A Brief Look at the Dragonfly Transformation

This gallery contains 4 photos.

The dragonfly begins its life as an aquatic larva also called a nymph. Dragonflies live in ponds and calm areas of rivers and streams. While in this larval form, the dragonfly is a predator, feasting on mosquito larvae, aquatic insects, … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stopping for Mushrooms

This gallery contains 3 photos.

While cycling, I try to keep a brisk pace. Although I enjoy the scenery, I seldom stop to look around. But on a ride last week I was compelled to get off my bike a take some pictures. I was … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

A Fungal Oddity

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Decomposition is a quiet and mostly hidden process. Those organisms involved in the business of decomposing generally tend to their job without a lot of fanfare. And yet these ecological heroes play an important role in the natural cycle of … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

My Painted Lady Makes the Big Time

This gallery contains 6 photos.

In the middle of August of 2014, I took some photos of a painted lady butterfly feeding on the nectar from a Buddleia plant (butterfly bush) in our yard. Many of the pictures were out of focus, too far out … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cinderella’s Pumpkin Coach Photo Op – A Rigid Foam Board Project

This gallery contains 4 photos.

For an elementary school literacy night program, I was asked to create one of the props for the faerie tale themed event. Specifically they wanted a “head through hole” Cinderella’s pumpkin coach that kids could have their pictures taken in. … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Redwood Experiment

This gallery contains 10 photos.

  Several years ago–I can’t say exactly when, I planted a small tree just off my deck in the back yard. It was situated on the edge of a man-made pond I had constructed a couple years before. The tree … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Spooky Halloween Terrain made of Polystyrene

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Three years ago, my youngest son and I set out to build a miniature “spooky” house on a hillside terrain for Halloween. We glued the base pieces together, but then we got involved in other things and the project sat, … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Trying my Hand at Stacking Stones

This gallery contains 7 photos.

When I go to the beach with my family, I tend to have a lot of time to myself in the mornings. I have never been able to sleep in past 5:30 which gives me 2 or 3 hours before … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Butterflies and “Puddling”

This gallery contains 2 photos.

We tend to think of butterflies as creatures that receive all their nutrition by moving from flower to flower, foraging for nectar. Carbohydrate rich nectar does give butterflies the quick energy they need to fly. But for some butterflies – … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Wheelbarrow Full of Succulents

Succulents in WheelbarrowI don’t know when, how or even why the tradition of planting succulents in nontraditional containers started. I’m sure you’ve seen them before – worn out old boots brimming with hens and chicks, or a rusted Radio Flyer wagon filled with colorful sedums and a wide variety of other succulents.

Red SucculentI have always viewed this practice as a bit odd, and dismissed it as something I would never want to do.

However, succulents themselves have always intrigued me. For starters, they are drought resistant and incredibly easy to maintain. For a gardening impaired person like myself, this makes them something to take a closer look at.

Secondly, succulents come in a variety of unique and attractive colors and shapes which can add interest and contrast to a flower bed.

So, finally, after years of admiring succulents from afar, I decided to buy some and create a modest succulent garden. But when I got them home I had to decide where to plant them. I have a fair amount of property, but the vast majority is forested, and much of what remains receives a limited amount of sunlight. After a bit of contemplation, I cast my eyes upon…

Hen & Chicks in TeapotHERE IT COMES, a rusted old wheelbarrow that I had recently retired from service, but hadn’t gotten around to taking to the dump. What the heck. Why not. The previous year I had drilled some holes in the wheelbarrow, filled it with soil and planted a few tomato plants in it just because I didn’t have any extra planters lying around, and I was too cheap to buy one. The wheelbarrow had worked okay for the tomatoes – why not give succulents a try. So I did.

various SucculentsI had some unscented cat litter on hand that I was going to spread on top of the soil to give it a rocky look, but decided against it for now. Instead I placed some larger rocks in the empty spaces to complete the garden.

So, if you shun the idea of making a hen and chick planter out of a cowboy boot, don’t be surprised if, at some point in the not too distant future, you find yourself pulling a broken laundry hamper out of the garbage can and making a succulent planter out of it.

Note: Most of these photos were taken several months after planting. It is not necessary to cram your container full with plants. They will grow into the space soon enough, and fill in the gaps.

Pink Succulent Blossom





















Posted in Just For Fun, My Back Yard, Outdoor Activities, Plants | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments