Monday, May 1, 2017

100 Species Challenge: Honeysuckle

I've been on a plant-identifying kick lately. I've always loved the concept of the 100 Species Challenge, and it's one of those many things it kills me I don't do better. But it's spring, and nature journaling feeds my mind and my soul in ways they are starving for. And I just joined the best Facebook group for plant identification—I mean, these people are seriously fast at finding out what you've got. So I will be looking to integrate my nature journal and the species already posted, and then work toward that magic number. It's a wealth of blog posts, even if I group them together, so expect to see several of these over the next few weeks. I'm even thinking of throwing some bonus species in. So...

Lonicera japonica - honeysuckle

Have I really not done honeysuckle yet? This is one of those that every Southern kid knows, because we spent summers sucking out the little, sweet drop of nectar inside each flower. I especially remember walking to swim lessons every morning and picking a blossom every few strides through the park. It was easy because honeysuckle was everywhere where I lived, and it will climb anything and take over. (I actually don't mind it on my fence, but it needs to stay off the blueberries!)

So far we've got:

1. Dogwood (Cornus florida)
2. Mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa)
3. Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii)
4. American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)
5. Gregg's mistflower (Conoclinium greggii)
6. American holly (Ilex opaca)
7. Pokeberry (Phytolacca americana)
8. Pink wood sorrel (Oxalis articulata)
9. Yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)
10. Lonicera japonica (honeysuckle)

I can't wait to add more, but (again) I'm easing back in. Does anyone remember when the 100 Species Challenge was trending? It must have been a decade ago—but then it blows my mind that the iPhone is only that old. More soon!

Friday, April 28, 2017

My new book challenge*

So we were going on vacation, and I needed something to read. I didn't want to depend on a lot of library books while traveling; my library reading mojo has slowed up anyway.  Plus, in my housecleaning I've been trying to reclaim all the spaces that clutter keeps invading, and I just noticed, over and over again, this book I got as a gift or that book I couldn't wait to order. In short, I have all of these wonderful books I've accumulated, and what's more, have intentionally collected close in my physical space, that I'm not finishing.

Last year I didn't really do a reading challenge. I thought it would be nice to ease into some this year, and I remembered one of the challenges of the Great Book Challenge Year of 2015 was one about reading books you already own. So I went in search of that challenge again, or a similar one, to make it that much more fun and give me a goal to direct my efforts. And I found this one!

I know we are nigh on a third of the way through the year for the Shelf Love Challenge 2017, but it doesn't even bother me. One of the great things about it is that it has different levels, so I can do as much or as little as I deem fit. And the possibility that I could get an Amazon gift card just for reading books I already own—so much win. (And Julie and Lynn of Chapter Break, if I'm doing this wrong, tell me—you might notice I'm a little cold at this stuff but I'm jumping in with both feet and I'd love to meet you!)

*On book challenges: I know, I know. Stay tuned.


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