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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Springtime In and Near My Kitchen

I awoke this morning to a half-inch of snow on the ground. It's March! I'll spare you a picture- there's been enough snow here.

I've been waiting to be able to show you this series, but it's taken a long time (and it's only 1/3 of the kitchen surprises, hint, hint). Here is a picture from March 6, with the focus wrong, but you can still see the important item.

Easter Cactus tight bud

Here is the same bud on March 16.

Easter Cactus swollen bud

And here we are, today! This is a "Holiday Cactus." There are both Christmas and Easter Cactus. One site says "Easter cactus has pointed margins. This contrasts with Christmas cactus, which has either scalloped or rounded leaf margins." Based on that information, this is an Easter Cactus, Rhipsalis gaertneri. However, pictures and labels on the web are all over the place, so I wouldn't want to make a definitive statement. This poor cactus has quite a history. It was a gift from a friend in the months right after Om had a heart attack (Sept 2007). It bloomed around Christmas that year.

Last summer when I was off hiking, Om decided to do better than usual with watering the plants. The problem is that I've switched to mostly succulents! The poor cactus was particularly drowned; I wasn't sure it would even live! But it pulled through, and look what it is up to now!

Easter Cactus bloom

robin in apple treeAnd by noon the snow was all gone, and look who showed up just outside the kitchen window. Not that a robin is anything special, but it's the first one I've seen this year.

Yesterday I heard a cardinal whistling his "sweet, sweet, sweet." And the day before that it was the "Ank, ank, ank" of a nuthatch!

I think this is enough pictures for today, but the crocuses are starting to pop in the rock garden. Prepare for flowers!

See Cacti and Succulents Site where I found the information I quoted
See My Bluebird of Happiness for another bird this spring
See Philadelphia Flower Show 2009 - III for more pictures of succulents


Lin said...

Oh, bummer about the snow. But what a lovely blossom!!! There is always some good in the bad, I guess. Spring is on its way! Hooray!

Rick (Ratty) said...

It seems to be a good time of year for bird watching. I've been able to start identifying them, and even match the birds with their sounds.

rainfield61 said...

Sharing the eagerness to see spring, it seems like I am not staying in Malaysia anymore.

Julie said...

I just love my succulents! I water them once a month if I remember, LOL!

I love my Christmas Cactus...need to pick up an Easter one too! How fun!!!

I am slowly converting my yard plants to all succulents as well with this drought here the past years! I can't take it any more....needing water....so off to succulents I go....

Anonymous said...

That explains why my Christmas Cactus is blooming! Thanks for the info. My husband just asked me yesterday why it is in bloom, I had explanation. "It does it every year, I told him!" Happy Spring! Sorry about the snow. I hope the snow is done here.

Anonymous said...

The cactus is beautiful. I have one that's been in the family about 200 years, lol. It came from my grandmothers, about 10 years ago, in a shape that fitted between the window and the curtains, and now it won't grow into any other shape.

betchai said...

wow, what a lovely blossom. i bought some holiday cactus also before, but they died on me :( so very lucky and green thumb you. i may have drowned it. thankfully, i learned my lesson and I have grown successfully other succulents, but i have not tried on this holiday cactus again. i love it when a bird grace our backyard, you have a lovely robin out there.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

What a nice group of comments!

Lin- I am pleased that you like my silliness so much, the feeling is mutual- just read about your escaping Hobbes!

Ratty- My forte is plants; real birdwatchers look at me with disdain, but I have come to know the easy ones!

Rainfield- you are moving? What's up?

Julie- love your blog- I'll be back to look at your succulents regularly.

Cindy- thanks for stopping by! Hope your Cactus is beautiful!

Solomon- wow, that is truly impressive. I don't seem able to keep houseplants going nearly that long. One has to pay attention to them, and have someone to do likewise when one is away.

betchai- sometimes holiday plants are sold in very poor soil with no thought to anyone keeping them. Yes, the do need at least some modest care! Sometimes I even remember to feed mine.