Friday, April 29, 2011

Photohunters: Square

I have four square garden boxes. I also have some rectangular ones in another part of the garden. Unfortunately at the moment they are growing weeds because I'm too lazy to start a vegetable garden this year.
Click for the home of photohunters.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nature Notes: April Showers

We have had a lot of April showers which hopefully bodes well for the flowers.
It is common to see Canadian Geese at unexpected places this time of year. This pair was hanging out at my doctor's office parking lot.
The one above was so annoyed by my photographing it that he or she stuck its tongue out at me.
I always like to see the primrose (shot above) return. The swallowtail butterflies are coming back too.
I posted some similar shots of the swallowtail in the azaleas for Today's Flowers but I took so many photographs I thought I'd use a few for nature notes too.
The robins are very active and keep an eye on me from the roof too.
My roses have been beaten down by the rain and wind but a few boughs have straightened up on their own while others are on the ground.
I took the shot below at sunset last night but alas no sun.
Click for the home of nature notes.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Today's Flowers: April winding down

Hard to believe that April is near an end and May will soon be here.
My earliest azaleas lost most of their blooms in last week's storm but my later bloomers are still going strong.
I had fun photographing this swallowtail butterfly which seemed to love the pink azaleas.
Its wings opened and closed so fast that I kept clicking away to get different views.
My earliest roses were blown off in the storm but new ones are blooming daily.
Some of the tall boughs were blown in a messy tangle but eventually pruning should deal with it.
Not only are flowers blooming the trees are getting their leaves back full force.
The shots above were all taken this week. For the last shot below, I dug into my archives for a shot of the Easter Bunny which was taken years ago in the verbena. I used to have verbena all over my garden but most was lost to a drought several years ago and I didn't replace it. The purple flowers are the verbena.
Click for the home of today's flowers. Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Photohunters: Dusty

I don't usually think of a reservoir as being dusty but I took the first two shots during a severe drought.
The reservoir was at an all time low and the banks were dusty.
Dirt roads can be quite dusty and I imagine if I'd shot looking back instead of shooting towards the front of the car, I'd have a shot of dust in the next photo as it was quite dry.
I'd rather drive on the last dirt road when it is dusty as opposed to muddy or frozen. I was glad we didn't need to drive on it at all. We were on the paved road above it.
For the record, my house is always dusty but I couldn't bare to photography that for you. Click for the home of Photohunters and Happy Easter weekend.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nature Notes: Whimsical and Wild

One way to look at the spring we are having is whimsical. One minute it's warm the next cold and the sky and wildlife seem to flit around in a playful, whimsical way.
The rufous-sided towhee was flirting and singing in the pecan tree one day and hiding from the wild and frightening weather the next.
I didn't get a shot of the hail totally covering my deck because when I first spotted it, I decided to hang out in my hall until I was sure the tornadoes had passed me by. I did get the shot above after much of the hail had melted.
The robin took advantage of all the water that was left once the storm had passed.
I love to photograph the hostas when they are soaked.
I'm not sure if the damage to the leaf below was from the hail or insects.
After the storm on Saturday, Sunday was a day made for walking.
It's astounding how fast everything has gone from winter brown coats to green spring ones.
The soaking storms will probably be a big help in terms of the summer like weather coming hard on the heals of cooler spring days.
I have to say that summer is my least favorite season because hot humid weather gets to me.
Lots of trees with their shade help and as long as mornings are cool I'm happy.
As long as we get plenty of rain in the summer, and everything stays green I don't mind so much.
One reason I'm thinking about summer is that we are having periodic days with temperatures in the 80s F although the nights are still cool. A few nights last week were close to freezing. We are also having a mixed bag with some days barely into the 60s F and it's not summer yet.
The pecan tree on the left in the shot below is leafing out nicely.
My azalea wall is forming one edge of my secret garden.
My dogwoods and some of the azaleas lost a lot of their flowers in the storm but the damage was minimal and I was lucky. I'm certainly not complaining since some people lost their lives and some homes and buildings were demolished.
An area of my garden is getting covered in honeysuckle but I don't mind. I love the smell once the flowers form. I don't remember when honeysuckle usually blooms.
Today is overcast and very warm. The male cardinal decided to take a bath.
Click for the home of nature notes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Today's Flowers: Loads of blooms

LinkThis has been a great week for flowers and I hope there will still be many undamaged ones after the tornado that ripped through town on Saturday.
I am preparing this post Saturday night and I haven't been outside to survey the damage. The tornado touched down in downtown Raleigh, NC and zipped through town moving past where I live at 70 mph. I hope there weren't too many people hurt. I know some buildings were totaled.
The combination of the winds and loads of large hail probably didn't do the flowers any good.
I felt very lucky though not to have any damage to my house or any large trees down.
The first two shots are dogwood trees (white one and then pink one). The third shot is carolina jasmine. The shot above and below are of kolkwitzia amabilis.
I think the kolkwitzia blossoms look like little bells.
I sometimes think my azaleas like the one above are going to get big enough to support my house if it ever starts to crumble.
I like the way the sun is shining through the dogwood above.
More azaleas above and below.
I spotted my first two roses this week. They look pretty lonely.
I fear that the tall rose branches may have been knocked down in the storm.
Click for the home of today's flowers.