Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Petition Drive to Save the Black Capped Vireo


The Black Capped Vireo is on the Federal Endangered Species list and nests in the vicinity of the proposed Wind Turbine Farm 2 1/2 miles from I-40 along the Canadian River. Not only does the Vireo migrate along the River, many other species of birds as well as our beloved Monarchs do as well.

Please Begin individual petitions to insist that Wind Turbine facilities follow the law and take into consideration the survival of Federal Endangered Species.
*The Detroit based Turbine Company has many interests besides safe production of energy... they also have financial interests in Coal production.

Friday, June 24, 2016

We Must Respect Mother Earth

There is nothing to do to stop corporate rape of the land... there is no way to stop corporations from doing anything they choose to do and the latest is a Wind Turbine Farm 1/2 a mile from my homestead.

I am so sad and tired of corporations thinking that our countryside is something they can just use and discard when they are through with their nasty business. It is Mother Earth... the giver and sustainer of life and I love and respect her.

Disrespect is shown in every action taken of late. In recent memory, the hideous corporate animal feeding lots that treat animals in a deplorable manner arived in the '90's. Then the gas/oil industry shuffled in and drilled then without thought poured toxic black chemicals over formerly pristine farmland.

Next as a direct result of drilling came fracking as chemical and salt water was pumped into our inner Earth to dispose of it after using it with great force to break the rocks within earth to find new pockets of gas. With it injection of this waste water came earthquakes; I just helplessly fill cracks in my walls and straighten pictures each day.

Although they are not new, who thought the wind turbines would take over the state. They are everywhere, and not hidden in uninhabitated farmland as they were originally. They have been shoved down our throats and they are not sitting well... we are choking.

All of this is a true blight on Mother Earth.

There has been no conscious respect of her or us from the city-born corporations... the Earth is not seen as a living entity to them, and they are killing her as we watch and weep.

They are due a smiting... one which is long over due. They deserve one... I am waiting and watching.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Fantastic Ferns

Ferns are possibly the oldest plants known to Earth, with the first of this family appearing eons ago in water settings. It took 60 million years for them to leave water to appear in marshlands and many more eons for them begin life standing upright on land. They were on land long before the dinosaurs, making them unbelievably ancient and by the time trees began to flourish, ferns already occupied the forest floor.

Ferns are specialists in adapting to marginal habitats, often succeeding in places where environmental factors limit the success of flowering plants. They may be seen growing in moist shady woodland nooks, remote mountain elevations, dry desert rock faces, bodies of water, or in open fields.

Since the fern is flowerless, reproducing has adapted by producing feathery or leafy fronds which release spores from their undersides. *A spore is a unit of reproduction arising out of a single organism and is used as a mechanism for survival in unfavorable conditions. Ferns also have a self sustainable vascular system for the transport of water and nutrients so they are not as over-simplified as they may appear.

Naturally Ferns figure in folklore with legends about mythical flowers or seeds. In Slavic folklore ferns are believed to bloom once a year during a Mid-Summer night and one who comes upon a 'fern flower' is thought to be guaranteed happiness and riches for the duration of their life. Finnish tradition holds that one who finds and holds the 'seed' of a fern in bloom on Midsummer night will be able to astral) travel to the location where an eternally blazing 'Will o' the wisp' marks the spot of hidden treasure. This spot is protected by a spell that denies access to anyone but the seed bearer, who alone knows of the location.

Among the Native American culture ferns were eaten as greens, boiled into herbal teas, and woven into mats.  Different species were used to treat everything from digestive problems to arthritis and childbirth pains. Virginia moonwort, a type of fern known as 'rattlesnake masterpiece,' was said to cure snakebites and placing it about ones dwelling was said to ward off snakes. Australian Aboriginals used tree ferns to construct dwellings and when dry they harden to the strength of light weight lumber.

Recently there has been a horticultural effort to introduce unknown ferns to gardeners everywhere and this lovely gal is one of them... she made her way into my kitchen this spring and makes me smile everyday.

*Photo: Twisted Lipstick Fern

Monday, June 13, 2016

Celebrate Cannas

The fantastic Cannas have begun their foliage show this year. The spectacular foliage is special for its showy leaves, which arrive at the garden party to provide visual interest before blooming begins. A faithful flower, they will bloom from spring until early frost if spent flowers are removed to prevent formation of seed pods.


The Canna has been the subject of hot botanical debate for years with each continent hoping to take credit for its origin. However it belongs to us alone as it has never been unearthed during archaeological excavations anywhere but on our North American continent. Mentioned in exploration documents in 1576, it was formally introduced to Europe in 1856 where it was named for the Celtic word for cane or reed.

Rather ominously, on our continent the Canna was once called 'Indian Shot' as their small, hard, round seeds resembled the home-made lead shot used in shotguns prior to the twentieth century. The unusual seeds were also used in making jewelry and many attractive antique necklaces contain them, either dyed or natural. Because of this impenetrable seed, the Canna is the only plant in which hibernation of seed is known to occur.

Typically in hot red, orange, yellow, or combinations of the three, hybrids have produced a dazzling array of colors and heights for this exotic and exquisite species. They are natural pollinators and attract both hummingbirds and butterflies making them a welcome addition to every garden. An additional plus is the fact if they are left undisturbed they will bloom faithfully for many carefree years.

Of note is the underground rhizome which contains the largest starch particles of any plant, allowing its agricultural use. Its leaves may be made into paper, its stem fiber is equivalent to jute, its seed provides a lovely natural purple dye, and its flowers have also been fermented to produce alcohol. Smoke from its burning leaves is said to be an insecticidal, and with the Zika virus arriving in
Oklahoma, perhaps sacrificing a few leaves to stave off mosquitoes would be a worthwhile endeavor.

I imagine a pioneer lady making this natural necklace to wear!
Can you see the Canna seed pods?

Horn Canna Farm, located on 120 acres outside of Carnegie in Caddo County, Oklahoma boasts the largest collection of Cannas in the world. Founded by Neil and Louise Horn in 1928, it is truly remarkable and will be hosting its 30th Annual Canna Festival on September 24, 2016. The gardens will be open for free visitation with over a million breathtaking Cannas in full bloom. I highly recommend a tour of the gardens…remember to mark your calendars for it is indeed fabulous.

Photo: Dwarf Pink Sunburst with show stopping foliage!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Scented Bloomers

Datura, or Moonflower, chose the pasture... Lovely.

Often descriptions in a book stand out and become sensually very real. The novel 'Love in the Time of Cholera' written by the late Gabriel José Márquez, a Colombian novelist, is among the best for descriptions of scent. As one walks through the iron gates of his imaginary court yard, the bustling, odor-filled, turn of the century South American village disappears and his garden is filled with delicious scent described so well that one travels on a journey of wonder.

Since gardens are created for enjoyment, one must not forget the pleasure of an evening stroll filled with the night bloomers scent gently wafting through the moonlight. There is still time to plant a few to enjoy through out the summer into fall. And although scent has given way to form in recent years, there are still some old fashioned flowers available that have retained this charm.

Many of the marvelous evening bloomers are white to attract the night flying moths who feed on their nectar and pollen. Datura, or Moon flower as we call it locally, can still be planted to establish itself for next year. It will bloom a with few trumpet shaped, lemony smelling flowers by late August but the tuber will establish itself over the season. If started now, next year it will bloom by May and last through fall. Remember that it is poisonous so plant it where it may not be ingested by children or pets. Pick a place where it has room to grow to the size of a medium shrub in light shade.

Sweet Autumn Clematis can still be planted and since it blooms in the fall, you will have it to enjoy when other flowers are spent. The white starry flowers are intensely fragrant and beautiful. Four O'Clocks may be planted all season as well. They too become very large over time so planting a few new 'babies' now and again will give fragrant filler at a low level in a garden spot. Nicotiana may still be found at nurseries and although it looks rather tired and spindly in the two inch peat pot, it will fill out in your garden and bloom all summer, filling the evening with sweet scent.

Still available as well is Garden Heliotrope. Growing up to five feet tall with blossoms that exude fragrance after dark, it is always a hit. Some say it smells like vanilla, others say apple pie. Regardless, it produces one of the sweetest fragrances and its tiny flowers, in a range of pink to deep purple, add a splash of color.

Lastly is Evening Primrose with such a delicate sounding name for a rather weedy looking plant. Their large yellow flowers begin to exude an outstanding aroma by evening, making them an absolutely stunning addition regardless of their rag-tag appearance.

Take an evening walk, listen to the winged night fliers, bask in the moonlight; it is Summer and it will be gone before we blink twice.