Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shop Now: Nature Is Giving Things Away

Dark green, light lavendar, peachy pink...only nature can please us so thoroughly and effortlessly.

Early morning, between 7:30 and 8:00, these glorious rays, beaming through the leaves of a maple tree across the street, stopped me in my rush to leave the house for work.  I paused; in a second everything changed; I felt blessed and at peace.   

Later that same day, I looked out the window of our family room and was again made aware of the beauty of nature, this time in the shape of a finch.  Although I tried several times, other birds that were coming to feed at the same time were too quick for me to capture with my camera.

It's alright my little friend.  Take it slow.  I also often feel meek upon first awakening.  (This little clay worm helps me gauge if this plant needs water).

A backyard squirrel added his decorating touch by depositing a walnut beside our fountain setting.  My first impulse was to snatch it up.  Instead, I laughed and left it right where he placed it.

Menards is having an end-of-season sale.  I'm not sure about our latest addition to our screen porch; depending on my state of mind, it's quite nice or simply ghastly.  Perhaps with time, it will grow on me and I won't avoid looking its way.

How about from this angle?  I can say with certainty that it's pretty at night when its lights are all you can see.  Oh, and the sound of trickling water is always good company.

I was getting tired of seeing and plucking mushrooms from our lawn until I came upon this red-topped one.  Everyday offers something new, if only we take a few moments to open our eyes and minds to our own backyards.

I'm impressed by this bigger than usual cluster of maple seeds that I found under our Crimson King.  Single or double "whirlybirds" are more common.

Our pin oak is dropping these cute acorns regularly.  I've discovered that pre-autumn backyard shopping is thrilling and it's all mine for the bending and taking.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Weekend to You!!

That's me with my laptop at Lake Vermilion, Minnesota, last summer.  Remembering is almost as good as being there.

We'll be around home this weekend but plan to get to Door County, Wisconsin, next month.  That'll be a good time. 

Do you have plans to get away this weekend or sometime soon?  If not, what are your favorite things to do where you live?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Can It Be August Already?

During our last visit to K & W Greenery, I couldn't resist buying this dragonfly.  It's exactly what I needed for this area in our backyard.
I also just HAD to purchase a few torches to lighten up several places in the backyard in the evening.

You've seen my petite birdbath before but I couldn't resist showing it off again.  Notice another larger birdbath in the background.

This is what a thirsty bird sees when he dips his beak into the large birdbath.

My impatiens petals glisten after I give them their daily shower with my garden hose.
My pink hydrangea has changed color.  Since I'm not a fan of pink, I prefer this altered shade. 

Numerous bees hover over, buzz around and drink from the blossoms on my St. John's Wort shrubs. 

Mother Nature is wonderful, but messy.  Everyday I fill this basket several times with her droppings.  Below are a few of the things I'm picking up off the ground after her presently.

Exhausted and ultimately deceased Cicadas fall from tree branches into the grass after noisily disturbing otherwise peaceful summer evenings.   

I find these the tiny acorns nestled in the grass beneath our pin oak tree. 

I've picked up hundreds, maybe thousands, of these birch leaves ravaged by Japanese beetles.  Occasionally I've used a rake but normally I pick them up individually.  Bending down again and again, day after day, is great for the abs. 

To my dismay, mites caused these galls on my pin oak leaves early in their development.  I've been assured that although they look nasty, they cause no damage to the tree.  Fortunately, they're only noticeable when the leaves drop.

These banana shaped seed carriers with their offspring are dropping from my Lyndon Basswood tree.  I estimate that I've picked up about a hundred of these a day for a couple of weeks now.  There's never a dull moment at our place on Iris Drive. 

The Crimson King Maple in the front yard can't stand to see me sitting in my chair on the front porch.  When I'm not looking, she scatters these little buggers as far as she can throw them.  She knows that as soon as I spot them, I'll be up and at 'em.

I like a nice, neat bed of impatiens flowers which means everyday at least once, I pick up petals that have dropped in the grass or are hanging out where I don't approve.  I'm picky, picky, picky.  Think twice before you get too close.  I may brush you off with my tiny hand broom!!! 

I had a perfect lawn in my opinion for about a week until patches of dead grass began appearing in my otherwise beautiful, lush green grass.  All of the lawn experts I talked to informed me that grubs were attacking the grass roots.  How dare they!!!!!! 

Needless to say, I was bummed out.  I stomped my feet but the damage had been done.

I pouted and fumed until Lon put this grub killer on the lawn. The dead grass patches probably won't recover this year even when the grubs are destroyed.   

To end on a positive note, here's a closeup of our one and only hydrangea flower.  The fullness, abundance and endless intricacies of nature can astonish us into a state of peacefulness. 

I've learned a lot this summer and will continue to do so as I observe the great outdoors in my tiny place in this world. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Things of Summer

An evening photo of a yard sprout.  I didn't know anything could grow as fast as mushrooms do.

I find all kinds as I do my daily scans of the yard for intruders.

Some are quite striking in color and patterns.

I thought perhaps this trio would sing me a song but I guess they weren't in the mood.

After I admire them for a moment or two, they all end up in my basket.  A perfect yard can't be seen with such uninvited characters!

"Blue Flowers at Dusk"

Low light softens but doesn't diminish this beauty.

"Please, please, let us stay up 'til the fireflies come out."

Dew sparkles on the grass in the early morning sunlight.

My niece, Tamara, and her new husband, Brian, posed for me at their summer wedding reception, following their March wedding in Mexico.

Could he be working up the courage to jump into the birdbath far below?

The early bird gets the worm and is the first to bathe besides.

Look closely and you'll see a green bug atop that leaf.     

Tis the prettiest butterfly I've seen this summer.

Impatiens' nectar aplenty kept him busy flying from flower to flower for several minutes while I tried to catch up with him with my camera.

After taking seventeen photos, I got the one I wanted.  Isn't he grand?

Ahhh...a well-earned reward after a busy day.

"Fascination in flame form"