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May 23, 2017

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My offering of grape jelly has attracted at least one pair of Orioles to my deck. They are quite wary and usually fly away as soon as I pick up the camera, but I managed to catch this one the other day.  I have also seen a male Hummingbird at the feeder I put out a few days ago, and business should pick up once the young ones fledge.

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We have had a lot of windy days lately, which makes wildflower photography quite difficult, but I managed to snap a couple of Trillium in the woods the other day.IMG_4289

Oak Trees are among the last to leaf out, and the tiny new leaves are bright red.

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Young Pine cones are quite colorful too, and it looks like there will be a good crop this year.

A Trip to WoJo’s

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It has been a sad and difficult week for me, and I was becoming quite depressed. But after complaining for so long about the nasty weather, I was determined not to waste a beautiful, sunny Saturday feeling down, so I set off for my favorite nursery to buy and photograph some flowers.

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Coming upon an unexpected road closure and getting lost on the way there was just the way my week had been going, but I resisted the urge to simply give up and go home, and eventually found my way there by an alternate route.

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The nursery was crazy busy as it always is the Saturday before Mother’s Day, but the colors and scents did help to lift my mood.

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We are not usually safe from frost here until the end of May, but since all my plants will be in containers, I can plant some early, and bring them in for a night if need be.

Sweet May

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After a wet and chilly start, and some frosty nights, May is finally bringing some truly Springlike weather.  The woods were so beautiful this morning with the tender new leaves such a vivid green, a photograph really cannot do it justice!

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The windless morning made this part of the lake a reflecting pool.

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It is a good year for Lilac, and I could not resist bring some into the house.  The sweet smell fills my living room.

The warmer weather has inspired me to put out my hummingbird feeder.  I have heard Orioles in the Park, so I have put some grape jelly out in hopes of attracting them to my deck.  No takers yet, but soon I hope.

 

Rain and more rain

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I was hoping when we turned the calendar to May, we would be blessed with some really Springlike weather, but rain and cold seem to be the order of the day.

Yesterday was warm and sunny, but today we are back to a cold rain, and the forecast is for more of the same for the rest of the week.

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The pasture is lush and green, and normally my horses would spend all afternoon out there chowing down, but today they are huddled in their shelter, unwilling to brave the chill.  Now that the longer days are here, they like to stay out until after eight o’clock, but it looks like I will have to bring them into the barn early tonight and give them extra hay.

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The exceptionally wet weather is producing a fine crop of Dandelions.  Although they are a terrible nuisance in our lawns and flower beds, they really are quite beautiful, and I read something the other day, encouraging us not to kill them as bees rely on them because they are one of the first things to bloom in the Spring.

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Managed to get some shots of my apple blossoms before the rain spoiled them.  The wind made it quite challenging.  Anyone who considers flower photography ‘Still Life’ has never tried to photograph them on a windy day!

April Blooms

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As the weather finally warms up, the wildflowers are starting to bloom in the woods.  Daffodils have been blooming at the nature conservancy for several weeks.  They do well here as the deer don’t seem to care for them!

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Yellow Trout Lilies are among the first to bloom in the woods at the State Park, along with Spring Beauties.

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Sat on my front porch, enjoying the sunshine the other day, when I felt something land on my head.  Carefully removed my hat to see what it was, and found this Tree Frog!  He hopped from my hat to my lap and rested there for a few minutes before making his way to the deck, which gave me the opportunity to fetch my camera.

I often find these guys hanging out in my flowers, but was surprised to see one this early in the season – especially on top of my head! 🙂

 

Trip to Canada

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I spent Easter weekend in Canada, visiting family, where I was rousted out of a warm bed before dawn by my daughter in order to witness a beautiful sunrise.  In spite of my grumbling, I must confess, it was worth the effort!

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This wonderfully gnarled old tree stands near the edge of Lake Ontario, just a short distance from my daughter’s home.

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I was surprised when I came home to see how much Spring had advanced in just three days.  The baby Lilac Buds I photographed just a few days ago are bursting out, and some of the trees are beginning to leaf out.  My lawn and pastures are a vivid green, and mowing season is definitely under way.

Signs of Life

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As the weather finally begins to warm up, I see new signs of life appearing as if by magic.

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Pussy Willow is in full bloom now, and Forsythia is putting on a lovely show.

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A closeup shot shows some baby blooms on the lilac in my front garden.

The pasture is greening up nicely, and I can see I will soon have to think about mowing my lawn.

Orchids and Butterflies

IMG_4078Our weather seems to be playing a belated April Fool’s joke on us.  I awoke this morning to about an inch of snow on the ground.  Poor light and rain have discouraged me from taking the camera out lately, so I am glad to be able to post a few more photos from my visit to Dow Gardens.

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They have a nice collection of orchids, and the camera really doesn’t do them justice.  They are so beautiful and exotic.

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This Giant Swallowtail was attracted to a lady’s flowered blouse and rested there for quite some time, giving many people a great photo-op!

 

More from Dow Gardens

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I did not expect to be taking outside shots when I visited Dow Gardens, but even with the river still ice-covered and snow on the ground there were many attractive areas.

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The brief walk from the entrance to the Conservatory revealed this lovely waterfall.

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This red bridge is one of three at the gardens, designed by Alden B. Dow.

As March draws to a close, Spring still seems to be dragging her feet.  Yesterday brought us a rain/snow mix all day, and today is just cold, wet and dreary.  So glad I have these sunny pictures to remind me of a pleasant day out.

A Visit to Dow Gardens

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I would not normally consider visiting a botanical garden in late Winter, but Dow Gardens has a conservatory which offers a Butterfly exhibit in March and April, and I just couldn’t resist this brief taste of Summer, as I wait impatiently for warmer days.

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 The butterflies are more active when the sun shines, so I took advantage of a rare sunny day for the trip, and spent a very pleasant couple of hours enjoying the warmth and color of many different flowers and butterflies.

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The hour and a half drive each way made for a rather tiring day for me, but it was well worth it!  I definitely plan to come back later in the season when the outdoor flowers are in bloom.

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I will post some more of the 50 plus photos I took in later blogs.  At least it will make a change from all the snow and ice shots I have been posting lately!

 

 

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