There are so many things I think of during each day to share with you as I experience the outdoors in the mountains.  I have been outside and not on the computer as I used to be but  I am always thinking of sharing the new things I see and do.

Our dogs, Bailey and Emma are two rescue golden retrievers and we also have two rescue cats. But, the dogs are my thought today as we are experiencing the terrible twos and fabulous fours in age.  We have stacks of dog towels by the back door where almost every day and sometimes several times a day they have to be shampooed and washed from the areas they roam. They even went so far as to jump out of the car window this week to chase 4-5 deer that were standing and looking at me from the roadside won our mountain we live on.   The deer roam the woods and the dogs have also but we are finally at a point I hope) that my husband now understands or at least maybe will keep them on a leash when outside as they should be all along since we have been here.  Emma the four year old is really pretty good and follows instruction when outside not to wander off. I can call her and she will come back to me when close to our road. But Bailey, the two year old is a wanderer and Emma follows his lead way to much.

He is the one who constantly takes off and roams the woodlands is search of just what ever he can find. I know they would not hurt the deer but they should not scare them and chase them as they do.  I will from now on keep the windows up where they cannot jump out, I could not believe they did that to me. I was on my way to the grocery and they love to car ride so I let them go with me. We do usually take them everywhere we go if it is not too hot and not gone to long.  We have really become homebodies due to the cost of gasoline, just ready to hit $4.00 a gallon here and not in our monthly budget. This has really curtailed the roaming we intended to do when we moved here, there are so many beautiful places to see and go, I even just love driving on errands as things on roadsides change and the seasons are fantastic to watch.

I found some strange nut pods a while back as I am always out looking for nature items for my mixed media makings and I collect found nature items anywhere I can. These pods were all over the ground at a roadside tree and I stopped and collected as many as I could. some were opened and broken  apart where the insides where divided, but the nuts were gone.

I took this photo of them to try and identify them to add to my collection of pods, etc.  Well, yesterday as we were going to our Friday errands  we passed a tree with the black pods still on the tree and they  were also blooming these fabulous wonderful purple flowers. They were upright, not like the wisteria I used to see in Alabama. Well, on the way back I had my husband stop by for a closer look and I was in awe of the beauty I found. The flowers were blowing off in the wind and stuck in the tall grasses underneath the tree so I started my habit of collecting some of them for reference.  I sometimes dry them in silica gel and use them also in my potpourri jars.   Well, this morning I was looking through my reference books and I found the flower as it appeared and then further found the tree information. It is called a 

" Royal Paulownia "or Empress-tree or Princess-tree named for Anna Paulownia (1795- 1865) of Russia, princess of The Netherlands, and ancestor to the present queen, Juliana. Many of the trees and shrubs around here are native to China and divided to be here also as the earth's continents moved back in the ages they separated. I learned much of this at a seminar at the GA Experiment station I volunteer to work at and learn. I have really been inspired at the knowledge they can share and thank goodness for early naturalist's.  Their drawings and teachings show us today what we know today and they founded the information to identify plants, trees, mosses, lichen, animals, etc.

I also have been digging my flower beds for the many seeds I have been getting since they are cheaper than the already started flowers at the markets today. I tend to grow more flowers than vegetables but we may try more veggies as we proceed.  The red raspberries bush shoots I got from the experiment farm are doing very well and growing. Glory Be! I had no idea if they would live in my hands but they really are!  I also have many gourd seeds to plant. I am digging away the surface red clay to add some good black earth dirt for the seed plantings. The builders of homes really just scale back the land to build and leave junk to grow in.

This has been an effort for several months now for me to get good earth from the forest floor where I just spread a stick around and uncover the wonder the forest floor has to offer, I do find many roots to dig between and I only can go a few inches deep. I try not to disturb it any more than needed and always re-cover it where you can't see where I have dug underneath. My garden cart I bartered for at the flea market last fall has been invaluable to me but it takes my husband helping me to push it around on our slopes and I load it in small buckets or boxes with handles I can easily lift to take to planting spots.  It is much bigger than a wheel barrow, I love it so much! It has twice been overloaded by me and mowed down both of my bottle trees at separate times. Oh, I am so hard on so many things!

    Smiles, Cyndi