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Applewood

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At the end of a very wet and chilly May, we took advantage of a warm, sunny day to visit Applewood Estate in Flint.

Few of the perennials were in bloom, but the Rhododendrons were just beautiful.

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I have never seen white Bleeding Heart before.

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Some of the Irises had already faded, but this one was at its best.  Love the delicate color of this one.

I hope to visit again soon (if I can ever catch up on the mowing at home!)

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Flint Institute of Arts

I was looking for a way to amuse myself and some out of town visitors on a rainy day last week and decided to visit the Flint Institute of Arts.

We were so impressed we returned the next day, and spent a second relaxing afternoon enjoying the wonderful art work on display.

We were fascinated by the huge collection of Paper Weights, and delighted to learn that photographs were allowed.

I certainly will be returning here on a regular basis.  It is a great place to relax and unwind.

 

 

Welcome May

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Even when the weather is less than ideal, May is one of our most beautiful months.  Daffodils don’t seem to mind braving the chilly nights and occasional snowfalls, and are such a cheerful and uplifting sight.

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I would love to photograph wildlife more than I do, but really lack the skill and patience it requires.  That said, photographing flowers is not always easy.  Had to get down on my knees in the mud to catch these daffodils, and the slightest breeze had them dancing in and out of focus!  Thank goodness for digital, which allows me to snap away and discard the failures!

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Had to brave mud and some flooding on the trails at the Nature Conservancy, but it was worth it to find Spring Beauty and Marsh Marigolds in bloom.

 

More signs of Life

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Bloodroot is blooming in the Park.  They must be about the earliest wildflowers to bloom, and seem to be managing our wild swings of temperature.  We have had a few 60 degree days, but nights are still dropping to freezing at times.  We were even threatened with snow on Saturday night, but fortunately, it passed us by.

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My Lilacs are just about ready to bloom.  I look forward to bringing some fragrant blooms into the house.  Sad that they fade so quickly.

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I often come across wild turkeys in my travels, but these wily birds usually hurry away before I can point a camera at them.  Managed to snap this out of the car window on the way home from the Nature Conservancy the other day.

Signs of Life

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As the weather continues to tease us with warmth and sunshine one day and snow on the ground the next, it is encouraging to find signs of Spring here and there.  Buds are swelling on my Lilacs, frogs are singing on the warmer days, and the woods are full of Robins and Redwings.

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 Skunk Cabbage is not the prettiest plant, but it one of the first to appear in the woods and swamps.

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Although my African Violets live indoors, they seem to be entering into the spirit of the season, showing tiny new buds after a period of dormancy.

There is a cold wind blowing today, and rain and snow in the forecast, so I am grateful for all these hopeful signs.

Dow Garden Butterflies

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Hungry for a taste of Spring, I took a trip to Dow Gardens a few weeks ago to enjoy their annual Butterfly Display.

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I snapped away to my heart’s content as my thirsty winter skin drank in the warmth and humidity of the conservatory.

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These lovely creatures are challenging to photograph, as they are rarely still, but I managed to get some decent shots.  Wonderful way to lift one’s spirits when Winter seems never-ending!

A Taste of Spring

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Took a tip from a Facebook Friend and picked up some potted Hyacinths with my groceries.

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While we are still locked in the grip of snow and ice outside, their scent is filling my living room with a hint of Spring, lifting my sagging spirits.

This was well worth the small investment!

Christmas Cactus

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A friend gave me a Christmas Cactus some time ago.  I am still getting the hang of how to care for it, but it has recently started blooming for me.

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So far it has only managed one bloom at a time, but what a beautiful, delicate flower it is!

Following instructions I found on line, I have moved it to a warmer, lighter location, hoping to encourage it to continue blooming – even if this is not the correct time of year for it to do so!

Trip to Lake Huron

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Last week, I was snowed in from Sunday to Tuesday afternoon, and then pretty much housebound by the dangerously cold temperatures for the rest of the week. Even mail delivery was cancelled and State offices closed due to the poor road conditions and extreme temperatures.  In typical Michigan fashion we are now blessed with Springlike conditions, so on Saturday, I emerged from semi-hibernation and drove to Port Huron with my trusty camera.

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Rain threatened, but even under laden skies, the lake was beautiful as always.

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Someone apparently felt sorry for this statue, and donated a scarf for her to wear!

Winged Visitors

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Lots of birds coming to my feeder today as a Winter storm moves in, along with plunging temperatures.  Even without access to TV and the Internet, birds always seem to know when bad weather is moving in.

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They like to perch on the porch railing before moving to the feeder, but the accumulating snow is making that difficult!

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Always difficult to get a good shot of the Cardinals.  They are very easily spooked.

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According to my Field Guide, this is a Song Sparrow, but they are supposed to be a Summer visitor to our area.  Hope he can survive the coming Arctic Blast that is headed our way.

 

 

 

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