2017, In The Garden

The Poppy Flower

This macro photograph shows the stamen (filament and anther) of a poppy flower. This is the part, which needs to be pollinated for seed production. Still hidden by the stamen is the poppy pistil. It will contain the seeds for the next generation of poppy flowers.

The stamen of a poppy flower consists of the anther and the filament.

Remember The Fallen

Perfectly for the Memorial Day weekend, a red poppy began to bloom in my green house. Two years ago, I learned something very interesting. I was always wondering, why poppies would be brought up with the Memorial Day remembrance. And here is the answer:

The red poppy grew profusely on the World War I war zone of Flanders Field along the coast of Belgium and France. Poppies blanketed the battlefields with a sea of red, and so have come to symbolize the blood that was shed there. With 368 WWI U.S. soldiers buried in Flanders Field cemetery, the red poppy, or the Flanders poppy as it is now often called become a symbol of wartime remembrance. (Resource: Botanical Interests)

The Flanders Poppy started to bloom in my greenhouse just in time for Memorial Day.


In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

by John McCrae

U2 – The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 ~ Dallas, Texas

U2 are on my bucket list for a decade and a half, now. Last night came the moment, I finally could see them live in concert. The Lumineers were the opening act. Before the concert, I knew only one of their songs. So, I wasn’t expecting too much. But I have to say, I’m very impressed with their music style. They actually fit very well as a support band for U2.

U2 started their line up with “Sunday, Bloody Sunday”. The fans went into ecstasy from the first note. After the band played all the songs of “The Joshua Tree”, which celebrates its 30 year anniversary in 2017, U2 had also a good array of songs like New Year’s Day, Beautiful Day, Elevation to name a few. Overall they played 22 songs last night.

Kevin and I had nose-bleed seats in the Upper Concourse. But we still had a good view and enjoyed the concert. Since I couldn’t bring my camera to the venue, I had to use my phone camera. Of course, the pictures do no justice. But its the memories, which count. 🙂

2017, In The Garden

May Blooms In My Backyard (2)

Before it will be too warm this afternoon, I wanted to capture some blooms in the garden and in the greenhouse. My Flanders Poppies are finally showing some buds. Wouldn’t it be great, if they start to bloom this weekend, latest by Monday on Memorial Day?


Lewisville Lake Spillway 2015

This is the second part of the story, when we had the flood two years ago. Six days after I went to Stewart Creek Park to see how much Lewisville Lake has flooded its surrounding shores, the time was here when the lake reached the 532-foot mark. The water began to spill over, created a creek, which was flowing into the Elm Fork Trinity River. By May 30, 2015 the lake had reach its peak at exactly 537 feet above sea level. This means, it was 15 feet above the normal pool, and five feet above the spillway:

May 24, 2015

The moment is finally here: The water of Lewisville Lake goes over the spillway for the last few hours. Since Lake Ray Roberts is releasing 600 cubic more water per second out of its gate (7000 cubic/sec.) than the gate (6400 cubic/sec.) does at Lewisville Lake, plus the recent rain falls of the last couple of days, it was only a matter of time, before the last foot of the 532-feet mark was reached to make the lake spill over. Now all this water, which flows over the spillway, establishes a creek of its own designed to flow into the Elm Fork Trinity River south of the lake dam.

It helps to release some of the water, which comes dangerously close to the homes near the lakes. More rainfalls are also in the forecast. Let’s hope the lakes are not rising too much higher as their current levels.

At the time I captured the photo, the water was going over the spillway for about two hours.
All the precious water from Lewisville Lake goes over the spillway into a creek, which flows into the Elm Fork Trinity River south of the lake dam.

Josey Ranch Lake (3)

At this morning, I spent some time at Josey Ranch Lake. It has been almost four months, I visited the park the last time. I noticed, there were a lot less water bird present at the lake and the pond. A couple of swans, some ducks, Canada geese, pigeons, grackles, a yellow-crowned night heron and a few songbirds were there.

Coming back from the pond, I went to the Natural Area next to the Carrollton Public Library. The garden looks beautiful. And who worked on it, did an amazing job. The area is flourishing with wildflowers. It looks like a small patch of the Blackland Prairies. A little bunny took cover under a big sunflower leaf, when it started to drizzle. Resting on a bench, I didn’t care that I got wet. Before I walked back to the lake to get to my car, I had to take this view in being surrounded by beautiful nature.