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Welcome To Acorn Season - Our Backyard 2019

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We have two very large Oak Trees in our backyard.  One of them has been documented here on the blog last Summer - and has our tree swing hanging from it.  The other is on the southside of our property and is almost as massive as the first.  I posted a photo of it's trunk when I was talking about a potential tree house here.  We also have a few medium-sized and a few MASSIVE Black Walnut trees in our yard.  Having these trees around means that come mid-to-late August, our yard starts to transform into a nut wonderland.  Above you see three of the green acorns that I picked up.  They were among HUNDREDS of their brethren.  Some in good shape. Others that have been already worked over by various critters including the Acorn Weevil

These things aren't falling of their own accord.  Or at least...most of them aren't.  They are being released by squirrels.  It is kind of fun to watch these guys climb up into the extremities of these trees, hang on for dear life and gnaw away at…

Crystal Lake Brewing Beach Blond Golden Lager

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Had this Beach Blonde Golden Lager from the folks at Crystal Lake Brewing when we stopped into the Brat Haus in Richmond on a recent visit to Twin Lakes.  Like a lot of places these days, they have a pretty extensive beer menu with a mix of national and local choices and - much to my dismay - a heavy (as it seems always these days) focus on hoppy-IPAs.  This lager was a natural choice for me - something local, light and crisp. 

Beer Advocate gives it a 81 which puts it below the normal range of the beers that Dr. Jeff has us try during his beer education sessions.  Speaking of which...we should do one of those again now that school is getting back in season and we'll be in more on the weekends as the weather cools down.  Ah...Fall is coming!

Closer Look at Tokyo Street Trees - Popular

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I've posted about the street trees of Tokyo a few times here on the blog.  In those posts, I've talked about the hard pruning that they do to *some* of the trees, how others have a more columnar nature to them and what species they might be (a lot of Ginkos!).  On my most recent trip, I walked down a fancy street in Ginza and saw some trees in full foliage.  And these trees aren't Ginkos. 

Here's a close up of the leaves of the same tree you see above:


Looking through the list of popular trees on The Street Trees of Tokyo site, I made it all the way down to below the top 30 to find what I think these trees are:

Pretty sure it is a Popular.   And...the Lombardy Popular is columnar variety.

Fountain and Pond Inspiration at Morton Arboretum

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I've posted a bunch of times about fountains and ponds here on the blog including a look at some designs that I'm documenting to save as inspiration for something that *could* eventually find the way into our backyard.  In April, I showed this park pond in Woodridge.  And last year, I posted about these bowl-like fountains that I found at Wannemakers

Today, I'm sharing this image that I took at the Fragrance Garden in the Morton Arboretum.  It is a kind of hybrid between some of the pond ideas that I've been filing away AND the bowl/fountains that I've posted about, too.  This one has a nice round elevated bowl that is perfectly level and lets the water roll off into a concrete bowl that has flagstone ringing it.  This is a kind of interesting approach, but I wonder if having something like this that has A LOT of turbulence in it (water fall) limits the fish you can keep in this?  Maybe they're smart enough to head to the calm waters?  But, I also like the e…

Cube Shaped and Pruned Box-like Shrubs and Trees at Disneyland

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Look at those cube trees.  These are in Disneyland's Fantasyland right on the same path to the It's a Small World ride that the Belgian Fence espalier setup (on the little riser/stage) and the Mary Blair-inspired garbage cans.   These cube trees are right across the main path.

Based on this post from Plants of Disneyland, I think these might be Fern Pine or Podocarpus gracilior and add quite a bit of visual interest to the background of this spot - and, of course, provide plenty of screening for people watching the parade.

I've documented a few different plants/trees/flowers from Disneyland and Walt Disney World over the years here on the blog and summed it all up in this post.   With the recent posts in the past week or two, I guess I need to update that post - or write another now.
Full list of posts (at that time) about Disneyland horticulture.  Here's a look at some of the Disneyland Roses in their native environmentA Belgian Fence at Disneyland.A nice Live Oak i…

Small World Garbage Cans - Disneyland

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These garbage cans are just beautiful, right?  There's all sorts of Mary Blair kinda-stuff going on with them as they are lined up along the route to the ride.

I took this photo on the way to It's A Small World After All in Disneyland and you can see the little 'stage' that I mentioned in the post with the Disneyland espalier photo I shared recently.   The visual design on the cans is striking, of course.  But the whole idea of the garbage cans at Disney Parks are a concept with a huge amount of attention on them as a topic.  First...there's the notion that Walt Disney and Imagineering (or WED as it was likely at the time??), invented this 'style' of garbage cans.

From Theme Park Tourist:
As he planned Disneyland, Uncle Walt examined the trash cans of the era. They were mesh cans that had a couple of major design flaws. The first was that a can with holes in it allowed goop to seep out. Yes, gross. The second is arguably worse. A can with holes in it doesn…

On Finding A Four-Leaf Clover

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One of the kids is playing soccer this Fall and the practices have started.  So, I have plenty of time to hang out in the clover and look for one of these lucky guys.  The kids were unimpressed when I brought it home to show off.