Monday, October 31, 2016

Don's Blog What you always wanted to know about shellac 10-31-16

Here is a shout of thanks to my Innsbrook buddy Dan West. Over the weekend I was using shellac
on a dresser as an odor blocker because of an offensive smell coming from the drawers. Some furniture
manufacturers in the Orient use formaldehyde in the process and when this comes out of the furniture
it is called off-gassing. But I digress.

The reason I called Dan was that when I cleaned my new brush with mineral spirits nothing happened. 
He arrived a little later with some denatured alcohol proclaiming  "if you remember your college chemistry"
then you remember that aliphatic  and aromatic compounds don't mix. That is why you need alcohol, an aliphatic,
to clean your brush. It worked.

 I looked up shellac. It is a resin secreted by the female lac bug (Kerria laca)  that lives in trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It is processed as dry flakes and dissolved in ethanol to make liquid shellac.  
Who knew?

Flower for the Day Happy Halloween 10-31-16

Just in time for Halloween this iris has bloomed today. There will be five blossoms.


 

It has not completely opened.




But here is a yellow beard - a real treat.



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Flower for the Day Lemon Balm 10-27-16

I put in this lemon balm plant (Melissa officinalis) in June of this year to answer a need for 
a new kind of tea. Its white flowers are said to attract bees (Melissa is Greek for honey bee).
The tea did not catch on but the plant has doubled in size with a little hand watering.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Flower for the Day Stevia 10-26-16

This spring we put in a stevia plant. Stevia ribaudiana has leaves that are 150 times sweeter than glucose. 
Its leaves can be put in tea as a natural sweetener. It has been blooming for several weeks. 





Its leaves are sweet to the taste as advertised.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Flower for the Day Pink Dahlia 10-25-16

Surprises are the most fun part of gardening. Today we have second generation daisies and black eyed Susans
but the most fun are the pink dahlias that showed up this week. New this year they have shown fine green foliage and now delicate pink flowers.



It did not take long for the butterflies to find them.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Don's Blog On the Trail Again 10-23-16

After working on the house and getting the gardens ready for winter we are on the trail again today. The weather is perfect - sunny , 74 degrees, and a slight breeze which is causing cascades of yellow, orange, and tan leaves to fall. We are on the Chubb Trail in West Tyson County Park which is our favorite park and less than 20 minutes from home. The trail starts on bed rock, 


and winds through peaceful Missouri hardwood forest,


with many limestone features and outcroppings.



Unfortunately in the last few years it has been discovered by mountain bikers
most of whom are friendly and courteous. But the scenery is spectacular


And the nearby Mermen River is awesome in the fall afternoon light. The river flows by the western edge of Kirkwood on its way to the Mississippi.



Saturday, October 22, 2016

Flower for the Day Dahlias 10-22-16

The leaves are falling off the trees but the dahlias are still bursting forth.








NIGHT LIGHT

That cameo was my secret grief.  He will make you sing,  the hooded moon.    Not a sacred thing  Kissing the toes of a traveller  for fecundity.    In doorway it was between  us and them for bargaining  for Dahlias.    Lips unkissed will call for  honey from bees.  Eyes will search for a candle.     In alien land of flames  and tumultuous desires,  the golden breasts will take revenge.        Satish Verma  

Copyright © Satish Verma | Year Posted 2013 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Flower for the Day Lookin' Up 10-20-16

As the growing season winds down it is fun to still have some flowers that are growing
so well that they are above my head. If am close to them I have to look up at them.
This white plate size dahlia needs a little help from a stake.



But this huge zinnia is way above my head without any stake.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Flower for the Day Butterfly Bush 10-15-16

This butterfly bush (Buddleia) is usually covered with butterflies and hummers.
It could not compete with the tall asters this year but is still striking. It is over 30 years old
and is very hardy.




I also have several purple butterfly bushes.



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Don's Blog Some follow-up 10-13-16

Thanks to my friend Barb for identifying this butterfly as a Buckeye (Junonia coenia).



Also as a follow-up: The Gherkinball Tournament raised more than $2100
for the future Warren County Animal shelter. Congratulations to Tracy Sater
and her team.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Flower for the Day More Asters 10-11-16

Along with the 8 foot tall pale lavender asters in the meadow we have two other forms of aster.
This deeper lavender aster is in several gardens. It grows to about 2 feet tall.




We  also have a similar aster in a a more magenta color. They return each year.






Bravely my sweet flower resists
Heat of August, autumn cold;
And though she has amethysts
For her dower, and some gold,
Never roadside beggar passed her
Without nod from purple aster.

 

Dear plebeian, but for thee
And thy lover, golden-rod,
Lonesomer the road would be
Which the country folk must plod;
And each little maid and master
Would regret thee, purple aster!

 

When November winds blow chill,
And the fields are brown and sear,
You will find her, cheerful still,
With her lover standing near,
While old Winter fast and faster
Comes to claim brave purple aster.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Flower for the Day Monarch Invasion II 10-5-16

Along with the monarchs on the tall asters in the meadow there were multiple other butterflies and moths and bees of all sizes. Below you can see a monarch in the center from 30 yards away.



Butterflies have two pairs of large wings that are covered with bright colored  scales and are typically erect at rest. They fly by day,  have clubbed antennae and feed on nectar. Moths are chiefly nocturnal and lack clubbed antennae. They have stout bodies and wings that fold flat when resting.
Here are some of the lepidoptera from yesterdays melee.






Can anyone identify these beauties?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Flower for the Day Monarch Invasion I 10-4-16

Today we had a spectacular invasion of Monarch butterflies. For many years the deer have been eating 
the really tall field asters but this year they returned.



The monarch butterflies are covering these flowers.


Many other kinds of butterflies and moths as well as bees are in a chaos of movement.




The very size of this insect activity took my breath away.



And to have them in the meadow is amazing. 


Please feel free to  drop by for the next few days.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Flower for the Day Dahlia 10-3-16

The dahlias in the front garden will continue to bloom until the frost. Almost 3 months of blooming is amazing for any plant and next year after wintering in my basement the bulb will do it all again.




Dolores L Day
Dolores L Day
Aug 22, 2014

It's Dahlia season.
The bulbs are in full bloom. 

Fwd: Don's Blog Here's a gherkin for you 10-2-16

Mike: You have my permission to forward any of my blogs and flower images. I have edited this post as the same pic appeared twice.
For your info I am a retired surgeon from Wash U. Med School (Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery,emeritus). You can see my blog at: www.donsessions.blogspot.com.
Don



This week-end was the Inaugural Gherkinball Tournament at the Tennis and Pickleball Courts
at the  Innsbrook Resort in Innsbrok Missouri. The courts have been newly resurfaced and six pickleball courts have been lined in yellow over the three white lined tennis courts. The tennis nets separate the courts and lower portable pickleball nets are wheeled in to create two pickleball courts per tennis court. The portable nets are stored at the sides when not in pickleball use.

In case you wondered a gherkin is a young green cucumber - angourion is medieval Greek for cucumber which became gurk in Slavic for a young green pickled cucumber.

This initial pickleball tournament was ably run by Innsbrookian Mike Chapin and a host of pickleball enthusiasts. There were 91 players registered for this doubles event. Players came from as far as Chicago and Columbia, Missouri. The tournament was a fund raiser for the CCAC (Concerned Citizens for Animal Control of Warren County) sponsored well by Tracy Sator of Innsbrook. Their ultimate goal is to build an Animal Rescue Center.


The weather was cool and cloudy with only an occasional breeze. Being new the courts were spectacular. Classical folk and popular rock music flooded the courts. Men's and women's teams played on Saturday.




It was the first pickleball tournament I attended but I was surprised at the quietness of the overflowing 
galleries.

The mixed doubles was played on Sunday providing outstanding competition. Winners and runner-ups at all levels of play were awarded medals.



The sponsors provided much needed amenities including separate facilities for the Dills and the Sweets. There was no need to find a tree in the woods surrounding the courts.


I have played competitive tennis since I was 14 but lately noticed that after playing hard that I was toast
for three days. Pickleball is very competitve but much less taxing on the body. I took up the game in March at the suggestion of my brother-in-law Bill and after playing I noticed that I was able to return to full activity the next day.  I see why it is so popular around the country especially with seniors.




Sunday, October 2, 2016

Don's Blog Here's a gherkin for you 10-2-16

This week-end was the Inaugural Gherkinball Tournament at the Tennis and Pickleball Courts
at the  Innsbrook Resort in Innsbrok Missouri. The courts have been newly resurfaced and six pickleball courts have been lined in yellow over the three white lined tennis courts. The tennis nets separate the courts and lower portable pickleball nets are wheeled in to create two pickleball courts per tennis court. The portable nets are stored at the sides when not in pickleball use.

In case you wondered a gherkin is a young green cucumber - angourion is medieval Greek for cucumber which became gurk in Slavic for a young green pickled cucumber.

This initial pickleball tournament was ably run by Innsbrookian Mike Chapin and a host of pickleball enthusiasts. There were 91 players registered for this doubles event. Players came from as far as Chicago and Columbia, Missouri. The tournament was a fund raiser for the CCAC (Concerned Citizens for Animal Control of Warren County) sponsored well by Tracy Sator of Innsbrook. Their ultimate goal is to build an Animal Rescue Center.