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WORDLESS WEDNESDAYS – The Missing Origami Butterflies









SUNDAY – DAY 188: Wha-ta hell! My clock radio woke me up this morning from the heart of hillbilly heaven. What happened to my classic radio station? It was there somewhere in the background playing Bach, but it was being drowned out by a country/western station and a twangy girl singer mooing about being wronged by a false hearted lover. Don’t get me wrong, I openly admit I am not a fan of today’s over-abundant sound-alike girl singers in the genre, and I don’t appreciate them moving in on my local classical FM bandwidth. OK, so while it might be caused by low-flying satellites, or solar flairs, I prefer to think it is the work of some mustachio-twirling villain’s vendetta to ruin my Sunday morning wake-up. Either that, or Mlle. Renee is using her tail to serve as an extra antenna to get me out of bed to get her something to ear. It only happens on Sunday mornings.

I just remembered that I forgot to show you the Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cranberry Nut Cookies I baked for my brother yesterday.DSCF0445

My Origami Calendar Challenge – Like I noted yesterday, no challenge on the weekend calendar again. But to keep my fingers nimble I asked another of Stan DeMon’s cousins to visit.  Meet Flora DeMon from Hawaii.DSCF0432_2

FLORA: Aloha, boys!

FRAN: She’s our cousin?

STAN: Distant, very distant.

If you would like to fold your own member of the DeMon Family, just follow these simple steps. Remember you have to start with a perfectly square thin sheet of paper.DSCF0428

If you don’t know how to fold  the starting  BIRD BASE, I refer you to my post of DAILY CALENDAR CHALLENGE #131 – MAY 11, 2013

 ROUND AND ABOUT THE WEST WALNUT MANOR HOMESTEAD – Well, its July and the Rose Of Sharon (Althea Hibiscus syriacus) is busting out all around the yard.


I grew these shrubs from seeds I collected from the plants that grew through the fence of the Sisters Of Saint Mary’s Motherhouse behind St. Mary’s Hospital several years ago. My shrubs are now about five-feet tall and have reached mature blooming state. They are a member of the Hibiscus family that is native to China and India. In the Western world it received its name from the Biblical Rose Of Sharon which it isn’t. It also grows quite well in the mid-west where it can be trained to grow as a shrub or tree. Mine are rather shrubby.  If you look closely you can see a visitor at the bottom of this blossom.



That is one big old bee who is really getting coated in pollen. DSCF0438

I expect to have a bumper crop of seed pods this fall.

Anybody want some seeds? They still carry the Sisters’ blessing. And they’re easy to start in the spring.

Meanwhile, back in the backyard a member of the near extinct Eurasian Tree Sparrow family dropped in to see what kind of seed was in the feeder today.DSCF0442

Looks like mostly cracked corn, and he prefers the millet and nut pieces.

To hot to cut grass today, so I’ll just rest today and get to it early tomorrow morning or after sunset.

Weekly Photo Challenge: UNIQUE

In a new post specifically created for this challenge, share a picture that says UNIQUE to you.

Today’s photo is truly UNIQUE. It’s a photo you’re lucky to take once in a lifetime. And I also currently use it as the banner photo of my Word Press homepage.WalkOnTheWildSide



I discovered this little guy walking along a leaf on the Rose Of Sharon in my front garden last summer. He was at the tip of the leaf when I first discovered him, and I photographed him walking along the leaf. This was the only photo in focus. Persistence pays off! While he might be a lady, he’s not a Lady Bug. (Lady bugs are red.) So that makes him  a Green Spotted Cucumber Beetle. Which also makes him a garden pest, instead of a garden help. But he was UNIQUE! By the way, I’ve never even grown cucumbers.


The first of my Rose Of Sharon plants burst into stupendous bloom over night. The ROS is hardy ornamental shrub Hibiscus syriacus of supposed Biblical heritage. It’s a non-tropical form of hibiscus that can survive our frigid winters.  I actually grew eight plants from seeds I abducted from a nunnery several years ago, and last year several finally produced a blossom or two. This year it looks like several will be in full bloom mode through summer and fall.

And if you look closely at the photo, you might notice Mlle. Renee in the background behind the plants.


Well, it’s time for another report of what’s new and exciting in this year’s flower beds.

The hibiscus are still the most prodigious bloomers. They seemed to laugh at this week’s over 100 temps … 103F being the top so far … as long as they get their daily ration of water in the form of artificial raindrops.

Followed in second place by the self-seeded dwarf marigolds that like Topsy, “Just growed!”


New this year are the Candy-stripe zinnias in two different color variations.

And returning for the 25th growing season is my mother’s apricot gladiola. Back in the early 80s my mother planted a whole row of these beauties along the side fence, and every fall she would dig all the bulbs up and replant them the next spring. One year she dug them up, but they all rotted out over the winter. But come spring one lone plant surfaced along the fence. She didn’t dig the bulb up that year, and every year since it has returned to bloom yet another year. This is quite unusual for a gladiola, and I’m not going to tempt fate by digging it up in the fall.

My biggest surprise this year was the fact that my Rose Of Sharon bushes started blooming. Three years ago I was waiting at my MetroBus stop next to the convent behind St. Mary’s Hospital when I noticed that the hedges bordering the grounds were loaded with seed pods. Since the seeds would have fallen on the concrete sidewalk, I plucked several of the pods and carried them home. The next spring I planted the seeds and I have been nursing six plants for the last two summers. Early in July the plants started showing buds, and this week flowers started opening on two of the plants. The color range for the flowers can run from red to white.  The Rose of Sharon is not the plant mentioned in the bible — that plant was really the crocus. The Rose Of Sharon is actually a member of the hibiscus family Hibiscus Syriacus that can grow to 8 to 12 feet tall. They can be trimmed to become a hedge.

And that’s what’s up!