Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Stepelia Swelling

Things are starting to change

 The upper bud is swelling
 As is the lower one.
 But notice that all the rest are shrinking away.
I wonder why.  Did it need more water? More light? or does the plant just pict the biggest and strongest?
The last time it bloomed there was only one flower but the plant was about half the size.  It only consisted of the part that you see inside the smaller blue planter that sits in the middle of the larger  terra cotta one.
To read the beginning of this series click HERE.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Out in the Dew

Awaking with the morning,
I took hold of my camera and entered the woods just in time to startle a pair of deer enjoying a patch of gold.
 My eyes to feasted on the yellow which surrounded me.
Then I followed the mown path to where it led,
arriving in time for sunrise over the hayfield.

Back in the woods I discovered a nice spray of Nidulariaceae or Birds nest fungi.  It is hard to see the tiny spore-filled "eggs." Each peridia  may contain several of these eggs which, when mature will spray onto neighboring twigs and grass blades.
(For more fungus enjoyment read about Walking with a Fun Guy click on the link)

I really need to learn to walk more quietly.

I seem to be startling too many deer this morning.

Day has come.  It is time to return.  There are apples waiting to become sauce.

One last look reveals a Goldenrod climbing high to peer over the fence into my garden.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dangerous Calm

This past week I traveled down the lower New River to where it merged with the Gauley to become the Kanawha River. Well, to be more specific, I was traveling by car beside the river. Above me, to the south, (yes you read that right)  the New River is a boisterous galloping waterway throwing itself over rocks and boulders as it hurls water toward the Ohio  Valley.  In contrast, the Kanawha is quiet, tamed by locks and dams as well as a much  more gradual grade. 
Such tranquility is obvious in the photo below.

Or is it?

Something seems odd about the shore line on the opposite side but I'm not sure what.

And what about those red balls floating across the river?

We should probably look a little closer

Hmm.m.m. . . ? that shore line does look strangely out of perspective - especially toward the right shore.
The trees seem to be cut off at the bottom.
Oh my!
That's quite a drop off.
That looks man-made, but why? 
to the right of the small dam, above, the water appears smooth but something is definitely out of kilter.
Maybe that building by the road is a clue.  

Back in my car, I drove down the river, past the buildings, to investigate  a little deeper.
The white trimmed, three-story building is the Glenn Ferris Inn.  Just beyond that is a park with public access to the river. 
The building is an old power plant.  The dam we saw above funnels water toward the plant turbines.   Recently the plant has been under renovation.  I pulled in and parked beside the a couple pick-up trucks whose recent occupants had were now hoisting fishing poles over head as they took turns casting into the water below the building we saw in the photo above.
Or watching others fish.  I'm not sure just what is in that basket at the end of that woman's pole.
But we came to look at the water, not people fishing, didn't we?
So what happened to that calm, serene plane of water we viewed upstream?

What happened is that the ground below the river cracked and fell eons ago, forming Kanawha Falls. 

If you weren't cautious about scouting the river, that sudden drop would be quite a  surprise after quietly floating downstream thinking that the excitement of the wild Gauley and New rivers was  behind you.

Such a beautiful day. Seems like a nice place to swim rather than fish.
Well,  maybe not.  Let's just enjoy the rough, tumbling beauty a moment more before we head on down the river toward home.
To go with me as I visit the Sandstone Falls on the New River you may click HERE  or to join me to pay a visit to the New River National River visitor center click HERE.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Stepelia - post 2

Not much change yet in our Stepelia

The two buds, the one far right and the one far left, each look a bit more swollen. What do you think?
 Hopefully there is more to come. Stay tuned!