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Monday, August 1, 2011





Monday, 6:45 AM.  63.5 degrees, wind SE, calm.  The sky is gray and overcast, and the eastern horizon was a sickly orange green earlier. It looks like rain but the barometer only predicts partly cloudy skies and the humidity is low.  It will be an unsettled day.  It  is quiet with all the tourists having left in droves yesterday at the end of the Art Fair, which at least didn’t get rained on.
    This has been a stellar year for hay, the second crop just baled and strong growth coming on for a third.  I’m assuming it is demanding a good price because of the severe drought in Texas.
    Yesterday I wrote about the invasive garden escapee purple loosestrife. A somewhat similar appearing non-invasive native plant, fireweed, Epilobium angustifolium, in the evening primrose family (Onagraceae) is a plant of the far north which as its name implies often follows fires. It is a rather common (in our region) roadside wildflower.  Also called willow-herb, it has willow-like leaves and  very showy panicles of pink to whitish flowers.  Looked at closely, however, it is easily distinguished from the purple loosestrife.
    My last year’s Nymphaea water lily did not survive the winter packed in straw in the shed so I bought a replacement at a big garden center in Minoqua two weeks ago when we traveled to Antigo.  It is a very pretty pink hybrid and seems quite happy on the porch in the big Chinese thousand-year-egg jar.          

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