First Asiatic Lily of many

Asiatic lilies (Lilium asiatica) are considered to be one of the easiest to grow and hardy blooming plants you can enjoy in your garden. They come back each year and sometimes will actually multiply! We always enjoy our colorful lilies.

May morning in the garden

It’s only 40 degrees F on a sunny mid-May morning. Still there is Nature’s beauty on display.

Red young growth on the rose is due to the presence of anthocyanins. This coloration protects the bush from UV rays .

Chives flower

Asiatic lily thinking about blooming

The first rose bloom of the season


River ford now closed

Before the ford was closed

The 10 acres for Kennedy Park in Shelbyville, Indiana were bought and donated to the city in 1929 by Fred Kennedy. Among the features of the park included a concrete ford that crossed the Little Blue River to East Franklin Street. For years it was a place to drive across the river by car or bike. It was also a place to wash your car, which of course you couldn’t do today.

The video pans from East to West and shows the last complete concrete section of the old ford. You can also get a glimpse of the recently completed steel pedestrian footbridge over the river.

Sustainable farm in North Little Rock

Original 1910 orphanage

North Little Rock, Arkansas is home to the St. Joseph Center, a non-profit organization based on a historic building that was once a children’s orphanage run by the Catholic Church.  The impressive structure was built in 1910 and currently there are several Artist’s Studios inside the spacious old building that houses other functions. As a Harvest Hosts site, we used our membership to park our RV free for the night.

Currently the St. Joseph Center is an educational and working farm. The grounds are really beautiful. The first thing Sher and I did after we parked was to take a stroll around the main building, enjoying the old statuary and flower beds. We also got our first look at the garden plots. Turns out that there is a large citizen garden space  where locals can come and, for a modest fee, have their own personal garden plot.

Bull, right and cow

Recently sheared ewe

A couple of very friendly mommy cows

The Farm Stand, in other words the store, offers locally sourced goods ranging from in season produce to canned veggies, jams and jellies, pickles and cheeses. Local sourced flour, grains, and even meats are for sale. We certainly took advantage of Michelle’s opening the store for us and we made several purchases including pickles, pickled green beans and peppered Colby Cheese.

Raised garden boxes

View of the lovely grounds






There are quite a few head of livestock on the farm. Steve directed us to pastures and pens where goats, sheep and beef cattle make their homes. The sheep had recently been sheared ready for the hot summer. I enjoyed seeing the good quality cross bred cattle. Several calves were still on their mothers and would have been fall calves. There are also chickens supplying a great supply of free range eggs. There are two sets of beehives, and we purchased some delicious honey produced by the honey bees right there on the St Joseph Center grounds.

The honey we bought came from these hives

Sher and I enjoyed our visit at this educational farm. Owner’s Steve and Michelle made our visit to this sustainable operation very pleasant.   Recently North Little Rock was hit by a series of tornados. Fortunately the St Joseph Center only suffered the loss of several beautiful old trees, but no animals or buildings were damaged. Here is the farm website.

Helicopters, whirligigs, twisters and samaras

These are all names for those wonderfully spinning things that come off of some maple trees each spring or early summer. (The name samaras is the technical nomenclature for this.) Yes, they become the seeds of the trees. The aerodynamic design allows the seeds to spin as they fall, and they will travel over long distances from the tree.

“Whirligigs” on the tree getting ready to fly

Seed positioned ready to germinate







Hundreds of these spinners will come from each tree, and they will be responsible for many seedling trees as well as clogging gutters and downspouts. In addition, many like to consume the seeds. Try them, they are tasty!

Legends of the lowly dandelion

You have seen them. People love them or hate them. People eat them. Yes, that is the dandelion. There is quite a bit of folklore connected to the dandelion.

Dandelions are related to sunflowers

Each “puffer” has between 150 -200 seeds









No one knows when the first person believed this: If you blow all of the white flying seeds off of a dandelion in one breath your wish will come true. There is also a belief that sending the seeds in the wind will carry your thoughts and dreams to those you love. In addition, some think blowing all the seeds in one breath means your love is true and is returned. Other stories include using the flowers as weather predicters, and the daily opening and closing of flowers indicating time of day.