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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July Sum-Up


It is very hard to believe that July has almost passed us by already.  We've had a great summer so far; beautiful eather, lots of time with family and a wonderful road trip have all made the time fly by quickly.  I'll have to save the road trip for another post, as I still have to sort through over 1300 photos from those 9 days.

We kicked off summer as we usually do, with a birthday party on July 4th.  My daughter decorated
this cake, and it one of my all-time favorites.  It's one of the happiest cakes I've ever seen!




Irish moss in flower had become my favorite plant!
The daisies have really only just started their colorful show.
A lovely group of dwarf sunflowers to take cuttings from and decorate my house for fall.
Gardening is at the center of our life here.  Of course, the flowers make for
the best photos, but we also have 2 large vegetable gardens to tend to.
I planted a lot of zinnias this year, including into containers and they
are creating a lovely display.
These day lilies draw everyone to them.  Gorgeous, long-lasting, huge double blooms add a lot of beauty to
the garden for a good part of the summer. 
King Tut's grass grew far better than I expected and added an element of interest
amongst the more common flowers.




It looks like a lot of orange, but there are plenty of pinks and purples in there too.










I just love the faded pink of this huge zinnia bloom!


And this is our favorite thing to do after a long day of work; nothing like a nice beer and a campfire.
We had an impressive lightning storm last week, and I was lucky enough to capture this
gorgeous shot.  We just sat across from the picture window and oohed and aahed.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Blooms And Things

This funny, little mushroom has chosen to grow about 8 feet up in one of maple trees.
No danger of being tromped on up there!

I love the purple these Irises have to offer, it's just too bad they don't bloom a little longer.  But their long
grassy foliage makes a nice back drop for blooms later on.

The first of the marigold blooms.  I started them all from seed this year, and am so excited to
finally see a blossom!  Isn't that a happy color?

More irises. and I'm not sure what particular type these are either.  I dug them out of a friends' garden
and they bloom like crazy every Spring.

I planted a little patch of chives last year and they have produced better than I could have expected.  I know
they are delicious, but I keep them more for their blooms.

How cute is this little guy???  He loves the chives even more than I do.  This patch of flowers is
always humming with dozens of bees.

Another cute little thing.  He's nearly a week old and although that grass is too long for him, and he
keeps tripping, it doesn't slow him down much.  Just keeps on running.

I often look at my lawn and think of all the weeding I have to do to keep dandelions from completely taking over. 
But now and again, I stop and take the time to appreciate the beauty in these magical flowers.

Last year, while digging around on the yard I grew up in, I found a broken set
of wind chimes that belonged to my Mother.  I brought them home and set
them on my 'to do' shelf.  This Spring, I went to visit my Hubby in his shop, and
much to my surprise, he had fixed them for me.  Mom had them by her
fire pit, and now they are by mine.  What a wonderful gift.

This beauty stopped by my greenhouse for a visit..  She's the size of my palm and not nearly as
shy as a butterfly should be. 

I love the color of these lilies so much.   They make me want a fruit smoothie. 

At our last home, I had started a collection of lilies, and this year  I have decided to rebuild that collection here.
I added 3 to the garden this year.  I have really been loving the yellows and oranges lately.

A striking contrast between the orange and the purple is what drew me to this bunch.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A New Family

Spring has been flying by and I have been as busy as a bee in my yard.  Early on, we welcomed back our killdeer couple.  They nested in the lilacs again, but this time out in the open where, as well camouflaged as they are, we could see them.  Here are their eggs, which hatched yesterday morning. 


 
By the end of the day, one of the wee tikes was already out and about, tripping on his own feet.  Needless to say, they are ridiculously adorable and I had very difficult time keeping my hands off and my visit short, (but I did). 




 
That's Mama, (or maybe Papa) in the grass doing her broken wing dance.  They do this to distract visitors from their nest and lead them away.  I'm always sure to follow her and let her know what a good job she is doing taking care of those babies.
 
 
Other than watching plants grow and babies being born, garage saling is another favourite pastime of mine.  I was very fortunate to have found this double Adirondack lounger, and even more fortunate when my husband took it on and made it look beautiful again.  So for $20 and a bit of stain, we now have this wonderful piece to relax in next to the fire.

 
Blooms on our old fashioned lilacs were sparse this year due a heavy frost after the bloom heads froze.  The good news is that with less dead blooms on them, they will more than likely bloom very heavily next Spring.
 
 
Speaking of blooms, I must go put in the rest of my flower seeds so that in the fall I can bring in armloads of zinnias, sunflowers and cosmos.  I hope everyone is enjoying their Spring as much I am.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I Can Be A Little Mean...

I enjoy a good, clean April Fool's Day prank.  Last year, totally off the cuff, I told the kids I was pregnant, and they completely fell for it.  This year, I was certain there was no way I was going to get them with anything because they spent the whole day yesterday talking about what they could do to trick people. 
But this morning, after picking up a few scattered cat toys and carrying them to the basket in my daughter's room, an idea came to me.  While standing in her room, pretending to search the trees behind our house through the window, I cried, "Oh no!  Not again!".  Of course, they both came running to see what I was 'oh no-ing' about, and I told them I seen a little white kitten playing back there.  A couple of years back, that is where we discovered two of our current kitties, Georgia and Crush.  Well, "We have to save the kitty Mommy, he'll freeze!".  So they dress, more quickly then I ever thought they could, and out they race. 
I grabbed the camera and through a screened window, (sorry about the quality) I took a photo of them searching.  Yes, it was rainy here this morning, so that added to meanness of the situation a bit.  I called them a bit closer to break the news of the prank, and I think I captured their expressions perfectly!  Needless to say, they were upset with themselves for not remembering what day it was.  They were also a little upset with me getting a giggle out of them.  I tried to take some of the sting out of it by telling them what good people they are.  It is, after all, very important to have those who care so deeply about the creatures on this precious planet.
 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Few Firsts

We had our first Spring rain!  I stepped out onto the deck and just listened to it.  I was already feeling good with the warmer temperatures, but that sound rejuvenated me from my winter slumber even further.

 
This is the first year that I've walked my dog out of the yard.  Even though we live on 10 acres, it gets a little dull walking around on only our turf.  I was worried he would take to wandering about the countryside on his own if I took him off our property.  Now that he is older, and much more relaxed, I started walking him, on leash, in all directions, and so far so good.  He's never had to be on a leash in the yard, and it surprises me to see him get so excited when I bring it out.


With so many of the roads dry, the kids wanted their bikes down.  They've outgrown them though, and while they served their purpose that day, we will have to go shopping soon.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Coffee Creamer?

While browsing through my Flipboard in the photography section a few days ago, I came across these incredible photos.  It is what inspired them that surprised me.  Powdered coffee creamer.  Yes, these photos are part of an ad campaign for common powdered coffee creamer.  While they didn't give me the urge to run out and buy some, they did instill a sense of calm and that made me want to sit down with a cuppa and share them here with you.  The article on this little project is here, and the talented photographer, Jeffery Vanhoutte has a website definitely worth browsing through here.




Sunday, March 22, 2015

First Day Of Spring

There was little color to be taken from these photos in order to make them black and white images.  A grey sky covering a landscape on the first day of Spring in the Canadian prairies has little to offer by the way of color. 




I enjoyed the walk and taking the photos, and was looking forward to bringing them here, but when I opened them, I found the photos to be extremely dull.  So, off to Photoshop they went, and after a little of this and a bit of that, and a wee bit more of that, I came to like the once lackluster images.


I love black and white photography for the same reason everyone else does, the dramatic simplicity.  Black and white imagery always seems to flow with whatever mood I'm in.  I can take from it whatever I want or need.