Monthly Archives: April 2022

Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)

Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)

Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)

We went for a walk near Rock Creek today and enjoyed the spring flowers. The spring beauties (Claytonia virginica) which are in great profusion. We also saw a few bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) as seen here. The flower petals are the purest white with bright yellow stamens. Although they don’t last long, they are quite lovely for the little time they are blooming each spring. The roots have a red sap, which is where they get both their common name and their genus name. The leaves are palmate and deeply-scalloped and attractive in their own right.

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Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple)

Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple)

Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple)

We walked in Meadowside Nature Center this afternoon and saw more bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) as seen in yesterday’s photo. We also saw quite a few mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) coming up. They come out of the ground as cones and then the leaves spread like an opening umbrella. Apparently plants with a single leaf will not flower but those with two will produce a flower stem from the leaf axil (where the two leaf stems branch). While the leaves and roots are poisonous, the fruit, when ripe, can be made into preserves and jellies. I never have, though.

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Johnny and Stephanie

Johnny and Stephanie

Johnny and Stephanie

Johnny and Stephanie came to see D.C. this weekend. They stayed with Dorothy but she stopped by with them after she picked them up at the airport. It’s nice to have visitors and especially nice as we’ve been so isolated the last couple years. Dorothy met Stephanie when she was in college (Dorothy was in college, Stephanie had just graduated) and they got to know each other. Then it turns out Stephanie’s family actually knew Dorothy’s grandma (Cathy’s mom). And the organization Stephanie’s dad helps run is named for the pastor that married Cathy and me. Small world.

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An Empty Storage Locker

An Empty Storage Locker

An Empty Storage Locker

I have been working on getting things out of one of our two storage lockers for quite a while now. We started with just one in the spring of 2018 but it became clear that wasn’t going to be enough. By the end of the year, those two were both pretty well filled up. We’ve been slowly moving things out and dealing with them, some going to family, others being dealt with in different ways. Today I loaded a few things into the van and moved a few more from this storage unit to the other, which is as full as ever and was able to shut this one down. It will be even better when we get rid of the first one, but today was a day of triumph.

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Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfection’

Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfection’

Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfection’

Last year’s cicada swarm did some serious damage to two of my camellias as well as to the two dwarf apple trees. They all survived, but I wouldn’t say any of them are thriving yet. There are a few flowers on this plant, Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfection’, which was planted in the spring of 2010. It’s still only about three feet high, which is disappointing, but at least it’s still alive. ‘Dad’s Pink’, planted two years later, has even fewer blooms and I’m not 100% sure it’s going to survive. The healthiest camellia I have at this point is ‘Hokkaido Red’, planted only two years ago and in a spot well protected from both the cold wind and from deer.

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Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells)

Cathy and I went out to Seneca Creek to see the bluebells today. I think they were a few days from their peak but it was still pretty amazing. We walked quite a while and it was a wonderfully beautiful day. We also saw a pair of bald eagles flying overhead and a few common merganser on the creek. One of the cool things about bluebells is the way their color changes from the pink of the buds to the pale blue of the open flowers. The crisp, clear green of their leaves really sets off both colors.

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Erythronium americanum (Trout Lily)

Erythronium americanum (Trout Lily)

Erythronium americanum (Trout Lily)

On our bluebell walk, we also saw a few trout lilies (Erythronium americanum). They are easy to miss but once you start seeing them, you see them everywhere. The leaves are a sort of mottled green and it’s common to find large patches of them. The flowers are, as you can see here, bright yellow. However, they look downward and the backs of the petals are not so bright, which camouflage them a bit. To get good pictures of them you have to be willing to get down on the ground, which has never been a problem for me.

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Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

In September of 2019 we bought and planted a hawthorn, Crataegus viridis ‘Winter King’ in the bed that used to have a Colorado blue spruce. Then in April of 2020, we added a Viburnum carlesii to the same bed. Over the years I’ve also planted quite a few daffodils in that bad. The hawthorn isn’t shown in this photo but the viburnum is, to Cathy’s right (left in the photo). The daffodils in the foreground are called ‘Lemon Beauty’. And the ‘stone’ rabbit came from Cathy’s parents’ yard when their house was sold.

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Easter Sunrise Service

Easter Sunrise Service

Easter Sunrise Service

In 2020 there was not Easter Sunrise Service, cancelled because of the lockdowns in response to the Wohan Flu. In 2021 we went to an outdoor service but not at sunrise. This year, things have progressed to something approximating how it was in the past. The sunrise service was at the regular 6:00 AM time and we had a breakfast afterward in the Upper Room. It was a wonderfully beautiful day (although Cathy was a bit cold when we first arrived). I had really missed this the last two years and it was great to be back. As usual, I took a few pictures, which I try to do unobtrusively toward the end of the service.

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