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Alabama Adventures: Longleaf Pine Treasure Forest

After hearing about Pinus palustris from several southern botanist friends, I had to see the trees for myself! I had the great pleasure of ...

05 May 2014

More updates!

We had another fantastic weekend! On Friday, Steve took me to a Chinese place for dinner. Saturday we wandered around and ended up buying a variety of Coleus (Solenostenum sp.)!

On Sunday, we went attended the church we will be marrying in, participated in communion, and afterwards we met with the pastor for marriage guidance (he gives us lessons related to the Bible and God to help us set the foundation for a stable and God-centred marriage). After that we had some friends over for dinner. It was very refreshing to attend worship service. I am so proud of Steve for seeking out God and encouraging me to do the same. While I have a firm belief in God, I've had difficulties finding a good church. We really like that church so far. The pastor and congregation are wonderful and their teachings are solid.

Anyhow, time for those updates on the plants!

Our False Aralia (Schefflera elegantissima 'Gold Crest')  was doing better after I clipped off most of the leaves, tied it to little posts to support the poor thing, and watered/misted it regularly...but then Ari tried helping without me and it's back to square one again. I'll keep trying to save it.

Now that the sun is out and the weather is warmer, sticking the succulents on the window sills helped them to grow faster.

Some of these took such a long time that I thought they would never root. The one I am most excited about isn't a leaf, but the stem cutting from one of a Burro's Tail (Sedum morganianum 'Burrito')! That is the first stem cutting I attempted. I read that dipping in honey can help with establishing roots but I didn't try it, and so far I've had good results. I never imagined that this many would make it thus far! I only have a few left that don't have roots. And by comparison, more survived and grew than those that shriveled up and blackened.

Since I have plenty of succulents, I've decided to try putting some of them in cute and interesting containers. When we were wandering around on Saturday, we found two small decorative bird cages, and a glass treasure chest. All together they cost us about five bucks!

I have more plans for the black bird cage, but I haven't gotten quite that far. So far I only stuck one Burro's Tail and two String of Buttons (Crassula perforata) in there. I didn't take a pic of the other bird cage yet because I haven't figured out what exactly I'm going to put in there. The treasure chest is mostly filled with little succulents so far. It will look a lot cooler once they grow. Its nice that we found these neat containers. Now I have enough room in the other ones for the succulents that rooted!

As I said in the previous post, we bought a Betta since Nefertiti passed away. This one is a regular Betta, as opposed to Nef, who was a crowntail. The new one (we still haven't decided on an official name) is blue, red, and purple. Ari and Sandy refer to him as the Rainbow Fish, from a book they read.

This fish, unlike Nef, is very skittish, but I suppose Nef was very used to us. Nef used to swim towards us when he saw us, and fully expected us to drop some food. Not just ANY food though, only the pellets he was in the mood for. Of course! This one flees if we get too close. When we back away, he will swim up and eat. The good thing is, he gets along with our Mollie. Nef did too but was a wee bit grumpier about it. I was worried that perhaps the Mollie would nip at this one's fins. Luckily that isn't the case. Its funny because they will swim right up against one another, and rest at the bottom next to each other with no issue.

I don't think a lot of people know that Bettas thrive in 10 gallon, heated, filtered tanks with lots of hiding spots and even a few non-aggressive fish (depending on the Betta though! Some don't like it). If the Mollie hadn't liked the Betta, or vice versa, I would've just stuck 'em in separate tanks. We really miss Nef but our new little fishie is a welcome addition to our household. I'm excited to see his how his "personality" develops once he gets used to us.