Swallow-tailed 🦅 Kite

Kite- Eagle, Hawk Raptor Family

Sighting Deltona, Fl  May 4, 2020

Before leaving the page, there is a link at the bottom to report sightings

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This afternoon I looked up to see a full grown “Swallow Tailed Kite”.  I was only equipped with my cell phone in hand which limited a nice photo.  I’m just happy to see it arrive. I’m not happy to know it is robbing nests since it is a carnivore. It’s food sources are also rodents, snakes, lizards and pests.

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One of the most beautiful birds in “Deltona Florida”, the unmistakable, elegant swallow-tail kite is easily recognized by its deeply forked tail, distinctive black and white plumage, and graceful aerial displays. Juvenile birds can be identified by the lack of the deeply forked tail.

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Swallow-tailed kites are almost always seen in the air. If you are lucky enough to be able to watch one for any length of time you will notice them swoop to pluck an insect out of the sky or a fledgling bird from a nest, and then eat the meal while flying.  Swallow-tail kites feed entirely on the wing, primarily on insects, lizards, frogs, snakes and small birds.  They drink on the wing like a swallow, swooping low to snatch water from the surface of a river or lake.

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Swallow-tail kites arrive in Florida from South America in late February to mid-March.  They are most obvious at this time of the year as they carry sticks, moss and other nesting material to their chosen nest site.  Nests are usually in the top of one of the tallest trees in a pine or cypress stand.

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After the two or three young fledge, the adults and young birds fly south again, first gathering in communal roosts in south Florida before migrating to South America.  One such roost near Fisheating Creek near Lake Okeechobee contained approximately 2,000 birds.  In 1996, Dr Ken Meyer attached radio transmitters to 6 swallow-tailed kites and followed their migration route through Cuba, Mexico and Central America to their wintering area in Brazil.

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Click here to find out where you can report swallow-tailed kite sightings in your area.

Article info reference courtesy WildFlorida.com

Little Downy

I miss the tiny little Downy Woodpecker.
Unfortunately the tree where the little one called home, no longer exists.

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Cutting down dead trees, can sometimes destroy a living habit. Unsightly? Yes.

I recently had the top half of a twisted oak tree cut and left the tall trunk for woodpeckers.  It sits in the very back hidden. There looks to be hundreds of poke holes all over the dead tree trunk.
I had attracted the king of woodpeckers to that tree a few weeks ago. You guessed it. The red headed Piliated Wood Woodpecker!  Ripped off a good portion of tree bark at the top of pine. Simply a beautiful bird.

Reminising about my little Downy I thought I’d share my past houseguest with you.

Adobe Spark Page close up of the
Downy Woodpecker

 

Bumper Crop

This year I used only Non GMO seeds.

The tomatoes have been amazing producers. The trunks are 3″ around and very sturdy. The difference is remarkable.

I had to buy a trellis to hold up the heavier tomatoes. I used “knee high” stockings to tie up branches. The nylon is forgiving and will stretch during growth with no damage to branch.

The trellis made longways.

My mother taught me to use a nylon stocking to put the tomato in while growing so bugs can’t destroy the fruit. I haven’t had to do that but it’s also a useful recycling tip for those old stockings!

The garden has exploded and the heat is definitely on. I placed my plants in semi shade to get through the hottest summer weather. It only took 30 years to figure this out!

I watched the movement of the sunrise and sunset as it changes and placed plants accordingly. Brilliant idea!!!

About 4 lbs of tomatoes -so far! ❤️

I’ve eaten as many salads as I can with tomatoes but I just can’t keep up!! So freezing for spaghetti sauce which I look forward to soon!!

The trick to a longer growing season is from ground zero up. Keeping the base of the plants in shade is the key. The height reaches the sun where it’s most needed! Also a sheet of weed barrier helps hold moisture.

It’s so hot. “How hot is it”? It’s so hot that I hope the garden survives without me.

My husband informed me it was 100 degrees today.

Here is a little update of what the rest of the yard looks like. The pond still needs work but the Koi aren’t picky how it looks!

Very much over growing.

MILKWEED FROM SEED

Celery 2 yrs old. Good producers from seed.

Ah the Jalepeno! If you plant it, it will grow- like crazy.

The Koi Pond by my husband.

Desert Rose

Begonia

See ya soon – AJ the great white lizard hunter ❤️

Woodstock

I often think of the song “Woodstock” performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

”We have got to get ourselves back to the garden”

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Did you know Joanie Mitchell wrote the song Woodstock for CSNY to sing at Woodstock?

WOODSTOCK
by Joanie Mitchell

I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him where are you going
And this he told me
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m going to try an’ get my soul free

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it’s the time of man
I don’t know who I am
But you know life is for learning

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden

August 2019. Will it happen – I do not know. Rumors of cancellation.

The lineup for Woodstock 50 is officially here.
Jay-Z, The Killers, Chance the Rapper, The Black Keys, Halsey, Robert Plant, Miley Cyrus, Common, Janelle Monae, Sturgill Simpson, Brandi Carlile, and Jack White’s The Raconteurs are among the big-name artists scheduled to perform at the official 50th anniversary concert festival on Aug. 16-18, 2019, in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

 

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Florida flowers: The unique Crossandra/Florida Sunset

From my friend Joann in Orlando. Wonderful blog!

Midnight Harmony

I saw these crossandra flowers several weeks ago in a park near where I live. The bright orange color caught my eye. I took some photos but thought that perhaps the blossoms were in the process of dying.

JoAnn Ryan – Orlando, FL

I went back a few days ago and it had the same wilty-looking petals. I realized this was just the normal composition of the flower. It had just rained and the sky was still overcast when I took these photos. I think that explains the difference in color. The second two photos were from that previous visit. It was sunny that day and close to evening.

JoAnn Ryan – Orlando, FL

This deep orange variety of crossandra is called “Florida Sunset” or sometimes “Orange Marmalade.” The common names are usually so much better. The crossandra flower is native to India and Sri Lanka.

View original post 23 more words

Composting ”is” Recycling

Driving through the neighborhood I’ve been noticing so many big green trash bags of “leaves”🍁🍂 curbside for trash pick up. I often wonder why leaves get bagged up.

Leaves can be “recycled” and mulched with a mower which in turn adds moisture back into the soil.

If you are “new to Florida” in general, your lawn or gardens will be glad to utilize dead leaves!! If you are patient, those leaves pretty much disintegrate sitting in our toasting sun, and disappear.The same principle goes for tree branches.

What is “compost”?

As a verb, “to compost” or “composting” refers to the process used to make compost. In general, this process involves mixing together a variety of food wastes, yard wastes, and/or other compounds in proportions that are favorable for the growth and reproduction of bacteria. 

Compost is both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it refers to decayed organic matter, which is a fancy term for formerly living things (plant and/or animal) that have been broken down by the feeding of bacteria and other tiny creatures into something that looks more or less like soil. This organic matter (see soil for a discussion of organic matter) is a useful addition to soil, and compost is sometimes talked about as though it were a fertilizer. 

While it does contain nutrients plants need, compost is really more of a soil amendment, whose primary benefit to the soil is an increase in organic matter content rather than a significant increase in the levels of particular nutrients. 

As discussed under soil, higher organic matter yields a number of benefits – higher water retention of the soil, improved retention and availability to plants of any fertilizer that you do apply, increased numbers of soil-dwelling organisms, etc., etc. 

Within the compost “pile” made of these materials, bacteria begin to feed and multiply. These bacteria occur naturally on the surfaces of many living things and do not need to be added to the pile to make composting happen.

The bacteria eat and eat and reproduce and reproduce until most of the readily available nutrients are used up. This process, which can take as little as a few weeks or as long as months (depending on how much or little you manage the pile) usually results in a substantial decrease in volume of the ingredients used to make the initial compost pile. Loss of 40-60% of the volume of your initial pile is not uncommon. If you manage the pile at all well, the material you end up with should look (as mentioned above) and smell more or less like soil.

Why compost? 

There are many reasons. At the most abstract level, composting takes non-toxic materials that would otherwise end up in landfills and returns them to the soil in a useful form. 

Food production should be a closed loop, meaning that food wastes (and perhaps human manure, as well) are returned to the soils used to produce the food to begin with. At present, most food production in the United States represents open loops – food comes from places, and food wastes end up in other places. 

Composting is a small step toward closing food loops. Of more relevance to individual gardeners, compost itself improves garden soils in various ways (as discussed above). Well-managed “hot” composting can kill weeds and any seeds they might be carrying, so it’s a safe way to return the weeds you kill to your garden.

Scientists have also recently begun to document a phenomenon noticed for some time by organic farmers, which is that application of compost to soils can actually help to prevent various plant diseases, particularly fungal ones. Why and how this works is still not very well understood.

For those who like physical work and are seeking “useful” excuses to be outside, building and managing a compost pile can also be just plain fun. 

Pseudo-composting

Some of us prefer “pseudo-composting,” which involves just heaping these materials up out of the way somewhere!

They will decay this way, but more slowly than if you compost them as described below. This form of composting does not necessarily kill weeds or weed seeds and the piles can in fact become homes for more weeds. 

Pseudocomposting with kitchen waste (eggshells, fruit peels, coffee grounds, etc.) can also attract raccoons, possums, and other undesirable pests. To help keep these pests away, you can cover your kitchen wastes with layers of newspaper, cardboard, or leaves.

To be continued….

Is it going to rain today?

“Real-time” quick forecast for your exact location!

  • Today and tomorrow may you bring rain. 💧💦
  • Today you can take advantage of transplanting without worrying about watering!! 💦

    Today I am planting seeds, that will be happy to get started with a little help from above! 💧👏🏻

    Realtime, up-to-date rain forecast for today and the next 5 days at your current location or anywhere else in the world.
    — Read on isitgoingtorain.com/

    Hummingbird Facts

    HUMMINGBIRD FACTS

    Hummingbirds are one of the most interesting birds! Here are some fun facts about these little birds:

    • Bee hummingbirds are the tiniest of all birds, weighing less than an ounce and measuring only 2 inches long.
    • Their brightly-colored, iridescent feathers and quick movements make them appear as living sun catchers—hence their nickname, flying jewels.
    • Hummingbirds have the unique ability to fly in any direction, even backward, with their wings beating up to a blurring 80 beats per second.
    • Plus, they can hover in midair when sipping nectar from brightly–colored flowers with their long, slender beaks.
    • While whizzing about the garden, hummingbirds expend so much energy that they must eat at least half their body weight each day to replace the calories that they burn up. This means eating almost constantly—from sunrise to sunset—and visiting over a thousand flowers every day.
    • You can hear the call of a ruby-throated hummingbird here.
    • Learn more about hummingbirds here.

    If you’re a fan of hummingbirds, you probably like to see other birds flying around your garden, too. Explore these tips for a bird-friendly garden.

    Do you have hummingbirds or other birds in your garden? Let us know in the comments below!

    Attracting Hummingbirds and Butterflies

  • Wildflower establishment requires some important steps:
  • Garden photo by Anna Sarich
    Seeding:  You will want to have good seed to soil contact, broadcasting by hand is a good approach on small plot, may want to mix with an inert carrier, sand or other. Raking in and covering with soil 2-3 times seed thickness.
    Watering: During establishment for the first month, can be from rain in spring or supplement with irrigation. 💦
    Timing: The best time to plant is in spring to early summer and even again in late fall.
    Pretty amazing assortment to get you started on your very own wildflower garden.
    If you plant it, they will come! 🐝🦋
    Click anywhere on the photos for more detail.
    Scatter and enjoy!!!

    FREE SEED KIT WITH PURCHASE TODAY – SUGAR ANN PEAS

    Sugar Ann Peas Purchase info

  • Sweet dwarf “snap peas” are great fresh from the garden, with dips and salads. Also great steamed or stir-fried.
  • Peas grow on 24-30″ vines that doesn’t need support to grow.
  • Produces medium sized green peas with 3″ pods.
  • Excellent flavor and easy to grow.
  • Days to Maturity | 55-70 days

    Pea Seeds | Peas are a cool season vegetable, and do best in a climate where there are two months of cool growing weather, either spring planting in the northern regions or fall planting in the warmer, southern regions. Plant seeds 4″-6″ apart. – Includes Instructions.

  • *LIMIT ONE PER CUSTOMER*

    More about Peas

    Peas are a cool season vegetable, and do best in a climate where there are two months of cool growing weather, either spring planting in the northern regions or fall planting in the warmer, southern regions. They are hardy to frost and light freezes.

    Peas have smooth or wrinkled seeds. Most of the varieties grown are wrinkled seed, since these are sweeter and more flavorful. The advantage of smooth seed is its toughness in withstanding rot in cold, wet soil, although many wrinkled seed varieties are now treated with a mild fungicide to prevent rotting. Plan on an average of 25-60 plants per person depending on how much you want to freeze, dry, or can for winter. Pole and climbing peas produce over a longer period and up to 5 times more than dwarf bush varieties. 

    When to Plant

    The earlier the better. Seeds should be planted in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked. Do not plant in the hot summer months. Where winters are mild, a second fall crop could be planted in late summer, but where the summers are long and hot, this is not practical as the plants do not thrive, producing poor flowers and a disappointing crop. The simplest way to prolong harvest is to plant early, mid season, and late varieties at one time rather than sowing every 2 weeks. Gardeners with mild winters can plant peas in both spring and fall.

    How to Plant

    Plant dwarf varieties about 8 seeds to a foot, about 1/2 – 1″ deep; and in rows 18-24″ apart. Tall-growing varieties should be planted in double rows 4-6 inches apart, 2 1/2 feet between double rows. Supports for climbing vines can be put in at planting time, or just as seedlings are 3 inches high. Peas can cross-pollinate, so for seed-saving, space different varieties at least 150′ apart. Dwarf varieties don’t need a trellis if you plant them close together. For support use twiggy bush, chicken wire fencing, or weatherized trellis netting sold commercially for vine crops.

    Peas have fragile roots and don’t transplant well. While some gardeners recommend presoaking seeds, research has indicated that presoaked legume seeds absorb water too quickly, split their outer coatings, and spill out essential nutrients, which encourages damping-off seed rot. Yields can increase 50-100% by inoculating with Rhizobium bacteria.

    How to Harvest

    Peas are ready to harvest in approximately 60-70 days. When pods of the peas appear to be swelling with rounded pea forms visible, they are ready for picking. Take a test picking every day or so, and note the appearance of the pods with the sweetest peas. If the pods are left on the vines too long, they become tough and starchy. Pick black eyed peas slightly before maturity. They should still be a light green with a purplish eye. They are still easy to shell at this stage and taste delicious. Pick the pods just before cooking, since they, like corn, deteriorate quickly after harvest. Choose a cool morning, not the heat of the day, or just after a cooling rain. The edible pod peas should be picked when the pods are well developed, but before they become swollen with the outline of peas. 

    Peas usually develop from the bottom of the vine up. Pull firmly but gently, and hold the vine with one hand so it is not jarred loose from its support when picking. When peas start to ripen, pick them often, and pull all ripe pods present each time to encourage development of more pods; otherwise the crop stops developing. You can pick peas for about 2 weeks once they start coming. After the harvest, turn under the plant residues to improve the soil.

    Volusia County Tree Ordinance

    Tree Preservation

    PART II – CODE OF ORDINANCES

    Chapter 72 – LAND PLANNING

    ARTICLE III. – LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS

    DIVISION 10. VOLUSIA COUNTY TREE PRESERVATION ORDINANCE

    DIVISION 10. VOLUSIA COUNTY TREE PRESERVATION ORDINANCE [46] Sec. 72-831. Purpose and jurisdiction.

    (a) The county council finds and determines that it is in the best interest of the public health, safety and welfare to protect and preserve trees and enhance tree cover in Volusia County, Florida. The value of trees are many and varied and include, but are not limited to the following:

    (1) Trees are valuable producers of oxygen, a necessary element to the human survival, and serve to reduce the environmentally dangerous carbon dioxide concentration in the air.

    (2) The leaves of the trees trap and filter out ash, dust and pollen in the air.

    (3) Trees may reduce wind velocity and noise levels.

    (4) Trees may prevent erosion by stabilizing the soil through their root system and by breaking the force of raindrops pounding upon soil surfaces.

    (5) Trees reduce the quantity of surface runoff and reduce the percentages of impervious surfaces.

    (6) Trees help purify water by removing the nutrients from waters passing through the ground from the surface to the groundwater table.

    (7) Trees provide shade and transpire water which helps to moderate temperatures and cleanse the air.

    (8) Trees provide food, shelter and essential habitat for wildlife.

    (9) Trees provide valuable visual aesthetics and psychological contrast to the urban environment.

    (10) Trees are a valuable asset and increase the economic and aesthetic value of developed and undeveloped properties.

    Therefore, for the above-described reasons, the county council has determined that it is necessary to enact this division.

    (b) Jurisdiction. This division shall apply to the unincorporated areas of Volusia County, Florida.

    (Ord. No. 02-13, § I, 7-18-02; Ord. No. 2008-25, § III, 12-4-08)

    Sec. 72-832. Penalty.

    (a) Violations of this division are punishable as provided in chapter 1, section 1-7, Code of Ordinances, County of Volusia.

    (b) Any person who violates a provision of this division may be required to replace an affected tree, at the county forester’s option. Application and approval of a tree permit in accordance with the requirements of section 72-836 must be obtained. Replacement stock must be planted within 90 days of permit issuance. The cross sectional area of the replacement stock shall be taken at the tree’s caliper and shall be equal to 150 percent of the cross sectional area of the tree removed. The county forester may reduce the replacement schedule based on the nature of the violation. All other tree replacement provisions of section 72-842 shall apply.

    (Ord. No. 02-13, § I, 7-18-02; Ord. No. 2008-25, § III, 12-4-08)

    Volusia County, Florida, Code of Ordinances Page 1

    To read code in its entirety –

    www.volusia.org/core/fileparse.php/4726/urlt/Division10TreePreservationOrdinance01-30-2014.pdf

    What’s eating your plants?

    This creature has no business in the garden, yard or earth!!!

    Eastern Looper ☠️☠️☠️

    They devoured an entire blueberry bush overnight.

    Look closely at missing leaves on plants and see if these deadly bugs are present.

    I went out to the garden and saw little groups of black grasshoppers. I noticed at least 40 black and orange striped ones and others yellow stripe. The stripe is on the top backs. After looking more closely, I saw two larger grasshoppers solid black. I believe this is two stages of growth because next phase probably devours the plants.

    The “Eastern Lubber” is not beneficial to anything except mice. They have no other natural predators except rodents. We trapped 13 mice and now have the hoppers! Food chain disruption? Likely.

    I’ve heard the best option is drowning one by one in a bucket of soapy water.

    Things to know if you choose the pick and drown method is they stink 🙄.

    So there it goes, I invited my own problems! The Eastern Lubber is attracted to moisture AND you guessed it, the *Orange Amaryllis’. Don’t worry, when they run out of food and moisture they should leave.

    Read more about the destruction this pests has caused throughout Florida. Unfortunately pesticide is something we may have to use. Water level rise has pushed creatures out of habitats. I believe “Natural” FLORIDA is making a comeback!

    Read more at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/archive/hot_topics/agriculture/eastern_lubber_grasshopper.shtml

    Also be aware of winged moths looking insects-

    Leaf Hoppers

    Leaf hoppers are small, winged insects are one-fourth of an inch long and are green or brown in color. Some more distinctive specimens can be colored red and green. The adults cut tiny gashes into blueberry leaf stems and insert their eggs into the cuts. The insects are carriers of a blueberry disease known as blueberry stunt mycoplasma.

    Wildflower Butterfly Garden

    A quick walk through the garden this time of year, before Easter, is always a sign of hope and joy.

    A sign, “if you see it”, that better days are not just coming, they are here!

    Sunflower I consider wild since I didn’t plant it. 🌻

    “Bloom where you’re planted!”

    Cover plants help keep soil from drying out roots 🌱

    Cosmos love it here

    “Born to be wild”

    Blanket Flowers are beautiful

    Have a sun sun sunny day 🌼

    Biblical Herbs: Mints in the Bible

    by Herb Exchange

    Plants are first mentioned in the Bible in the first chapter of the first book: “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind…” (Genesis 1:11). Throughout the ages, the Hebrews have attributed holiness to many species of plants. The Scriptures associate feasts, rites and commandments with many plants and their cultivation. Early written information about herbs is found in the Bible back to the time of Moses or even earlier. In Exodus 12:22 Moses tells the children of Israel how to save their children by using the herb and lamb’s blood. “And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin.” In Numbers 19:6, 18 hyssop is again mentioned. Also, in 1 Kings 4:33 God gave Solomon wisdom, “And he (Solomon)spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall…” Psalms 51:7 refers to this plant: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” While pride is symbolized by the majestic cedar of Lebanon in Jewish tradition, the lowly hyssop represents modesty and humility. At least eighteen plants have been considered for the hyssop of the Bible, but modern botanists have generally agreed that Syrian majoram (Origanum syriacum) is the likely plant. It seems to fit well with these verses. It was used to cleanse homes defiled by leprosy or death and came to symbolize cleanliness. Its fragrance and taste led it to be prized by the ancient Romans and the Greeks before them. Bridges and grooms wore crowns made of marjoram. It was also quite likely prized in the kitchen, as it is now.

    Herbs of the Bible

    In the New Testament a sponge soaked in sour wine or vinegar was stuck on a branch of hyssop and offered to Jesus of Nazareth on the cross (John 19:29). Hyssop-Oregano was often gathered in bunches and used as a brush or sprinkler for Jewish purification rituals.

    Hyssop, Bible Psalms 51:7

    Mint (Mentha longifolia) or horsemint is thought by many Jewish scholars to be the mint referenced by Jesus in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 in His discourse with the Pharisees. It along with anise or dill and cumin grow wild in parts of Palestine, mint being the most common. The Pharisee taxed himself lightly if he paid the tithe of mint, for it was too common and too easily cultivated to be of much worth, even though it was valuable as a medicinal herb. It was one of the plants subjected to the ban on sowing and gathering every seventh year. Jesus’ lesson on hyprocrisy is told by Matthew and again by Luke, and mint is the one herb mentioned by both. The Greek word Heduosmos, or mintha, means “having a sweet smell” and refers to “a sweet-smelling herb or mint.” The plant derives its name from Mintha, a Greek nymph who was transformed into the herb by Persephone after Persephone learned that her husband, Pluto had loved the nymph. Several varieties of mint grew in Israel, but horsemint is the most common and probably the one referred to by Matthew and Luke. Horsemint is still found today in the Holy Land and is cultivated at Aleppo in Syria. It is much larger than the other mints, reaching a height of three feet or more, with lilac flowers. It grows in moist, sunny places where it tends to run wild. It has been confused with Mentha spicata, or spearmint. The Hebrews used mint as a strewing herb at home and in the Temple, prizing its clean and aromatic scent. They served mint at the Spring Passover Feast of the Paschal Lamb, and today it is one of the “bitter herbs” of the paschal feast.

    Bible Herbs: Genesis 1:11

    In Israel the branched inflorescence of the Salvia dominica is one of the several salvias thought to have inspired the design of the menorah, seven-branched candelabra, or lampstand. Other scholars believe Judean sage (Salvia judaica) may have been in view. Judaica is from the Hebrew Yehudah, or Judah, the name given to the mountainous southern part of the land of Israel. The Bible describes God’s instructions to Bezalel of the tribe of Judah, one of Moses’ Israelites, to make an ark, altar and table of acacia wood: And he made the lampstand of pure gold; of hammered work he made the lampstand. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and its flowers were of the same piece…” (Exodus 37:17). Sage had already proven its value as both a flavoring and a medicine, so it is hardly surprising that it appeared in religious symbolism.

    (This article was submitted by Randy, and taken from Randy’s book  “Stop…and Smell The Mints”)  For more information go to https://outskirtspress.com/stopandsmellthemints

    Down the Garden Path Radio

    Easy Care Perennials Podcast
    🌸
    “Listen and surf the web at the same time!”

    https://www.iheart.com/podcast/263-Down-The-Garden-Path-Podca-30526563/episode/gardens-plus-easy-care-perennials-30772990/?embed=true

    Bottle Gardening

    You don’t always need the dirt! Aquaponics intro on a small scale!

    I love this idea and it’s been working out well for my personal experiment.

    Cut bottle carefully at top. Turn upside down

    Water bottles, soda bottles – cut and inverted!

    At the moment I am using spring water in small water bottles. It has rained and I’m hoping this added some nitrogen to the water.

    Mostly I wanted to try this method with lettuce. The thought of having fresh lettuce available whenever I wanted a salad, was intriguing.

    Herbs

    I’ve added some spearmint and oregano stems to other bottles.

    The spearmint is kept in a hanging pot so I can move away from sun as the sun shifts.

    Before my favorite shade tree got its leaves back, the mint got hit with a day of sunshine. I am trying to save it so I took some stems to see if it will root. I’m not exactly confident this approach will work. Soil in the bottles might be best. So far, the mint didn’t die or dry in the water.

    Herbs are more shade loving plants throughout the summer. Oregano, basil and rosemary are my “must have” herbs. I can’t remember when a time when I didn’t have these herbs outdoors.

    Italian cooking demands fresh ingredients just like the Great Nona’s know best! Oregano grows without much help, other than breaking off a fist full for sauce, which actually prunes it too!!

    Rosemary

    Rosemary. Ah Rosemary. The most aromatic herb my life and patio just can’t live without. Roast pork anyone? I can smell it roasting for hours in my dreams!!! Brush up against it and the scent fills the air. Place it where animals may also brush by it. Bugs, like fleas, hate rosemary!

    Give this easy grower plenty of room. It demands attention and it’s own space to branch out like a tree if you let it.

    I would not say Rosemary is a fast grower so start small and repot as needed. I give it 3 times more space in a pot because it will fill in eventually.

    It’s that time of year when the ground is warming. Dogs and cats start scratching after they’ve gone outdoors? Besides fleas, Florida has chigger type nuisance bugs you can’t see.

    Break off a long twig of rosemary and secure it to the inside of your pets collar! Take the sprigs and rub the plant all over your pet. This is a natural way to relieve itching temporarily. Also works with lavender. In the summertime, I make my own itch relieving spray!!

    Put water in a spray bottle along with sprigs of lavender and rosemary. Put in fridge and use to soothe!

    Do you have your own herbal remedies?

    Stayed tuned for additions to this thread!

    “Basil” a religious tradition

    Religious Legends

    Basil is a part of religious traditions around the world, from Christianity to Hindu.Although there is no mention of basil in the Bible.

    The plant is said to have grown at the site of Christ’s crucifixion and is associated with St. Basil. St. Basil – feast day is celebrated in Greece on January 1 by having basil blessed at church

    Holy basil, Ocimum tenuiflorum, is particularly sacred in Hindu tradition. It is thought to be the manifestation of the goddess, Tulasi, and to have grown from her ashes.
    There are several versions of the legend, but according to a widely known one, Tulasi was tricked into betraying her husband when she was seduced by the god Vishnu in the guise of her husband.

    In her torment, Tulasi killed herself, and Vishnu declared that she would be “worshipped by women for her faithfulness” and would keep women from becoming widows.

    Thus, holy basil, which also goes by the common name tulsi, an obvious reference to the goddess, became a Hindu symbol of love, eternal life, purification and protection. In addition to basil’s role in the death of Tulasi in the Hindu legend, basil has played a role in burial rituals and has been grown on graves in various countries.

    Basil’s love symbolism isn’t limited to India.
    It has been considered an aphrodisiac by some, is associated with the pagan love goddess, Erzuli, and is used in love spells.

    In Italy, where sweet basil is called “kiss me Nicholas,” “bacianicola,” it is thought to attract husbands to wives, and a pot of basil on a windowsill is meant to signal a lover.

    In Moldavian folklore, if a man accepts a sprig of basil from a woman, he will fall in love with her.

    As is typical for its folklore, while being linked to love and attraction, basil has also conversely been associated with chastity.

    In Sicilian folklore, basil is associated with both love and death when basil sprouts from the head of isabetta of Messina’s slain lover.

    Protection and Luck

    Basil is considered a good luck charm in some folklore. It is reportedly used in exorcisms, for protection and to attract wealth.

    Language of Flowers

    Basil’s symbolism in the Victorian language of flowers also reflects its dual nature. It signifies both hatred (for common basil) and best wishes (for sweet basil).

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