birds around! One of my joys, is sitting outside watching and listening to all of the birds in the trees. That reminds me; a couple of weeks ago I looked out the window early one morning to find at least a dozen cardinals dining on the seeds of Agrimonia eupatoria . That was such a wonderful surprise because up until that day, I hadn't been seeing many cardinals. Although, I shouldn't be surprised they like agrimony seeds since the chickens like them too.
A cute female cardinal
I'd like to grow more veggies again this year. They're so much better when you grow them yourself. Plus, it'll be nice to have fresh veggies for when the grandchildren come to visit. That reminds me of the book of Daniel in the bible. When Daniel was taken into captivity in Babylon as a young man, he didn't want to defile himself with the royal food and wine and asked the guard if he and his friends could be given nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. The guard agreed to it for ten days and after ten days, Daniel and his friends looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.
I think I'll send my oldest grandson a message today to read The Book of Daniel. He's really into body building and he'll probably enjoy the inspiration.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:8
The weather is up and down here. One day's it's freezing and the next day it's up in the high 70's. It's cold and rainy this morning. Hubby's outside burning a pile of dead limbs and twigs. There's several trees starting to die that will need to be dealt with. One is close to the house so it will be the first to go. It's always sad to lose a tree.
I took this picture just before the freeze. It's a Viceroy butterfly. Viceroy does a pretty good impression of a Monarch butterfly, except the black line across the hind wings.
The Holy Basil has died back now. I always leave it to flower for the bees. They just love it! I was about to pull it all up when I noticed there were some little birds in there eating either the seeds or bugs... not sure but decided to leave it for them. I'll probably be sorry come spring when an endless supply of seedlings start to pop up. Oh well, I can just pull them and use them for tea or something. Think of it as a win win.
With winter coming on, it's probably a good idea to keep the old immune system strong. Sitting here this morning, remembering how it used to be, not so long ago, when we relied on our immune system to get us through a cold or the flu. I'd gather some fresh vegetables and herbs and make a big pot of soup. We'd all take extra zinc and vitamin C, and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. These days it seems as if common sense has gone by the wayside. But I digress...
Did I show you a picture of the radishes I grew? China Rose and German Giant. Did you know that radishes are rich in vitamin C? They're really good for you and since they contain anthocyanins, they have anti viral and anti inflammatory abilities. And much more!
Company is coming right after Christmas. I'm really looking forward to see my son and his beautiful family. My oldest grandson is a "maybe" and I'm hoping he will show up too. So, besides shopping for some seasonal fruits and vegetables, I'll be making cookies and pies this week. It's the holidays! Oatmeal chocolate chip with walnuts is everyone's favorite with chocolate-hazelnut cookies a close second.
I think I'll make a big pot of vegetable soup.
So, I've been reading the Book of Luke. I thought it was a good choice since it's the story of Jesus. And interestingly, it has twenty four chapters, leading up to Christmas.
Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men."