“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.”
—Gaylord Nelson

A or B   Which will you choose?

Fiber choices have an effect upon the planet. 70% of microplastics polluting the air, water and the land are synthetic fibers made from petrochemicals.   Plastic degrades into microplastic particles entering the food streams of aquatic life, wildlife, and human beings.   Microplastic fibers float into the air,  as synthetic materials are abraded,  and enter water systems when synthetic materials are laundered. Choosing natural fibers such as cotton, flax, and wool having the ability to decompose, are earth friendly choices.


Dreaming of a White Christmas

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”      Norman Vincent Peale



While it is highly unlikely that snow will create a white Christmas for residents of lower Alabama,  marvelous alternatives are available.  The snowy white specimens of the camellia family located at  Mobile Botanical Gardens and Bellingrath Gardens are joined by a plethora of festively colored camellia family members  which  provide a wintery afternoon of ethereal pleasure. Visit  Mobile Botanical Gardens  and Bellingrath websites to plan an escapade among  the exotics.



December Beauties

“Gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes.”
― Clare Ansberry, The Women of Troy Hill: The Back-Fence Virtues of Faith and Friendship

Camellia sasanqua, a   traditonal favorite in southern gardens, is wearing her finest in December.  Bellingrath Gardens, nestled on the banks of Fowl River, is ready to show off these exotic beauties in their finery.  Take  time to stroll the walkways with friends  and partake of the delicate blossoms gracing the landscape. You will not be disappointed!

Learn more about sasanquas at the links below.

Dresses of Red and Gold

Come, little leaves,” said the Wind one day, “Come to the meadows with me and play. Put on your dresses of red and gold; For Summer is past, and the days grow cold.”
― George Cooper

Vibrant signs of autumn can be found in L.A.  They include  the  dramatic chrysanthemum displays at Bellingrath  Gardens and the unique leaves of ginkgo trees, also found  at Bellingrath. 

Learn more about ginkgo trees at the following links.


Hiking Discoveries

“I am Falling in love again with autumn,
The smell of warm cider,
The orange color leaves,
Pumpkins everywhere
and the crisp breeze,
People walking or riding their bikes,
Folks jogging or going on hikes,
I love autumn for many reasons and
I’m pleased to admit- this is my favorite season”
― Charmaine J Forde

An autumn hike may allow one to discover native plants unfamiliar to many suburban dwellers. The above plant, Phytolacca americana, is very familiar to birds, consuming the purple berries.  However, this plant should be avoided by human beings and other mammals. All parts of the plant are toxic. Commonly called pokeberry, pokeweed, poke sallet, poke salad, and polk salad, the leaves of this native plant  have been consumed  by human beings, through a boil and drain process. But, a far safer method to eat greens  is to buy  them from the local market. Hikers should enjoy the shiny purple berries from a distance,  keeping pets and children away from this toxic plant.

Learn more about this native plant at the following link.  Wikipedia

Gold on the Ground

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
― Jim Bishop



NEVER, NEVER, NEVER burn one of nature’s best resources – pine straw!  Pine straw  should be used for mulching garden beds. Azaleas, blueberries, camellias and other acid loving plants will appreciate your efforts.  Autumn is a great time to train little gardeners  about the BMPs of gardening.  Collect the “gold” on the ground.

Autumnal Faces

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in an autumnal face.  John Donne

This adorable autumnal face belongs to an eastern screech owl, a resident of the Mobile County  Public Schools  System’s Environmental Studies Center.  Serving as a greeter to the many visitors attending the fall open house at the Girby Road facility, this little beauty does not exemplify the reclusive behavior of its fellow screech owls. Most screech owls will be heard rather than seen.  Click on the following link to  identify the calls of this petite raptor.

All About Birds

Autumn Revelations

I feel more confident than ever that the power to save the planet rests with the individual consumer.
– Denis Hayes

Who would have thought clothing choice could have a profound effect upon the planet?  But, it does! Synthetic fiber is responsible for 70%  of microplastics found in the oceans.  Take a deep breath — you’ve just inhaled microplastic fibers! So Mr. and Ms. Consumer, start making natural fiber choices such as cotton, linen, and wool. Organic choices would be even better.  Your grandchildren will appreciate your efforts. Learn more about microplastics at the following link





Beware Some Signs of Autumn

Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him. ~Hal Borland

While the beautiful fall foliage may attract many admirers, some  foliage should be admired from a safe distance. Such is the case of the above vine. The changing colors are attractive, the rash is not. This vine is poison ivy, all parts of the plant contain a toxic oil.  An in other seasons, cautionary behavior in the fall  is still required. Learn more about the plant at the following link. Poison Ivy

Sweet October

Then summer fades and passes, and October comes. Will smell smoke then, and feel an unsuspected sharpness, a thrill of nervous, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure. ~Thomas Wolfe (1900–1938), You Can’t Go Home Again

It is difficult to feel any sadness about a fading summer, when one is savoring the  flavor of a sweet, juicy satsuma just pulled from the tree.  Learn more about these autumn treats at the following site.

Satsuma care