Yesterday, before the forecasted rain fell (?!), Daughter suggested that we take a walk in the neighborhood. She sighed just a little when she observed me heading outdoors with the camera in hand. It tends to make our walks last a little longer than originally planned. So what? I take a casual approach to walking, among other things. Our home is "in the country," at the edge of a growing community that I'll bet doesn't qualify as a city for all intents and purposes. We don't even have a real post office, just a counter tucked away in a discount grocery store! There are very few zoning restrictions here. Some of our neighbors take a more casual approach to landscaping--once planted, let it go and grow...
Whilst others work for hours to sculpt their properties into showplaces bursting with magnolia and azalea opulence.
My approach falls somewhere in between the two extremes. I don't care much for perfect lawns, and I'm perfectly happy to let wild verbena grow in this soil that grows things in fits and starts. If verbena was good enough at one time to be considered holy and carried by priests--really! it's in my dictionary--it's welcome to bloom religiously and take over my lawn if it wants to. I'm not absolutely sure, but I think it might be Verbena tenuisecta that greets my feet when I walk around my yard.
Most of the blueberry bushes that SAM and I planted last year have survived a sweltering Florida summer and are now blooming to beat the band--something we hear practicing again, by the way, on the high school football field nearby. A soil sample I took to MG class last week for analysis showed a pH of 6.54, a bit high when the recommended range is 4.0 to 5.5. I was hoping for some gentle rain to soak in some more acidizing fertilizer with sulfate to the row of shrubs. Somehow I miscalculated the amount of fertilizer necessary to bring these bushes up to speed when I applied it just a few weeks ago.
Oh well; they're blooming and leafing out just fine for now. Besides, the soil they're growing in has been amended with mushroom compost, and our Fearless Leader (Extension Agent and Teacher) assured me that the compost itself may be what is skewing the pH level. Not to worry, though. A little acidizer will balance things. Now if only that rain would have come as promised...
The pink grapefruit trees that I thought were goners for sure are showing signs of life now. We put some corrugated, perforated plastic pipe around the trunks to keep the cat and the weed trimmer from wounding the tender bark, and I guess it saved the trees from freezing to death. I actually did something right for a change. Will wonders never cease?
Wait a minute, though. Just as you begin to think that this walking family has all of its ducks in a row, it goes to Tallahassee--two weeks ago--and makes a spectacle of itself. We visited Florida's Historic Capitol building on a Sunday afternoon when another threat of rain dampened our plans for a hike. As you can plainly see, we country people tend to let go when we visit the city. Can you guess who the three fools are behind the cutouts? They change positions, so observe carefully.
The devil is in the details, as they say.
Careful observers may foretell the hour
(By sure prognostics) when to dread a shower:
While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o'er
Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more...
A View of the Ceiling at Florida's Historic Capitol in Tallahassee
Please visit Ramblingwoods.com for this week's Nature Notes/Signs of the Seasons post and links to posts by other bloggers who write about their latest encounters with nature.