Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Walk in the Woods

 Winter is a good time to visit Francis Marion National Forest.  The bugs are hibernating!  And you get the trail to yourself.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Parking Lot - Southern Style

Can you believe this is the parking lot at Middleton Place Plantation and Gardens?  We were early and not many cars were there yet - besides it is the middle of winter here in the south.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lovely Lady

As promised in the last entry, here is the lady in the garden.  This was taken in the dead of winter.  The picture below was taken in June when everything was blooming.
 Someone had placed the bright red bloom in her hand so I just played with it.  Kind of fun.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Spanish Moss

I couldn't decide which picture I liked the best so you get 4 of my favorite Spanish Moss pictures.
The picture above is one of my all time favorites.  I call it a Spanish Moss Tree!  Actually it is a Crepe Myrtle tree in the winter covered with Spanish moss!  All of these pictures are much better if you click on them and enlarge them.
Above - I called that on 'Dripping Moss'.  I love the way it drips right into the water.
The shadows of this one make it very interesting.

Do you see the gentle lady in the background, framed by the moss?  I will have a picture of her next.

Interesting information on Spanish Moss - Spanish-moss, also called Florida moss, long moss, or graybeard, is not a true moss. It is an epiphytic plant, which grows on another plant, but does not rely on the host plant for nutrients; epiphytes make their own food. While the plant is not parasitic, it can sometimes damage the host tree by over-shading the leaves, thus reducing photosynthesis, or by weighing down and breaking the branches.

The plants have very tiny seeds that are dispersed by wind and birds. Birds may also carry off small fragments that easily reproduce new plants.

Spanish-moss was harvested for years as a stuffing material in automobile seats, furniture, and mattresses. The moss-stuffed mattresses were said to be cooler and more comfortable due to the natural insulating properties of the plant. This was especially important in pre-air-conditioning days. Moss pickers were hired and used long poles to pull the stringy masses off the trees. The plants were then dried and cured before being used.

Information copied from this site.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Day Lilies Are Coming!

 When we were at Middleton Place Gardens last weekend the camellias were out in full glory and the day lilies were on their way.  Some had already put forth their beautiful blossoms but most were still wondering if winter was really over or are they being tricked into thinking that spring has arrived.  I feel the same way!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


The Camellia were in all there glory when we were at Middleton Place last weekend.  (But, in case you are thinking of going, they were still also loaded with more buds - GO!)

I took so many pictures and even Kirby got into the excitement of the moment and was finding perfect blooms for me to photograph.  The one above was his!  The way the early morning sun was shining on it was awesome - it glowed.
There are so many different varieties of camellia but I just call them Beautiful!
The camellia is the first of the flowers to bloom each year and they were just a little early this year due to our mild winter.  Their stark beauty next to the harsh brown of winter is so refreshing.

The plants at Middleton are old and mature.  That means they are BIG. 
Some of the blooms were already spent due to the warm weather.  This bed of fallen petals looks like an artist pallet doesn't it?  I love it!