Hedge Balls

During our walk yesterday we found many Hedge Balls.  The balls fall from Hedge trees and when one hits the roof of the car it is pretty startling.

There are a few old myths about Hedge balls.  One is that Hedge balls keep crickets away.   Farmers use to put them in their basements and elsewhere in their homes to prevent crickets from setting up camp.  Legend also has it that the balls keep spiders away.

True or false?

False.  I read further that people found crickets living under the Hedge balls and scientists who have been studying the properties of the Hedge ball have not found evidence that the balls repel spiders.

The Hedge balls may also have been used as pig feed.  I didn’t find anything confirming this though.  And Native Americans used the wood from the Hedge trees to make bows.

Hedge ball lodged in tree branches.

Hedge ball in black and white. I liked the contrast and it looks mysterious.

As part of their science observation, the boys cut a couple of the Hedge balls open. They smelled sweet, had seeds that look like melon seeds, and had a sticky white liquid in them.

Fungus as Art

“Out of damp and gloomy days, out of solitude, out of loveless words directed at us, conclusions grow up in us like fungus: one morning they are there, we know not how, and they gaze upon us, morose and gray. Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in him.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Everyday is an adventure filled with little wonders if we just keep our eyes open for them.  Today’s adventure for our family involved a walk with the purpose of making observations for science classes.  The direction we took was strictly with the intent to observe a tree that we had passed numerous times recently.   Joshua had labeled the tree “the pancake tree”.    Once observing it closely, we decided it could also be referred to as the sea shell tree.  Once we examined the tree we came home and researched the unique yellow-orange growths on the internet.  We discovered that the growths on the tree are sulfur fungus.  It’s amazing how much art can be taken from simple explorations such as the walk we had today.  Over the next few days I’ll post more of our interesting finds.  Some days I’ll have quotes to pair with the images, some days there will only be photographs.  Be sure to check back to see what art nature gifted us with today.

The Pancake Tree

The Art Nature Gifts us With – Little Miracles Abound

The Colors of Fall come in Many Shapes and Sizes

 

Wordless Wednesday

Fall Berries

Fall Berries II

Fall Berries III

 

 

Swallowtail Caterpillar

The Uphill Climb

Hide and Seek

The Contrast in Motion

The End of the Line

This evening when I went out to get parsley from the herb garden I found these interesting, beautiful creatures.  I was not sure if they were caterpillars or some type of pest similar to a tomato worm just visiting to take what remains of the summer herbs.  I  ran inside to research my find and found that the Swallowtail Caterpillar apparently loves to eat Parsley.  The Swallowtail Butterfly drops her eggs on the Parsley plant in July and by mid- September the caterpillars have grown and live off of the plant until time for their transformation.  Nature is so amazing.  Little miracles exist all around us and are just waiting to be discovered.  Keep your eyes open, they are often in disguise.

Just a side note about the photographs.  This afternoon was rainy, and cloudy, and very, very windy.  With that said I wanted to keep the shutter speed as high as possible, wanted to avoid additional noise so kept the ISO at 400, and therefore had to have the aperture pretty open at 5.  As a result, the shallow depth of field and some motion blur give way to images that are not quite crisp, but I don’t think this fact takes away from the overall capture.

Simplicity

Simplicity of living means meeting life face to face. It means confronting life clearly, without unnecessary distractions. It means being direct and honest in relationships of all kinds. It means taking life as it is. – Duane Elgin

Simplicity

Vegetables Aplenty

Fruits of our “gardening” labors.

Eggplant bloom

Small eggplant.

Eggplant we’ll grill for dinner.

Tomatoes – cannot wait until the turn red!

Green beans. We’ve already had enough for a meal.

Zucchini

Carrots

Cucumbers

Lettuce. We’ve already had 6 cuttings with more awaiting. The salads have been delicious!

Listen…Anything Can Be

Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me … Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.  – Shel Silverstein

Every time I see my lavender plant I think of my mother.  We spent a couple of hours visiting Peace Valley Lavender Farm a few years ago.  We each purchased a lavender plant.  To date my plant is healthy and each year I am able to enjoy the beautiful and delicately scented flowers.  Despite the odds that it would not grow or be a healthy plant as I’m not an expert gardener, especially when it comes to lavender, it grew, remained healthy, and gives me great pleasure – Anything Can Be….

To learn more about Peace Valley Lavender Farm, or lavender in general, visit http://www.peacevalleylavender.com/.

Lavender

Pretty Vine

I thought this vine was so pretty.  I loved the way the light was hitting it.  So green and lush.  It’s heart shaped leaves reminded me of this quote:

“I keep my ideal, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at  heart.” – Anne Frank