This blog is about my garden and the outdoors. I am new to photography but I am trying to show some of the pretty things that grow here in Michigan. I love the wild things who visit me and I dont mind if they eat a bit here and there. I like it more if they let me take their picture. As time goes on I think I will try to show you around the beautiful area that I live in as well as my garden. I try to use my own pictures as much as possible but will also use pictures from the web. If I inadvertently use your photo or work without permission please email me and I will remove it or give credit if you prefer. I will give credit when I know who the owner is. I would ask that anyone using my pictures do the same.
... I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.......Psalm23:6

Thursday, October 16, 2014

HoneyCrisp...............

My favourite apple is now the Honeycrisp. Its delightfully sweet/sour just the right combination for me. It is a cultivated apple. What isn't these days. It was created at the University of Minnesota. It has much larger cells than most apples, which rupture when bitten to fill the mouth with juice. The skin is tough I think but they say the skin is good for you so I eat it anyway. It probably has a lot to do with it's juiciness. It is quite expensive relatively to other apples. There are reasons for this.
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From the time an apple tree is planted, it takes at least five to six years for it to produce fruit in commercial quantities. As demand has peaked in recent years, supply has lagged behind, sending prices up.
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there are added costs of growing this particular variety. Honeycrisp trees are somewhat needier than other types, requiring extra levels of care and maintenance that drive up the total cost of growing them.They need to grow in cooler climates and so Michigan is ideal as are other northern, cooler states.
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The apple is patented by the University of Minnesota, which this time around is attempting to maintain quality control by licensing the trees only to those growers located in ideal climates. Other apples have been ruined by growing in less than ideal places. I think that Granny Smith have declined a great deal since it was my favourite apple at one time. I then went on to Gala but that is only good when it is first picked in season. Honey Crisp is supposed to last well if kept cool.
We had a program on the local news that was telling about these apples. They said that unlike other apples they have to be harvested at least 3 times during the season rather than just once with all others. Makes it higher maintenence. I found that interesting. I am willing to pay the extra cost to have something I like and buy just 3 or 4 at a time. I have found myself eating apples again.
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I have to say that this litte extra makes it even better and I can even get Tristen enthused Mr won't eat anything

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fungi....................

We took Tristen to the park the other day, and then for a walk in the woods. We saw so many mushrooms (fungi) that I am thinking we need to learn what is edible and what is not.
Anyway, Laura came over, cant remember why but we ended up going to the store. It was such a lovely day that as we were going past the park, and Tristen had been so good.........well we stopped.
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HE soon found someone to play with. That went well until they thought about some judo or whatever it was they were just starting...........I dont think so. So we thought that would be the best time for a walk. Tristen was enjoying finding some pretty mushrooms/toadstalls/fungi.........I will call them mushrooms for this post.
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He was enjoying the praise. Because of the rain there were mushrooms all over the place.
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Some of them are truly beautiful. Meanwhile Tristen was having fun running down hills and sliding around. I should try to remember to change his clothes after school. Sigh........whats the point, he grows out of them so quick it hardly matters
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Apart from finding mushrooms he managed to find two Garter snakes. Had to get their pictures, cute little things. Very keen to get away......
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One of them was quite big for a Garter snake. I am not sure how big they get but this one was very nice and healthy looking. This guy looks like he is frowning
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The woods were lovely, it was cool that day (Tuesday) but for me I was comfy without a coat. The sun was warm. That will change very soon.
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There is just so much life in the woods. When we were watching the snake, some people were out hiking, so Tristen runs up the trail yelling "People people come and see I found a snake"........he has no inhibitions, He loves people, he loves talking to people. I don't know what to make of that just yet.
More fungi
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I was totally amazed at the variety. I really only posted a small part of what we saw. I never have the time to show everything, besides it would become tedious. There was so much fruit in the woods.
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Apples, grapes and berries. A good year for all of that. The ground was thick with apples under the trees. Long ago orchards gone wild and now in the middle of woodlands. Maybe Johnny Appleseed went by all those years ago.
Meanwhile I told Tristen that all the fruit and seeds that we were seeing were GOD'S promice for next year. That as long as there are seeds and fruit with pits inside, things will continue to grow and we will have food.
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At leat this year the bear and the animals that hibernate will fill their tummies before they sleep.
Apparently there have been quite a few bear sightings this past week or so. Well I want to see one, I want pictures. With Tristen in the woods, not a lot of chance of that LOL.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Things we find in the woods.............

One of the things I love to do when we go for walks........there are so many things, but I like to look for unusual things. Not unusual in the normal sense but well...........like this for example.
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Such beauty in the small things around us that most do not see, I should not generalize, I mean things we often pass by without seeing. The shape of seed pods or dried up things like this Queen Anne's lace
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Fungi, always worth a second look
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Some other small things we had to be careful not to step on, but they moved quickly so not too much danger there.
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This guy was surprised, so were we because Reina saw him first.........sssssssssssnake she yelled. Just a garter snake Reina, you scared him witless.
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Such a little beauty, I was sort of surprised he was not holed up somewhere by now. I wonder when they hibernate and where.
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The next little guy was making a racket until he saw that we had seen him.....
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Probably storing food for winter, We are always happy to see wildlife because the kids make so much noise we imagine everyone for miles fleeing the scene. So we pay attention to detail. Even the trees are beautiful in more ways than we could imagine
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This one had his eye on us..........can you see it?
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The seed pods give us assurance that Spring will come again and that God will provide for us another year. In that is great beauty
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We left the woodlands and were fortunate to see these guys having and evening snack in a field. We got one picture and they went silently into the trees.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

State Hospital trails................

So on my bluebell woods blog I wrote about the first part of our day. We stopped at the new visitors center to explore what was going on. We eventually got off on our walk. Laura had come by because it was such a nice day, so off we went.
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There are miles of trails above the State hospital. The fields look down over the town. Some of the trails are steep and slippery.
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Some were blocked by windfalls.Note my footwear, I was not expecting to have to climb haha,
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Tristen got through OK.
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He enjoyed climbing on the rocks and trees. We enjoyed the walk other than the slippery steep paths, that was fun but for me rather iffy, hard for me to see what I was doing and my glasses kept steaming up.
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We found a bear in the woods (no not really)
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I personally needed some exercize after the birthday party at the weekend. Still have not recovered from that.
Some of the things that we saw in the woods...........one beautiful toadstall/mushroom
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Plenty of flowers left and the bees are still bizzy.
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One day I will try to figure out the names of all the different bees I find. Tristen found a poor old grasshopper who got squished on the path
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Its was a fun day with a few laughs
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We saw a friend out jogging with his dog but I bet he didn't go on the trails we did haha...............Tristen enjoying the stream
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The sky was beautiful and the fields were going fully into Autumn.
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Queen Annes lace is gone till Spring
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we will continue to go on hikes as long as we can, till the snow falls. I would love to go all winter but I don't have and can't afford snow shoes or skiis so.........hoping for a very long Autumn season. Taking a break......
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Just one more picture, this is at the visitors center and were the only deer we saw that day
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Lots of great art work with more to come.......its going to be great there. Can't wait to go back. Think I will use some proper shoes next time. I am always telling Laura to do that haha.