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Yukon Gold potato harvest on 5/23/16Planted 3/15/16 with 90 days to harvest on 6/23/16 BUT the plants browned and fell over so I harvested.

Yukon Gold potato harvest on 5/23/16
Planted 3/15/16 with 90 days to harvest on 6/15/16 BUT
the plants browned and fell over so I harvested.

As a fund raiser, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens put on a Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour over Mother’s Day weekend, May 7 and 8. In exchange for a hefty ticket fee, you were allowed to politely tromp around the front and back yards of “Atlanta’s finest private gardens.” In the event you were to think that you could do anything more than a polite tromp, they had an off-duty policeman at each house which greatly surprised me.

Of the 10 gardens on the tour, Priss, her husband and I were able to visit 6 before my bad knee rebelled. I offer photos of the garden elements that caught my eye.

Russell & Jack Huber

Walking up to the house

Walking up to the house

 

Water feature

Water feature

 

Burro's Tail

Burro’s Tail

 

Iris

Iris

 

Unknown fern???Really liked it.

Fern??? Really liked it.

ABG Huber rusty bike-0128

 

Bamboo forest

Bamboo forest

Robin & Mark Pollack

ABG Pollack birdhouses-0130

Tony & Joel Adler

ABG Adler patio-0133

 

ABG Adler frog with violin-0139

 

ABG Adler gazing ball-0137

 

ABG Adler giant rose-0132

 

ABG Adler hammock-0136

 

Pink Iris

Pink Iris

 

Kitchen garden at back of house near patio

Kitchen garden at back of house near patio

 

Sign at entrance of kitchen garden

Sign at entrance of kitchen garden

 

Sign on compost pile although I don't like the spelling

Sign on compost pile although I don’t like the spelling

 

Front yard

Front yard

 

Other side of front yard

Other side of front yard

Ann & Trammell Newton

Ivy on steps

Ivy on steps

 

Foxglove

Foxglove

ABG Newton table planting-0152

 

Verrrrrry old cypress tree around the corner

Verrrrrry old cypress tree around the corner

Joan & Robert Gilbert

Greenhouse

Greenhouse

 

Thumbnail sized pine cones

Thumbnail sized pine cones

 

ABG Gilbert potted plants-0164

 

ABG Gilbert fountain-0163

 

Roots helping to hold slope

Roots helping to hold slope

 

Unknown plant I liked.

Unknown plant I liked.

Erica & Bart Fanelli

ABG Fanelli - pond -0157

 

ABG Fanelli - pond w angel-0158

I had to give up ice cream. Our local grocery store, Publix, has a license to offer Denali Original Moose Tracks as ice cream and frozen yogurt. I always opted for the frozen yogurt because of calories. Considering that the taste is addictive, a lower calorie count is moot. You get the picture, right? Three bowls later, I berate myself about the calories, right? I stopped buying the Moose Tracks just before people looked at me and thought, “broad side of the barn”.

Instead, I drool down to the Dairy Queen once a week for a Mister Misty Lime Freeze.  This is a product that your DQ Confections Expert may not be familiar with because it dates back to the Baby Boomer ‘s youth. At some short-sighted moment in the DQ’s history, it was taken off the menu. No problem. I can tell these wrinkle-free Confections Experts just how to make it. Put a few squirts of that green goo in a cup. Add some ice, vanilla ice cream and blend. A divine concoction and the $4 price most certainly discourages me from pigging out.

Dairy Queen-0181

My Dairy Queen — drive-up or walk-up only
The building posts mimic ice cream cones

I headed to Atlanta for Mother’s Day weekend to see my sister, Priss. I’m not one for the journey. I much prefer the idea of Time Travel – you stand at Point A and are immediately whisked to Point B. Driving 6 hours just to get to Atlanta required incentives.

At the top of my incentives list was the DQ Mister Misty Lime Freeze. All along I-75, my searching eyes watched the road side billboards for Dairy Queen exit numbers. One of them I stopped at was brand new and I marveled at the clever advertising for Grill & Chill. I didn’t remember seeing that phrase at my DQ but if I was trying to get people to pull off the interstate at a wide spot in the road, I’d try clever phrasing, too.

This was an indoor restaurant version of DQ and they really should have posted a warning on the door. The minute I opened that door, hurricane force winds attacked my body. It was a Candid Camera moment. I flailed against the wind and looked around wildly for its source while wondering, “WHAT are they trying to do? Blow the bed bugs off me?”

I wasn’t far from the mark. Priss being a licensed architect, I asked her why the Dairy Queen tried to blow me out of the building before I even got in it. According to Priss, these gadgets are Air Curtain Fly Fans. The purpose is to supply a high velocity stream of air at an opening to prevent flies and other insects from entering the building. I can now add “insect” to the list of insults heaped upon me. The rest of you can go on with your day forewarned about Air Curtain Fly Fans, should you encounter one.

 

My brother Bubba is around more these days because he’s renovating Poppie’s house for himself and his wife. He’s a birder, among other things. He also has a better camera and better photography skills. He set up his camera near the Triangle Bed with a long lens and a remote program on his iPad that allowed him to shoot photos from the back porch.

Bubba claims this bird is the female Downy Woodpecker but, in my opinion, it could easily be the Hairy Woodpecker because of its size. The two birds are almost identical but Audubon gives a few clues for differentiating them.

If this is a Downy woodpecker, their diet includes insects, seeds and berries, and visits to bird feeders.

Downy Woodpecker to side of his nestGary Jones, FotoForU.com

Downy Woodpecker to side of his nest
Gary Jones, FotoForU.com

 

Downy Woodpecker peeking inside nestGary Jones, FotoForU.com

Downy Woodpecker peeking inside nest
Gary Jones, FotoForU.com

 

"Looking good!"Gary Jones, FotoForU.com

“Looking good!”
Gary Jones, FotoForU.com

Peacock gingernew spring growth

Peacock ginger
new spring growth
this was a pass-along from Meta

I almost went into a screaming fit when I walked up to my brother’s citrus tree. Despite knowing this was the larvae of a giant swallowtail butterfly, Papilio cresphontes, my poor, shocked mind could see nothing but giant worms.

Giant swallowtail larvae-0096

Resting on the surface of the leaf, these giant 3 inch worms are likely young larvae, and are said to resemble “bird droppings.”

Somewhere in the near future, they will look like this:

Giant Swallowtail-1786-1

A friend of mine forwarded some photographs her son had taken in Texas, where he lives, and I got permission to share this one with you.  Apparently, it is very common to see old cars sitting out in the Texas fields. This one just happens to be surrounded by blooms of Bluebonnet and Indian Paintbrush.

Photo by Mark Cook

Photo by Mark Cook of Texas

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