Posts tagged photo

Your photos: mushroom hunt

Morel mushroom find

Morel mushroom find

Carrie Gralund of Anamosa sent in this photo of her son, Ayden, age 5.  “We were mushroom hunting on Sunday and found only one.  Our son was pretty pleased,” Carrie said.

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Swine flu made me do it and finding more morels

     Here’s the deal – I don’t have the time, the ego or the Ashton-Kutcheresque lifestyle to be really great at Twitter.  But when one of my sources in my job as health reporter for The Gazette – the Iowa Department of Public Health – announced it would start Tweeting swine flu updates, I had no choice but to jump in and join. (and yes, we now call it H1N1 flu – please no calls from the pork industry – bacon’s yummy!)

    So now you can follow me on Twitter, though I cringe saying that, partly because of that ego thing, again, but mostly because I’m a very private person. I won’t be Tweeting about the great things my sons did for me on Mother’s Day or the cool “Life is Good” t-shirt my sister surprised me with (thanks Henna!) or heaven forbid, what I’m making for dinner. Unless it’s these awesome morel mushrooms my new best friend Dave gave to me.

Morel mushrooms from Dave (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Morel mushrooms from Dave (photo/Cindy Hadish)

So basically, I promise I won’t bore you with the mundane details of my life. On the other hand, in my job as a reporter, I do get to go to beautiful places (including many area gardens this year, I hope) and meet fascinating people (like Dr. Johan Hultin, who dug up bodies in the Alaskan permafrost to decode the origins of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic: see The Gazette this weekend.) So, if that’s the type of Tweet tidbit that’s interesting to you, look me up on Twitter.

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Using (free!) compost to restore flooded yards

 

Screening equipment and compost piles at the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency's site in southwest Cedar Rapids (Cindy Hadish photo)

Screening equipment and compost piles at the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency's site in southwest Cedar Rapids (Cindy Hadish photo)

   Stacie Johnson, compost expert extraordinaire, sent me a note about getting flooded yards back in shape. Stacie, education coordinator for the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency, said owners of flood-damaged homes have been calling the agency about using compost as fill as they begin work on their yards this spring.  Last June’s floods wiped out the vegetation of thousands of homes in Eastern Iowa, especially in the Cedar Rapids area. One caller wanted to put compost 4 inches deep on her lawn, but Stacie advises against using compost as fill or topsoil. The grass might sprout, but would have long-term problems growing. Also, it would make a very soft spot in the yard, as compost is mostly organic matter with little mineral content. 

      The Agency is giving away free compost for Linn County residents and Stacie wants it to be used so it’s most beneficial to these homeowners.

Here is what she says:

    Compost is a good source of soil organic matter and shouldn’t be used as you would topsoil.  The three compost applications recommended by the Solid Waste Agency are mulching, amending and top-dressing.

Mulching: add one inch of compost as a mulch layer, no need to work in and can be topped off with wood mulch for a formal landscape.

 Amending: (most likely the best approach for flood homes)  work one to two inches into the top six inches of existing soil.

 Top Dressing – spread 1/4 to ½-inch layer of compost over existing lawn; best to aerate before top dressing and reseed after.

A rule of thumb for how much compost is needed to complete a project:  square footage x depth x .0031 = cubic yards needed for your soil amendment project.

The agency’s Web site: www.solidwasteagency.org has more information on hours and where you can pick up the compost. The compost is made from the leaves and other natural materials collected in Yardys. It is aged in piles and unwanted materials are removed with a heavy-duty screening machine. The result is rich, dark compost that is great for the soil.

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Tulip Queen

  

Dorothy Hingtgen and her tulip beds in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Cindy Hadish photo)

Dorothy Hingtgen and her tulip beds in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Cindy Hadish photo)

 The three things tulips don’t like are hot weather, hard, sideways wind and hail, according to “tulip lady” Dorothy Hingtgen, who lives in northeast Cedar Rapids.

    I had a fun time interviewing this witty woman for a story for the Sunday, May 10, Gazette. Dorothy digs up more than 300 tulip bulbs every year with her husband, Dan, and is as much of an expert as I’ve met on tulips. So I felt a boost when I told her about my favorite Greenland tulips, a gorgeous pink flower brushed with green. They were beautiful the first year I planted them, but didn’t return the second. I tried again, and once more, exquisite blooms, followed by nothing the next year. Greenlands are labeled for zones 3-8, so they should be fine in Iowa, but the same results  happened for Dorothy with those bulbs. I might take her advice and try something orange this fall, which she describes as the most reliable tulips.

Grand Duke tulips

Grand Duke tulips

     A tip for homeowners with voracious deer: Dorothy uses Milorganite, an organic fertilizer. She says the smell deters deer. Further deer advice can be seen in one bed to the side of her yard that didn’t have any tulips, but was filled with bright daffodils. Deer leave daffodils alone, she noted.

Gazette photographer Liz Martin shooting at Dorothy Hingtgen's home.

Gazette photographer Liz Martin shooting at Dorothy Hingtgen's home. (Cindy Hadish photo)

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Iris open house

Iris grow beneath a statue in Wanda Lunn's gardens in 2008/ Cindy Hadish photo

Iris grow beneath a statue in Wanda Lunn's gardens in 2008/ Cindy Hadish photo

    I had the opportunity last year to visit the beautiful iris gardens of Wanda Lunn in Cedar Rapids. Wanda had 400 visitors in two days last spring and let me know that her gardens will again be open for viewing. If you get the chance, visit her home at 526 Bezdek Dr. NW from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 9, 2009, to see dwarf bearded iris, blooming shade perennials, blooming bushes and spring bulbs in bloom.

    The gardens will also be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday,  May 30, and Sunday, May 31, when 300 tall bearded iris should be in bloom. Wanda noted that instructions on planting, care and identification will be available each day.

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Your photos – springtime heralds and new additions!

New photos today! Laurie Vulich shots these wildflowers during a walk along the trails at the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids on this warm spring day.

 

Wildflowers shot at the Indian Creek Nature Center.

Wildflowers shot at the Indian Creek Nature Center.

 

 

Bloodroot in bloom

Bloodroot in bloom

 

 Intrepid photographer and Linn County Master Gardener, Jay McWherter, sent in these photos shot at the Noelridge Park Greenhouse open house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on April 11…  

 

 

Close-up of an orchid

Close-up of an orchid

Passion flower

Passion flower

 

 

Tulips

Tulips

If you have photos you’d like to share, send to: cindy.hadish@gazcomm.com

Include information about the subject and where and when it was shot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Easter Parade

Sushanth Rao, 7, of Marion points out a cactus to his mother, Padmaja Rao.

Sushanth Rao, 7, of Marion points out a cactus to his mother, Padmaja Rao.

Laurie Mitchell, Marion, takes a photo of granddaughter Natalie Davenport.

Laurie Mitchell, Marion, takes a photo of granddaughter Natalie Davenport.

tulips

tulips

Not your typical parade, but a parade of plants at the Noelridge Park greenhouse in Cedar  Rapids this weekend during the annual Easter open house. My assistant, Schyler, and I shot some photos inside the greenhouse Saturday. The open house continues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 12.

easter-bunny1

easter-bunny1

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