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While many of you have been enduring (or enjoying) cold and snowy weather in many parts of the country, the Southeast has been relatively tranquil. The sun has seldom appeared since the beginning of December, but the temperatures have ranged from mild to downright warm.

The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note of any observations you have made of the world around you.  Rain, sun, wind...insects, birds, flowers...meteorites, rocks...seasonal changes...all are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
My recent photographic efforts have been limited. With no sweeping landscapes surrounding me (like I see in the western states) and only a few spots of fall color, I have not used the camera much.

The Alabama Croton in my front yard puts on an extended show of bright colors. The leaves do not turn all at once. The oldest leaves turn orange first, with the colors gradually spreading to the branch tips as the older leaves drop off. They really brighten up the flower bed on a rainy day.

Photos are in lightbox mode. Click for larger image.

Alabama croton fall colors

Alabama croton fall colors

Here are some recent pics that never made it into my Bucket comments. These two images of a gulf fritillary on zinnia blossoms were taken on November 3. That seems so long ago now, because a hard freeze arrived a few days later. The flowers and butterflies are gone (although I saw a few buckeye butterflies and cloudless sulphurs last Friday when the high reached 77).

Gulf fritillary on zinnia

Gulf fritillary on zinnia

And this is my addition to the Daily Bucket sparkleberry picture collection. Most of the ones that I see in Georgia are only about head-high, not large enough to have trunk with madrona-like bark.

Sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum)

Another view of the same plant, framed by southern red oak (Quercus falcata) leaves.

sparkleberry and southern red oak

Your turn. As always, the more observations and images, the better.

"Green Diary Rescue" is Back!

After a hiatus of over 1 1/2 years, Meteor Blades has revived his excellent series.  As MB explained, this weekly diary is a "round-up with excerpts and links... of the hard work so many Kossacks put into bringing matters of environmental concern to the community... I'll be starting out with some commentary of my own on an issue related to the environment, a word I take in its broadest meaning."

"Green Diary Rescue" will be posted every Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific Time on the Daily Kos front page.  Be sure to recommend and comment in the diary.

Originally posted to foresterbob on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 05:49 AM PST.

Also republished by Backyard Science.

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