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Monday, July 30, 2018

Red Oak House Garden Notes no. 46: Red, Red, Red

Red daylilies are stealing the show a wee bit these days in the garden.

Hummingbird's Delight daylily

Red Volunteer daylily

Red Skeleton daylily

Bama Bound daylily

Baja daylily

Miracle Maid daylily

Red Razzmatazz daylily

Forever Rosemary daylily

Vesuvian daylily

Siloam Red Ruby daylily (above and below)

And then, there is the delicate beauty of the Leopard Lily.

Happy days!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Dispatches from Wild Dakota Woman in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

We slipped away from domestic chores this week for an interlude in Theodore Roosevelt National Park (South Unit) along with a night in the charming village of Medora, where were treated to two very pleasant days, warm and sunny, with a gentle breeze. We took a hike on the Jones Creek trail and two drives through the Park loop road for wildlife viewing, and strolled around Medora after supper.

The wildflowers are abundant, with plentiful rains. The highlights of the visit were being greeting by my sister in her new job at the TRNP entrance station and the huge herd of bison walking by our car (more on that later).

Sometimes visits to the park are all about the wild horses, sometimes the birds (we did see a pair of bald eagles), sometimes the wildflowers, but this time it was all about the bison. At the trailhead, we had a friendly chat with visitors from Great Britain and Germany, who were in awe of the bison bull hanging around nearby as well as the fact that we were actually going to hike in his vicinity. They had just been to Yellowstone and Glacier and just happened upon TRNP as they made their way to Minneapolis leaving them very happy about this.

 The Rocky Mountain juniper provide welcome shade, here and there on the trail.

The bacciferous shrubs are loaded with berries this year, especially the buffaloberry and chokecherry bushes. The sharp-tailed grouse and other birds will feast this winter.



I am in awe of the bison and can never get enough time with them. We had considered another hike, but came around the corner to find a herd of over 200, including about twelve bulls, right on the road. They were all around us, and some of the bulls were sparring, because it is full rut season. Many were also rolling in the dust. Thanks to the moonroof on our Toyota, I was able to get some great video footage, which you can enjoy below.  Be sure to watch the one with the bison calf that got separated from its cow, but makes an escape at the end, as well as the one with the vocalizing rutting bull that stood next to our car for an extended period. Perhaps the only North American megafauna that is more impressive is the grizzly. Both should be given wide berth.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park July 24, 2018 bison herd

TRNP bison herd July 24, 2018

TRNP bison herd July 24, 2018

TRNP bison herd July 24, 2018

Until the next dispatch from this Wild Dakota Woman, I encourage you to get outdoors for the good of your spirit!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Red Oak House Garden Notes no. 45: Life is a garden, friends are the flowers

The riotous beauty of the daylilies has me feeling that I'm somewhat neglecting the glory of my hostas so today I'm featuring the front yard. As I've written in the past, I'm no fan of lawns and mowing, thus we've converted nearly every foot of our yard to beds, including the front yard.

The sight in the first few years was not good, but I had a vision. It started with the removal of the pitiful grass under the shade of the Red Oak Tree and the delivery of two very large rocks, one for Christmas and the other my birthday present, eight years ago. Then we started hauling in smaller prairie rocks, lots of 'em. We used our trailer and a ramp and the wheelbarrow. We kept the neighbors amused, no doubt.

This boulder (left) almost broke me. 

Then, I started with about a dozen hostas or so each year. I've recently learned this about hostas: the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap. It certainly does take patience, but this year they are spectacular --  all 126 varieties.

Here are some of my favorites:

Paul's Glory hosta

August Moon hosta

Sum and Substance hosta
The ones shown below were just tiny sprigs when I received these in the mail and it has truly taken patience to see them become worthy of their names.

Lost the name of the one in the foreground. The other two are Blue Mammoth 

The rock in the center is about 4' by 3' which gives perspective to the huge hosta to the right of it, Sum and Substance 

This photo was taken in the same location as the photo of me above, where I was perched on my rock and surrounded by bare ground

Rainforest Sunrise hosta

Dwarf Blue Spruce

And what the heck, I'll wrap this up with some of the latest daylilies:

Instant Celebration daylily

Chili Spice daylily

Best for Last daylily