June 11, 2010

Backyard Adventure

Since we bought our house, we have been working on the yard little by little. At the moment we are focused on reducing the population of unwanted plants. There are weeds in the lawn, overgrown bushes in the back yard, and aggrasive species climbing on top of trees and power lines.

While we pull the weeds out, we are also interested in learning what they are and what makes them grow. Here is a few things that we have identified so far.

Wisteria sinensis (Chinese Wisteria) blooms with purple flowers in April and is fragrant. They have wrinkly leaves with pointed tips. They like to climb onto things and choke trees to death. If there's nothing to climb, they send off shoots on the ground in all directions until they find another thing to climb onto. When we first moved in, we find that it has climbed onto every tree in the back yard and over the power lines which also runs along the property edge. Also to note is that this plant is toxic and can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, and diarrhea. We started trimming them in a back corner and we were able to clear out a few square yards of space which we have built a compost bin. We moved towards the other side of the back yard and now we are about half way across. There's still more to trim.

May 30, 2010

China-Taiwan Trip Part 1

We have been saving up to take a trip to visit relatives who couldn't make it to the wedding in Taiwan and China, and we finally found a good deal for airlines tickets for April 8-26th. Paul and I took most of our vacation days for the year to make this trip happen. We were able to forget about work and obligations at home and enjoyed 2.5 weeks of packed meeting, greeting, eating, and having as much fun as we could. Here we will share some highlights.

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