Monday, August 01, 2022

Heavy Air and Languorous Times

My garden is in full bloom and full of fairies. I have moved more and more to planting natives while I still cling to a few of the heavy feeders like my four roses. I avoid sprays at all times, unless terribly desperate. 

My native phlox and native penstemon are big addictions for butterflies, moths, and native bees. Feel free to click on photos and zoom in on the ones below to see better! On days when I feel that there is too much happening in the modern world, I take my camera and walk into the front driveway where the beds need trimming and weeding and plants need thinning and a sense of organization and I throw all those thoughts to the wind and below is what returns on the summer breezes.


The zebra swallowtail is a frequent visitor as we have paw paw trees where they lay their eggs.


I think this is one of the "elfin" butterflies that would have missed my attention had he not landed on the cover to the table.


The American Painted Lady (?) I think this one is a female and they love my Zinnia, a non-native annual.


A gorgeous show-off that always arrives in late July every summer.  Black Swallowtail.  Within weeks his elegant wings get tattered.


This Tiger Swallowtail is showing off against my sunflower plants on the back deck, placed where I can watch the Goldfinch eat.


My butterfly plant did well but has been eaten down to nubs and I had not luck with my Milkweed plant, but this rare Monarch still came for a visit to my Cosmos.



Above is a Skipper, maybe the common Roadside Skipper?


They are in beautiful abundance today after yesterday's rains.


In the very middle is the Hummingbird Moth which sounds much like a real hummingbird if he buzzes by your ear.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Latest Thing

The world has gone crazy for pollinators.  At least that is true here in my neck of the woods.  And we are learning that even other insects are valuable to the earth.  

When I was a child and we used to drive across the Colorado plains and fields, we would find our front grill and many times our front windshield covered in bugs when we got home.  That no longer happens anywhere we drive.  Scientists discovered several years ago that not only pollinators, but all the other important insects were in serious decline.  Some say as much as 70%!  If you are not a "buggy" person I am sorry.  A decline in any and all insects threatens our very existence as well as many of the birds and that whole tapestry of living beings on this planet.  We are all connected.

So, I took a stroll in my garden and photographed the more lovely of these flying and crawling creatures hoping it will lift your spirits.  (The next time there is a bug in your house, please scrap it up gently with paper and take it outside.)










That Zebra Swallowtail above is on my oregano.

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Still Attempting Art

While I have no formal training in composition, style,color values, light balance...I do have some experience with these working with photography. So, I guess my desire to experiment, which cannot be subdued, makes me a bit of an artist. 

My flowers this year are extravagant.  I have upped the watering by 20 minutes and that has made the plants very happy.  Happy enough to begin to fight with each other for space.  Many of my plants are natives and they can usually outcompete the hyrids.

Below the first photo is monarda (beebalm) which with its square stem is related to the mint family, and most gardeners know how that goes!...and grows!  The next photos are all of my tiger lily which can spread as a non-native, but which I am pretty sure I can control.  It is very photographic or should that be photogenic?  I had fun with software changing, adding textures, and dodging and burning below.










Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Flower Painting

Once again I am hiding out from the heat and playing with software, hardware, and my photos.  You can click for closeups.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Painting Daylilies

I got a new, larger monitor. I have always had two monitors, but one of them which is decades old stopped working. I went to the computer store and ordered the smallest size monitor with a high resolution. It is really very large compared to my other monitors. It took me some time to set up although I was told it would be easy. Anyway, I still have to work out the drag and drop from an ASUS monitor to an HP! But I certainly am seeing my photos in a new and better light. Having fun with photo-painting my daylilies below:

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Throwing LIght

I find that I am more tired these days and I am blaming it on the heat. I also seem to have an appetite at any time of the day.  I have not yet figured out what to blame that on, but I do know as you age Doctors would rather you have an appetite than be off your food.  Well, this has nothing to do with the post below, except that I find it harder to leave the house when I have free time and I can nap or eat!

Below are some fun photos of flowers.  I have gotten tired of taking traditional photos.  I also am trying to get my body to move outside at better times of the day and bring along my camera knowing that my best photos are often the unexpected.  I do not have the patience of a good photographer.  I will adjust or move two or three times and then just snap.  I must admit I really should replace my tripod which broke a few years ago!

The first are just flower shots one of which I photoshopped to look like a painting.  The last two happened because I got up and caught the light.









Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Is It Too Hot for Baby Bunnies?

My husband had decided that we need to leave larger patches of clover in our lawn for pollinators.   Lawns are now considered food deserts for all the necessary insects in our lives.  It also means less lawn to mow.
This spring I have found a new visitor hanging out in both the front and back yards, and I am sure it is due to the patches of clover.  All of these photos were taken from our bay window...which needs washing.  I was also handholding my telephoto.





'

I went outside to see if I could get closer but...Above---now you see me, now you don't!

I went back inside and the skies opened up in torrential rains. As the rains diminished later in the afternoon my interloper hopper returned.   I watched from the window as he/she began to nip at my pink muhly grass---newly planted this spring.  At first, I was dismayed but saw that he/she was only removing the dried grasses at the base and not destroying the plant.







He/She disappeared into one of the patches of clover. Nest building?? You can barely see the ears and the clover is not that high.  It must be a 'she'.  But she does not look pregnant.



The rabbit left after a while and I went outside to inspect the handwork the next morning.  There was a flat plop of some gooey mud and then a very tight ball of the dried grasses nearby.  When I gently lifted the ball there was a small hole in the ground.  OK, time for some research because I have no idea what that mud patch is?

I will not write about how cute baby bunnies are and how destructive.