Monday, February 27, 2017

Making some miles....

Yesterday we drove a lot just to make some miles heading south. 

 It was a beautiful day of driving, knocking out MD, WV, and a lot of VA.  I-81 in VA is one of my favorite pieces of interstate, driving along the Appalachian mountains.  

We saw a lot of signs of spring, including my all-time favorite smelling flower, one called the Breath of Spring, which is the first blooming flower down here in the mountains.  

Its a relative of the honeysuckle (lonicera fragrantissima), and smells incredible - just the ticket after a long winter.  
This large shrub is actually an invasive, introduced from eastern Asia in the late 1800 as an ornamental and, ironically, wildlife cover. Its seeds are dispersed by birds and mammals, it readily invades open woodlands and disturbed sites where it forms dense thickets that out compete native plant growth. 

Here, the forsythias are blooming, daffodils are blooming, and a very few trees and bushes already have some new leaves.

During one rest stop, I lay in the grass in the sun - hard to get back up and start driving again.  For those of you viewing this blog from up North, here's what green growing things look like...  Maybe this fix will hold you until Spring hits up there.

This is a funny onion relative that's up (wild garlic - Allium vineale), another herbicide resistant invasive.  When Karin and I got married, our yard was full of these, and when you'd mow the lawn, your shoes, pants, legs, and feet would smell like onions for a long time.  It looks small in the picture, but it is big in odor. According to Wikipedia, when cows graze on it, their milk and meat will actually taste and smell like garlic.

Today we'll head south towards the mountains of TN, NC, and into SC, all my old stomping grounds. We'll stay there for a day or so and see how things have changed.