Archive for the ‘MOTHER NATURE’ Tag

Mother Nature’s Revenge??? NOCARDIOSIS!!!   1 comment

I don’t know how, why, when, what or if anything particular made me fall in love with Mother Nature but I remember being entranced by no matter what she presented me with whether it was New York snowstorms, Florida’s hurricanes, California earthquakes, Tennessee tornadoes or roses in our Bronx front yard blooming or the white peonies in Lake Hiawatha spreading their perfume over Nokomis Avenue.

I still remember my first trip to Miami, getting off the train and being greeted by rows and rows of Birds of Paradise!Over the years I have had dogs starting with Butch in Pelham Parkway to having 50-gallon saltwater fish tanks in my Memphis office and  25 gallon freshwater fish tanks to at one time having 23 birds—budgies, cockatiels and finches (no one told me they were ‘worse’ than rabbits when it came to breeding!) who had free reign of my apartment.

Maybe it was after years of smoking 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day for 30 years but all of a sudden I couldn’t have dogs because their hair affected my breathing just as I had to get rid of my 23 birds because of their dander. Without any pets around I started my indoor gardens growing flowers, vegetables and enjoying each bloom. The pictures above I took 2 days ago with peppers growing, geraniums blooming and the ‘holiday’ cactus (upper right) blooming for Ramadam!!!

Long story short–I have had breathing problems for the past 6 months and, yesterday, finally, I was diagnosed with Nocardiosis which is caused by dirt, soil, earth dust–if you want to gain some knowledge just download google and/or Wikipedia–this is just a couple of lines from the latter: ” The Nocardia bacteria are found in soil around the world. People contract this disease by either inhaling contaminated dust or if soil containing Nocardia bacteria gets into an open wound.[” Without pointing fingers, I have been using bags of soil from the same company for decades and I just hope that wasn’t the cause of it.

I am starting to take 6 tablets a day–and they are horse-size tablets–of Sulfamethoxazole and may have to take them for 6 months to a year if not longer and first have to see if they will even work!
Do I have to get rid of the plants? I think I know the answer to that but don’t want to ask my doctor—yet!

Okay, Mother Nature what did I do to you? I’ve always praised you, posted pictures of you in all your glory, told people that no way could they be bored with all the pictures you made every day of the year–why after taking my dogs, birds, fish from you are you taking my plants?!?!?  WHY???

Posted April 13, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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SWEET POTATO VINE   Leave a comment


It’s not Spring yet BUT…
On January 1 I saw I had an extra sweet potato in the fridge and I decided it has been awhile that I have grown a sweet potato vine that I would. It is so easy makes a beautiful window sill plant.

For those who haven’t done it before all you have to do is stick 3 toothpicks around the upper half and put it in a glass of water and the toothpicks will keep that upper half dry. Within a couple of days you will see roots growing under the water. I usually wait for 5-6 long roots before I transfer it into a pot with dirt.

It isn’t long–maybe 2-3 days–and the green leaves will start growing. Within a week I had 5 vines growing and they will soon start ‘draping’ the window.

The plant is the first thing I see when walking into the kitchen and the first thing I do is see what directions the vines are going and how many there are.

Mother Nature constantly amazes me!

Slide 1

Slide 2

Posted March 2, 2015 by greatmartin in PLANTS

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DO YOU HOWL AT A FULL MOON?   Leave a comment

A full moon February 3 2015
Most of my life is spent watching Mother Nature. She can be calm or destructive but even in her fury there is a beauty before the final results. She creates colors that no artist can truly duplicate because the colors are constantly changing.

Her beauty and destruction can come together as when we have a full moon. The moon effects the tides and many times will flood our Point, the roads and grounds that are unable to soak up the excess water because the land under us is mainly coral. You don’t really see all this during the night. What you see is a round ball seemingly floating in the sky sometimes passing through clouds but most times surrounded by stars.

I am very lucky that I can see the moon through my living room window as it passes from the north to the south to the east. I can see the reflection of the moon in the canal waters from my southern windows and sometimes I will turn the lights out and it a magical feeling looking out into the dark that really isn’t dark as the moon lights up the water and the trees and the grass surrounding my building.

I don’t know how many full moons I have seen in my lifetime but they are never dull!

Posted February 11, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

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SPRING 2, TOO   1 comment

Most people who know me know that Mother Nature constantly takes me by surprise. I was over at John’s apartment and when I left I decided to visit the garden his neighbor Bill had planted and which people had added items.

I walked over to mainly take some pictures of the blooming hibiscus plant. When I go there I saw a movement in the bush and it took a minute or two for me to see the bluebird hidden in there. I tried to get a clear picture of him and as I walked around he would just jump around in the density of the bush.

What surprised me was that he didn’t fly off which made me think maybe it was a female. I looked around for a nest but didn’t see any and then I thought the bird might be hurt but it seemed to hop from twig to twig without any problem. His/her claws and feathers all seemed to be okay so I thought a neighbor might be feeding the bird and that’s why he/she was hanging around.

As I left, a neighbor, sitting out side, asked if I saw the cat and I hadn’t. He was just sitting there under the hibiscus very nonchalantly seeming oblivious to the bird ‘playing’ in the bush above but with a cat you know better. The cat is a Gateway cat and, from what someone had said previously to me, I think it is blind.

As I walked away I wonder if the bird and cat were aware of each other? What do you think?

Look hard at pictures 6 and 7–in 7 the lower right–for the bird.

Posted January 22, 2015 by greatmartin in MOTHER NATURE

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Is it Spring already? I know the calendar says January 20, 2015, but we are suppose to be in the 80s by Thursday! Everywhere I look outside I see flowers blooming from the cactus to the Cuban flower.

I walked into the Dollar Tree last week and aside from them having decorations for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter they also have their Spring planting products on sale from 4 packets of flowers or vegetables for a dollar to herb garden starter kits.

At the beginning of the month I planted a sweet potato and already the shoots for the vines are growing like crazy!

Best of all ‘MY’ bluebird family returned to the tree right outside my window and one of the family members posed on the top of the tree long enough for me to take a picture and then flew off.

Is it really only January?

Posted January 20, 2015 by greatmartin in SEASONS

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SHE’S A LADY BUT DON’T GET HER MAD!   Leave a comment

Mother Nature continues, as always, to astound me.

Looking at the slideshow you will see the story of my Christmas cactus. It is hard to explain but I have had the Mother plant for about 7 years now and most years it will have 5-6 blooms around Christmas but on February 29, 2012,  every branch had a bloom.

I cut off some branches, put them in pots and they hadn’t bloomed until this year when the buds appeared on December 23rd  only to bloom on December 25th on 3 of the 5 plants I have around the apartment. Of all the plants only one has white blossoms!

Along with everything else a couple of weeks ago I bought a couple of geraniums at Home Depot one pink and one red and the red came into full blossom the week before Christmas, so along with the 3 poinsettias, the cactus and the geraniums my apartment is and will be bright for weeks to come and I love it!

Posted December 29, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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KILLING THE WHITE BIRD   Leave a comment

In 1954 when I went to Camp Pendleton in Southern California I saw Birds of Paradise growing wild and fell in love with them. Though it didn’t have an aroma it was a spectacular looking flower with vivid colors of orange and purple. It wasn’t until I moved into Gateway in 1999 that I first discovered there was a white Bird of Paradise. Behind building C there was a 3 story high Bird of Paradise full of blooms and it continuously bloomed all year round. It was cut back a bit 2 years ago and did even better. Very few people knew about it.

The other day when I came home, going to the elevator, I saw Estaban, one of the maintenance men, doing what I thought was a trimming of the tree. The next day, aghast, I saw it had been completely hacked to the ground and then followed a ‘pass the buck’ routine. I asked Estaban why he did that and he said to go ask Suzanne, the administrator, and she told me that she didn’t know what I was talking about and would have to see it. She has been here 3 years and didn’t know about that tree?!?!?

Aside from being a magnificent tree it was the only white Bird of Paradise in Gateway and the whole Victoria Park area! I went to the head of maintenance, Luis, and he said he got orders from Orlando people when they were down here. I had been upset when, supposedly, accidentally they pulled up the avocado tree I was growing from a seed that had reached 6 feet but this was outrageous. I know it was too late to do anything about it but I certainly let my displeasure be known.

Now I pass by every day hoping to see a little green shoot coming out of the stub of the tree–there is hope as long as they don’t pull out the remainder!

Posted September 4, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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I will have to hang around until 2019-2020 when it should start baring fruit!

Posted March 7, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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I bought a Christmas cactus in the summer–don’t askof 2009 and that Christmas and the one in 2010 it bloomed at the beginning of December and didn’t stop blooming until late January.

In the following months it almost tripled in size (see upper left picture) but not a single bloom in December 2011 or January 2012. On February 22, a week before my 19th Leap Year birthday it started to get buds and on my birthday every branch had an open blossom!

A couple of months later I decided to trim it back and took the ‘branches’ and replanted them into 4 different pots. I left 3 inside and put 1 outside with my plants on the walkway. None of the plants including the ‘mother’ one blossomed this past Christmas and two weeks ago I noticed 3 buds on the plant outside and last week 4 buds. Yesterday, February 1, there were 2 blooms.

Is it possible that my Christmas cactus has decided to become a February birthday/unbirthday cactus? I’m curious to see if the 3 inside, plus the mother plant, will bloom or should I put 2 of the ‘babies’ outside and see what happens?

Posted February 3, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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One of the joys of living in Gateway is just to walk around and watch how Mother Nature comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.  We have Hibiscus bushes, plants and trees in every color of the rainbow and then you turn a corner and there is a banana tree or a spray of orchids or a white Bird of Paradise tree. Whether the sun is out or it is raining or a moonlight night you will find over 50 species of flowers in bloom not to forget avocado,lemon, lime or orange trees standing next to one of the hundred Queen Crepe Myrtle trees dispersed all over the property. Oh, by the way, this is South Florida so you know we have all kinds of palm trees.

Come on down to the Gateway Residence in Fort Lauderdale and talk a walk among some of Mother Nature’s greatest art works topped off with a sky that never ends.

Posted January 27, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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