Roses and Red Foxes: Wildlife in Howard County

Wildlife spottings all around Howard County:

Hawk, heron, groundhog, and rabbit spottings are in abundance now. Deer and chipmunk spottings are increasing.

Dayton, MD:

I saw a red fox at my grandpa’s house.

Centennial Lake:

Lots of rabbits, a deer, a groundhog, a great blue heron, and a chipmunk were spotted on Monday the 10th. I also saw a baby turtle but it swam into a murky spot before I could get a picture.

994769_10151460923327001_1761849614_n

WILD FLOWER SPOTTINGS:

Centennial Lake
971454_10151460891717001_915099620_n

429994_10151460900187001_1640302717_n

1001490_10151460919762001_83565038_n

1001626_10151460931442001_533126004_n

Roses: Pics From Grandpa’s House

The following are plants from my grandpa’s house from mid May.

296310_10151427858142001_539015527_n

419575_10151427854457001_407508741_n

954791_10151427860372001_2077545341_n
His azaleas were past their peak, but still not too bad looking.

970892_10151427856617001_1993250203_n
I missed the peak days for his poppies too but he had one or two still hanging in there strong

945237_10151427785232001_1262914043_n
Looks at these beauties! Are they big and beautiful! They were growing on the stump of a tree my grandpa chopped down.

945636_10151427783322001_2093326763_n
I don’t know what kind of flower this is but it’s a sweet little thing. My grandpa cut most of them down unfortunately.

Roses: Backyard Wild Flowers – Year Two

Last year I planted wildflower seeds in my backyard, my first contribution to the “garden”. Stalks sprouted but that was the extent of growth last year. THIS year however has grown much better results. The following pictures are from the last few weeks as that part of the backyard has progressed. Some of the pictures are through the kitchen window because for a little while we had a mud wasp nest next to where the window opened up. Todays picture is from the other side of the window because I didn’t think to take it while I planted ANOTHER section of wildflowers and I was just too hot to feel like going back out again. lol.

969650_10151433043822001_1329826394_n
First signs we noticed of wildflowers coming up. Just one white one and a half white, half pink one.

947138_10151434057817001_747314635_n
The next time we looked there were four bunches of flowers: two white, one half white and half pink, and one all pink

481625_10151434084302001_1916617697_n

969024_10151434086637001_1063315415_n

487634_10151434085687001_1681011041_n
Close up looks of the flowers

954769_10151443242752001_1272157485_n
Todays photo with two bunches of pink flowers, two of white, and still only one of the half pink half white ones.

Favorite Local Places: Appalachian Trail Section #3 – Wolfsville Rd to Route 40

On January 12th, I started my attempt to hike the all the Maryland Appalachian Trail Hikes (offered through Howard County Recreation and Parks). The first one offered was Section #3. February 9th is Section #2 and in March will be #1. There are 7 sections I think. Either way, by the end of the year, I hope to finish them all. If I do, in a three year time span, I earn a patch. I earn a 100 mile patch if I accumalate another 60 odd miles on Virginia and Pennsylvania trail sections offered through Howard County Recreations and Parks. I hope to get both, though that won’t be easy if I transfer where I’m planning to transfer (as of last fall – UNLV). It was (is) January so the landscape was drawn in browns, whites, and the pale blue of the sky. It was also incredibly misty/foggy so when we reached a summit to look out over, the distant line of mountains was nearly invisible as was almost half the view. The mountains in the distance, when you could any of it, was merely a dark blue line tracing the horizon, weaving in and out of fog. I highly suggest hiking the section though I’m sure it looks much prettier in the spring, summer, or fall. It’s 8.4 miles and begins with a steep hike up, which was a bit dangerous when I went with the snow on the ground, hiding rocks everywhere. It’s moderately difficult terrain and I suffered some foot injuries so make sure to tie your boots tie, expect stumbling on some rocks if you want to look away from the ground, and don’t go if you can’t or don’t think you’re ready for an 8.4 mile hike. It was tough, even for the four youngest people there (I am included). Most were 40 and above with some late 20 and 30 year olds there. I fell back on the second half or so till I was the last while the 3 other youngest ones were at the front. Like I said, I was at the back and I’m 21, turning 22 on the 29th. Age means little, it’s your health and fitness that make a difference. When I jogged at Centennial Lake, I always got lapped by joggers and runners older than me, some surely into their 60’s and 70’s.

I hope you look check into going on these trail sections. We go in groups and you drive to the park n ride in Long Gate (Ellicott City) where we take a van the rest of the way to the starting point. It’s $17 to $20 and you do have to bring your own snacks and lunch. They start in the morning (8am) and end in the middle of the afternoon (4pm or later depending on traffic and other complications of the sort). Plus, we stop for ice cream at Baskin Robbins on the way back. 🙂

Unfortunately, my pictures are a bit worse than usual. I wasn’t thinking about how hard I had sweat and that it was getting on the camera lens and I had forgot to extra clean the lens before embarking leaving the house. Sorry.

580518_10151215901252001_1676170550_n603066_10151215903137001_1214907081_n230639_10151215903267001_1354822204_n63712_10151215903622001_648084154_n68651_10151215904142001_83724898_n398097_10151215904462001_978780337_n537964_10151215904562001_31097901_n

Roses: Squash Plant Clippings

So, there is thing garden plot outside my front door that used to be maintained by a woman a few doors down. She planted flowers and other plants (not vegetables or food plants) in there for years, ever since I can remember. It was last year or the year before that the people who run the neighborhood had the people who cut the grass and other stuff dig everything up out of the garden plot and dig up the plants in some people’s yards. We don’t know and there really isn’t any reasonable explanation for why they did it. They put in a few common and cheap flowers in there but mostly mulch.

This year though, this vine like plant with huge leaves came up (early in the spring). It grew fast and soon we noticed these orange flowers after awhile. My mom called them squash blossoms and sure enough, somehow, it was a squash plant. No one in the neighborhood grew it, heck, you’d be lucky if half the people in my neighborhood recognized a zucchini if they saw one. It grew and grew and grew and at one point, the mailman was scared of it, having the idea that maybe one day when he went to put the mail in the mailbox that it would grab him, pull him into the thickest part, and eat him. We kept seeing flowers, but no squash. No bees on the flowers either. One day, my mom had the idea to fertilize the flowers with each other so my dad brought a couple of the flowers together, shaking the pollen into each other. Voila, not a whole lot later, maybe a couple weeks, we noticed that squashes had started to grow! So, I decided to snap a few pieces of the vine and me and my dad put them in containers of water so they would sprout and we could have our own squash plant. My parents think it’s pumpkin but I’m going more for acorn squash. Anyway, it must have been a bird that started this all (having eaten a seed and pooped it or dropped it in the garden plot). My aunt says a tomato plant mysteriously started growing one year in her backyard thinking it was most likely a bird too. Yay for birds!