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Flowers

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!


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!

 


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!

 

 


First Frosts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have finally had a couple of killing frosts, so I guess we are now officially into Indian Summer.

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Most of my flowers have succumbed to the cold nights, but my Geraniums are still holding their own.  In fact, this pink one on the back deck looks better now than it has all Summer!

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It was so dark and gloomy when we set off for our walk last Wednesday that I left the camera at home.  Regretted it when I saw the sky reflected in lake, but managed to get a couple of decent shots with my cellphone.

Glad we have finally moved off Daylight Saving Time, so it will get light earlier in the morning.  I know it means it will get dark earlier too, but I am an early riser, and hate having to wait until eight o’clock for it to get light!

The other downside is, it takes me a while to adjust, and I will feel jet-lagged and out of sorts for about a week. 😦


Day Trip to Applewood

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Last Sunday I was feeling lonely and at loose ends, so I decided to take myself out for the afternoon.

A friend had posted photos on Facebook of a visit she had made to Applewood Estate, and I realized this lovely place was less than an hour from my home.

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It is the former home of the Mott Family, who have generously turned over the lovely house and grounds to a philanthropic organization, making it available to the general public.

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A couple of hours spent wandering through the beautifully tended gardens, boosted my spirits, and gave my camera a good workout!

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The hot, dry weather had left some of the flowers looking a little past their best, but the Hibiscus was clearly thriving.  I have never seen such enormous blooms.  One of the volunteers referred to them as ‘satellite dishes!’


June 25

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Glanced out the front window the other day, and spotted a butterfly resting with wings open on my hammock.  Grabbed the camera and hurried out to see if I could get a shot of it, but of course it was gone!

Didn’t spot this cute little Tree Frog until I was on my way back in.  Tree Frogs are much easier subjects than Butterflies! 🙂

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It seems to be a good year for Wild Roses.  Too bad these delicate blooms are so short-lived.

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I read somewhere that Daisies are a sign of poor soil, so I am sorry to see so many of them in my pasture, but they are beautiful, just the same!

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At least the bees appreciate them!


Signs of Summer

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I was feeling a bit blue a couple of weeks ago, and decided one more trip to the nursery might lift my spirits.  Hard to feel sad among all the beautiful blooms.

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Spotted this Tree Frog on my window the other night.  A sure sign of Summer.  He will leave sticky footprints on the window, but I really don’t mind. 🙂

 

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Dame’s Rocket is making a fine showing in the woods and along the roadsides.  Our ever fickle weather has turned very hot today, with the promise of possible storms this afternoon.  A couple of days ago, I was running the furnace.  Looks like today we will be switching back to AC!  Gotta love Michigan! 🙂