Sunday, May 25, 2014

My DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 72 Days

It has been 72 days since I planted all those harvested sunflower seeds in my second DIY garden of sunflowers. Those 72 days have encompassed a lot of hours of my time tending to my sunflower garden. Early on, I spent 21 consecutive days covering my emerging seedlings to protect them from digging critters.

Looking out from my home office window, I am thankful of all the time I spent nurturing that garden.

My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 72 Days ~ JaguarJulie
My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 72 Days ~ JaguarJulie
View out my Home Office Window
Photo Taken: May 25, 2014
From my home office, I can see a number of the beautiful sunflower blossoms. Pretty soon, I expect to see a lot more sunshine as all the plants are with buds. Some of the taller plants have multiple buds up and down the stem.

SUNFLOWER PLANTS OVER SIX FOOT

Ten days ago, at the 62nd day measurement of sunflower plant height, I reported three plants had attained 59 inches in height.

My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 72 Days ~ JaguarJulie
My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 72 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: May 25, 2014
Today, I measured one sunflower plant at 78 inches. That is nearly 20 inches of growth in 10 days; wow, 2 inches per day!! Remarkable. You can see that the plants have been getting a lot of water because the leaves near the bottom of the stems are yellow. I have been watering them more recently because I did a second treatment of Kgro All-Purpose 24-8-16 Water Soluble Plant Food. I originally did my first plant food treatment on the 42nd day.

My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 72 Days ~ JaguarJulie
My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 72 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: May 25, 2014
CHARTING THE PLANT GROWTH
  1. 23 days - 6 inches wide by 7 inches across by 6 inches tall = 0.5 ft.
  2. 30 days - 9 inches wide by 10 inches across by 12 inches tall = 1 ft.
  3. 37 days - 11 inches wide by 13 inches across by 18 inches tall = 1.5 ft.
  4. 42 days - 24 inches tall = 2 ft.
  5. 51 days - 38 inches tall = 3 ft. 2 in.
  6. 56 days - 49 inches tall = 4 ft. 1 in.
  7. 62 days - 3 plants at 59 inches tall = 4 ft. 11 in.
  8. 65 days - 2 plants at 63 inches; 1 plant at 66 inches tall = 5 ft. 6 in.
  9. 70 days - 2 plants at 73 inches; 3 plants at 74 inches = 6 ft. 2 in.
  10. 72 days - 9 plants over 72 inches; 1 plant at 78 inches tall  = 6 ft. 6 in.
My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 72 Days ~ JaguarJulie
My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 72 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: May 25, 2014
SUNFLOWER POSTAGE

I think a neat part-time opportunity would be to design postage stamps for the United States Post Office! Hey, wait! I believe I am already doing that in my Zazzle shop. Check out some of my beautiful sunflower blossoms on postage stamps.


Browse other gifts from Zazzle.

BACKYARD GARDENER CONTRIBUTOR AT SQUIDOO

You might have already heard that on May 4th, I became the Backyard Gardener Contributor at Squidoo! This time of year, I am pretty immersed in my backyard gardens and particularly in my sunflower garden. That means, I don't have a lot of discretionary time for my writing. That's OK! I'd really rather be working that green thumb of mine out in the garden than at the keyboard.

My mom keeps asking me why I haven't been contacted to work for some large Home and Garden company to help them in their online presence. Because I have been a sort of brand ambassador for Burpee Gardens, always promoting Burpee Sunflower Seeds, I was thinking that would be a great company with which to work!

BLONDES THAT DIY

Another niche that I have launched is Blondes that DIY -- you know, blondes that do-it-yourself? Living in Jacksonville, Florida has allowed me to seriously explore that niche. And, more so lately since I am a single senior gal. Since my divorce in November 2010, I've found that I seriously NEED to learn how to DIY more things around the house. And, you know what? I have surprised myself along the way.

Are you a blonde that can seriously DIY? Hey, let's hear from you! Don't be shy.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Beautiful Early Sunflower Blossoms

It is equal time for the other beautiful sunflower blossoms that are blooming in my sunflower garden at 66 days. My first blossom was a dainty yellow one that arrived on Wednesday, May 14th. It was followed the next day, May 15th, by another dainty blossom, but with autumn or fall colors.

Today, I have already written one blog post to put the spotlight on that ah moment of the first autumn beauty sunflower blossom of 2014. It is a beauty and some of the photos were over the top; the best sunflower photos on the planet according to Bonnie! Thanks Bonnie ... us #blondesthatdiy have got it seriously going on ... Yes?!

I can honestly say that I have started to lose track of the emerging blossoms; i.e., which was third, fourth. There are so many magnificent sunflower buds in various stages of growth - so many different shapes and sizes and styles, much like fingerprints in that no two are alike.

CHECK OUT THESE BEAUTIES

Here are unedited beautiful sunflower blossom pictures direct from my Jacksonville Florida sunflower garden. These are the early sunflower blossoms ... which show what  variety you can have!

Pretty Yellow-Orange Sunflower Blossom
Pretty Yellow-Orange Sunflower Blossom
Pretty Yellow-Orange-Brown Sunflower Blossom
Pretty Yellow-Orange-Brown Sunflower Blossom
Pretty Yellow-Orange-Brown Sunflower Blossom
Pretty Yellow-Red-Orange Sunflower Blossom
Pretty Yellow-Red-Orange Sunflower Blossom
JaguarJulie Hand with Pucci-licious Color Club Poptastic Nail Polish
Pretty Yellow Sunflower Blossom
Pretty Yellow Sunflower Blossom
JaguarJulie Hand with Pucci-licious Color Club Poptastic Nail Polish
Pretty Yellow-Orange Sunflower Blossom
Pretty Yellow-Orange Sunflower Blossom
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Are you impressed by all the variety that has been achieved with these beautiful early sunflower blossoms? I mean, aren't you surprised that sunflowers can have so many different types and colors of blossoms? Look at all the vivid colors. Look at the shape of the flower petals. There is a lot of artistic stuff going on there ... all thanks seriously to Mother Nature and to Burpee sunflower seeds. I thank Burpee for my fifteen minutes of fame.

May I recommend you try:
P.S. Do check out my unsolicited product review of Burpee Sunflower Seeds and my DIY Garden. And, then take a look at my story about My DIY Garden of Sunflowers. I must tell you that I am one of those Blondes that DIY - that's the new blog with the hashtag of #blondesthatdiy.

First Autumn Beauty Sunflower of 2014

Over the past couple of days, I have been charting a particular blossom in my sunflower garden. Waiting for it to emerge. It isn't on the tallest plant, but it is on one of the plants which grew from the seedlings which some critter originally dug up. The first autumn beauty sunflower of 2014 has made its appearance ... and it is true to its name; it is a BEAUTY!

CHARTING THE ARRIVAL

First Autumn Beauty Sunflower as a Bud
First Autumn Beauty Sunflower as a Bud
First Autumn Beauty Sunflower as a Bud Opening
First Autumn Beauty Sunflower as a Bud Opening
First Autumn Beauty Sunflower as a Bud Opening
First Autumn Beauty Sunflower as a Bud Opening
First Autumn Beauty Sunflower as a Bud Opening
First Autumn Beauty Sunflower as a Bud Opening
First Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom of 2014
First Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom of 2014
I am normally out in my sunflower garden first thing in the morning, then mid-day, and finally in the evening. And, I am taking pictures ... lots of pictures. Especially when I see such a beauty as this blossom!

If you move back a little and look at the autumn beauty sunflower, it might not look so impressive.

First Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom of 2014
First Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom of 2014
Where is that blossom in the sunflower garden? Why, it is front and center in the fourth row. Look!

First Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom of 2014
First Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom of 2014
Hey, it doesn't look like much does it? Well, I got to see a couple of photos of that first autumn beauty sunflower blossom that blew me away. I had an artistic moment where it made me feel so infused with inspiration. I think my blood pressure went up a bit ... I had to reach out to a fellow artist to share my moment. She told me that she feels like that every day and that I should take a walk.

THE ARTSY SUNFLOWER BLOSSOM

First of all, my photos have not been edited or retouched. These are exactly as I took them. Here are the two photos that seemed to pop today for me. I had stooped down to take a photo of the emerging autumn beauty sunflower against the pretty blue sky of Jacksonville, Florida. I snapped these two photos one after the other.

First Artsy Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom of 2014
First Artsy Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom of 2014

First Artsy Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom of 2014
First Artsy Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom of 2014
There actually are a few more photos before and after these two; however, those also captured some other bits of nature in the background in addition to the pretty blue sky. These two artsy shots look too good to be natural shots! Well, at least for me and my FujiFilm FinePix V10 digital camera. I seriously need a better camera so that more of my shots will be like these two ... and then I will have more of those inspiring moments that make me go, "AH!"

ARTSY SUNFLOWER BLOSSOM CLOSE-UP

It's a close-up view of that pretty first autumn beauty sunflower of 2014.

First Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom Close-Up of 2014
First Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom Close-Up of 2014
Have I convinced you yet to want to try and grow your own sunflowers from seeds? Today my garden is on its 66th day! Yesterday, on the 65th day, I measured several plants at 63 inches with the tallest already 66 inches! How about that? I have Burpee Gardens to thank for those terrific seeds.

May I recommend you try:
P.S. Do check out my unsolicited product review of Burpee Sunflower Seeds and my DIY Garden. And, then take a look at my story about My DIY Garden of Sunflowers. I must tell you that I am one of those Blondes that DIY - that's the new blog with the hashtag of #blondesthatdiy.

Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden

Today, it was around 11am and I had just returned from my morning workout at Bailey's Powerhouse Gym. I was walking through my side yard and coming into my back yard. As I came upon the sunflower garden, I did a double take. At first, it looked like a large rock in my sunflower garden.

Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden
Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden
Photo Taken: May 19, 2014
Well, how about that? It is a painted turtle in my sunflower garden. And, I would surmise that it is a female who was getting ready to dig a hole to lay some eggs!

Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden
Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden
Photo Taken: May 19, 2014
There's a closer picture ... she's a pretty good sized turtle. You can see the dirt being dug at the bottom of the picture; at her tail end! Between late spring and mid-summer, the female painted turtle will dig its nest on land and lay its eggs. ~ The painted turtle according to Wikipedia.

Underside of Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden
Underside of Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden
Photo Taken: May 19, 2014
I went to the garage to get my pair of playtex handsaver gloves so that I could move the turtle. First I flipped her over to check out her underside. She played along and tucked in her head and legs quite neatly.

I lifted the old gal up and we had a little conversation as I walked with her to the back of my property to the dip down into the drainage area. If I had a third hand, I would have taken a picture of her head as she bobbed along. Darn it, but I only have two hands. I set her down carefully on the incline that sloped down to the bed of water. She wasn't moving. I tapped her on the rear and said, "now git!" Then, she took off.

ANOTHER TURTLE IN MY FLOWER BED

It was June 2012 when I photographed another painted turtle that made it all the way to my front yard.

Painted Turtle Digging Nest in my Front Yard Garden
Painted Turtle Digging Nest in my Front Yard Garden
Photo Taken: June 2012
I have a pretty large yard, over 12,200 sq. ft. The turtle that I found in my front yard had to travel a pretty good distance to make it into my front yard. By the time I found her, she had dug a pretty deep hole and thrown a good deal of dirt on the concrete walkway.

Underside of Painted Turtle in my Front Yard Garden
Underside of Painted Turtle in my Front Yard Garden
Photo Taken: June 2012
As I did with the turtle in my sunflower garden, I put on a pair of rubber gloves and flipped over the turtle.

You will notice the artsy marking on the underside of the turtle shell. It really looks like somebody painted those. I think they look rather like Egyptian hieroglyphs!

By the way, I did notice that the bottom, underside shell has markings that look a bit different from the painted turtle. Maybe I need a second opinion on these two turtles ... perhaps they aren't painted turtles? What do you think?

Those are just two of the many turtles I have found in my yard over the course of some three years. And, at least two of the times I have found the turtles, they have been digging nests for laying eggs! I'm glad they feel so comfortable in my yard to want to have their baby turtles here!

Want to learn more about these painted turtles and their cousins? May I recommend:

ANOTHER TURTLE IN MY BACKYARD

Here's just one more turtle that was making its way through my backyard.

Turtle in my Back Yard
Turtle in my Back Yard
Photo Taken: July 2013
This turtle is a bit different from the others. Note how the shell is smoother and more oval in shape? Plus the coloring is definitely more brown.

Underside of Turtle in my Back Yard
Underside of Turtle in my Back Yard
Photo Taken: July 2013
Are you a turtle lover? Know your turtles? I'd sure love to have a confirmation on all three turtles that I have shared. Take a moment and leave me a comment if you can identify these.

"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out." ~ James Bryant Conant.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blown Away by all the Buds

Folks, I apologize for the catchy post title; however, that is the TRUTH! I have been watching one of my tall sunflower plants for a few days. It was maybe two days ago that I noticed something different from the other plants. This plant had a spectacular bud on top. But, it also had the little buds emerging along the stem of the plant. Take a look for yourself.

Sunflower Plant with Multiple Buds on Stem ~ JaguarJulie
Sunflower Plant with Multiple Buds on Stem ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: May 15, 2014
Here is another view of the multiple budded sunflower plant!

Sunflower Plant with Multiple Buds on Stem ~ JaguarJulie
Sunflower Plant with Multiple Buds on Stem ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: May 15, 2014
I find this so exciting ... that you will be seeing a sunflower blossom on top ... and along the stem! Hopefully, the weight of all those blossoms will help to steady the plant. Some of those heads can get to be quite heavy. I'll have to refresh my mind on my largest head from the 2013 sunflower garden. Hold on, while I check!

... OK, I'm back! I found in my June 9, 2013 blog post about harvesting seeds from the heads that I had a weight of 4.5 ounces on one of the heads and that my largest head actually weighed 8 ounces! Many of the sunflower heads were measuring in at around 4 ounces or more! So, doing the math, that stem could be supporting a pound or two! Holy smokes.

We are going to be keeping an eye on this particular sunflower plant. Check back in to see what develops.

My DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 62 Days

Reflecting back on some two months, it is incredible to see the growth in my second DIY garden of sunflowers! Take a look at the garden view you have grown accustomed to seeing!

My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 62 Days ~ JaguarJulie
My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 62 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: May 15, 2014
I just took a break and went outside to get a measurement on plant height. I have three plants at 59 inches! That's nearly 5 ft. How about that? Fifty-nine inches at 62 days ... I wonder what will be the magic number when the height matches the days? Maybe 70??

My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 62 Days ~ JaguarJulie
My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 62 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: May 15, 2014
There's that second view of the sunflower garden, a side view from my daisy garden. For some reason, those sunflower plants look taller!! And, one last view! It is the other side.

My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 62 Days ~ JaguarJulie
My Second DIY Garden of Sunflowers at 62 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: May 15, 2014
When you compare this growth to the first couple of pictures of this year's garden, you really see the difference! Then, when you compare it to last year's garden, you see the difference in amount of plants.

I was concerned that my sunflower plants were too close together; however, I think it might be a good thing. You see, yesterday we had a lot of windy weather. All the sunflowers were blowing to the West. Last year, when we had similar weather, some of the plants were bent over. This year, because of all the plants, they seem to be supporting each other with the wind, and cushioning the blows, so to speak.

I think it is a good thing to have so many plants. Sure, some of the plants are being shielded from the sun ... but, that's OK! I have plenty of taller sunflower plants with some spectacular buds!

WHY NOT GROW YOUR OWN?

Have I convinced you to want and try your own sunflower garden from seed? I am telling you that I am forever changed by a couple of packets of Burpee Sunflower Seeds! I mean, who seriously knew that sunflower seeds could change your life and bring you so much joy. I'm not kidding. Why not bring some joy into your life ... my secret? Some of these:

First Sunflower Blossom of 2014

It finally happened! Yesterday, May 14th, we were at 61 days for our second DIY garden of sunflowers. That was quite the day! On May 12th, we wrote about how the bud was emerging into a yellow blossom. Then, two days later, I noticed that the yellow bud had finally opened to reveal itself. It's not one of those mammoth blossoms, but it still is quite pretty!

FIRST SUNFLOWER BLOSSOM OF 2014

The First Sunflower Blossom of 2014 ~ JaguarJulie
The First Sunflower Blossom of 2014 ~ JaguarJulie
Arrived on May 14, 2014
What is really awesome about the location of that first sunflower blossom? Would you believe it is right in line with my view outside my home office window? I mean, when I look to my left, outside the adjacent window, I can see it!! It looks like this ...

The First Sunflower Blossom of 2014 ~ JaguarJulie
The First Sunflower Blossom of 2014 ~ JaguarJulie
Arrived on May 14, 2014
It is really quite thrilling to finally have a blossom appear after nurturing this flower garden for 61 consecutive days! Much love and attention has gone into the garden; probably more attention than I spend on myself.

The other thrilling part about the whole thing happened on May 14th as well. After tending to my garden, I came inside, fixed myself a cup of dark-roasted Costa Rican coffee with my Bella One Cup coffee maker. And, then I came into my home office, opened the window and gazed out at that first sunflower blossom of 2014, and opened my inbox.

SQUIDOO LENS OF THE DAY

Holy Smokes! My DIY Garden of Sunflowers lens was being featured as the Squidoo Lens of the Day on May 14th - the same day I saw my first blossom. We just had a full moon; and the planets had aligned.

SECOND SUNFLOWER BLOSSOM OF 2014

It just keeps on keeping on ... today, May 15th, as I did my walk through of my garden, I spied the second blossom emerging!!

The Second Sunflower Blossom of 2014 ~ JaguarJulie
The Second Sunflower Blossom of 2014 ~ JaguarJulie
Arrived on May 15, 2014
This second sunflower blossom just happens to be an Autumn Beauty. You can see the pretty orange and reddish colors.

After all the traffic and attention my DIY Garden of Sunflowers lens received for being the lens of the day, today it jumped to the top spot of all my lenses, knocking out my formerly top page, Stuffed Cabbage : The Best Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Ever!

Last, but not the least, I was thrilled to receive in the mail today, my signed copy of Kelli Ellis's Do I Look Skinny In This House? How to Feel Great In Your Home Using Design Psychology. It arrived in the knick of time for me to hurry up and get my skinny on!

What a day ... or two, eh?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Help Bring Home Jennifer Kesse

Over the past year or so, I have gotten to know Jennifer Kesse's aunt, Lynn. She works out at the same gym that I do. Over the course of that time, I have seen the abducted sign on the side of her SUV. Today, I asked Lynn if she would mind that I would add my voice to the search.

With Lynn's OK, I wanted to add my blog post to help bring more attention to the effort to find Jennifer Kesse and bring her home to her family. Lynn gave me a number of her business cards. I have scanned one and added it here.

Jennifer Kesse Abducted January 24, 2006, Orlando, FL
Jennifer Kesse Abducted January 24, 2006, Orlando, FL
www.FindJenniferKesse.com
It has been over 8 years that Jennifer has been missing. There was a surveillance tape that caught a person of interest. Somebody knows something! Please take a look at the video.


There has been some discussion that some illegal migrant construction workers were in the location where Jennifer Kesse went missing. And, that Jennifer Kesse had been feeling uneasy about some of those workers before she disappeared. It seems the police were in disagreement about releasing the video after the abduction. The condos were being converted and some of those illegals were staying in some of the units being converted. Could that be why a suspect hasn't been caught? Maybe the suspect has returned to Mexico?

It is very likely that the suspect could still be working construction and moving around. Take a look at the Spanish flyer which has a photo from the surveillance video.

Jennifer Kesse Abducted January 24, 2006, Orlando, FL
Jennifer Kesse Abducted January 24, 2006, Orlando, FL
www.FindJenniferKesse.com
You can find lots of information on this missing person by Googling her name. A lot of people have been involved and lending their support to helping to find her. Her aunt told me that the family feels Jennifer will come home. Let's help to bring her home to her family.

Jennifer Kesse Abducted January 24, 2006, Orlando, FL
Jennifer Kesse Abducted January 24, 2006, Orlando, FL
www.FindJenniferKesse.com
Here is a tattoo of a four-leaf clover that Jennifer has - do you remember seeing a young woman with that tattoo?

four leaf clover tattoo of Jennifer Kesse Abducted January 24, 2006, Orlando, FL
Jennifer Kesse Abducted January 24, 2006, Orlando, FL
www.FindJenniferKesse.com
HELP BRING HOME JENNIFER KESSE

Jennifer Kesse was abducted on January 24, 2006 in Orlando, Florida. She was 24 years of age at the time of the abduction. She is a striking young woman who stands 5'8" in height, weighs 125 lbs., and has shoulder length, sandy blonde hair.

A reward is being offered for information leading to her return. If you have any information to share, you can call the Crime Line at 1-800-423-TIPS. Or, you can call the FBI at 1-866-838-1153.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT JENNIFER KESSE

Jennifer Kesse Website - jenniferkesse.com: Get the official word from the family.
Jennifer Kesse on Scared Monkeys: A discussion about Greta Van Susteren’s ‘On The Record’ one hour special on Jennifer.