Where Can You Find Amaryllis Blooming in May?

Amaryllis-Blooming Beauties at Running P Ranch

Woodlake, CA is the land within the magic circle, a protected valley surrounded by the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Running P Ranch in Elderwood hosts weddings in a setting of flowering amaryllis.

According to experts, amaryllis is the easiest of flowering bulbs to make bloom.  Indoors or out, and they flower from late December until the end of June. In early May amaryllis plants flaunt their beauty.

Amaryllis BloomingMy friend Katherine Traugar respects people who know the name of plants, so this tidbit is for you, my friend. The amaryllis bears the botanical name Hippeastrum.  These flowers make showy Christmas gifts, but outside in a natural setting, they stand out among other spring beauties.

Amaryllis BloomingNestled against the western fence in this wedding setting, they rival the bride’s glowing beauty. The flamboyant blooms make amaryllis popular and in demand worldwide.  Besides various shades of red and salmon as seen in Elderwood, they also come in white, pink, and orange as well as striped and multicolored varieties.

Amaryllis Blooming

Prepare to Plant

If you want to plant these South American flowers, first place the base and roots of the bulb in lukewarm water for a few hours.  To store them keep the bulbs at a temperature between 40-50 degrees F if you can’t plant them right away. But keep them away from apples.

Plant

Plant the bulb up to its neck in a nutritious potting compost, taking care not to damage the roots.  Firmly tamp down the soil after planting.

Blooming Period

Amaryllis plants flower seven to ten weeks after planting. Plant bulbs every two weeks to achieve continuous bloom.

For more beautiful flowers visit May Dreams Gardens

Related Posts

Click to enter to win a fun travel book! Blogging and Traveling Near and Far

 

WordPress Photo Challenge: Relic

In the rustic western town, Woodlake, California, and surrounding countryside, people often decorate with relics.  It takes artistic flair to arrange relics to look more than junky.

Relic1

I’m still at the junky level.  My friend Sally Pace has moved beyond that.  She and her husband host weddings and many free events at their rustic ranch.

Relic 5

Mike pampers his favorite relic.  Not only is it in the barn, but it’s covered.

Relic2

The following 1940s picture is a relic even though Sally’s road looks almost the same.

relic7

Sally’s house and all its decorative relics weren’t there yet.

Relic10

Woodlake Hardware boasts of nearly 100 years of service, making it somewhat of a relic, yet the building today hasn’t changed much since the 1940s when Morris Bennett started working there.

Relic8

Woodlake Hardware_R

Morris decorated the walls with relics from the past.

Relic9

Of course, the pair of skates is my favorite relic. Relic3

At 90+ Morris still works most days.

SFW 08132013 Morris Bennett027r

He’s my hero, but he’s NOT a relic!  🙂

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For more examples of relics, click the WP logo.

Mr. Parks Kitty Follows Us Home

Yesterday morning my friend Sally and I walked as usual.  When we rounded the corner we heard insistent mewing coming from a nearby tree.  We ignored it, and walked to the end of the road and back, about a mile.  When we got back to the tree, we heard it again. We stopped and discovered a scared kitty in the tree, but he was way too high for the two of us to reach him.  So we left him wailing at us.

Mr. Parks

Later another friend called and wanted to walk, so off we went again.  And again, when we rounded the corner we heard the cat.  He had moved down a bit, and we got him out of the tree.  However, he cried as we left him on the corner by the tree and walked home.

Sally and I were up early and walked in spite of a little drizzle today, and who should be crying to see us?  We petted him, and he decided he would accompany us on our walk.  We we got back to his corner, he continued with us as though he belonged to us.  All along a busy highway, he stayed right with us.  When a truck came by, he ran for cover, but stayed away from traffic.

He's home at last.
He’s home at last.

When we got to my house, he stayed as if he owned the place.  As Sally put it, “Dogs have masters.  Cats have staff.”

Mr. Parks rocks and rolls for Mama Kitty.
Mr. Parks rocks and rolls for Mama Kitty.

Mama and Scardy Kitties were not overjoyed to meet Mr. Parks.  Neither was Kalev.  She was scared to death of him, and he of her.  Most importantly, V was not pleased.  But Mr. Parks is adorable.  He is loving and healthy.  You can pick him up and cuddle, and he loves it.

Mr-Parks

So if you know who Mr. Parks really is, and want him back send me a comment or email.

Who cares?
Scardy Kitty

He looks a lot like Scardy Kitty.

Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks Kitty

And Sally thinks he looks like Rosa Parks Kitty.  We both fell in love with Mr. Parks.  How about you?

A Little Foothill High School History

Sally Pace asked me to do a column of Foothill History for the Kiwanis magazine which is published quarterly.  Our larger community consists of several small foothill towns ranging from populations of about 3,000-8,000.   From north to south the communities are:  Woodlake, Lemon Cove, Three Rivers, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and Exeter.  Then a little farther south,  still in the foothills, but not considered in our neighborhood are: Lindsay, Porterville (about 45,000 pop.), and Springville (very tiny and very high into the mountains).

Just so that you understand the history here in Tulare County, I will give you a little background.  There were NO white, Mexican, Asian, or any outside people here before 1852.  NONE – not even explorers.  Well maybe one or two Spanish explorers.  But let me tell you, they didn’t stay.  Heck no, they went back to the Central California Coast.  So when the world rushed in to find gold in “Californey”, a few of the folks headed south of gold country to Tulare County. Native Americans from the Yokuts tribes lived here peacefully before the OTHERS arrived.

Terry Ommen, Tulare County Historical Society, conducts a tour of Tulare County.  This stop, near the original site of the Election Tree.
Terry Ommen, Tulare County Historical Society, conducts a tour of Tulare County. This stop, near the original site of the Election Tree, near Road 182.  Tulare County was the size of West Virginia.

Standing around an old Oak Tree,  (there were no yellow ribbons tied around it), named The Election Tree for the occasion, a group of white men founded what we now know as  Tulare County.  In that time the county was HUGE.  Now it is the size of Connecticut, but then it included Fresno County and Kings County and part of Inyo county.  It didn’t take long before folks back then decided that was WAY too much land for any one county, and they split it up,

April 1852
April 1852

For Historical Society purposes, I found out that you really need to count three generations here before you are considered blue – blooded, that is.  I’m purple back in Indiana, or even further back to North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, but I’m clear-colored here. (I’m distantly related on both sides of my family to Robert Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence, my one and only claim to fame.)  I’ve lived in Tulare County for 28 years, and if I’d had kids, and they’d had kids – they would be royal blue by this time, but …

"In 1964 the last remaining part of the original Woodlake High School buildings were razed to make way for new construction.  Courtney McCracken donated $250 for the construction of a new library named for the Exeter benefactor."
“In 1964 the last remaining part of the original Woodlake High School buildings were razed to make way for new construction. Courtney McCracken donated $250 for the construction of a new library named for the Exeter benefactor.” 1

Yesterday I was blessed to have interviews with 4 people who have lived in the area longer than I have.  My friend, Sally, of Running P Ranch, was one of the impromptu interviews.  Sally and another neighbor, Frank Ainley, discussed the good old days of teaching high school in Woodlake.  One story they swapped started with the words that the principal said to Frank one day at school, “I need to see you.”  (That sounds familiar, but read on…)

“I can’t come right NOW!  I’m right in the middle of class,” Frank answered the intercom voice that the entire high school could hear.

“That’s ok, if you’re a good teacher, your kids will keep doing what they are supposed to do while you’re gone,” the principal responded

Add they did for about 25 minutes.  That was back in the late 1960s (when I attended junior high and high school in Indiana.)  Weren’t we the Perfect Generation, or something like that?

Both Frank and Sally talked about the kids doing projects.  The high school kids kept the teachers organized so that the projects ran smoothly.  Students could drive in those days – if they had a license.  So if the students needed something for the project, the teacher would just ask one of them to go get it at the store, and come back to class with it.  If they had to travel for sports or field trips, the kids just drove there – if they were over 16, and had parents written permission, of course.  There were SOME laws back in the 1960s.

The principal, Bud Loverin, said to Sally, the JUST hired home economics teacher, “We have an opening inservice for all the teachers the first day back to school. There will be about 60 people for breakfast and lunch.”  You got the implication of that statement, didn’t you?  The administrators made the assignments, then trusted the teachers to somehow accomplish them.  and somehow they did (or they didn’t, I’m guessing).  These two teachers remembered going into the Loverin’s office upset about some issue, and coming out apologizing for taking up his time, and thanking him for the new assignment he just gave them.  Yet they both said teacher morale was at a high.

Evaluations?  Frank asked his principal, “When are you coming in to do an evaluation of me?”

Bud Loverin answered, “If I didn’t think you couldn’t do the job, I wouldn’t have hired you.”  He didn’t have an evaluation that year.  He didn’t have very many evaluations.  To be fair, I never had too many evaluations that ever seemed like evaluations, and I taught from the late 80s on.  But my experience is unusual because I left the classroom and didn’t become a principal, but a consultant.

Woodlake High School 2013

Are we missing something today?  Bud Loverin sounds like what current experts (and laws) might consider to be a horrible principal.  He was the type of sales person that motivated his staff.  Sally repeated an oft-said comment about Loverin, “He could have sold icicles  to Eskimos and made a profit. ” The teachers loved him.  He took care of them.

Frank and Sally both said the kids loved the principal and the vice-principal, Herman Ziegler, and most got good jobs after they graduated.  I know both of these teachers, so I know that they both understated their effect on kids.  Both teachers are very well-respected and loved by students and teachers alike.  Frank quit teaching in his 70s, and is still active in the community.  Sally became a counselor in the high school and brought national recognition to Woodlake High School a few years ago because she raised so much money for scholarships, and enabled students to attend college.  She has also retired in her 60s – sort of, and keeps busy in the community.

Frank talked about discipline in the school, when they still used a stick.  Discipline was done by the vice principal – a BIG guy, Herman Ziegler.  Both the principal and the VP were BIG.  I remember our principal in 5th grade.  He would come in to get a naughty boy, and I would quake.  He was BIG.  What was it in those days?  Was that a requirement for being a principal?  BE BIG, and you’re hired?  Apparently they got the job done in Woodlake according to Frank and Sally.

When I was getting my teaching credential in 1986, I interviewed a retired elementary principal, Mr. Crawford, in Woodlake for an assignment.  He told this story.  In the 1940s, as a teacher, he had a 19-year-old 8th grade student with an attitude.  (duh! I’d have an attitude if I were still in 8th grade at age 19.)  This student was about 6 feet tall, and didn’t like the assignment Mr. Crawford had made.  The student challenged his 6 foot tall 40s something teacher, “If you didn’t wear glasses, I’d beat you up.”  Crawford promptly removed his glasses, and the two settled their dispute.  The teacher won, and the student behaved the rest of the year.  By the time the principal, Francis J. White, arrived on the scene, the student was doing his assignment.

I have to say that at the time, I sat in this man and his wife’s living room with my mouth hanging open during most of the interview.  It was one of those unforgettable experiences.  At the time I knew Mrs. Crawford because she and I often substituted in all the classes in Woodlake.  She was tiny, about five feet tall, and probably never weighed 100 pounds, but she knew every student in school, and they all liked and respected her.  She had a no-nonsense way of managing a class that worked.  She never had to raise her voice – or her hand to a student.

Kids today are faced with a far different world than any of us grew up in – even if you are 20.  That’s another amazing conversation Sally and I had.  Kids who are 17 are like adults to the 10 year olds of today.  In the eyes of my fourth graders my high school-aged assistants were no different than their 40 year old teacher.   So if you just graduated, and are 17 or 18, watch out – YOU ARE OLD! (to someone – not me, BTW)

So how have times changed since you were in school wherever you are from?  What was school like when you started teaching?  What was it like when you were a kid?  What worked?  What didn’t work?

Footnotes

1.  Elliott, John F.  A History of Woodlake Union High School The Woodlake 11 Class of 1924.  Three Rivers Historical Society

Cats

I’ve been running you all over Running P Ranch, but I saved the best for last, the cats.  You already met Margaret Sanger in the first post.

Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger

Margaret followed us everywhere.  Not a single person commented on the human Margaret’s contribution to history, so I thought you should know what a rich background from which these cats derived their names.  Margaret Sanger died before I was old enough to be sexually active, but she changed the world of sex for women my age and younger.  Many have argued whether the world is better for the change, but forever changed it is!!

Margaret Sanger

“Sanger’s efforts contributed to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case which legalized contraception in the United States. Sanger is a frequent target of criticism by opponents of birth control and has also been criticized for supporting eugenics, but remains an iconic figure in the American reproductive rights movement.”  Wikipedia

Margaret kept tabs on everything!
Margaret kept tabs on everything!
I wouldn't mess with Margaret!!  :)
I wouldn’t mess with Margaret!!  

Sacagawea wasn’t quite so ubiquitous.  She came out when we were almost ready to go home.

Sacagawea
Sacagawea

 

Sacagawea is calling for back-up.
Sacagawea is calling for back-up.

 

Pardon me for always using Wikipedia, but it also is ubiquitous.  “The National American Woman Suffrage Association of the early twentieth century adopted her as a symbol of women’s worth and independence, erecting several statues and plaques in her memory, and doing much to spread the story of her accomplishments.”[1]  As I read excerpts from the diary of Lewis and Clark, I understood how she was so valuable to the party.  “However, her greatest value to the mission may have been simply her presence during the arduous journey, which showed their peaceful intent. While traveling through what is now Franklin County, Washington, Clark noted, “The Indian woman confirmed those people of our friendly intentions, as no woman ever accompanies a war party of Indians in this quarter,” and, “the wife of Shabono our interpeter we find reconsiles all the Indians, as to our friendly intentions a woman with a party of men is a token of peace.”[6]Sac. kept her distance, but she beckoned a third friend to the party, Rosa Parks.

Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks

Rosa was the prim and proper one.  No one would accuse her of sitting meekly in the back of the bus, however.

“On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake‘s order that she give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation. Others had taken similar steps in the twentieth century, including Irene Morgan in 1946, Sarah Louise Keys in 1955, and Claudette Colvin nine months before Parks. NAACP organizers believed that Parks was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience.

Parks’ act of defiance and the Montgomery Bus Boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation.”  Wikipedia again.

No way, Margaret.  You stay back there.
No way, Margaret. You stay back there.

Rosa the cat didn’t take a back seat to anyone, even Margaret Sanger.

Back....
Back….

So, do you think the cats were well named?

Who cares?
Who cares?

Scardy Kitty isn’t convinced that cats need uppity historic names.  He’s proud of his name!!  What do you think?