Binging On Longmire

escapism- the avoidance of reality by absorption of the mind in entertainment or in an imaginative situation, activity, etc.  (Dictionary.com)

Dealing with stress and seeking some escapism has involved a lot of binge watching of Netflix. I started out with one of my standbys, Star Trek. I binge watched Janet King,an Australian show about a woman lawyer. Lately, I have been hooked on Longmire. I am a sucker for good Westerns. And this combines a Western kind of setting with a murder mystery and police, (sheriff), procedural. I have noticed these Netflix series episodes have a soap opera-y feel where the characters continue to get into all kinds of sticky situations and then you are left hanging at the end of each episode and have to wait for the resolution until the next or several more episodes. So you get drawn in and want to keep watching to find out what happens. Kind of like staying up all night reading a page turner. The next season of Bosch is starting soon, (on Amazon).


Featured image of ‘Cowboy’ by skeeze on Pixabay.com

The Giver

“If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that–warm things, kind things, sweet things–help and comfort and laughter–and sometimes gay, kind laughter is the best help of all.”-Frances Hodgson Burnett

I have been reading about how we need to keep a balance between giving and over-giving. How givers can turn into their dark side and become over-givers. Givers that really expect something in return. Givers can turn into little ‘Darth Vader’ givers, or Santa Claus on a spree, The Good Fairy gone wild.  Giving too much can make others uncomfortable and resentful. The Giver can become resentful if they do not get their expectations fulfilled. It can be connected to ‘people pleasing.’ Maybe it’s just a case of unrequited love.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt words for today, ‘give, giving, given.’ Featured image ‘Watery Heart’ by Pezibear on Pixabay.com

Mystery Tree

“To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly.”                  -Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette

PIA21270 Martian Dust Devil via JPL

Martian Dust Devil Action Gale Crater, Sol 1597

Isn’t that a great Gif from NASA? There is wind on Mars. It is wonderful that we have the technology to capture images from another planet.

Speaking of technology, my new App has been working pretty well up until now. I take a photo of the plant/bush/tree that I want to identify and the App sends me several images of different plants/bushes/trees to see if there is a match. If I do not see a match, I can ask The Horticulturist. I then submit 3 photos of the mystery plant and The Horticulturist will get back to me within 24 hours with an answer. This was all going swimmingly until the App couldn’t identify one of my bush/trees.

Mystery Tree

Mystery Tree

I need to trim some of the branches off the bottom of this tree.  I do remember being told in the past it is a Manzanita. I have been researching, and it matches better with a Toyon or Christmas Berry or California Holly. This would make it a native of California, drought tolerant, and good for bees and birds. It gets red berries in winter. The birds and squirrels like to eat the berries. It is quite comical to see the squirrels hanging upside down off the branches munching on the berries.  After researching a lot some more, I think I have found it, Eureka!  It is not a Manzanita, it is not a Toyon or Christmas Berry, it is a Firethorn or Pyracantha.  The App probably had a hard time identifying it because it has not flowered yet, although it has some little buds, and no berries yet. I was so focused on the leaves and buds that I did not notice it does have some thorns on the branches. Some of thorns are hidden behind the leaves and they are very sharp. It was hard to capture a clear image of the thorns but I included a few below. I noticed that it is getting a couple of pretty white flowers up on a higher branch, and there is this cotton-y stuff scattered around some of the branches. It is not a native of California but it is hardy and drought tolerant.

I found out about the cotton-y stuff on a few branches, and it is good it is few and far between because it is a sign of the woolly apple aphid. The aphids usually do not become a major problem thanks to natural predators like some wasps, lady bugs, syrphid flies or hover flies, earwigs, and lace wings. I saw some flying wasp-y looking insects around the tree this morning and hope they are after the aphids. And I have noticed lots of earwigs in our yard. I have to keep watch for aphid mummies, which is what happens when the wasps attack the aphids. Between those spiky thorns and the aphid mummies this is getting a little scary.  But I am liking earwigs more.


One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. It is a nice way to meet up with other bloggers. Click on the link to check out her site.

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My Near Perfect Urban Trees

Continuing my research on my backyard flora, I have identified two more trees. They are the biggest trees on our property and against a back wall. I used my App again and couldn’t find a match. I did ask The Horticulturist but you have to wait for 24 hours to get the answer. But I was able to find them online. They are common trees in LA, drought tolerant, evergreen, conifers, and don’t cause problems with their roots. They are called Afrocarpus falcatus or Fern Pines. ( I find they are also referred to as Afrocarpus gracilior).  Cal Poly San Luis Obispo says the names are synonymous. They are originally from Africa.  Some other names are African Fern Pine and Yellowwood. Robin Rivet a horticulturist in the San Diego Horticultural Society (Oct. 2012, No. 217, pg. 5) called them “near perfect for urban landscapes.” Very reassuring. Thank you, Robin. Can’t get any better than that. Cal Poly states that my Fern Pines can grow 12-36 in./year, up to 50-65 ft. tall, and live more than 150 years. I can just see these two trees being the last things standing on our property.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. My featured image is of a ‘Ring-necked dove in an African Fern Pine’ in Maui by Forrest and Kim Starr on Flickr. We get doves in our yard and in our Fern Pine Trees. It is hard to get a photo because the minute we go outside they usually fly off. Ours are Mourning Doves.

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove via US Fish and Wildlife Service

Heavenly Bamboo And Not Heavenly Pepper Trees

“They know, they just know where to grow, how to dupe you, and how to camouflage themselves among the perfectly respectable plants, they just know, and therefore, I’ve concluded weeds must have brains.”
~ Dianne Benson, Dirt, 1994.

There are many trees, bushes, and plants in our backyard whose true identity is a mystery to me. They were already here when we bought this house or have sprung up as volunteers. Up until now I have not paid them much attention. I have used the internet to successfully identify some of my succulents, cacti, and clover-like ground cover, ( aka Wood Sorrel). I mentioned my search to my daughter and she told me I could get an App for my phone, take photos of the plant/tree, and get it identified. I was a bit frustrated in my first attempts using the App. But yesterday I asked the opinion of The Horticulturist, a feature of the App, and got the answer. I was really off on the wrong track in my identification of some of the bushes. I thought they were Chokecherry. I got off on a tangent with the Chokecherry. It has a long history in North America and strong ties to Native Americans who harvested the cherries.  Turns out they are not Chokecherry and they are two separate species. One is Heavenly Bamboo and the other Brazilian Pepper. We have a large Brazilian Pepper at the front of our house as do other neighbors. I have always liked the Pepper Tree in front. I knew it was a Pepper Tree but the one in the backyard looks more like a thicket or bush. It probably volunteered in our backyard with the help of birds who eat the peppers and then spread the seeds to other locations. The Heavenly Bamboo was probably spread by the birds as well because there are two smaller bushes of it in other locations in our yard. Now we have to figure out what to do with the Pepper trees because it can be invasive and I don’t want a backyard full of them.  At least the Heavenly Bamboo is not invasive.   🙂


One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill.

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The Full Worm Moon

March is the beginning of Spring and according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac the first Full Moon of March is called Full Worm Moon by Native Americans. This is because Spring is the season when the earth gets warmer and the worms are supposed to return. You may ask where did the worms go during the winter? It turns out earthworms burrow down deep below the frost line and sit out the winter below ground. Other species of garden worms lay eggs and die. In the Spring, their eggs hatch. I have been digging around a little in my small patch in the backyard and I realize I haven’t come across any worms yet. I dug a hole to plant our new lime tree and just did battle with that Palm tree I told you about, and dug it up, but I did not see any worms. The worms are supposed to attract birds and I have seen various birds pecking around in the yard but they could be eating other insects or seeds. I am now officially on worm watch. Maybe it’s due to global warming.  😉


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt word is “march.” Featured image of ‘Robin catching worm in Spring’ via wikimedia.

If You Like Giffs

I am just starting to add GIFs to some of my posts and find they do add something extra and hopefully interesting. I wanted to give a shout out to dalecooper57 @diaryofaninternetnobody.com who has offered to create free GIFs for fellow bloggers. He has an interesting blog and you can go check it out. He created one for me which is my featured image. How do you like it? Maybe you’ll want one too.


Note: You may have realized I am not a super tech savvy person. I have been learning a lot since I started blogging but I am still learning. GIFs are something fairly new to me. So I did some research and learned that GIF is an acronym for Graphic Interchange Format and the GIF in my post is an animated GIF. I noticed that there are do it yourself GIF websites. Wonder how easy they are to use?