#A to Z Challenge – 19 April 2018 – Q is for Quaking Grass – a Haibun

450px-Briza_maxima

#A to Z Challenge – 19 April 2018 – Q is for Quaking Grass  – a Haibun

#atozchallenge – Nature & Outdoors Theme

Photo Credit

Briza maxima – Quaking grass.

It gets its name because the flower and seed heads tremble on their stalks in breezes.

In New Zealand, it is a weed, but it makes attractive dry floral arrangements which I have used often.

It reproduces entirely by seed blowing around, dispersed by flowing water, attaching to animals and vehicles.

greater quaking grass
seeds and leaves are edible
trembling in the wind

April 2018 A to Z Challenge

#A to Z Challenge – 18 April 2018 – P is for Possum – a Haibun

366px-Trichosurus_vulpecula_1

#A to Z Challenge – 18 April 2018 – P is for  Possum – a Haibun

#atozchallenge – Nature & Outdoors Theme

Photo Credit

The common brush-tailed Possum Their colors vary from a silver-grey, brown, black, red and gold underbelly, large pointed ears, with a bushy tail that’s naked underneath.

Females, gestation period 16-18 days, after which they give birth to one young possum which climbs unaided into the pouch and attach to a teat, where they stay for another four or five months.

Brush-tailed possums can live up to thirteen years in the wild

They are considered a major threat to New Zealand native forest and birds, causing damage to pine plantations, agriculture and conservation destroying fruit trees, vegetable gardens, also flower gardens, especially roses, there is nothing they don’t eat.

their fur, valuable
possum merino clothing
soft wool for knitters

Article about the possum fur.

April 2018 A to Z Challenge

A to Z Challenge – 17 April 2018 – O is for Opossum – a Haibun

730px-Opossum_2

A to Z Challenge – 17 April 2018 – O is for Opossum – a Haibun

#atozchallenge – Nature & Outdoors Theme

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This post is about the Opossum, tomorrow it will be the possum.

I always thought they were the same until I researched for this post. Surprise they are completely different for a start opossums don’t have fur on their tail, the face is white, black ears and feet, smaller ears, and coarse fur. As for breeding, an average litter of a Virginia Opossum is eight or nine joeys, which reside in their mother’s pouch for about two-and-half months, before eventually climbing on her back. Also, they eat meat in their diet. We do not have opossums in New Zealand.

The only thing that is the same is they are marsupials.

800px-Didelphis_virginiana_with_young

Photo Credit

short lifespan two years
thirteen nipples no wonder
breeding time-table

April 2018 A to Z Challenge

#A to Z Challenge – 16 April 2018 – N is for Naked Lady Lily – a Haibun

Amaryllis_belladonna

#A to Z Challenge – 16 April 2018 – N is for  Naked Lady Lily – a Haibun

#atozchallenge – Nature & Outdoors Theme

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Amaryllis belladonna, the Binomial name for the Naked Lady Lily, it is a funnel-shaped flower on a ‘naked’ (leafless) stem, which gives it the common name of naked-lady-lily. They have just finished flowering in the garden, leaves will appear very soon which help to stop the weeds growing.

I have found to let the leaves die naturally if you want them to flower the next year, they are worth a place in the garden if you have the room.

440px-NakedLadies

Photo Credit

light and dark pink flowers
always makes my husband smile
naked lady flowers

April 2018 A to Z Challenge

#A to Z Challenge – 14 April 2018 – M is for Mint – a Haibun

800px-Mint-leaves-2007

#A to Z Challenge – 14 April 2018 – M is for Mint – a Haibun

#atozchallenge – Nature & Outdoors Theme

Photo Credit

Mint, who doesn’t like mint growing in the garden? I love the smell of it as I’m weeding the garden and especially the smell of the mint I have with roast lamb, I’m sure I can smell the lamb cooking every time I rouse it in the garden. But it can take over the garden as its wide-spreading underground stolons, take over very quickly, so it’s best to grow in containers, it can be a very invasive plant.

peppermint lemon
mint enjoyed in herb garden
fresh aromatic smell

 

April 2018 A to Z Challenge

#A to Z Challenge – 13 April 2018 – L is for Ladybird or Ladybug – a Haibun

800px-Coccinella_magnifica01

#A to Z Challenge – 13 April 2018  – L is for Ladybird or Ladybug – a Haibun

#atozchallenge – Nature & Outdoors Theme

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Ladybird a little red beetle with black spots on its shell which protect their wings, they are seldom seen in the garden now, becoming extinct, many are blaming the heat and dehydration, but truthfully the sparrow are the culprits they eat any and everything in their vision, vegetables in the garden or insects on the plants.

Ladybirds are my friends, but now I have pesky birds instead, the house sparrow, thanks to neighbors that feed then bread they don’t leave the section, just dust bathe in the dust digging out my new plants. Agh!

welcome ladybird
dome-shaped body, six short legs
bright red colored shell

April 2018 A to Z Challenge

#A to Z Challenge – 12 April 2018 – K is for Kingfisher – a Haibun

400px-Sacred_kingfisher_nov08

#A to Z Challenge – 12 April 2018 – K is for Kingfisher – a Haibun

#atozchallenge – Nature & Outdoors Theme

Photo Credit

Kingfishers are pretty birds, they all have large heads, long sharp minted beaks, short legs, and stubby tails.

Living beside a river there were many, they really annoyed me as I tried to rear goldfish on an open pond, never had any success as those pretty birds ate them all.

I had indoor fish and the kingfisher would dive bomb them and chase into the glass door knocking themselves out, so I have handled them only to bring them out of their sleep and let them fly away. I have never seen their nest ever.

green and beige colors
very hard to tell the sex
excellent vision

April 2018 A to Z Challenge

#A to Z Challenge – 11 April 2018 – J is for Japanese Maples – a Haibun

Japanese Maples

#A to Z Challenge – 11 April 2018 – J is for Japanese Maples – a Haibun

#atozchallenge – Nature &Outdoors Theme

The photo is one taken in my garden, it’s now very clear, I’m not very good taking photos.

Japanese maples known as Acer palmatum have very attractive forms, colors, leaf types and sizes, I had many in my farm garden, they tolerate sun, but prefer part shade, which was perfect in my large garden.

deciduous shrub
weeping hanging perfectly
art in the garden

April 2018 A to Z Challenge

#A to Z Challenge – 10 April 2018 – I is for Iris – a Haibun

Mrs_Andrist_Iris

#A to Z Challenge – 10 April 2018 – I is for Iris – a Haibun

#atozchallenge – Nature & Outdoors Theme

Photo Credit

Bearded Iris, there are many shades of blue, purple and even burgundy, a flower of beauty nature at its best. I have many in the garden, but sad their flowering time is so short.

Irises have other uses besides their beauty, the extraction of essential oils from the rhizome (orris root) and are used in perfume and medicine and even some Gin brands, so they have other uses besides the beauty of the flower. Be aware that iris rhizomes can be toxic, so be careful how you use it.

lemon yellow bloom
the beauty glides pass my eyes
enriching the soul

April 2018 A to Z Challenge

#A to Z Challenge – 9 April 2018 – H is for Hibiscus – a Haibun

Hibiscus_rosa-sinensis

#A to Z Challenge – 9 April 2018 – H is for Hibiscus – a  Haibun

#atozchallenge – Nature & Outdoors Theme

Photo Credit

We have a Hibiscus bush in the garden, the same as the image above, but what is amazing is that it has double and single flowers on the same shrub. Every spring it gets hit by sparrows feeding on all the new growth, needless to say by the middle of springs its mainly sticks with no leaves, it looks terrible, by December it has recovered and is growing well, as of today April it is a healthy bush but I see the sparrows are back eating it again. Hope those sparrows get lots of vitamin C, maybe that the reason they bred so well, so many sparrows in the garden.

beverage tart flavor
tea made with hibiscus flowers
vitamin c, health

April 2018 A to Z Challenge