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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Falling Into Autumn, and Some Blue Things!

~photo by Suzanne * Fort Worth, TX * Nov. 9, 2013 

G'Day to you all.  Did you know that there is actually a 'G'Day' week in Australia?  I think it was during the first week in November, so 'G'DAY'!!!  And above is my private garden, also flourishing during the first week in November.  Looking good with begonias, mondo grass, vinca ground cover, a pot of mums, and fern.  I was actually pleased that two pots of my mums from last October did come back for a repeat performance of blooms this fall!


Last weekend, we took a day trip to Karo's hometown, Bridgeport, Texas.  He drove us through town, showing us where the old Rock Island train depot used to sit...torn down now.  All that's left are the tracks that still go through town.
~photo by Suzanne * Bridgeport, TX * Nov. 16, 2013

We visited the site where one of Karo's parents' first cafes, The Frontier, had been in the 1960's.  Somewhere near 1966, The Frontier Cafe was moved to another part of Bridgeport. The empty lot is really grown up with brush and, our shoes were full of goat head stickers when we got finished walking through!

~ The Frontier Cafe * Bridgeport, TX * 1961

Along the way we stopped to visit the cemetery where Karo's parents and other family members are buried.  The cemetery is called 'Old Town Cemetery', and, you'll find quite a few old tombstones from the late 1800's and early 1900's here.

Not being a really large cemetery, it's easy to walk through most of it.  Well, I was just looking around for items of interest, and spotted a strange looking tree off in the distance.  The tree had sort of a blue cast to curiosity urged me on to get a closer look.

Looks like a giant Christmas tree doesn't it?

~photo by Suzanne * Bridgeport, TX * November  16, 2013

~Some kind of fir tree * photo by Suzanne

* So, after doing some digging around, which is what I do best, lol, I discovered that this tree is called an Ashe Juniper, or 'Blueberry Juniper'.

The Ashe Juniper is native to central Texas, and considered a weed by many ranchers and landowners.  The pollen from this shrub can cause a severe allergic reaction to some people who are allergic to cedar.   It is commonly known as 'cedar fever'.  The tree can grow from up to 33' to about 49'.  They are drought tolerant and serve to control erosion.  It provides great shade for the livestock and wildlife, too!

* The berries are actually seed cones, containing only 1 or 2 seeds, and, distributed after eaten by birds.  Believe it or not, the male seed cones are yellow, and turn brown after pollen release in the winter.  I didn't see any yellow ones.  But, beware, the seeds are bitter tasting, and are even avoided by cattle.

*The wood is naturally rot resistant and provides raw material for fence posts. Posts cut from old-growth Ashe junipers have been known to last in the ground for more than 50 years. Over one hundred years ago, most old-growth Ashe junipers were cut and used not only for fence posts, but also for telegraph poles and railroad ties. 

~ Blueberry Juniper * photo by Suzanne * November 16, 2013

You can bet that I probably won't be trying to raise one of these big guys in my yard, as I would be worried about our little Scootie trying to taste these tempting berries!  

That would produce a photo like this, lol!
~Scootie * November 9, 2013 * Fort Worth, TX *

Even tho he is five years old now, we still have to keep an eye out for what he puts in his mouth when he's at our house.  We have Chinaberry trees, and the berries are a bit toxic also.  The birds won't even eat them!  Scootie likes to pick them up and throw them, but I have banned him from touching them. So, there's no 5 second rule here on the China berries or the Juniper Blueberries!  "What's the 5 second rule?", you ask.  Well, according to Karo, if you drop an item-say a lifesaver candy, on the floor or legally have 5 seconds to pick it up and pop it in to your mouth!  I know, I's not funny!  

Oh, here it of our China berry trees.  The berries come on in the fall.
And, if they fall, no living thing cares!  They are not edible.
~ China berry tree * photo by Suzanne * Fort Worth, TX

* Well, my dearest readers, I really must close for now.  I promised 'Miss Thing' over at the KardKorner some help with a short post before Thanksgiving gets here!  And, there will be a project coming up for Mom and her herb study group in Kansas City.  Time is nearing to announce the Herb of the Year for 2014! 
 I'll tell you what it is later!

Before I go, I would like to thank:
Thank you Karo for the fun day trip to Bridgeport!

And, thank you all for coming by.  I appreciate you so much.  And, I wish the best to you all.  Step in and say hello if you get the chance.  
Best wishes for a safe and Happy Thanksgiving 
go out to you and yours from my family at MyTexasGardens!

~Photo by Suzanne * November 2011 * Fort Worth, TX

"Whatever a Bluejay feels he can put into language, straight out and out book talk.  You never saw a Bluejay get stuck for a word...he talks the best grammar of all the animals."
~Mark Twain * Morals Lecture, July 15, 1895

Remembering Mark Twain on the date of his birth:
November 30, 1835

See you next time xoxo!


  1. Hello, dear Suzanne! It's your old friend Same Day Shady! :) Between you and Karo I'm getting a real education this week. Thanks for augmenting his great post about the Rock Island Line and his birthplace, Bridgeport, TX, with new pics and info of your own.

    I was shocked at the beauty of your garden in that first picture. You will be the envy of gardeners in northern states where the snow is already flying. I love how you created such a lovely display with limited space. It looks like a very cozy and inviting spot.

    It was interesting to read about the Ashe Juniper aka Blueberry Juniper. (Remember the Donovan song "Jennifer Juniper"?) It's funny how nature maintains balance. The Blueberry Juniper is regarded as a weed and a nuisance species but it provides shade and its wood has multiple uses. Those "berries" do look good enough to eat and I'm sure many people and critters learned a lesson the hard way.

    Remember this song ?

    Lemon tree, very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet
    But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

    That's also a great picture of your Chinaberry. You have many excellent specimens on your property and they look to be in good health.

    I've heard of the 5 second rule but I thought it only counts if the food is dry to the touch. If it's wet and sticky it will pick up dirt and germs and it won't take 5 seconds.

    Scootie looks like he's taking a little cat nap there. Bless his little pea pickin' heart!

    That blue jay picture reminds me of a baby blue jay that I rescued in my back yard a few years ago. It was a chilly March day and I found him face down beneath a tree. He had fallen out of the nest and was lying there cold and helpless. I scooped him up, took him inside the house, made him a warm bed in a box and fed him regular meals as directed by a website I found. The next day I drove him to a local woman who cares for sick, injured and abandoned wildlife. I often think about that jay and hope he survived.

    Thanks for another fine post, dear Suzanne. Good night and have a wonderful Thursday, my friend!

    1. So, 'Sir Same Day', I do remember the Lemon Tree song, and, I rather enjoyed that tune. It rolled along nicely with Bob Marley's accent! And, I do remember 'Jennifer Juniper'.

      So, our trip to Bridgeport was very resourceful. Of course, I've been many times over the years, but, this time I did have motives! That is funny about the 5 second rule, and, you're right...I think the food is supposed to be dry. And, Scootie didn't want to smile for the picture-sometimes he can be a little character!

      I do hope your blue jay survived. We get a lot of them in our yard. But, I've never been close enough to one for touch.

      We chose the summer plants carefully this year. I didn't go over the top by choosing more than I thought I could handle, or choosing hard to maintain plants...just the easier ones. Thank you for your compliments on my private garden. It is a small space, and, quite an attraction for Scootie and a couple of cats that hang around here. The brick walk is nice and cool when watered down.

      I'm glad you came by. It's always a treat to hear from you! And, once again, congrats on your 500 posts! You take care now, y'here? See you soon! ♫

  2. Well, G'day to you Miss Suzanne! Gosh, when I saw Shadykin's comment, I thought I was reading a book!!!! He is a little dear, isn't he? Takes so much trouble with his comments. I love the Autumn look to your blog. Gosh, your garden is still looking pretty terrific, isn't it, even though we are now well into November. It's always a pleasure to see little Scootie of course. How they grow away so quickly :( How lovely that you had that trip to Karo's home town. I was wondering if his parents' cafe had a jukebox, back there in the 60's?! Some very interesting facts for us today, especially about the blueberry juniper tree. I really love the brick walkway in your garden by the way! I can remember a song called The Rock Island Line, by Lonnie Donegan, who used to be called the King of Skiffle over here, back in the 50's. Fancy reading about it here now. Amazing! You take care now Miss Suzanne, and I wish you and Karo a very happy and peaceful Thanksgiving. (Wish we had that over here!). x

  3. Hey, G'day Thisisme! Karo's parents cafe did have a jukebox, and also the little jukeboxes in the booths for customers to choose songs from. And they had speakers outside the building for those who ate outside. When Karo was about 6 or 7 he would dance outside on one of the picnic tables, and the patrons would toss him a bit of change-what fun!

    Thank you for the compliments on my tiny garden. Some years ago I painted the bricks each a different color, and the weather finally wore the paint away. This year, I decided it would be fine to leave them natural.

    And, you are so correct about Lonnie Donegan-he made 'Rock Island Line' the first debut record to go gold in Britain, triggering the "skiffle craze", and, it did reach the top 10 in the US.

    I do agree with you about Shadykins-he is good, and knows his stuff! I like how he can find a song to compliment any situation! How about mathematics, Shady?

    Thank you so much for stopping by Thisisme. I do like the fall look on my blog, just hope I can remember how to get it off when I want to change it back, tee hee! Hugs to you, see you soon! ♥

  4. The blueberry juniper and china berry trees remind me of my Texas childhood. Mereta TX was where my dad farmed, and I certainly remember those chinaberry trees..we said chinaberry as one word!

  5. Hi Nancy! You're right about chinaberry, but when I type it as one word, I get squiggly underlines so I separated it to see what would happen. It looks better as one word, doesn't it? Well, the blueberry juniper was truly a sight, I have never seen one before-I loved it! They outlined the perimeter of this cemetery in Bridgeport, and I just happened to notice the bluish cast about them.

    So glad I could bring you a piece of home Nancy! Thank you for coming by, have a great weekend! ♥


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