Monday, August 31, 2009

A bee on her bonnet

Did you know you can tell the temperature by counting cricket chirps? The frequency of chirping varies according to temperature. To get a rough estimate of the temperature in degrees fahrenheit, count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and then add 37. The number you get will approximately equal the outside temperature.

Last night there were no crickets chirping. The over night temperature was hovering around 40-degrees--pretty cold for August. Strange weather this year. We've broken two record low temperatures and set two records for rainfall amounts.




Helenium "Mardi Gras" reminds me of a country square dance. Ladies twirling across the floor with frothy skirts billowing out in perfect circles. Or maybe it's more like a hat of many colors worn in some sunny climate by a very cheerful woman.



I should make a list of plants that make me smile. Don't we all have plants that make us feel light hearted? Some plants make us sigh "oww" or 'ahh" when we see their beautiful blooms. A few plants make us frown;) For me it's the sunflower types that just turn up the corners of my mouth.


Mardi Gras' flowers have been very long lasting. It began blooming in July and the flowers still look nice. Helenium needs more moisture than I like but I sited this one near the birdbath so it could get a little extra water when needed.


I found "Mardi Gras" at Home Depot along with a darker colored version that hasn't bloomed yet but has lots of buds.


Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

40 comments:

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Marnie, I didnot know that about crickets--fascinating! My Mardi Gras were done blooming a few weeks back (after a month of blooms) but I'm seeig a few new flowers--I should trim back and hope for more. My native Helenium (yellow) is in full bloom as is the cultivar Moerheim Beauty. I love Helenium!

sweet bay said...

40? -- burr. I did not know about the relationship between cricket chirps and temperature, but that makes sense. Color temps certainly make the frogs' calls slower and deeper - they sound like their batteries have worn down.

The first shot with the bee is especially gorgeous.

littlewing said...

Beautiful! I love the pics of Mardi Gras that I have seen. It needs to go on my wish list- would make me smile too:)

Jann said...

What a beautiful flower! Ox-eye daisies make me smile, very cheerful flower.

Dawn said...

It's been in the fourties over here too, thirties in NH. Cold is coming.
Love the first photo, it's beautiful, pretty flower, 'cept I think they are all pretty flowers!

Rose said...

I've never heard this before about the crickets, Marnie; now I'll have to try this one night when I'm sitting on my front porch.

It's no wonder these Helenium make you smile with their cheery faces. I've already added this plant to my "wish list" for next year:)

Susie said...

Marnie, I have never heard that about the crickets before. Love learning new things.

This Helenium is so pretty. I didn't know it liked a little bit more moisture. It reminds me of flowers you would see out in a meadow.

It makes me smile. Have a great one!

Dog_geek said...

I never knew that about crickets either. I guess maybe I'll have to start counting cricket chirps. Or I guess I could just read a thermometer. :o) Mardi Gras looks like a winner! I haven't seen any around here, but I'll have to keep an eye out!

Rosey Pollen said...

Marnie,
We don't even get chirping crickets at this altitude. It's one thing I miss about Nebraska.
Your flowers make me happy too,Too soon we will be raking leaves and saying goodbye to summer.
Rosey

Becca's Dirt said...

Great post. They are beautiful. Interesting about the cricket chirping. I never knew. You know I haven't been to a Home Depot or Lowes but once in the spring. I need to make special trip there to check out the flowers.

We too have set record highs and record lows this year. We are having a cooler than normal August. Currently the highs in the 80's instead of the 90's and the tropics are not what they normally are. That's a good thing.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have heard that cricket lore before. It has been fairly cool here too. The crickets don't seem to be as visible this year as they usually are. I wonder if there are just not as many around. The katydids and cicadas are quite loud.

I know what you mean about certain flowers. The Cardinal flowers I saw this weekend stopped me in my tracks. Beautiful.

Connie said...

I ordered 'Mardi Gras' from Bluestonne Perennials a couple of years ago. Last year it only had a few blooms, but this year it really had a nice show of flowers. One of my favorites! I did a post on it in August 2008.

http://rosecottagegarden.blogspot.com/2008/08/helenium-mardi-gras.html

JC said...

Those are so pretty ...
Wish I had some in my wooded yard ...

tina said...

'Mardi Gras' makes me smile too! it is such a nice blend of the hot colors. And gee I though 55 degrees was cold-40 degrees? Time to turn on the heat for sure. Bundle up! But hey, it is good gardening weather!

Naturegirl said...

Love all your hot hot colors!!Makes me want to put on a ruffled skirt and dance the Mexican Hat dance!! Oh leh!!
My mother always said when we hear the crickets chirping really loud in the evening the next day will be a HOT one...she was always right! I suppose similar to your formula..Here the month of Aug..we had a lot of rain!!!
Now it's autumn so hopefully we'll see the sun more and see the most amazing sunsets!!
Loved this post and BTW it made me smile! :) NG

Bill S. said...

Beautiful pictures of beautiful flowers and the bee. Mardi Gras are some of the most beautiful of all garden flowers.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I like your Mardi Gras flowers. They are beautiful. I think I have some of them from a couple of years ago. Mine are not this big though.

Thank you very much for visiting My Birds Blog and for the comment you left me there about my goldfinch photograph. My Birds Blog

Gail said...

I hope your week is wonderful, too, Marnie! Yes, those sunny sunflower types make me smile, too. I think it's my Midwestern roots that say...Ah prairie! But, the sweet flowers of phlox make me laugh!

It's been an odd summer...with June and July switching weather. Maybe that's why September and fall seem to be coming too soon. it has to be fall~~ The garden sure looks beat up!

gail

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Monica, my native helenium was very short lived here. Hope these will do well.

Hi SweetBay, the thing about circkets is that it's hard to isolate one from all the millions chirping around you.

Hi Littlewing, if these overwinter, I hope to add a couple more next year.

I agree Jann, daisies are very cheerful.

Hi Dawn, me too.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Rose, I want more if these do well.

Susie, it reminds me of Prairie plants like Ratibita pinnata or some of the rudbeckias.

DogGeek, the cricket thing is for when you are stranded in the woods, alone, with no warm clothes or food or cell phone or thermometer;) Of course you have to have a good watch. You are feeling very cold but you don't know just how cold.

Hi Rosey, I'd miss their song too but not very much;) I didn't know crickets couldn't survive in the mountains.

Becca, I agree cooler is better. I didn't much miss the heat and drought this year either;)

HI Lisa, the color on the cardinal flowers is perfect. I don't grow them but they are certainly beautiful.

Marnie

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie.....how very interesting re crickets....you learn something everyday....

I love heleniums....and I agree they make me smile to....they are just so cheering.....I have to grow mine in a tub as rabbits seem to love them
The bee on the bonnet is lovely......and your writings are charming......

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Connie, I missed your post. I'm never online on the weekend so I miss some good stuff. I just went back and read it and looked at the photos.

Hi JC, they probably wouldn't be real happy in a shady wooded area.

Hi Tina, I do have lots of ambition on cool days. My tomatoes hate this weather but I really like it.

Hi NatureGirl, the Mexican hat dance would be perfect for these colors. I will remember that about loud cricket chirps. Our weathermen are never right, I believe insects would make better predictors;)

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Bill, I think so too. Wish I'd gotten them long ago.

Hi Abe, visiting your blog is always my pleasure.

Oh, Gail, my garden looks beat up too. Between the insect damage and the storm damage it's a mess. Next year I think I'll stake everything up just in case. By the end of September we will be happy to see the end of gardening for another year.
Marnie

Darla said...

Way too early for the 40's here!! I wouldn't mind the 60's for a change though. Lovely flowers.

Cordwood Cabin said...

Beautiful photos of flowers with lovely fall colors! It was cool here last night, too -- we had to move our fuzzy little chicks (a late hatching this summer, I'm afraid) into a warm box with a heat lamp in one of the shops to keep them from getting too cold. Their mothers abandoned them abruptly this week, but their little feathers are still too small to keep them warm!

ShySongbird said...

Such beautiful cheerful colours Marnie, the face of a Sunflower never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Very interesting about the Crickets, when we were out on a walk recently we encountered a man conducting a Grasshopper study and recording their calls!

Racquel said...

I was ogling that gorgeous plant in the catalogs this spring & didn't order it. Now I see yours and I want to kick myself. Oh well there is always next year. :) We've had a odd summer too, lots of rain & today it didn't get past the 70's! So strange for us.

BeadedTail said...

That's pretty chilly there! Interesting facts about crickets. We don't have any crickets here and I actually forgot about them - just like locusts and grasshoppers. And once again, beautiful flowers!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cheryl, those rabbits can be annoying. I'll bet they would do well in a tub tho. Just a lot of extra watering.

Hi Darla, we are having high temperatures in the 60's. I like it but most everyone else wants more heat and less rain;)

Hi Cordwood, so you are the surrogate mama for some chicks. Awwww, cute.

Songbird, I guess I don't know the sound of a grasshopper call. That's interesting.

Hi Racquell, I hope mine do well over the winter. I lost a yellow one to winter kill.

Hi BeadedTail, well you aren't missing anything by not have any of those bugs. I like the noise at night but I could live without it too;)

Marnie

The Birdlady said...

Hi Marnie - Your flowers always make me happy!

marmee said...

okay so i am going to have to test the cricket chirping thing and let you know...
i can see why you are smiling at these beauties...love the colour the length of blooming time too.
lovely september.

oldcrow61 said...

What a lovely plant. One to add to my list for sure.

troutbirder said...

No crickets chirping here for weeks. No wonder my tomatoes won't turn red!

Sherri said...

Marnie, didn't know that about the crickets-thanks for that tidbit! Your Helenium are beautiful-what wonderful color! Thanks for sharing!

ChrisND said...

Hmmm, we will have to count the cricket chirps tonight...I guess less than 37F and they are getting too cold...Those flowers are a cheery bunch -- love the first photo.

Msrobin said...

My helenium Mardi Gras bloomed great when I first planted in back in early summer, then faded away to almost nothing. It's back now, but subdued, so I hope it does a little better next year once it's more established. So far, I love the flowers, I just want more of them!

Chris said...

Very cool!

Gayle @ Mountain Moma said...

I miss the sounds of the crickets. Here in western Washington, we don't have the sounds in the evenings. I adore the yellow's, such a lovely September flower.

Kathleen said...

Brrrr. It's WAY too early for temps like that! Although I have to say it's been feeling decidedly fallish in the mornings here too. (not that cold tho) What a beautiful helenium.

Kerri said...

You've sold me on Helenium "Mardi Gras". It's gorgeous! I must add some to my garden. Love the bee shot, but they're all gorgeous.
The boltonia is pretty too.
I hadn't heard that about cricket chirps. Interesting!