Monday, July 11, 2005

Soggy bottoms

We came through Hurricane Dennis just fine. In addition to weakening considerably, the storm took a more westerly route than expected. Our area was spared all but some heavy rain and gusty winds.

The rain gauge in our yard got knocked over - I believe there was a dog involved. But I don't believe totals reached those of the storm in the spring.

By comparison, Hurricane Ivan last year dropped about 7 inches (18 cm) of rain!

Just before the rain began yesterday, my husband came back from a walk and told me that the Bottlebrush Buckeye was blooming. Since it looked like the bottom was about to fall out, we drove there in the truck to snap a few pictures.

The creek was already muddy from the rain we'd gotten the night before.

Bottlebrush buckeye close-up (Aesculus parviflora).

On the way back, we spotted a couple of small Sassafras trees (Sassafras albidum). There aren't many in the immediate area.

If you've ever bought Gumbo Filé (Filé powder), that's all it is: powdered dried Sassafras leaves.

I also found some Skullcap (Scutellaria sp.).

I need to go back and examine it more closely - I didn't realize there were so many species until I tried to look this one up.


~ J ~ said...

Glad everyone and everything made it safe and sound!

C. Corax said...

Glad you're okay!

When I was a kid, we used to gather sassafras and boil the roots to make tea.

Watchmania said...

Glad you are all safe!

Marie said...

Glad you weathered the storm. Great photos--I especially like the sassafras shot. My grandpa used to make sassafras tea and birch beer.

lisa said...

So glad you came through it okay.

The Scullcap looks like a flower I saw yesterday growing wild. I though it looked like an orchid. I'm going to go back today and compare the leaves. I'm in the Pacific Northwest and thought it odd!

I am reading Susan Weed's books and really 'looking' at plants right now.

cookie jill said...

How'd the ducks do? (and are there any eggs left?)

Dave said...

Sassafras grows well here on dry, rocky sites. I think the timbering history favored it, by removing other trees. I often find sassafras trees growing in large circles, for some reason. I love the reddish bark on the larger trees.

Rhodent said...

Glad you made it through Dennis in one piece!

We have bottlebrush trees here, but the blooms are red!

Ontario Wanderer said...

I too am glad you made it through the storm. We are hoping some of the rain comes our way soon as we cannot remember the last time the rain gage got wet.

My memories of buckeye all are connected with an ax. My father used to send me out into the treed area of the pasture near the creek to chop it down. I think it was not good for the cows (or maybe it was good to get me away from the house).

Rurality said...

Thanks everybody. I appreciate all the well-wishes!

At our old place, there were lots of sassafras trees, and I used to make sassafras tea every spring, even though it tastes like root beer, which I don't particularly care for.

In the old days, people drank a lot of it as a "spring tonic," but nowdays they say it's carcinogenic.

Lisa I think there are several varieties of skullcap in the Pacific northwest!

Jill, ducks: fine, eggs: not so much. Jasmine ate them all. Sigh.

Dave that probably explains why there were more at our old place than here. I haven't found any large Sassafras trees here.

Rhodent are they the Red Buckeye trees maybe?

OW, I believe all the Buckeyes are very poisonous.

farmer john said...

Please send Denny up into our neck of the woods. We have not had a drop of rain since the 4th. Crops are needin' a drink.

TurtleHeart said...

Glad to hear you weathered the storm just fine, and all are safe and sound.

Its said animals can sense a change in the weather. Did you notice that any of yours were preparing for the storm in any way?

Love the pics of the bottlebrush!

~ J ~ said...


Maybe that explains Jasmine eating the duck eggs....for "safe keeping" !!!

Floridacracker said...

I love the fall color of sassafras. I'm glad you and yours passed the storm safely.

Rurality said...

FJ, would love to send a bit your way... it won't stop raining here!

Turtleheart, I didn't see any of that. The only thing I've ever noticed like that was when our pet budgie (parakeet) started going nuts just before a small earthquake a few years ago.

Johiel don't give her any excuses! :)

Thanks FC, I'll have to look for it again in the fall. I'm in the woods a lot more in the spring than in the fall!

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Rurality said...

(I removed a comment spam that was an ad for something that didn't have a thing to do with this post.)