Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's Been Awhile

I've finally gotten around to posting here again. Why has it been so long? I guess primarily my own laziness, but there's other factors, doing other things, distractions, my pending unemployment, etc....Anyways, it's been a pretty good summer for my Sarracenia. We had a wet enough summer that I didn't have to rely a whole lot on supplemental watering. Of course, there were a few hot, dry spells that had me scrambling for water, but they were few and far between. We had an early frost last week, but the Sarracenia seem unfazed by it and I'm not sure how cold it actually got. The surface of the soils were not frozen, although I did have a thin layer of frost on my car window in the morning. This is kind of a bittersweet time of the year - the biggest and best pitchers of most plants are currently being thrown up, but you also know summer is pretty much over and it won't be long before flakes are flying through the air. We had an early October snowstorm two years ago, and last early October, I was hiking with my family through a bog with 80 degree air temps, so anything is possible from here on out. I've been taking a lot of pictures over the course of the summer, but haven't published a whole lot of them. If you peruse any of the CP forums, you may find them. I've been using the Photosynth application by Microsoft, which stitches images together for creating panoramas, but you don't have to use it on a landscape scale. Here's a few I just did this evening. I don't think they turned out the greatest, but I didn't put a whole lot of effort and time into it. If you zoom in a little, you'll see some errors in the stitching process. This first one just shows a couple of the tubs I grow most of my Sarracenia in. Yeah, they look a little ragged, but I think that's to be expected when you grow outdoors, and they're probably a little overcrowded now too: This second one shows a bunch of Sarracenia that are still in individual pots. They're mostly seed-grown plants of my own, anywhere from 1-4 years of age. There's also a couple of older plants that should be moved to larger containers or into a tub: This one really got messed up during the stitching process, but I guess I'll go ahead and post it anyway. It's my giant mini bog, with a layer of live sphagnum topdressing. The sphagnum has a bunch of cranberries growing in it, although I have yet to see a single fruit, and I also planted a couple of native bog plants in there: bog rosemary, labrador tea, and grass-pink orchid. They all seem to be doing very well. I can see the bog rosemary may need to be reined in - it's really starting to spread. And I planted 2 grass-pink orchid corms in there last spring, and this year, there were 6 separate plants that came up - 3 of which bloomed: This last one was just for fun and shows 3 pots that each have an open-pollinated "Boob Tube" seedling (2 years old). I thought it was kind of neat how the sphagnum in each pot has all kind of grown together, so you really wouldn't know there were 3 separate pots underneath. And then next to them is my one and only venus flytrap: So there's some amateur Sarracenia photostitches. I've actually been doing many of them in my hikes and explorations around the state. As an example of how good the photosynths can actually be, here's one I did a month ago at the Great River Trail Prairie State Natural Area, near LaCrosse, WI: So now I can't wait to get out to some of the bogs in this state and do some of these, although it may be some time before that happens.