Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Winter's Day

Western North Carolina has been in a drought state for several years. The weather patterns changed this fall and ample moisture from the gulf has found its way to the area. Once again the little streams are flowing with beautiful, clear water. This one comes down the mountain and flows into our pond.

While walking around the pond we saw some interesting white dots in the water. It was shallow water. I think they must be some kind of egg, but I don't know what. I know they are not frog or newt. Could they be salamander?

Here is a close up of one.

We found this hornet nest in a small Tree of Heaven. The Tree of Heaven is a noxious weed tree that will take over an area. They were introduced from China to the United States in the late 1800's.

It was easy to cut the small tree down to get a better look at the nest.

I have always wanted to see one of these up close. A very complex creation.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Flowers in winter

One nice thing about winter in the South is that flowers bloom most of the season. During the last week of December I took my camera out to the garden. I found several camellia bushes blooming.

This pale pink one is a favorite. I love the multiple petals that swirl around. It's very full and kind of messy.

One bush was full of buds just beginning to open.

And this camellia has never had blooms before. When I took the picture it was full of tightly closed buds. I can't wait to see what they look like opened. I think the flowers survived the recent cold weather since the buds were still so small.

My little violas were also blooming. They are such a happy flower that blooms all winter. I was afraid the recent 2 week spell of freezing weather had harmed them. They looked very sad until the warmer temps came back this week.

It was fun to see this rose bush trying to show off. Unfortunately the freezing temps killed the rose bud.