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Hooded Mergansers

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wearing O'The Green...

And pinks...  and purples...  yellows...  whites.... 

I know it's St Patrick's Day...  and one document shows that my Great-grandmother, Margaret McMahan, was born in Ireland....  (but I haven't been able to verify this)....  So today's blog is about GREEN!

Texas has been in a severe drought for a few years now.  I don't know if in this area the drought is over, but I do know there has been several inches of rain since December.

And now, as a result, the wildflowers are really starting to bloom.

Lady Byrd would be proud! 


The Blue Bonnets, that she loved so much, are starting to bloom.  She was instrumental in the wildflower plantings all along the highways in Texas.  Celeste has huge patches of them starting to bloom right in her yard.  I cannot see a Blue Bonnet and not think of Lady Byrd and the heritage she left in her beloved Texas.

Celeste has other wildflowers blooming as well...



These are just a few of  the flowers blooming today.  I think I'll be investing in a macro lens for my camera....  I just can't capture the detail I would like.  I use Newcomb's Wildflower Identification guide....  (think I left my Peterson's Texas Wildflower Guide in Ohio)...  and I'm not doing real well with some of these ID's.   Doesn't matter...  the flowers are still beautiful to see!

The trees are leafing out here...  just in the past week everything looks GREEN!  I don't know many of the species here...  even the oaks are new to me...

BUT... 

One tree I readily identify

is...
Cercis canadensis - Eastern Redbud

This is one of the prettiest spring trees and one I'm familiar with it because its range is throughout the Eastern United States.  Where Celeste lives, here in Texas, is actually pretty much on the western edge of its natural habitat.

I thought it was in the "legume" (or bean) family, but after checking it out, see that it's family is "Fabaceae".  Guess I'll have to look into that further.  

But the seeds and flowers are edible.  When Bill & I lived on the farm we sold various items at the Farmer's Market for 18 years.  At our Farmer's Market, all produce has to be locally grown.  I used a lot of wild plants to make "fancy" jams and jellies.  The flowers of the Redbud Tree make the most delicate pink jelly with a kind of rose taste.  (I know it's hard to imagine what some flavors taste like...  and even harder to describe).

It's almost past the blooming season already...  leaves are starting to emerge at the end of the twigs. So I was delighted to see them blooming along the roads here in Texas. 


And.......   Just in case I get really busy this week and run out of "blogging" time, we'll be flying out of DFW on March 27 and to San Jose, Costa Rica.  I have been asked what we'll be doing there...

Well, we do have 2 or 3 travel guides and know that we can go to both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans... can go to high elevation or sea level...  and, mostly...  we can see a huge variety of birds and animals.  We tend to stay away from the big cities, we enjoy walking...  and eating....  and just soaking up the local atmosphere and ambience.  So while we have a general idea of what we'll do, we'll probably just play it by ear and see what happens.

If any of you know of something that is a "must see"...  let me know...  we'll check it out.

Okay...
One last picture....

I don't wear jewelry very often, and admit that my taste in stuff is somewhat eclectic   (well, maybe eccentric)...  but this alligator (or lizard or whatever)...  just jumped out of the display case and found a home on my wrist.  Maybe one of these days we'll volunteer again at a refuge where these guys are native....


That's All For Today...




11 comments:

  1. What a fun bracelet!

    We have friends who loved CR so much that they bought retirement property there. Beware. Unless you already have retirement property there, in which case it's too late to beware.

    Enjoy!
    Roxanne
    The Good Luck Duck

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    1. Nope... no property. But we're open for whatever comes along ;-)

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  2. You were right about the redbud being in the legume family, because Fabacaea IS the legume family, or vice-versa. The true name of the family is Fabaceae and it includes all the legumes. Costa Rica is wonderful and I'm sure you'll enjoy every part of it.

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    1. Thanks for that info... I must have been asleep during that class ;-) We've heard great things about CR... I'm getting excited!

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  3. My grandmother, Mary McKeogh, was born in Ireland. I am probably about 1/4 Irish. The redbud is my favorite tree, I didn't know that it is edible.

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    1. I'm not at all certain that my g-grandmother was born in Ireland... but that's what someone put on her death certificate. She died in 1906... I should do more research.... It's pretty amazing what all is edible that we think of as only weeds.

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  4. We've only been to Costa Rica so far as a cruise ship port ... once on the west coast and once on the east. On the east coast, we spent our day exploring the area outside Limon ... Cahuita National Park and a small portion of the Tortuguero Canal ... (photos here: http://eenusa.smugmug.com/Cruises/Panama-Canal-Roundtrip-Coral/Dec-16-Puerto-Lim%C3%B3nCosta-Rica/4133745_KzPNdb#!i=241220027&k=95LAP). Don't have the west coast stop in Puntarenas as well documented, but we loved our day visiting the LaPaz Waterfall Gardens ... a butterfly garden, hummingbirds, and a walk through the rainforest to see five different waterfalls. It was worth the approx. 2-hour bus trip each way. Have a terrific time.

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  5. I've been around Redbud trees forever... I didn't know you could eat them! LOVE the bracelet...

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  6. Great post and interesting info about the Redbud. I would really be interested in some of the "fancy" jam and jelly recipes if you care to share. I hope you enjoy Costa Rica and have lots of pictures to blog. It looks like we are not going to be able to make it to Glen Rose for a visit...maybe next winter our paths will cross. I really like the bracelet...such a fun piece.

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  7. What great pictures! Thanks for sharing.... looking at your photos really revs me up for our trip.

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  8. Your flower pictures are beautiful - it's so nice when the start popping up, isn't it?

    Interesting bracelet - I know what you mean, I don't wear much jewelry, either, but sometimes something just jumps out at me and I have to have it.

    Have a great time in Costa Rica! :)

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