Saturday, August 18, 2012

Baby Dragon

Sand Wash Basin is where my heart lives.  I didn’t know that until we got there for the first time two years ago.  I’ve loved horses all my life and had dreamed about Mustangs in the wild since I first read Marguerite Henry’s “Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West”.  After I moved to Denver, CO, I discovered that there were wild Mustangs within driving distance and I was ecstatic!  Our first visit was for my birthday and it was so difficult to leave.  Our next visit a few weeks later made us feel whole again and we knew that this was a place that we had to do everything we could to preserve this place and the horses who lived there.

On the trip this year (2012), we’d already been out for one afternoon and had discovered that one of the current popular spots for the horses was a particular water hole.  We’d never seen horses there in the past but this trip we’d run into Corona, Picasso, Snow Man, and a few other favorites so we went there first thing in the morning on my birthday.  Prince, Cosmo, and Benson were a few of the stallions who had their families at the water hole when we arrived.  We hadn’t been there very long when the horses all looked up.  Another band was on the way!  As they made their way over the hill, I spotted a baby with them!

They went straight to the water and the baby dove straight in.  I was impressed that it went in because it was obviously very young.  It didn’t stay in long before another mare told it that it shouldn’t be out there.  When the foal came out of the water, the other bands really took notice of the baby and it they started over to check it out.  This was when I realized that this baby was brand new because the other horses hadn’t met it yet!  Exciting!!!!  At that point, I started really watching and trying to get photos for documentation.  With some of the new foals it’s difficult to tell what gender they are but this little guy was pretty easy to identify as a little colt!

I told my boyfriend that we’d probably be able to name this one if we really were the first ones to see him.  He started coming up with names and decided that he wanted to name it a name that a boy would like.  A name that a 6 year old boy would be excited about!  DRAGON!  If you were a 6 year old boy, wouldn’t you be excited about going to see a horse named Dragon?

We spent a little over an hour watching the little guy.  After his water hole antics, it was obvious that he was a really brave, although he did stick closer to his mother after that incident.  He spent a lot of time eating and looking around and even slipped a couple naps in during that hour!  We’ve been the first to see a couple of foals at Sand Wash Basin and we did capture another on film on my birthday two years ago, although her family was running for the hills!  I think this was the first time that we’ve had such a leisurely time to spend with a new baby and also at such close range.  Sand Wash Basin has never failed to give us a good experience with the horses and this day was no exception.  It gave me a brand new baby colt.  A colt that we named Dragon! 

Friday, August 17, 2012


Sand Wash Basin HMA in Colorado has several palomino colts and stallions.  Skip is a 3 year old stallion who is living his life as a bachelor.  We saw him out of the corner of our eye as we were driving along.  He was running and running, definitely with a purpose in where he was going.  There were no other horses that we could see but he was headed somewhere!  There is no doubt in my mind that these animals are much more intelligent than most people give them credit for. 


Playing in Lightroom

I have the opportunity to be playing with the Lightroom program.  It's taking a bit of time to figure out since it's different from PhotoShop but I think it's going to be fun to use.  Here's my first photo attempt there.  I cropped this out of a larger photo that I took last summer out at Sand Wash Basin, Colorado.  I also played with the vibrance and saturation.

Here it is cropped without anything else being done.

And here's the original photo.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fleck Playing

We went out to Sand Wash Basin in NW Colorado for my birthday last week.  This has become a yearly tradition for us to see Mustangs on my birthday.  This year did not disappoint!  There's a drought but we saw LOTS of horses!

Photo Contest

It's been awhile since I've posted.  The inspiration hasn't been there as much and my time has been limited too.  I'm wanting to post more again though, although African Violets may not be my focus as much for a bit.  Mustangs are going to be the focus for a bit... the blog is called Violets and Mustangs, after all!

I entered a photo contest sponsored by Canon this morning.  I doubt I'll win but it's always fun to dream.  If I win then I get a new camera and a printer!

I asked my friends on facebook to help me decide which photo to enter and this was the one that seemed to be the most popular.

The top 10 finalists will be chosen by August 23 and then it'll be up for public vote.  I hope I'm in that (but reality says I probably won't).  Again, it's good to dream!

Here are some of the other photos that my friends really liked...

Monday, July 9, 2012


I just watched what was probably one of the worst videos about African Violet propagation that I've ever seen.  I'm glad that a young person is in love with our plants but I hope that he learns some better tricks than what he shows in his video.

Here's my comment that I replied with:

Thanks for your enthusiasm! We need more younger people involved in the hobby!  I have a few pointers. 1/ You don't need to use rooting hormone.  AV leaves are prolific in production without it, so you're wasting your money.  2/ While some varieties are very slow to produce babies, most will have "mouse ears" poking up within 6 - 8 weeks if they're put down into a very small pot.  Think 3 oz Dixie cup or smaller.  You also need to separate the babies so they grow better! And I'm out of space!

I ran out of space on YouTube's space but I also wanted to say that watering a leaf that frequently will probably rot it.  You also do NOT want to tamp the soil down like he did.  You need to leave space for the new roots to grow and for the baby(ies) to make their way up through.  Even better than using straight African Violet soil is to mix it with perlite (50/50 is good) so it's not so heavy.

I couldn't believe the babies that he showed that had been there for a year and were growing up in the original pot as the momma leaf.  Those babies would look so much better if they'd been separated out months ago!

And now I'm off my soapbox.  Just remember that not everything on the internet is the best advice.  m3rma1d makes excellent videos with great advice on how to care for your African Violets and I highly recommend her over just about anyone else out there!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Richter auction... MINE! :D

YAY!  I just won an auction for Richter's Chenille!

I lost several of the Richter babies that I had and will be getting replacements next week of all except for Green Dawn.  That's the only one that I have to find out of the Richter hybrids that are known to still be available.  So close to having them all!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

French Lilac - plant 2

Last summer I received a plant of French Lilac and immediately fell in love with it.  It was such a gorgeous plant and I absolutely loved it.  My absolute favorite of all of my violets.  When I moved in March, I lost my plant and I was heartbroken.  There are two strains of the plant... the original has wonderfully wavy leaves and the other has more flat leaves.  In my search for a new plant, I was scared that I'd end up with a flat leafed variety...

Last week, I found one on ebay from a seller that I greatly respect.  The photo appeared to have wavy leaves, so I bid on it.  I bid more than I've bid on any plant because I wanted it that badly and I won!  The seller wrote to congratulate me and told me that it was actually just starting to bloom...

She arrived in today's mail and I was blown away by her beauty.  Gorgeous wavy leaves, beautiful blooms... I'll take photos of her tomorrow as my light tonight was really crappy.  I'm in love though!  <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

More leaves!

In my last post, I talked about getting new leaves put down but I never posted what they were!  Here's the list:

1) Cambridge Missy - (Adams) Semi-double blossoms with fringed green edges.  Medium green girl foliage. Miniature  
2)Mikinda Girl (A. E. Adams) Single cerise. Crown variegated green and cream, girl foliage. Miniature  
3)Wondrous Girl (H. Pittman) Semidouble light blue. Variegated, glossy girl foliage. Miniature (DAVS 1296, TX Hyb)  
4)Nancy's Baby Girl (D Rollins)  Dark blue flowers over dark blue girl foliage.  Miniature  
5) Kentucky Bride (D. Rollins) Single white large pansy/pink blush. Medium green, serrated girl foliage. Standard (DAVS 1601) 
6)Navy Girl (408) 12/01/1954 (F. Tinari) Double dark purple. Quilted, cupped, girl foliage. Large  
7)Persian Prince (8266) 07/28/1995 (S. Sorano) Semidouble medium blue pansy. Medium green, ovate, scalloped girl foliage. Miniature  
8)Little Clown (4917) 07/28/1982 (R. Nadeau) Single white sticktite/variable purple. Girl foliage. Semiminiature  
9)Ramblin' Lassie (9022) 03/23/2001 (S. Sanders/R. Brenton) Semidouble blue-lavender star. Variegated medium green and white girl foliage. Semiminiature trailer 
10)Shiawasee Trail (9023) 03/23/2001 (S. Sanders/R. Brenton) Double blue and white variable star. Medium green girl foliage. Standard trailer

I've already lost Navy Girl.  If anyone has a source where I can buy a set of leaves without having to buy 10 and then pay $10 shipping on top of it, please let me know.  I really want this one!

Yesterday, I received more leaves!  lol

Midget Silver Fox (E. Champion) Double dark blue. Mosaic variegated dark green and silver. Miniature (Mosaic leaves!  Squeee!)
Ness' Crinkle Blue (8136) 01/19/1995 (D. Ness) Double dark blue star/thin white edge. Dark green, quilted, serrated/red back. Semiminiature (I've had this one multiple times with no success... maybe this time?)
Precious Pink (6025) 07/05/1985 (H. Pittman) Semidouble pink. Variegated, plain. Semiminiature (DAVS 913, TX Hyb)
Appalachian Tussy Mussy (KC Arceneaux) Single to Semi-double pale lavender pansies. Crown variegated foliage. Semiminiature (User Database)
Rob's Slap Happy (9040) 05/31/2001 (R. Robinson) Semidouble dark coral pansy. Crown variegated dark green, white, cream and pink, quilted. Semiminiature
Rob's Chilly Willy (9461) 07/30/2005 (R. Robinson) Double silver-white star/medium blue overlay, edge. Crown variegated medium green and white, pointed. Miniature
Rob's Love Bite (9039) 05/31/2001 (R. Robinson) Semidouble black-red pansy. Crown variegated dark green, cream and beige/red back. Miniature
Rob's Antique Rose (8451) 05/23/1996 (R. Robinson) Semidouble silver-rose sticktite frilled pansy/darker shading, some silver-green tips. Dark green, pointed, glossy, serrated/red back. Semiminiature
Mac's Misty Meadow (10153) 11/06/2009 (G. McDonald) Single white sticktite pansy/green edge. Medium green, plain. Semiminiature
Malyshka Rusalka (10084) 08/07/2009 (K. Morev) Single-semidouble fuchsia frilled pansy/variable red eye; darker upper petals, white-yellow edge. Medium green, plain. Standard (Russ/Ukr) (Yes, I have this one but the leaves are so tiny that I put down that it's nice to have mature leaves finally!)

Rob's Kalangadoo, Very unusual 'leaf chimera' with semimini trailing foliage.  Double orchid blooms with dark blue fantasty streaks.  Unique, dusting and streaking of gold on pointed green foliage.

I received a crown of Kalangadoo.  Per a posting from Ann-Marie Keene, " I emailed Rob, he says it's chimera in the way that it can't be reproduced true by leaf alone, has to be suckers."  One leave broke off, so I'm going to put it down and see what I get.  Should be interesting!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today in violets

I put down about 15 varieties of leaves today, most of them being girl foliage.  One of them had already rotted so I saved what I could of the leaf but I don't know if it'll survive.  If it doesn't, I'll be in search of another Navy Girl!

I also have babies coming up from my last set of leaves that I put down.  I didn't blog about that or take photos at the time but here are a few that are peeking through right now.

 Broadway Star Trail

 Buckeye Seductress

 Rob's Pewter Bells

 Malyshka Rusalka (Baby Mermaid) - I received a leaf of this a year ago and had a baby going strong in March before we moved.  I checked on the baby in early May just in time to save 3 leaves because it was rotting.  I was very upset but was excited today to see that one of the leaves has a baby coming up!  The other two leaves look good still, so maybe I'll have more coming up from them... it was a slow plant before, so it's hard to know for sure!

Double Black Cherry - Again, I was very upset when I realized that my plant was dying and I rushed to save a few leaves.  The leaves weren't in great shape but one of them has mouse ears!  Hoping to see babies popping up on the other two leaves that I saved!  Unfortunately, my French Lilac didn't make it either and no leaves could be saved by the time I discovered it.  I have one offer of a baby when they're big enough but I can't hold my breath since sometimes babies don't make it.

 I inherited this violet at one of our club meetings a few months ago.  I was supposed to give classes at work on African Violets and I wanted to use this as a demonstration but things have changed at work (including a promotion!), so those classes won't be happening.  Today was the day that I decided to go ahead and fix her up. :)

 I don't know why I decided to cut the neck so short.  Maybe because it was on such an angle?  Anyway, this is how short I cut it off...

   I removed some leaves and put them down as "insurance" for the plant and they're now domed with the rest of the babies.  Since we don't know what the plant is, some of the ladies in the club were very curious to see what they looked like after we revived them.  I lost the other two that I'd gotten but this one has been happy by the kitchen sink and a few other ladies also took some of them, so next year should be fun to see how they turned out!

 Renee also had a few troubles but she's coming through well.  I also put a leaf down from this plant as insurance as the woman that I got this one from has lost her plant.  It's been a rough year for violets so far!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Beethoven's first bloom. It's more red than the first two photos show but it's definitely not a true red at all. More of a reddish purple. Very pretty though and I'm glad I was able to find it!

Beethoven (Volkmann) Semidouble red star/white ruffled edge. Dark green, round. Standard
(Does anyone have a year for this one?  I'm thinking it's from the mid-80's or so?)

 I don't like this photo nearly as well but it shows the color much better than the first photo.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Update on the Optometrist's plant

Last November I wrote a blog entry about an African Violet that I rescued from my Optometrist's office.  It was waterlogged and the plant had rotted away from the roots.  The only thing that was saving it was that part of the "neck" was still in good shape but it wasn't long for this world at the rate it was going.  To all appearances by a newbie, it needed to be watered but water was the last thing that it needed!

It's been in the "hospital" since then with good light and the occasional water while it worked on growing roots.  Here's what it looks like today while I was transplanting it.  (I apologize for the low quality of the photos as my cell phone was the only way that I could take photos right now.)

What a change from before, eh?  No more wilty leaves.

Look at that root ball!  Quite a difference from November!

Another shot of the crown.  Look at the new growth coming in.

After transplanting it today and giving it fresh soil, I'm going to let it keep growing and rehabbing for awhile.  My next appointment with them will be in November again, so there's plenty of time to grow it into the glory that it had when she originally received it.  I'll take it to her when it's blooming... I can't wait to see what this girl looks like!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Wish List

I'm having a hard time keeping things wet around here and have lost several adult plants, as well as a fair amount of leaves and babies.  One that I lost was that gorgeous pink NOID with the variegated leaves.  Just makes me sick that it's gone. 

So... I went through Lyon's website and made note of some that I may want to get to replace that one.  Here are the links for them. :)

Life's Pleasures

Ma's Easter Parade

Moonlit Waters (Not pink but lovely anyway!)

Sheer Romance

Silver Smoke

Southern Delight

Sweet Talker

Wedding Tears

And for a reminder to me in case my babies don't pull through...

Witch Doctor