D.C. Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Dates Announced

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in General Interest | Posted on 04-03-2013

“the Festival, National Park Service, Embassy of Japan, and DC leadership gathered to announce plans for the 2013 National Cherry Blossom Festival, held March 20 – April 14.

The National Park Service announced that the peak bloom (defined as when 70% of the blossoms are open), will be March 26 – March 30.”

Peak Bloom Dates and Festival Information Announced | National Cherry Blossom Festival.

For a history of the festival see:

History of the Cherry Blossom Trees
and Festival

March is for Maple Syrup

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in General Interest | Posted on 28-02-2013

March: The first signs of Spring and Maple Syrup Season!

Why is March the month for Maple Syrup?  It is the magic of longer warmer days and nights below freezing.  The maple trees start to surge to life and the sap starts to flow.

  • From the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association: Spring’s warmer temperatures coax sugar maple trees to turn stored starch back into sugar. Sap is made as the tree mixes ground water with the sugar. The sap is mostly crystal clear water with about 2% sugar. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make each gallon of maple syrup which has a sugar content of 66.9%. A typical sugaring season lasts 4 to 6 weeks. A pattern of freezing and thawing temperatures (below freezing at night and 40-45 degrees during the day) will build up pressure within the trees causing the sap to flow from the tapholes.

Canada produces more than 80 percent of the world’s maple syrup. In the United States, the largest producing states in order are Vermont, New York and Maine.

Pure maple syrup has many health benefits and contains as many as 54 antioxidants. For more info on the nutritional value of maple syrup, see the Pure Canadian Maple Syrup website.

And for some funs ways to enjoy maple syrup, see Top 10 Ways to eat maple Syrup from Maple Syrup World.

Did you know that many popular brands of “maple flavored” syrups are NOT real maple syrup. Look for labels that say “PURE Maple Syrup” and always check the ingredients.  Nothing tastes as good as the real thing.

Yeah the Winter Solstice is here!

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in General Interest | Posted on 20-12-2012

I always look forward to the Winter Solstice!  This year that date is December 21. I don’t so much view the Winter Solstice as the beginning of winter, but as the turning point for those of us in the Northern hemisphere when our nights will not get any longer!  And I can now look forward to the daylight hours getting longer day by day which also means Spring is heading back our way.  Yeah!

PlantMorePlants

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in General Interest | Posted on 04-12-2012

I was recently at a local garden center and picked up an interesting bumper sticker for PlantMorePlants.  What a great website and campaign!

Plant More Plants is the second personal stewardship campaign created by the Chesapeake Bay Program partners under the umbrella of The Chesapeake Club. Both Plant More Plants and the earlier “Save the Crabs then eat’em” campaign strive to share with residential homeowners practices that are beneficial to their lifestyle and to the Chesapeake Bay.”  (see list of partners here: http://www.plantmoreplants.com/partners.shtml)

The Native Plant Landscape Plans (I have already downloaded one) and the list of Local Garden Centers is a great resource!

Visit the site and find out why more plants = better water quality!

Carry me back to…Virgnia

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in General Interest | Posted on 04-12-2012

Grace & Tucker in their new backyard

I have been slack in keeping up my hobby blog as we have experienced a lot of big life events in the past few months.  One of those events is that I am now behind new fence posts!  We have moved back to Spotsylvania, Virginia and I will be starting a new landscape in a new house.  A 2-acre mostly fresh clean slate with a nice wooded backyard consisting primarily of tulip poplars with a few sweet gum, maples, eastern red cedars, and even a wild dogwood.  We had a fence put in for our dogs as soon as we moved in and have enjoyed observing our new wildlife including a nice variety of birds: bluejays, bluebirds, wrens, chickadees, tit-mice, nut-hatches, various woodpeckers and a hawk, even an eagle sighting one day.  And so far, two bats! And another mystery night bird not yet identified (not an owl).  Things should be interesting.

LawnLift – America’s best selling Grass Paint only $12.95

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in General Interest | Posted on 21-08-2012

I’m like what?  Really?

LawnLift – America’s best selling Grass Paint only $12.95.