Flowers & Plants

Chichester in the Fall

Mallard Pairs on the East Pond

Mallard Pairs on the East Pond



Late Afternoon Glow

Late Afternoon Glow



Wild Rose Hips

Wild Rose Hips



Snowberry

Snowberry



Permanent Resident

Permanent Resident - This female Canada Goose will not be heading south this winter - thanks to some idiot humans who broke her wing



Green-winged Teal Ducks stopping in on their way south

Green-winged Teal Ducks stopping in on their way south



Autumn Splendor

Autumn Splendor - The Centre Pond



Mallard Drake

Mallard Drake



Mountain Ash (Rowan) berries

Mountain Ash (Rowan) berries

Autumn Colours

Rose Hips …

Rose Hips

Rose Hips

Sumac …

Sumac

Sumac

Virginia Creeper …

Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper

Unknown (but isn’t it pretty?) …

Unknown Wild Plant

See the Difference?

Some different kinds of Cinquefoil …

Shrubby Cinquefoil

Shrubby Cinquefoil

Rough Cinquefoil

Rough Cinquefoil

Can you see the difference?? One has spikes under the blossom and one doesn’t. (and that’s just for starters – one is also a shrub and is used a lot in landscaping.)

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape Flowers

Oregon Grapes make the most delicious jelly. It’s great with meat and also on your morning toast. Use any grape jelly recipe, but use 2/3 Oregon Grape juice and 1/3 apple juice.

They are also used for making wine and syrups.

Oregon Grape is sometimes known as Barberry and Mahonia (lots of them around doing time as landscape plants :D ) Not a lot of people know they are very edible.

Just don’t eat the bugs :D

Eeek - a BUG!

Weeds and Wildflowers

Yeehaw!!!! Rodeo is coming back to Black Mountain!! Man, I do love my rodeo!

I can only go Saturday to take pics, so am hoping I can find a schedule somewhere.

In the meantime, I have been shooting weeds and wild flowers along my route to work and back ( I go different routes coming and going) and I am still blinding the birds at my feeders with my flash.

June is wildflower month and there’s been so much rain lately that there are lots and lots of weeds blooming.

Here’s some of them …

Wild Asparagus – when it gets to this stage, you know you’ve missed the edible shoots (damn)

Wild Asparagus

Common Bugloss

Common Bugloss

Common Bugloss – up close

Common Bugloss

Hoary Alyssum

Hoary Alyssum

Western Goat’s Beard

Western Goat’s Beard

Western Goat’s Beard

Iris and Clematis

One of my iris bloomed today …

Iris

Iris

And this is one of the Clematis plants I bought yesterday – it was already blooming at the store …

Clematis

Hope they add some happiness to your day.

A Mutant Narcissus?

Am not too sure if this flower is supposed to look like this or if it has some development “issues” but I thought it was kinda cool and different.

Narcissus

Close-up of a Daffodil

Getting in tight with a happy flower.

Daffodil

Daffodils remind me of my Dad (I called him “Pa”). He was a career Air Force guy and we were posted to France for 4 years when I was 8 years old. On our holidays and weekends we would load up the travel trailer and go somewhere. My favourite place to go was to Holland.

One time when we were there it was daffodil time and there was a roadside stand selling thick, long, heavy “ropes” of braided daffodils. They were about 5-6 feet long and about 8-10 inches thick and weighed a TON! My dad arranged with the seller to take a picture of these ropes and draped one over us three kids like a giant yellow boa. That pic is long gone – lost in a fire (as were all my childhood pics), but the memory remains as strong as if it was yesterday.

The LAST Amaryllis (I promise)

Red and White Amaryllis

mmmmm … Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkins

Another Update ….

Two blooms now on the Amaryllis

It amazes me how this plant changes even from morning to night – I get up in the morning and take pics, then get home from work and take more pics because it is so different from what it had been that morning.

Foggy Amaryllis

Another shot of it

One last one for now …

Amaryllis in almost full bloom

The Paperwhites are finished now but I took pics of them anyway. I really liked how this one turned out – great lighting and textures here …

Past Their Prime Paperwhites

Slowly but Surely …

Here’s an update on how the Amaryllis and the Paperwhites are doing …

The Amaryllis (I planted three) are so sloooooowwww … only one is close to blooming, another is about 6 inches high and the third is just poking the beginnings of a green shoot out of the bulb. The tallest one needs to be turned twice a day – it keeps leaning to the light and is about 18″ high now so looks like the leaning Tower of Pisa if I don’t keep turning it. This is how it looks today … I think it will be the white and pink one …

Amaryllis Jan. 30, 2008

The first of the Paperwhites – four bulbs in the pot – bloomed a few days ago …

Here’s the first ones …

Paperwhites - First bulb to bloom

And now the second bulb has bloomed – two to go yet …

Two Paperwhites

Nice to have flowers blooming in January!!!

I wonder if those big Russian Sunflowers would bloom in the house???

*Chuckle* I would need 20-foot ceilings if they would do as well as the ones I grew two years ago in my garden!

Hurry Up, Spring!

I am a flower/gardening person. There is a whole lot of satisfaction in planning a garden and growing things. I find winter very depressing because Mother Nature is resting and I need her to be a lot more active – and I don’t mean active as in winter storms!

I want green!!! And I want sunshine, too.

So, to nudge the old girl along, I planted some amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs. They were the kind you get in kits – everything but the water is in the box. These ones had already started to sprout new shoots by the time I bought them, so we had a bit of a head start.

A week later, here’s what they now look like …

This is one of the Amaryllis (I planted three of them) …

Amaryllis

These are the paperwhites …

Paperwhites

One of the reasons I love my job so much is because I get to work in the Garden section. Actually, it’s called “Seasonal”. We just received the first shipment of this year’s seeds and I am busy putting out watering cans and fertilizers, bug catchers and rakes and shovels and pruners.

Roll on, Spring!!!!!!!!!!!

Amish and Cockscombs

Carrying on with my previous mention of the Amish at Arthur IL, I was so impressed with the cleanliness of their properties and by the beauty of their flower gardens. If cleanliness is next to godliness, these people have it down pat!

This photo was taken on Saturday afternoon. Sunday is go-to-meeting-day, so the ladies are out getting things spiffed up – one is washing the buggy and another is doing something inside the garage with the harness – perhaps shining it up?…

Shining Up the Buggy

Their homes were surrounded by the most wonderful flower gardens and I saw one flower they all seemed to grow that I had never seen anywhere before. Later research (and a visit to the Sandwich IL Fall Fair) revealed them to be Cockscomb (Cristata Group) celosia argentea var. cristata. Someday I will plant some of them!

Here’s a shot of one of their flowerbeds along a fenceline …

Cockscomb in Flowerbed

And here’s a pic to show you how big these are … this little girl was about 5 years old for comparison … pic taken at Rockome Gardens, Arthur, IL.

Cockscomb

In many ways I admire, and perhaps even envy, the Amish for their simple lifestyle but I am afraid I probably wouldn’t be able to toe the line about some of their beliefs and customs – and I certainly couldn’t live without my internet!

Here’s an Amish buggy just home from shopping …

Amish Buggy

I’d like to go back to Arthur and perhaps spend some time talking to them. They have wonderful home businesses – cheese, jam and bake shops, buggy-making shops, cabinet and furniture-making shops and the most fabulous quilt stores! I could drop a small fortune there!

Pretty in Pink

My favourite lens is my macro lens – a Sigma 105mm. I love how close I can get to a subject and the detail I can pull from it. Sometimes the camera sees things I miss entirely when I am taking the shot. I struggle with getting the whole frame in focus and one of these days I may just get that part of photography mastered.

Here’s one that I had trouble with – would have preferred to have all the little stamen things in focus.

Pretty in Pink

Wasp and Trumpet Vine

This wasp was so absorbed in what was for lunch he didn’t mind how close I got with the camera. That trumpet vine was climbing all over the fence near my home and I have endless photos of all kinds of bugs happily feeding off it. I must plant some trumpet vines if I ever get a place of my own!

Bugs are some of my favourite things to shoot.

Wasp and Trumpet Vine