Sunday, January 27, 2013

Anvil Cloud

This powerful cloud was the harbinger of an approaching summer thunderstorm. It has the classic anvil-shaped top, which indicates that the top of the cloud has reached the stratosphere that is six miles above the Earth and also an indication that this cumulonimbus cloud is growing.

If the cloud continues to build it will become a super cell with the possibility of tornadoes and severe weather.

I look for them in the spring and summer months as they are impressive and powerful looking.

Anvil is an appropriate name. When you see an anvil cloud in the sky it's an indication of a storm as tough as steel. And that you might just get hammered.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A lovely, pleated mushroom

This pretty mushroom was discovered growing in my garden on the side of the driveway.

It is pleated, papery thin and over an inch in diameter.

Intrigued by its delicate nature and soft colors, I was hellbent on identifying it and, I believe, I've been successful

It is Parasola plicatilis or  Coprinus plicatilis with the common names of Japanese Parasol and Pleated Inky Cap.

Only a Mycologist (those who study mushrooms), though, would be able to tell me if I was, indeed, successful.

But the fairies, whose domain is the mushrooms and toadstools, surely would agree that it is a lovely parasol, which they use, I am sure, on the finest occasions.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Palmetto Palm Seedling

This elegant fan shaped plant is a seedling of the Palmetto Palm that will eventually grow over sixty feet in height.

Native to the southeast as well as Cuba and the Bahamas, it is tolerant of salt and why you can see it gracing the southern beaches. Despite being a subtropical tree, it is extremely cold hardy able to withstand temperatures as low s -13F for short periods of time.

Interestingly, this palm grows only from its crown sending out frond after frond. The delicacy, heart of palm, is the tender growing center. Removing this heart for market also kills the tree.

I've had hearts of palm only infrequently but since learning of this, I'd rather not indulge but leave the heart to the tree.