Four sets of my neighbors are packing up their belongings and moving into temporary residences. Their homes are being fixed or replaced. Meanwhile the rest of us are continuing our field work of debris removal before the summer heat sets in and the rains end.
First my son, then 2 people, then 3 crews have shown up to help with the clean-up.
I have noticed our native Gaura, the short variety, is now blooming. Tom Terry has a great picture of some Shawnee Gaura in Wednesday's Shawnee News-Star as well as a good article. My gaura volunteers itself wherever, always a surprise.
Last note, the lantanas (most did not survive into spring) were replaced with pincushion flowers. Things are looking pretty....

End of May 2013 Blog 

Becky Emerson Carlberg

Four sets of my neighbors are packing up their belongings and shifting into temporary residences while their homes are remodeled or replaced.  This is something many families are now doing along 177 down to Bethel Acres and in Moore.  Meanwhile the rest of us soldier on with debris and tree residue removal, helped by countless volunteers. 

At my house, first my son came, armed with a chain saw and energy.  Next day came another dedicated man, with chainsaw, and one Mormon that splintered off from his group to work with us.  Two days later, Christian Aid Ministries brought a cool mini-chain saw on a pole that reached high to get the dangling large branches.  Today I spent the morning with the Arkansas Baptists and their skid-steer  loader, plus the necessary chain saw.  The skid-steer, a compact tractor with scoop and claw, made fast work of downed or elevated mega branches.

Two chaplains were present, and we gathered together for a short prayer.  Timing it perfectly, the Salvation Army truck drove up, and many took advantage of the lunch offered.  It was prepared by the Southern Baptist men situated in Shawnee proper, and everyone working on our road had some food, even the county guys manning the big scooper and dump trucks.  They are working their way down, picking up huge piles of trees, metal, wood with nails, insulation, etc.,  all piled up at property edges.  It is a challenge to navigate along our street as it is a very narrow one lane!  Saturday, the Christian Aid Ministries will be out to help with the east side of our house.  It is amazing how hard these people work, and how much gets done.  We are so thankful.

So my washing machine went kaput.  It might be the timer.  We should watch our appliances (or anything that uses electricity) the next week as the power surges during Bob’s visit may have discom-Bob-ulated a few things, like our washing machine.  Every night the machine had been jumping into action to deal with the day’s work clothes…i.e. wash away the sweat, ticks and poison ivy sap. 

We’ll get ‘er all done eventually. 

Did you read Tom Terry’s article in the Shawnee News-Star Wednesday (May 29th)?  The title is “Flowers, shrubs growing rapidly this spring”  with good picture, taken by Tom, of Gaura on the northeast corner of 9th and Bell streets.  Around my house grow the native gauras, both the Large-Flowered Gaura (Gaura Lindheimeri), a plant that can get well over 5 feet tall, and the Small Gaura (Gaura suffulta), just the opposite as this Gaura may reach one foot in height. These plants are also in the evening primrose family. I never know where they will volunteer themselves to grow. 

Immigrant F.J. Lindheimer (1801-1879), who many consider the father of Texas Botany, is honored with having the large flower gaura named after him.  After settling in New Braunfels, TX, Lindheimer went on to discover hundreds of new plant species.  If you feel like a drive and are in the mood for some German food (Friesenhaus and Oma’s Haus have good reviews), go to New Braunfels.  Have a look at Lindheimer’s home, now a museum, and enjoy some sauerbraten mit kartoffeln at one of the restaurants.

Tuesday morning I was at the Japanese Garden to replace most the Lantanas that did not survive either the drought or the late winter temperatures.  The lantana Tom Terry brought over last year survived.  It must be his green thumb that gave it confidence.  The Japanese Garden fits into the category of Extreme Gardening. 

After Joan forwarded the e-mail about the discounts available at Lowe’s, we drove over to check them out.  I found several Scabiosa (pincushion flowers), one Russian Sage, and a few white geraniums.  Out came the lantanas, with difficulty in that wet clay soil, and in went the pincushions.  The sage was planted by itself next to the south side of the southwest gate in front of the fence.  Meanwhile the variegated Artemisia that was put last fall has launched in all directions.  Not exactly a problem now, but…..   

The Coreopsis by the Taylor Ricks redbud tree is in full bloom.  It is a gorgeous stand of yellow blooms.  The red mulberries have set fruit now nearly ripe, and the Mockingbirds are jealously guarding the fruit.  One Kildeer had attempted another nest in the rocks of the Kidney garden.  The eggs matched perfectly with the light round rocks.  The shallow depression did have 4 eggs in it, but last time I was there, no eggs were left. Perhaps the eggs hatched.  Kildeer chicks can immediately run and eat right after they are born.  

You have probably seen a Kildeer, but may not have known it.  It is the bird that shrieks and flies around you as you get too near its nest, then  practically lands in front of you, dragging one wing as if injured.  It is interesting that Kildeer are actually shorebirds, but often live in the prairies.

If you get close to the Peace House, watch out for the Showy Evening Primroses.  They also can cover territory rather rapidly, but right now are so pretty I have left far too many of them.  When the city mowers come, many will disappear under the blade.  I have discovered a patch of wild sunflowers right by the parking lot, growing in a pile of dead/live Bermuda grass and weeds.  It has been surrounded with rocks with hopes the plants will not be mowed or weed-eaten!