This plant has such pretty flowers but I forget the name. #garden #gardening #flowers

It looks like a Crown of Thorns. Cool, but poisonous to foraging animals. Some say honey made from the flowers (usually red, but sometimes yellow) is toxic.



Adam Gnade Summer Reading Rad-Pack from Pioneers Press, $35


End of July- Garden update

Today we harvested three of our cabbage heads. The fourth unfortunately had already rotted before we could get to it this weekend. The tomatoes turned like over night, so there was a plethora ready to be picked. We still have a few sprigs of broccoli coming in and still a good helping of hotpeppers. We harvested some of the wheat growing and have it hanging up to dry in my parent’s back florida/sun room until we can thresh it. 

I also managed to make time this even to freeze some green beans, broccoli, and pickle three jars of peppers. 

Bad news: Some of our bean plants have a rust fungus, which is brown spots all over the shoots, which tend to look like cankers. 

Our garden this year is a little disappointing. We have lost quite a few plants, and are not yielding nearly what we were expecting. Other aspects are doing great, while a lot are just not having it. We are not sure if this is because of the soil quality, the high rust content of my parent’s well water, over watering, the fact we have had such a weird fluctuation in temperatures this summer. Perhaps it is all factors, but this year is not our year for a large bountiful harvest. 

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”

—  Alan Wilson Watts (via purplebuddhaproject)


more garden updates pt2

Wonderful! Great job.



In late July and August, something remarkable happens in the air above Lake Murray, South Carolina.  For the past 25 years, half a million purple martins (large swallows) have gathered on a small island in the hundreds of thousands.  This year, they didn’t show up.

This weekend Skunk Bear goes mobile! I’m down in South Carolina RIGHT NOW looking for the missing birds, and I’ll be chronicling the search over at NPR’s travelogue blog - You can read all about the mystery of the purple martins and the humans who love them over there.


our cute wwoofers (with my adorable husband) and my cute sign

“It can take roughly 500 to 1000 years to form one inch of soil, depending on the climate and the material from which soil forms. With that in mind it is not hard to see that soil is a non-renewable resource and worth protecting. Since the soil is the source of water and nutrients for plants as well as a bioreactor to purify and filter water, it is crucial to our quality of life.”


Actias Luna - a perfect example that moths can be beautiful too!


Actias Luna - a perfect example that moths can be beautiful too!


My butterfly-watching friends have let me in on a secret: when butterflies are backlit by the sun, they turn into glowing stained glass. Here some of my favorite backlit butterflies: an orange sulphur (Colias eurytheme), a silver-bordered fritillary (Boloria selene), an eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), a viceroy (Limenitis archippus), a bronze copper (Lycaena hyllus), and a Harris’ checkerspot (Chlosyne harrisii).