Become a Storm Spotter

We’ve all seen or heard the warnings…they go something like this: “a funnel cloud has been spotted 3 miles south-west of Carlton,  people in the path of the storm should take cover immediately”

Have you ever wondered who these people are who spot these weather events and how they get reported so quickly? Well, they are a combination of emergency personnel and regular folks who have an interest in the weather and  volunteer their time to watch out for the rest of us.

Last week I took the opportunity to join about 100 others  in the weather spotter training that was held in Monroe.  The class was taught by representatives of the  Detroit office of the National Weather service.  This two hour session was a great introduction to evaluating severe weather and how to report it. I have been wanting to do this for years and finally got the chance to do it.

You by no means become a severe weather expert like Dr Forbes of the Weather Channel. The class did inspired me to learn more about severe weather however.

In the meantime, I am certified as a storm spotter, all be it an un-experienced  one.

There are a number of classes scheduled in our area if you are interested in participating.  Admission is free.  Click here for the Spotter Training Schedule.


Soil Conservation District Tree Sales

You know spring can’t be far behind when the area Soil Conservation Districts have their annual tree sale.  Here’s the line up in our area for this spring.

The Monroe District deadline for ordering is March 22;  Lenawee District: March 19; Washtenaw District: March 18;  Wayne County: Mid May  ;  Lucas County Ohio: April 2.

Other Districts in Michigan can be found here.

The Soil Conservation sales give the general public an opportunity to purchase tree and shrub seedlings that would otherwise be difficult for us to find.  Proceeds from these sales help fund various conservation and environmental educational programs.


Garden Lecture

Tired of these gray days? Would a stroll through some old-fashioned gardens  perk you up?

You won’t be able to actually physically walk through  a garden but will be able to learn about them in a program presented by  Scott Kunst owner of Old House Gardens.  He  will be speaking at the Toledo Botanical Garden this coming Wednesday, February 17, 2010.

I met Scott back in 2001 while picking up an order of  antique Dahlias from his place of business in Ann Arbor.  I can tell you he is a very personable  guy who, over the past couple of decades,  has become an authority on the subject of historical bulbs and gardens.

The Dahlias I was picking up back then were ‘Bishop of Llandaff’.  The bright red flowers of these dahlias are nicely set off  with a beautiful bronze foliage. I have  saved and stored those dahlia tubers ever since. That is the subject of another post however.

Image of Bishop of Llandaff Dahlia from Old House Garden

The subject of the Wednesday  talk is “Antique Gardens: American Home Landscapes 1800-1940” .  Here’s the description from Scott’s website:

From the scanty pioneer gardens of the early 1800s through flamboyant Victorian carpet-bedding to the “old-fashioned” perennial borders of the early 20th century, “Antique Gardens” illuminates 140 years of American yards and gardens. In colorful, fast-paced slides, it shows how plants, outdoor furnishings, and the design of American yards changed dramatically through the years. It’s an eye-opening primer on the landscape relics that survive all around us and essential background for gardeners wanting to restore a historic landscape or to enliven any garden with a touch of the past.

The program begins at 10:30 am in the Crosby Conference Center at the Gardens located at 5403 Elmer Drive (south of Central Avenue).

This promises be a welcome gardening diversion from the long stretch of cold weather we have been having.


Bloggers and the Fair

If you didn’t make it out to fair yesterday (Wednesday), you’re too late!

The Monroe Evening News hosted a “Meet the Bloggers” evening in their County Fair booth.  It was a good chance for readers and bloggers to talk to each other face to face.

So, if you missed us, plan on catching us next year.

In the meantime, there’s still plenty of time left to enjoy the fair.  Stop in and see the folks at the News anyway. Their booth is just a couple of spaces away from the historic flowing water faucet in the MBT Expo Center.


At the Fair

I hope many of you are enjoying the Monroe County Fair. If not, you better get out there soon because fair week is about half over. My how time flies!

Which reminds me, Judy and I will be at the Monroe Evening News booth on Wednesday from 6:00pm to 9:00pm or so. We will be joining other bloggers from “blogsmonroe” for an evening of meeting with you, our readers, in person.

Judy and I hope to see you there.


Gardens of Eden Tour

Perennial, ponds, passionflowers, Petoskey stones and more all in one tour. What more could you ask for? If you asked for bonsai, garden sculpture, roses and raised beds, then you would be getting closer to what you will find at the 2009 Gardens of Eden Garden Tour.

What’s more, you won’t have to travel 100’s of miles to another state to experience this wonderful tour because it happens right here in the Monroe area.

It’s coming up quick…this Saturday 11:00am ’til 5:00pm…rain or shine.

Your ten dollar ticket goes to help charities in the Monroe area.

Click here to find out the rest of the details.  I suggest clicking on the link even if you think you’re not going, the photos of the gardens on the tour are great and I’m sure visiting the gardens  in person will be very rewarding.