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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Shrooms! Giant Puffball!

(calvatia gigantea found at wikimedia. commons under creative commons law)

Calvatia Gigantea is a common mushroom that we used to kick as a kid and it was so awesome when it exploded! The Giant Puffball can get anywhere from 10 to 70 centimeters.

 I never understood why mushrooms came up, one morning they are there, and then the next few days you have a huge porous mushroom that looks like a softball on your lawn.

The spores on this mushroom is actually in the millions, i thought it would be in the hundreds, but obviously if the researchers and scientists say it's the trillions then it is. The mushroom has a unique showing up uninvited, this one may actually be helpful to you.
The giant puffball is edible, you can eat this one. It kind of tastes like home homemade tofu. Be careful not to eat anotoher particular mushroom that looks just like it. It is the amantias , keep safe.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Red Winged Blackbird

    (red winged blackbird found at wikimedia commons under creative commons)

     The Red Winged Blackbird is a very beautiful bird found on the Southeastern gulf coast. It  is a passerine so it doesn't belong to the same group as the crow, grackle or magpie.
     Like the Cardinal, the male takes on the most vibrant features and the female doesn't have such vibrance to their feathers.

     The female is  black striped and has a pretty orange face and moddled with brown. They look as if they don't belong to the same group as the Red  Winged Blackbird.

    The Red Winged Blackbird loves marshy and wetland areas. They eat mussels, mayflies, dragon flies, corn, seeds and worms. They sometimes can be found in hay fields where they eat the seeds from the grain.

    The male is well studded and uses his beauty to be don juan demarcos. He usually mates with 3 to 5 birds through mating season. Eventhough they are passerines, they do play a nuisance with many people. Some people shoot them because of numerous flocks that are noisy and annoying. They do carry  a fungal lung disease that is contagious to people.
That's another reason why they are annoying to have around.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Price's Potato Bean

Price's Potato bean is in the legume family and on Alabama's most threatened list. Preserve it so others can enjoy it's beauty later on. The flowering vine has tubers like the morning glory and air potato, man of the earth

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Eastern Grey Squirrel: Cute Little Tree Dweller

(eastern grey squirrel photo found at wikimedia commons under creative commons law)

The Eastern Grey Squirrel is one of the South's most notorious nut eaters. The little boogers can gnaw their way through a mockernut that is about two inches deep in nutshells. This little cutie is a grey and red mix with a white tummy.  The little fellows around my quarters like the pecans and black walnuts that grow around my grandmother's old home.

The Eastern Grey Squirrel will pack his little cheeks full of nuts for winter. His/her home is ususally a nice big nest made out of twigs, leaves, spanish moss and other findings. Fox squirrels usually have around 4-6 babies during the springtime.  Keeping the habitat around birds in the eco-system, the little squirrel has bird like qualities of bringing food back to the nest to feed her babies.

The eastern squirrel will breed two times a year. This means the the little fellows can multiply quicker than rabbits and cats. Gestation periods for the little squirrels is usually about 44 days.  It's life expectation is pretty miraculous. Not many small animals have a long expectancy, but the squirrel can live up to 20 years in captivity.  People have been known to keep these as pets, but after they have raised them from a bottle. My aunt and father had a grey squirrel named "Ozzy" growing up. It would hide in the pocket of shirts sit on one's shoulders.

Predators of the grey squirrels are domesticated cats and dogs, the golden eagle, hawks, coyotes, skunks, racoons, snakes and owls.

Physotegia Virginiana: The Obedient Plant

(physostegia virginiana photo found at under creative commons)

Physotegia Virginiana is a lovely flower that blooms in September through October. The flower grows throughout the southeastern United States and is indigenous to central and northern Alabama. They grow in moisture rich soils that are dense. Their rhizomes will spread and the plant will multiply quickly.

The plant is native to the United States. Most of the flowers and trees that I have mentioned here that becomes a nuisance come from tropical rich areas that
love sunshine and rich soil. This little native flower will multiply like that. The flower is sometimes called the False Dragonhead due to the blossom's head favoring in sight.  The flower belongs to the mint family.  It is a great filler for flower gardens because it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.