Plants & Phavorites – Welcome Minerva



Minerva, the Amaryllis bulb I purchased in November, finally grew and bloomed.


In November, I blogged about finding the bulb dressed up in a pretty gauzy bag.


Minerva has lived up to her packaging and beautiful name. She is a medium-sized Amaryllis with gorgeous stripes running the length of her petals. Minerva was worth the two months it took her to grow and blossom.


I grew three Amaryllis plants this year and hope to bring them back into bloom next December. I found information on how to do this at the United States National Arboretum website: How to bring an Amaryllis back into bloom.


The United States National Arboretum is a great site to browse. I’m hoping to visit there within the next year or two.


My Orange Sovereign Amaryllis unexpectedly formed seed pods. I checked a few sites to see if an Amaryllis is Self-Pollinating, but found the answer was no. Somehow, either by a gnat or other insect, or by moving the plant from room to room, the amaryllis was pollinated. I found some good information to follow on Youtube from the Amaryllis Man on how to grow the seed. We’ll see if I have any luck growing one of these beauties start to finish.

Photo Challenge – Alcyon Lake Signs

October 4th – WordPress Photo Challenge – Signs

This week, publish an image of a sign — from the signs you encounter on the street to more personal, less obvious signs that hold meaning for you.


This is my first attempt at taking part in the WordPress Photo Challenge. I chose to take photographs of Alcyon Park. I have visited Betty Park (another name for the site) since I was about seven years old. Once an amusement park, the same land now hosts a gentle playground on one side of the lake, ball fields and walking trails on the other. I loved this place as a child. I watched many a July Fourth firework show from its grassy banks. When I was a young mother I played with my sons in the park, now I bring my grandchildren for outdoor fun. Thank you Alcyon Park in Pitman, NJ for many years of happiness.

Park Signs




Photograph – Mourning Dove


Today was gorgeous here in New Jersey. I took a long walk around the park at Alcyon Lake. As I strolled, a shiny gleam caught my attention. A beautiful dove was intently watching me. She was still…not moving at all, blending into the drab foliage and bark around her. Only her beautiful eyes gave her away. I was thrilled to see her, but also sad, she has built her nest too close to the walking path. Many people pass by every day, many of them with their dogs on a leash. When her babies hatch and begin to peep, she won’t find it easy to blend in and keep her nest a secret. Below is the same birdie with the zoom lens in place.


Stay safe Mama Bird.

Proverbs & Photographs –

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus give you all of his blessings, and great peace of heart and mind. I Corinthians 1:3


I consider feeding ducks and geese one of my blessings. It is also one of my earliest happiest memories. When young, I fed the ducks in a park near the James River in Newport News, Virginia, the hometown of my paternal grandparents. I visited ducks in McDonald, Pennsylvania too. My grandmother would walk me to her neighbor’s yard to see his flock of ducks. The waddle and quack of ducks brings me great peace of heart and mind.

The raucous cries and whistles on this short video are the seagulls flying about my head. They also had their fair share of stale Cheerios and bread.

Please excuse the shakiness of the video, it’s not easy to keep the camera steady while tossing bread with one hand and getting your fingers nipped by a hungry duck’s bill.

Phascination – Unexpected Roadblocks

I was walking in Alcyon Park when I noticed a fallen branch. Oh…not a branch at all…

…A long, rather large snake.

I thought at first he was not alive,

until I prodded him with the toe of my shoe. Yikes!

He didn’t appreciate that at all.

He continued to advance and coil, and I retreated…quickly.

He was at least four feet long.

Of course, I posted my pictures on Facebook.

Friends thought he might be a…

Rat snake, King Snake or a
Black Racer.

I am not sure, I just know he was a “BIG” snake.

He/she retreated back into the woods.

I won’t be walking in there anytime soon.

After googling the names my Facebook friend suggested, and checking out the photographs on the sites I found, I am convinced he/she was an Eastern Black Rat Snake. This means he is a very good snake to have around. I’d rather have hundreds of this fellow living in the woods nearby, than have hundreds of rats and other destructive, disease-carrying rodents.

My slithery friend didn’t fall under any category I use for my blog, so I used my blogger’s prerogative, and took some creative license when I created the new category of “Phascination.” (fascination)