Monday, May 27, 2013

Sweet Rocket . . . Blooming now . . .

This was unusual to see the variation in the color of the petals.

Sweet Rocket Hesperis matronalis (Hesperis comes from the Greek word for evening.) Native to Europe and Asia, this plant has naturalized in many areas of eastern North America and appears in some western areas of Canada and the U.S.

This plant always signals summer for me.  I grew up with 2 railroads right behind the house and this was one of many flowers that grew there.  I think so many flowers grew along the railroad beds and  roadsides as there was ample sunshine to provide for them to grow and multiply. It always seemed to be in bloom at the end of school . . . summer has begun.  Yesterday it was blooming everywhere on the Trail that we were walking on. ( an old railroad bed)  It has shades of white to deep purple and smells the sweetest in the evening.  Leaves and flower petals are edible. Leaves are best before it flowers. They are in the Mustard family including radishes, Broccoli, and cauliflower. It is not Phlox but looks similar, Sweet Rocket has 4 flower petals and Phlox has 5 flower petals.  Hope that you can get out and see or smell some Sweet Rocket this week.

 This plant is a biennial or short-lived perennial with leafy stems and 4- to 8-inch-long toothed, hairy leaves. Lilac or purple, sometimes white, flowers are borne from late spring to midsummer in racemes or panicles. Noteworthy characteristics: Considered invasive in grassland sites and forests. Attractive to insects. Flowering diminishes with age.

Happy Birthday to Rachel Carson


May 27, 1907  a Great Voice for the Natural World was born in Springdale , PA.  Rachel Carson, Biologist, Writer, Environmentalist.  She did groundbreaking research into the effects of Pesticides on the Environment.  Her Book Silent Spring is widely known ans the Gold Standard in Changing the way people think about the environment.
If you are not familiar with her- what follows are some images and quotes that will endear you to the work that she pursued at a time that women were not all that well heard . . .  Thank you Rachel  for my beautiful natural environment that I get to visit every day.  Happy Birthday!!!


“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”
Rachel Carson

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring


“In nature nothing exists alone.”
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.”
Rachel Carson
“It is ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray.”
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring  

 Died: April 14, 1964
in Silver Spring, Maryland

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Return . . . . .

Backyard with Apple Trees in Bloom

One of my favorite Spring Wild Flowers - Jack in the Pulpit

Barnes Creek Onanda Park

Steep Bank in Creekbed of Barnes Creek Onanda Park

My sketching seat under the Giant Hemlock Tree shielding me during the passing Thunder Shower.
Well it is never my intention to leave my Blog or other areas of my life for long time frames . . .  sadly life in its fullness can get in the way.  We do not choose our paths but often they choose us and we wonder - what am I to learn from this?   Why now?  I definitely do not have the answers and sometimes the answers only reveal themselves long after the experience. The College semester is over and my twice daily commuting for 2 semesters 16K miles has ended at least for a few weeks.  Here's hoping that next semester she has a drivers license. That is not to say that there were not many silver linings to this situation . . .  but there  was also a lot of time lost to commuting.
Be back with a garden post and a whats in the works post and spring at Chestnut Hill, Stay tuned. Be well. Carry on.