Posts Tagged 'flowers'

Advent Calendar – Day 5

Photo of a red and yellow spotted canna lily closeup, with a bumble bee in its center looking for nectar.
Memories of a sunny day, strolling in a flower garden, admiring canna lilies and watching the bumble bees.

Advent Calendar – Day 2

The flowers this year were wonderful. Here a visitor is sampling nectar.

Photo of pink flowers with a bee in the center of one of them.

A walk without photos

Today, in-between rainstorms, I walked 7 short blocks
Past graveyard stones, over crushed white gravel,
Down the driveway that was once a country lane.

The neighborhood had many simple lawns, with ruby
Velvet spires of coleus glowed, their soft leaves
A surprise behind prim pickets and boxwood.

Some yards ran riot with flowers, tempting skippers
And bumble bees to sample mountain mint, herbs. 
Some had peppers, beans, Swiss chard in neat box beds.

Dog walkers were briskly jogging with purpose.
But I slipped outside to stroll by others' gardens,
Watching when the Monarch butterflies took wing.

— © rjn, 14 August 2020

A moment of calm

Tulips and daffodils agains the south side wall.

The garden is beautiful this time of year. We’re trying not to look at everything as though it’s a glass half empty, but the past 7 days have felt increasingly strange.

I’m glad I did get to see family up north before March. I have other family members I would normally see for big birthday dinners, and those aren’t happening. I have cousins in town – and they feel as far away as Pluto. Things feel pretty awful when I look at the news, read social media, or visit the grocery store. And yet…

The crabapple and quince are blooming. Daffodils are nearly done, and tulips and grape hyacinths are taking their place. It feels important to notice spring doing her best to celebrate rebirth and the return of the light. The nearby church’s gardens are blooming: apple and peach blooms, purple mossy phlox, and purple hyacinths. We’ve seen small butterflies, as well as groups of cardinals, cowbirds, robins, grackles, starlings, finches, and crows. I’m hopeful there will be small joys for you, like the delight of butterflies, in-between the sadness.

Gearing up for spring

There’s snow on the ground, more forecast for later tonight. But… we have cut pussy willow branches in water, sitting on the kitchen counter (lovely fuzzy pussy “paws”)… and the Gardener says the forced bulbs should come up soonish. I’m looking at recipes for fastnachts and Jeck cookies. And there has been a little bit of prep for Valentine’s Day.

Once the sleet melts, maybe I’ll have a look outside again. But I’m uninterested in searching for anconites under the snow while sleet is still pelting down.

snow drops for hint of spring
The snowdrops aren’t here yet, but the yellow aconite is underneath sleet right now.

How about you? Are you in the mood for spring, or are you enjoying every second of winter sports and freezing ice in interesting shapes?

May Days

trailingvinesThe days are filled with flowers. This whole week has also been rainy, so I pause to marvel at a new bloom, a new bud forming, and rain drips down my raincoat’s hood, and slowly runs down the bridge of my nose. I’m loading photos onto my flickr feed as fast as I can. The colors are fabulous.

We’ve seen the first stirrings of the fig tree closest to the house coming back. Leaves have unfurled like tightly wrapped green fans, and I think I’ve seen some of the breve’ figs. The Gardener has been fighting a fight to the death with old tree roots, trying to get a patch set up for new raspberry bushes (a more intricate endeavor than I knew, with lots of space needed between the canes… and no idea if that means between the roots as well).

Also with spring comes: Mother’s Day and the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. It’s always either raining, or blistering hot, with lots of hours spent hiking about looking at the alpacas in pens, sheep shearing, and sheep on parade.

In the merry month of May, the Midatlantic region gets ready for Preakness . Preakness is always an exciting time, with tours of the stables at sunrise, and the unveiling of the Mayor’s hat (there is a female mayor in Baltimore right now…. I’m not sure a man’s tophat would be all that interesting). The stars, of course, are the jockeys and horses that come to Pimlico to race, and it get very exciting. [It also gets very tempting to go to the free sunrise tours, to see what the track looks like.]

The bird watching has been marvelous: titmice, mockingbirds, blue jays, red tail hawks, a brown creeper, and maybe a wood thrush. We’re ignoring the cardinals and robins that never seemed to leave. (I’m also ignoring politics right now. Focusing on birdsong, flowers, and a weekend that’s packed with too many things. MD Sheep & Wool is always a grand time, by the way. But I’m double-triple-booked.)

Lathyrus latifolium – wild sweet pea blooms

wildflowerssweetpeaWhen visiting the US National Arboretum, I stumbled over patches of spring ephemerals (spring beauties, wild violets) and then a patch of hundreds of what looked like sweet pea blooms or rogue snap dragons. After looking through the US Wildflower database, I ruled out rabbit-pea/goat’s rue (Tephrosia virginiana), round-leaved tick trefoil (Desmodium rotundifolium), and crown vetch (introduced). I think it’s just wild sweet pea blossoms (Lathyrus latifolium). What do you think?

The hellebores of Cylburn Arboretum are blooming

Lovely things…

Hellebores in the small garden, underneath evergreens

Hellebores in the small garden, underneath evergreens

Yes, the day was a little bit chilly and windy. But we got out of the house, got to sniff the blooming witch hazel, and searched for crocuses and snowdrops in the grass. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, I hope winter is easing a bit for you, and you get to see some of the excitement of spring soon.

A reminder of the beauty in our chaotic world

Because the news saddens, and overwhelms — we all need to save a bit of love for those in our chaotic world.


Flowers in the basement

tempura-flowersThe local library has a kids program, and there are seasonal art projects. For Spring/Summer, they painted flowers on cardboard or cardstock with tempura paints. Each flower is about the height of a 5th grader. I never see this library without kids being involved, or teenagers writing papers on the public computer for school, or providing outreach to people who are job searching or doing family history searches. (Go awesome librarians and library!) I get so much joy out of walking over there to browse the books, and find out the latest technological thing that I can do (download “books on tape” to an iPhone, iPod, or another similar device). Note I said “books on tape”… heh.

I do find myself reading lots of things I wouldn’t normally have bought from Amaz*n or a bookstore. And I do love audio books for when I’m driving. I have a huge Ken Follett book that I can’t wait to stick in the CD player on Monday, once my Irish mystery is done (Faithful Place, by Tana French – grim, dark, yet interesting, mostly because the voice on the audiobook beguiled me into liking a police procedural with lots of messy family details and shifting loyalties). So, any other books I should look for on CD to keep my commute interesting, or me knitting along? Anyone else have a fabulous little library?