Sunday, March 25, 2007

While I Was Gone

While I was gone, the blueberries' ovaries began to swell, promising future sweetness for my morning cereal. The bees are still frantically working the bushes, as the number of fresh blossoms dwindle. It looks to be a good blueberry year with even my yearling bushes blossoming.

While I was gone, the bunch muscadine grapevine (UF variety "SweetHome") unfolded fresh tendrils and leaves of pink and green. These were met by the aphids and their ant cowboys. The ants have been working pretty hard milking honey dew and managing their tiny cattle. Apparently aphids stand on their heads to drink sap, something I had never noticed before the picture above. Just one more thing my garden has taught me.

While I was gone, the squash, watermelon, and bean seeds sprouted. The deer are still befuddled by the Rube Goldberg "deer hazard" I rigged up to protect them. (Would y'all please stop what your doing and knock on wood for me? If by chance, you were already knocking on wood, please continue.)
While I was gone, I had another amazing encounter with the gopher ... an encounter I engineered by digging a substantial hole and then messing with his little mind. I got some pretty amazing (to me at least) video that I can't show you because I'm still on dialup. My fascination with the gopher has caused the smart and interesting people I live with to begin calling me Bill Murray. Just for the record, I am NOT obsessed with the gopher, despite what you may hear.
While I was gone I had an encounter with the most magnificent Diamondback Rattler I have ever seen ... and I've seen a bunch. Sorry no pics.
While I was gone, I wrote every day, rewrote every day, and have arrived at a point where there's so little left to do on my National Boards, that I can come home to Pure Florida a day earlier than my Monday forecast. The portfolio is not in the mail yet, but Wednesday is my target day for that. I am down to final editing and double checking the requirements. I should be back to daily posting from now on.
While I was gone, you visitors and commenters left me beaucoup kind, encouraging comments and I thank you for that. While I was gone, I missed Deb's 40th birthday, Vicki's caterpillar, Pablo's mystery turtle points of light, Sophiemae's lovely new profile pic, the Bums seagull remnant, Wayne's adventure, POP's wit, Zanne's photos, ThreeCollie's cows, Rurality's Jasmine game pic, Laura's humor ... the list goes on and on.
While I was gone, I missed you.
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Sandy said...

It seems that lots of things happened while you were away from blogging and why don't you treat yourself to DSL so you can show us those fantastic gopher videos Mr. Murray.

I've never seen aphids quite so close and I think ours are least they look white. Your little aphids kind of resemble fat little ticks.

Good going on your portfolio...I bet getting the finishing touches done on that & putting it in the mail will be cause for a celebration!!!

Great photos as usual.

robin andrea said...

While you were gone Roger put up the beginning post on the compost bin. I'm sure there will be a follow up. I might even paint it for that post.

I'm glad you're back and your writing is nearly complete. Woohoo! Good for you.

There's going to be a bobcat post at our place tomorrow morning. Just an fyi.

Welcome back, Mr. Murray.

roger said...

video????????of a gopher??????????you are, uh, intensely interested at least (possibly intensely interesting also).

a few things happened in the national law enforcement, prosecution division, arena while you were gone. one of your state institutions of higher learning dissed the former guvnor too.

pablo said...

In recognition of your return, I will hoist a glass of iced tea (unsweetened, of course).

Welcome back, FC!


Cathy S. said...

Hooray! Every morning this week, I logged onto my computer where I have Pure Florida on my toolbar (You have a little sunflower as your mark), and clicked on your site just in case you were back. Each day I was disappointed, athough your blogger friends comments gave me a little something to read, it wasn't the same. Welcome back. We MISSED you!

Deb said...

I missed you too. The blogosphere just was not the same. But, congratulations on getting a major piece of work accomplished, or nearly so.

I was going to say you also missed the first woodcock peenting here in the woods of Minnesota, but I realized...I hadn't posted about it yet!

Welcome back!

SophieMae said...

Well, you certainly came back in with a bang! Those pics are superb! Re the ants and aphids... are these the ones that... hmmm, how can I put this delicately?... as the aphid drinks, it goes right out the other end and the ant is there slurping it up?

I keep forgetting to check on my blueberries. Too busy cruising half the state and admiring all the dogwoods, wisteria, azaleas, etc going wild right now.

Kudos for setting your goal and sticking to it! 8-]

threecollie said...

Glad you are nearly done and that you had an interesting and productive week.

Floridacracker said...

I'm too far out for DSL. This is the frontier!

Bobcats! Woohoo!
I was afraid Caddyshack was too old for the reference.

the UF faculty did a brave thing.

Thanks! I'll have a glass too.

Cathy S,
Thanks for hanging in there. The comments were good. I hope your big project is progressing as well.

I still need to catch up on my visits, but I know I'll be dipping my toes into Sand Creek sometime today.

Thanks. Yup, these are the honeydew derierre drinking ants.

Congratulations on Northview's blog award!!

vicki said...

Obviously, we missed you, too. But I don't know, FC- coming back to "blueberry ovaries"??- I mean I've heard of blue...oh, never mind. It's just great to have you back.

Yes, I have herds of aphids around here, too. No ladybugs, but aphids.

Alan said...

It's about time you stopped goofing off and got back to work! {laughing}

My grapes are just now beginning to break out so I'll be out there spraying the aphids before long. They were pretty bad last year.

Good luck with the virus eradication.


ImagineMel said...

gross gross and gross again...I'm going to go study for a fish test now. Oh, and welcome back! :)

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere. Hope you ace those tests.

I really like those aphid photos, especially at full size.

Floridacracker said...

It was good of you to feed the lizards.

Be sure he can explain the countercurrent system of flow.

Thanks! Up close, they lose the evil pest persona.

Sandy said...

I was too far out for DSL too until last summer and it finally came close enough for me to connect. It was a long wait, but it's worth it.

Wayne said...

Those plump blueberry ovaries look awfully nice. Ours haven't even flowered yet.

In fact, they look like everyone else in that family - sparkleberries, wintergreen, and well, not azaleas although they really *do* look like that as long as you don't expect berries rather than capsules. Capsules are just dry berries anyway.

We're not yet to the point of aphids, but when we are we'll find them especially on the milkweeds. Bright orange females, making smaller females, which make smaller females, and even smaller females.

Floridacracker said...

My scuppernongs are swelling, but the muscadines are out.

Believe me, I'll be ready when it gets here.

Parthenogenesis can be so lonely.