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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Enjoying Spring-in January

I wonder if there is a new baby here
As we headed out to a late breakfast I spotted this stork on the peak of a neighbor's house.  He just looked secure and comfortable.  The first bird I photographed down here and hand fed was such a stork.  Probably this same fellow.
Former Waffle House

We were headed to our favorite Waffle House.  Yes, I admit it...I am hooked on their waffles.  We drove up the highway way past where we usually see the big yellow Waffle House sign.  Then we went back down the same road and there it was...closed and all signs of yellow on the building and sign were gone.

We settled for the IHOP across the street but it was less than satisfactory.  I won't rant here but we will not be back there.
A Bromeliad
The freezing temps late December and two more times to date have taken quite a toll on the plant life.  The mango trees are way-dead.  The Schefflera "tree" outside the bedroom window is so bare-naked I am embarrassed to look at it.  Not a leaf!  But there is a wee bit coming out on one of the branches so I will keep an eye on it.  I hope that tree comes back.  This summer some family staying at the house reported that the tree was covered with long stems of red flowers.  We have never seen it in bloom.

Last year I planted a flat of these around the chimney for color.  "Annuals" I carefully explained to him...they won't be here next year.  But they ARE.  Not all of them but the protection of the chimney paid off.  I only need to plant about a third of a flat to fill it in.
Sand Hill Cranes
We were driving along the parking lot near some stores checking to see what was new and what was closed.  He said, "Shhhh!  Take out your camera and get ready."  He inched to the end of the parking and around to the side.  "Behind those bushes" he directed.  And there was a pair of Sand Hill Cranes.  We see them every year, and have had them in the yard and on our seawall, but getting a close photo has been a challenge.  I learned a lot about the differences between Florida Sand Hill Cranes (which stay here year around, mating and rearing young) and migratory Sand Hill Cranes which migrate here AFTER nesting and raising the young in the North.  The only way we are sure is when we see a pair with babies.  Florida Sand Hills are even more heavily protected than regular Sand Hills.  Good thing, because during mating season their insistent call can carry over a mile and clear your sinuses.
See the little flower bud?

Another angle
I love my orchids!  We transport them back and forth from Michigan to Florida.  They do get rather neglected in Michigan but I carefully removed them from the planting medium, lay them on newspaper in a covered plastic box and brought them back down here in the cab of the F150.  They sat here for a few days since we had company in the house at first excuse, really.  After a few days I did get them planted and outside on any days over 50 and sunny.  His sister said she heard that watering them with ice was a great way to go.  Since water sifts right through the planting medium without even wetting it, and soaking the pots every day was not happening, I tried the ice thing.  I kept the ice away from the plants and aerials but I noticed the bark planting medium was staying damp.

Then today I saw the first flower stalk!!!  I will be taking photos as soon as a flower bet!!!  I have three pots with about 8 plants.  The individual plants are hard to count when they start multiplying.  I will have to do more research as to what species they are and remember the long names.


Greenfingers said...

This is interesting- great shot of the cranes with the same stance. Your orchids look just like my phalaenopsis. I'm interested that you plant yours outside and am intrigued by the ice treatment.I keep mine indoors and usually get them to send up more flower shoots by cutting down the old.

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Gabby Faye
Michigan, United States
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