Archive for February 22, 2008

It’s SUMMER!!! (just click here)

Silly me. I invited the Cedar Rapids City Council and the Golf Course Task Force to take a look at the city gardens and prairie land near Squaw Creek Park in the middle of February.

Right now, the view would be similar to what we’re seeing everywhere: snow, snow and more snow. And even though all the school snow days are getting a bit old,  my 10-year-old son took advantage of one of them to come up with a slideshow, showing scenes from our leased city garden from summers past. 

To remember what summer is like, just click below.

see slideshow here

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Wild about orchids

Some news from University of Iowa Press on two new pocket flower guides:  

“Lady’s-slippers in Your Pocket” and “Ladies’-tresses in Your Pocket,” two new pocket flower guides by botanist Paul Martin Brown, will become available from the University of Iowa Press on March 1.

Brown writes that although native orchids are increasingly threatened by pressure from population growth and development, observant hikers may find them in every state and province. The pocket guides are first in a series that will cover all the wild orchids of the United States and Canada.

Brown provides general distributional information, time of flowering and habitat requirements for each species as well as a complete list of hybrids and the many different growth and color forms that make identifying orchids so intriguing.

For the lady’s-slippers he includes information on a dozen species, two additional varieties and six hybrids; and the ladies’-tresses guide includes information on six species, three additional varieties and seven hybrids.

Wild lady’s-slippers grow from Alaska to Texas and ladies’-tresses occur from British Columbia to Florida. Most of these species are easy to identify based upon their general appearance, range and time of flowering.

Brown serves as a research associate at the University of Florida Herbarium, the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

“Lady’s-slippers in Your Pocket” and “Ladies’-tresses in Your Pocket” are available at bookstores or directly from the UI Press by phone at 800-621-2736 or online at

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