Thursday, June 4, 2009

Raining…Raining…Raining…and Zantedeschia

We’ve had several days of rainfall…it seems that it just won’t stop…but the grass and the flowers are enjoying it…I just think I’ll end up with webbed feet soon…anyone with any suggestions as to how I’ll wear my favorite flip-flops please help…and toenail polish…what color looks good with mud???

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/Gull_feet1.jpg

Feet fit for water

Ducks and geese look funny when they waddle along on land. In the water, though, it's a different story. Thanks to their webbed feet, they can glide gracefully or swim strongly across the water. Ducks have three front toes connected by a web of skin. Biologists call this palmate. Pelicans and cormorants have four webbed toes, and biologists refer to their feet as totipalmate.

Webbed feet give birds more surface area to push against the water as they propel themselves along. They need speed and agility in the water to find food or get away from predators. People get the same results when they swim with flippers. It's much easier to swim fast and dive down in a pool with the help of a pair of flippers than with just your bare feet.

Other birds that spend time near water, such as terns, herons and other shore birds, have smaller amounts of webbing between slender, long toes. They use their feet and long legs for wading in shallow water and picking their way through algae and water plants.

Another variation is called the lobed foot. Grebes and coots have three long toes that have fleshy, round lobes on the sides of them. They have kind of flabby, fat toes that help them move well through water, too.

See…it’s just what I’m needing…now on to some pictures of what’s growing outside (in the rain).

The hydrangeas are loving all the moisture…

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The calla lilies are just beginning to bloom…I think they need more sunshine…

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Some facts about Calla Lilies from the Calla Lily Guide.com

Calla Lilies – What’s in a name?

Pink Calla LiliesYou might find it quite interesting that the calla lily is not a lily at all, and although it is related to the calla genus, it is not really a calla either. Calla lily is actually the common name for the zantedeschia genus which once was a part of what today is known as the calla genus. The calla genus was separated into several smaller genuses since (through advanced tests) it became apparent that they were not as closely related as biologists first thought. They all still share the same family though, the Araceae family.

Calla Lilies – History

The calla lily, or zantedeschia, is a genus of twenty-eight different species all native to the southern parts of Africa with a tropical climate, from South Africa up to Africa aligned with the northern point of Madagascar. The genus calla was originally named by the famous Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus but as it became apparent that the genus needed to be split up, the German botanist Karl Koch named the new genus after his fellow botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi from Italy. It became a major hit in Europe and is still very popular, especially as a wedding flower, although it has been known to appear at funerals as well.

Calla Lilies – Growing

The calla lilies grows from bulbs, or rather rhizomes, and will therefore, as most other bulbs, spread by producing even more bulbs. These bulbs can be dug up, and replanted in another location. The calla lily is a very hardy and strong genus that will grow in more or less any soil as long as it the climate is humid enough. In many of the countries from where the calla lily originates it is thought of as a weed and is ferociously cut down to make way for agriculture. The calla lily can also be propagated through its seeds but it takes a little more finesse than to just dig up those extra bulbs.

Calla Lilies – Caring

Caring for a calla lily is relatively easy since it, as already mentioned, grows in almost any soil. Because the calla lily originates from marshlands one needs to keep the soil damp at all times, but not too damp, as the bulb might rot. Otherwise the calla lily needs little care and can even survive a minor frost. If one wants to, and the climate permits it, the calla lily can bloom all year around but will then need extra nutrition as it will miss out on the periods of rest it will get in the wild. The calla lily can also work as a very beautiful and long-lived cut flower if treated right.

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Intense...the best description of living and loving life that I know...without intensity, life is mediocre and without definition...