Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons

I think rhododendrons are one of the prettiest landscape plants around. Of course, the desert, where I live, isn’t exactly the right environment for them and after doing a bit of research on these beautiful, flowering plants, I wouldn’t have the room in my garden for one anyway. Did you know most rhododendrons like to be two and three stories tall and that the tallest rhododendron species can reach a height of 100 feet or 30 m? 

Here is a 2-minute video featuring basic info about rhododendrons. This 7-minute video showcases some beautiful rhododendrons and identifies those that can be grown in small gardens and pots. It also discusses the difference between azaleas and rhododendrons and the soil requirements for these plants. Here’s a 3-minute video about learning-to-live-with your BIG rhododendron. Rhododendrons like to be big and in this gardener’s opinion there’s no real way to make a rhododendron small. 🙂 

FunFacts about Rhododendrons: (Source) (Source)  

  • Basic info, quote: Rhododendron is a genus of 1,024 species of woody plants in the heath family (Ericaceae), either evergreen or deciduous, and found mainly in Asia, although it is also widespread throughout the highlands of the Appalachian Mountains of North America. It is the national flower of Nepal. Most species have brightly coloured flowers which bloom from late winter through to early summer. (Source)
  • Other members of the Ericaceae family are: blueberries, huckleberries, cranberries and various heaths.
  • Rhododendrons are acid-loving when it comes to the soil. Sphagnum peat moss is one kind of organic material that can help adjust the ph of the soil to please the rhododendron.
  • Rhododendrons thrive in shade but their roots need room to spread out.
  • Rhododendrons also have a shallow root system which means they need consistent water.
  • Azaleas are closely related and make up a subgenera of rhododendrons.
  • Rhododendrons have a massive range in size from small shrubs to 100-foot-tall trees (30 m).
  • Rhododendrons can be evergreen or deciduous.
  • Rhododendrons are native to large parts of the world: North America, Russia, Greenland, Europe, Asia, Queensland, Australia and the Solomon Islands.
  • In the language of flowers, rhododendrons symbolize danger and the need to beware.
  • Don’t mulch rhododendrons with manure because it has a higher ph. Leaf litter works well since it has a low ph. Pine needles make an excellent mulch for rhododendrons and azaleas.

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For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, June 7, 2018.

May Winners: Susan S., Sandra L., Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

(Photos from Pixabay) 

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May Winners: Susan S., Sandra L., Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, June 7, 2018! On Friday, June 8th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

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To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about rhododendrons. Do you grow them? Are you a fan? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Ladybugs

Ladybugs

Also known as lady beetles and ladybirds, these adorable insects appeal to humans. While the typically red color is designed to trick the ladybug’s predator into thinking it doesn’t taste good, that same lovely shade, usually marked with spots, draws our eye and makes us think good, fun things. I can recall happily playing with ladybugs as a child, while most other insects made me run away. If you find a ladybug without spots, that usually means it’s reaching the end of its life cycle. Spots fade with age. 

Ladybugs overwinter and search out warm places where they huddle together. It’s called aggregating. Here’s a 3-minute video showing thousands of them in the snow. Here is an excellent 2-minute video on the life-cycle of the ladybug. Have you ever wondered what a ladybug’s wings look like or how they fly? Check out this short, slow-mo video.

FunFacts about Ladybugs: (Source)  

  • Basic Info: Coccinellidae is a widespread family of small beetles ranging in size from 0.8 to 18 mm (0.03 to 0.71 inches). The family is commonly known as ladybugs in North America, and ladybirds in Britain and other parts of the English-speaking world. Entomologists widely prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not classified as true bugs. (Source)
  • Most ladybug species are considered helpful insects since they prey on smaller insects that tend to do damage to agriculture.
  • Some ladybug species lay their eggs directly on a colony of aphid or scale insects to ensure their larvae have a ready food supply.
  • The species name, quote: The name coccinellids is derived from the Latin word coccineus meaning “scarlet”. (Source)
  • The origin of ‘lady’ beetles or bugs is very interesting and has a religious beginning. Mary, the mother of Christ, was often represented with a red cloak with seven black spots referring to her seven joys and seven sorrows. It wasn’t long before the beetle became known as a Lady beetle, since ‘Our Lady’ referred to Mary.
  • There are over 6000 species of ladybugs. Their coloration varies from red, yellow, orange to even brown with white spots. Most of the time they have spots. But they can also have stripes and squiggles.
  • Ladybugs are found the world over.
  • To see a variety of ladybugs, go here, then scroll just a bit.
  • Some of the larger species prey on caterpillars and other beetle larvae.
  • Some species lay both fertile and infertile eggs. The infertile eggs then become food, as needed, for the young larvae.
  • Ladybugs are preyed on by birds, wasps, frogs, dragonflies and spiders.
  • Ladybugs hibernate like bears. They gather together in large numbers to overwinter. They can even swarm into a house looking for a cozy place to curl up during the cold winter months.
  • Too many ladybugs during a wine harvest can cause a ‘lady bird taint’.
  • In the Netherlands, street tiles featuring ladybugs are often placed in locations where violent crimes have been committed.
  • An adult ladybug can lay up to 2000 eggs during her lifetime.
  • The average lifespan of a ladybug is two years.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Suzi!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, June 7, 2018.

May Winners: Susan S., Sandra L., Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

(Photos from Pixabay) 

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We have a winner! Congrats Suzi!!!

May Winners: Susan S., Sandra L., Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, June 7, 2018! On Friday, June 8th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Suzi!!!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about ladybugs. Have you been charmed with them, like me, since childhood? Have you ever purchased them to spread around your garden? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Dubrovnik Croatia

Dubrovnik Croatia

Cities fascinate me, especially their birth, growth, and ability to endure. Dubrovnik became a maritime power in the 1500s and rivaled Venice. But being a major power also meant war and sustained attack. Water was piped in from the mountains miles away to this city-fortress and huge underground silos were built to store grains against sieges. Dubrovnik might be most famous for its thick walls built centuries ago to surround and protect what is now the Old Town. Their current massive size, up to 20 feet thick in places, was created during the 14th century as protection against the Ottoman Turks.

Here is an excellent 5-minute video featuring this ancient Mediterranean town and the top 20 things to do in Dubrovnik. Here is Rick Steves’ 5-minute video on Dubrovnik. Here is ‘Cornelia’s’ 7-minute video featuring a beautiful, more personal look at Dubrovnik.

FunFacts about Dubrovnik Croatia: (Source) (Source)  

  • Basic Info, quote: Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Its total population is 42,615 (census 2011). In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. (Source)
  • Known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, Dubrovnik is located on the Dalmatian coast. It was a significant Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century on.
  • Dubrovnik’s motto is ‘Liberty’.
  • Dubrovnik is a well-preserved example of a Medieval walled city.
  • The name, Dubrovnik, has its origin in the Celtic word for water: Dubron.
  • The Latin name for Dubrovnik was Ragusa and these two names for the city co-existed for centuries.
  • In 1991, Croatia declared its independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and became the Republic of Croatia.
  • Dubrovnik has hot, muggy, moderately dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters.
  • Dubrovnik has an annual Summer Festival which is 45-days long with live plays, concerts, and games.
  • Saint Blaise is the patron saint of Dubrovnik. Statues of this saint can be found throughout the city.
  • The Arboretum Trsteno is the oldest arboretum in the world and dates back to the 15th century.
  • The ancient walls of Dubrovnik are unique at 4 to 6 metres (13–20 feet) at the thickest landward side. In 2017, 1.2 million visitors came to see the walls which were featured in the HBO series Game of Thrones.
  • Dubrovnik has an international airport.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Susan S.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, May 31, 2018.

May Winners: Sandra L., Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

April Winners: Shannon C., Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

(Photos from Pixabay) 

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We have a winner! Congrats Susan S.!!!

May Winners: Sandra L., Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

April Winners: Shannon C., Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, May 31, 2018! On Friday, June 1st, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Susan S.!!!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Dubrovnik Croatia. Have you ever been to Dubrovnik or Croatia? Is this part of the world on your bucket list? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Raspberries

Raspberries

I’m a fan of raspberries especially mixed with chocolate. Ghiradelli makes one of my favorite treats in their raspberry squares version. As with all fruit, vine-tree-or-shrub-ripened is best. The flavors are the fullest and sweetest. I’ve never grown raspberries and I’m not sure how well they would do in the Sonoran Desert. Of course, the moment I had that thought, I did a bit of research and found this interesting gardener, who lives in the California high desert and grows all kinds of berries, so I may take the plunge at some point, probably starting with raspberries.

Here’s a 3-minute video on some basic growing tips for raspberries. Here’s a 2-minute video on how to clean raspberries using vinegar, as well as how to store them so they don’t grow mold. Here’s a short video on how-to-make raspberry muffins with yogurt. Yum.

FunFacts about Raspberries: (Source) (Source)  

  • Basic Info, quote: The raspberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus of the rose family, most of which are in the subgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves. Raspberries are perennial with woody stems. (Source)
  • The name, raspberry, may have three different sources: Old English ‘rasp’, meaning rough or rough berry, ‘raspise’ which was a ‘sweet, rose-colored wine’ from Anglo-Latin vinum raspeys, or ‘raspoie’, meaning ‘thicket’ in some Germanic roots.
  • Raspberries are a major nectar source for honeybees.
  • Raspberries are grown from canes.
  • If not watched carefully, raspberry plants can become invasive since they send basal shoots, aka suckers, at a distance from the original cane. They can easily take over a garden.
  • Raspberry cultivars now come in a variety of colors including red, blue, black, purple and yellow.
  • Two well-known hybrids of raspberries are the loganberry (a combination of blackberry and raspberry) and the boysenberry (a combination of raspberry, dewberry, blackberry and loganberry).
  • The main suppliers of raspberries worldwide are Russia, Mexico, Poland, Serbia and the U.S.
  • Raspberry leaves, fresh or dried, are used in herbal teas.
  • Raspberries have a high Vitamin C content.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Susan S.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, May 31, 2018.

May Winners: Sandra L., Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

April Winners: Shannon C., Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

(Photos from Pixabay) 

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

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*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Susan S.!!!

May Winners: Sandra L., Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

April Winners: Shannon C., Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, May 31, 2018! On Friday, June 1, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Susan S.!!!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about raspberries. Are you a fan? What’s your favorite dish or dessert you make with raspberries? Have you ever grown raspberries? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Irises

Irises

One of the reasons I enjoy gardening is because of my family history. I can recall with great fondness the sight of my mother and grandmother bent over a bed of flowers, irises included, and sharing cuttings. With such evident camaraderie and enjoyment, gardening has nothing but positive associations for me. Both my mother and her mother set truly positive examples for creating, sustaining and enjoying a garden.

Here is an exquisite 5-minute video featuring lovely music and a gorgeous iris display in a Japanese garden. The pots of irises sit in a small lake. The irises are held upright with thin stakes and wire or string. Here’s a very short video on grooming your irises to keep them looking beautiful. Here’s an 8-minute video on basic iris care as well as how to cut them after the blooming season is over and how to replant them for the next season. 

FunFacts about Irises: (Source) (Source)  

  • Basic info, quote: Iris is the largest genus of the family Iridaceae with up to 300 species – many of them natural hybrids. Iris takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, which is also the name for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also widely used as a common name for all Iris species, as well as some belonging to other closely related genera. (Source)
  • The family Iridaceae also includes freesias, gladioli and crocuses.
  • Most irises originated in Europe and Asia.
  • Irises can be afflicted with a variety of diseases such as bacterial leaf spot, crown rot, rhizome rot and blossom blight.
  • Irises prefer a well-drained soil and at least 6 hours of full sun daily.
  • It’s important to divide irises at least every 3 to 4 years.
  • Some irises grow by bulb and others by rhizomes.
  • The subgenera of iris are: Iris (Bearded rhizomatous irises), Limniris (Beardless rhizomatous irises), Xiphium (Smooth-bulbed bulbous irises), Nepalensis (Bulbous irises), Scorpiris (Smooth-bulbed bulbous irises) and Hermodactyloides (Reticulate-bulbed bulbous irises). (Source)
  • Irises are generally found in dry, semi-desert, and cold, mountainous regions. They can also be found in grassy areas, bogs, meadowlands and riverbanks.
  • Some of the most common iris are the bearded rhizome iris, the bulbing Juno Iris, the bulbing reticulate iris and the bulbing European iris.
  • The yellow iris (I. pseudacorus) is used to clean up water since it can take in and process certain pollutants, including heavy metals.
  • The iris is the national flower of Croatia. The black iris is the national flower of Jordan.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Susan S.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, May 31, 2018.

May Winners: Sandra L., Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

April Winners: Shannon C., Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

(Photos from Pixabay) 

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

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*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Susan S.!!!

May Winners: Sandra L., Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

April Winners: Shannon C., Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, May 31, 2018! On Friday, June 1st, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Susan S.!!!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Irises. Are you a fan? Do you grow them in your garden? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Ducks

Ducks

Mostly, I revere Mother Nature. But when doing this small bit of research about ducks, and the number of predators they have, I was a bit taken aback. For the purpose of my blog, I watch lots of videos, but will avoid the ones about predators attacking. This time around, the search on You-Tube brought up so many attacks on ducks, I couldn’t exactly hide from the subject. Suffice it to say that ducks have it rough, including from their own kind. So the next chance you have to show a kindness to a duck, do it. FYI, I did NOT include any such horrific videos here. Instead, they’re all about either rescue or sheer determined survival.

Here’s a short video showcasing the rescue of ducks and removal of oily contaminates.  Here’s a short video about how an elementary school routinely aids mother ducks who hatch their broods in an enclosed courtyard. Very sweet. In this six-minute video, a couple of good Samaritans help this mama duck and her brood reach a pond through a busy city environment. Here’s a short video on very young ducklings battling stairs: Spoiler alert – they all make it! 

FunFacts about Ducks: (Source

  • Basic info, quote: Duck is the common name for a large number of species in the waterfowl family Anatidae, which also includes swans and geese. Ducks are divided among several subfamilies in the family Anatidae. Ducks are mostly aquatic birds, mostly smaller than swans and geese, and may be found in both fresh water and sea water. (Source)
  • ‘Duck’ comes from an old English word, ‘duce’, which means ‘diver’ or ‘to dive’.
  • Ducks have relatively long necks, though not nearly so long as swans or geese.
  • Ducks have serrated lamella in their bills which helps with ‘filter-feeding’.
  • Ducks have a varied diet and eat grasses, fish, aquatic plants, amphibians, worms, small molluscs and insects.
  • In terms of feeding, there are two types of ducks: dabblers and divers. Dabblers work the surface of the water and only dive to the point of being partially submerged. Divers can submerge completely.
  • Ducks are usually monogamous, though the commitment only lasts for one year. They breed once a year.
  • Ducks will make a nest before breeding, but as soon as the ducklings are hatched, the mother will lead them to water.
  • Despite the widespread belief that all ducks quack, apparently only female mallards actually quack. All other ducks make a huge range of noises that may include: yodels, whistles, grunts and coos.
  • Ducks have a huge variety of predators, some of which are foxes, owls, hawks, alligators, snapping turtles and even herons.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Susan S.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, May 31, 2018.

May Winners: Sandra L., Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

April Winners: Shannon C., Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

(Photos from Pixabay)

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

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*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Susan S.!!!

May Winners: Sandra L., Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

April Winners: Shannon C., Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, May 31, 2018! On Friday, June 1st, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Susan S.!!!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about ducks. Are you a fan? Have you ever raised ducks? Fed them at lakes? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Bavaria

Bavaria

Like many Americans, I’m a mixture of several nationalities. One of them is German, though I have to admit I don’t have a strong connection to this part of my heritage. My German ancestors had been in the USA almost a full century by the time I was born. Very American. So, it was fun for me to visit Germany so many years ago as well as in my research and to imagine the branch of my people that came from this beautiful country. 

Bavaria is the southernmost region of Germany and boasts one of the area’s most well known treasures, the Neuschwanstein Castle, built by King Ludwig II. It’s said this king was mad, but his madness created a castle that sees nearly one-and-a-half million visitors each year. The name ‘Neuschwanstein’ literally means ‘New Swan’, so translated it’s the New Swan Castle, sometimes known simply as the Swan Castle.

In Rick Steves’ 26-minute video, visit Munich, Bavaria’s main city. The video also crosses over the border into Austria.

Here’s a 3-minute video on beautiful Lake Konigssee. Here’s a short video featuring a drone’s view of the same lake. This 7-minute video gives a lovely feel of the Bavarian countryside.

FunFacts about Bavaria: (Source) (Source)  

  • Basic info, quote: Bavaria, officially the Free State of Bavaria, is a landlocked federal state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres (27,200 sq mi), Bavaria is the largest German state by land area. Its territory comprises roughly a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 12.9 million inhabitants, it is Germany’s second-most-populous state (after North Rhine-Westphalia). Bavaria’s capital and largest city, Munich, is the third largest city in Germany. (Source)
  • Bavaria is known for fairytale castles, lederhosen, beer gardens, picturesque churches and the Alps.
  • Bavaria has a majority of Catholics (78.5%) which makes it unique within Germany.
  • Bavarians are proud of their culture which includes festivals like their two-week-long Oktoberfest which is held annually in Munich.
  • Bavarians have a strong sense of identity and often consider themselves ‘Bavarians’ first and ‘Germans’ second.
  • Bavaria also has a variety of German cultures each of which speaks a different form of German, quote: Franconia in the north, speaking East Franconian German; Bavarian Swabia in the south west, speaking Swabian German; and Altbayern (so-called “Old Bavaria”…) speaking Austro-Bavarian. In Munich, the Old Bavarian dialect was widely spread, but nowadays High German is predominantly spoken there. (Source)
  • Munich is the capital of Bavaria and is Germany’s ‘beer capital’.
  • After World War II, Munich chose to rebuild its war-demolished city center in its pre-war glory. In 1972, cars were prohibited in this area and today as many as 9000 shoppers pass by the shop windows every hour. (Source)
  • Bavaria has one of the largest economies in Europe. Many large companies are headquartered in Bavaria, like BMW (Bavarian Motor Works), Audi, Siemens, and Adidas. Amazon has offices in Munich.
  • As a specific region in Germany, Bavaria has many things unique to its own culture. For example, ‘obatzda’ is a traditional Bavarian cheese spread often served with soft pretzels. For a recipe, go here.
  • Bavaria has whip-cracking championships.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Sandra L.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, May 24, 2018.

May Winners: Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

April Winners: Shannon C., Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

(Photos from Pixabay) 

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

Caris Roane Home Page

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Sign up for my newsletter!

For more about my books, check out my Books Page!

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Sandra L.!!!

May Winners: Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

April Winners: Shannon C., Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, May 24, 2018! On Friday, May 25th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Sandra L.!!!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Bavaria. Have you ever visited this beautiful part of Germany? Which photo did you like best. Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers

I’ve always enjoyed bell peppers and recently developed a craving for pasta salad with, you guessed it, bell peppers. I’ve been using yellow, orange and red ones. The red seem to be the sweetest and also provide high amounts of Vitamin C and A. Beyond salads, I enjoy stuffed bell peppers, especially if a red sauce, some kind of meat as well as a cheese is included.

Here’s a 3-minute video showing how to make a bell pepper salad that uses both sauteed and fresh vegetables and fruits. Here’s an 11-minute video on how to grow bell peppers in containers. This video also includes an organic recipe to use as a fertilizer. Here are 3 delicious ways to stuff bell peppers in this short video.

FunFacts about Bell Peppers: (Source) (Source)  

  • Basic info, quote: The bell pepper (also known as sweet pepper, pepper or capsicum) is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum. Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colors, including red, yellow, orange, green, white, and purple. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as “sweet peppers”. Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Pepper seeds were imported to Spain in 1493, and from there, spread to Europe and Asia. (Source)
  • China is the world’s largest pepper producer.
  • Bell peppers are called ‘capsicums’ in Australia.
  • Christopher Columbus brought the bell pepper plant to Europe.
  • Bell peppers are actually fruits, not vegetables, but are called vegetables for culinary purposes.
  • When growing peppers, keep in mind that bell peppers are heavy feeders. Use a well-balanced fertilizer.
  • Bell peppers need at least 6 hours of full sun to grow and develop well.
  • Bell peppers are drought tolerant.
  • Red bell pepper offers 3 times the amount of Vitamin C as an orange.
  • Bell peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin A.
  • Bell peppers may have anti-cancer properties.
  • Bell peppers can aid in weight loss. (Source)
  • Red bell peppers are green bell peppers that have been left on the vine to ripen.
  • The most common colors for bell peppers are green, orange, red and yellow. But rarer varieties include brown, lavender, white and purple.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Sandra L.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, May 24, 2018.

May Winners: Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

April Winners: Shannon C., Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

(Photos from Pixabay) 

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

Caris Roane Home Page

~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~

Sign up for my newsletter!

For more about my books, check out my Books Page!

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Sandra L.!!!

May Winners: Mary C., B.N. and Debra G.

April Winners: Shannon C., Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, May 24, 2018! On Friday, May 25th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Sandra L.!!!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about bell peppers. Are you a fan? Have you ever grown them in your garden? What is your favorite way to prepare bell peppers? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!