Friday, October 12, 2018

Surviving that Long Distance Storm

Hurricane Michael came all the way up to my mid-Atlantic home and dropped 3 inches in 8 hours last night. The winds were unusually strong but not a single tree gave in. Even the cosmos survived the night of being pelted.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Neighbors and Visitors

He/She has never been able to fly more than a few feet.

A desert tortoise from Africa

I have noticed this week: Our resident gray frog that lives in the BBQ and jumps to cling to the deck railing for the hours that we use it, has gotten larger this year. He communicates with two other frogs that live in the trees in the backyard. While grilling, the cook can hear their conversation, but not really understand what is going on. It does sound lovely. 

There was a PAIR of Brown Thrashers on the back lawn early yesterday. This is very unusual as we only see them a few times in the fall and never together. They have an elegant velvet brown body and spent less than an hour violently turning over leaves looking for food. 

We have numerous box turtles in our woods and today I saw a bright yellow one crossing the backyard in search of some leaf or bug. He is young and unmarked and hubby is mowing today, so we must be careful. 

The Flickers are back in abundance looking for worms and bugs in the open areas on the side of the driveway. They are noisy and wary and fly to the oaks and tulip tree branches when I am out and about. 

The two in the photos above are captive and were at the festival the other day. The turtle is kept by a local petting zoo and the Screech owl cannot fly and is being kept by a naturalist.

Friday, October 05, 2018

A Roomy Studio

I have retreated into my digital art studio for a little peace of mind and hope my sharing with you gives you some peace of mind.  (The nice thing about a digital studio is that you have lots of room for storage of the art.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

This Time of Year

The dogwoods are the first to show their color.

The last party guests to leave are hanging on through the cooler nights and warm days. The cosmos draw many pollinators in the fall.  The big "flutterbyes" are mostly gone with just the little ones and the skippers drinking at the zinnia blossoms. The zinnias are crazy in abundance this year.

The asters below are the most prolific as this is their season.

Monday, October 01, 2018

The Little White People

The rains diminish and leave behind the mushrooms. These are in my herb bed and the size of baseballs at this stage!  They are white.

The hole may be from some nibbler or just because there was a weakness in the cap. Most of them have some type of hole.  I posted on FB and one commenter said it looked like it was singing.

Is it just me or do you see a face above? Looks to me like this guy got into some fight.  At this stage, the mushroom is the size of a salad plate!

The view when you take shelter from the rain.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Just a Week or Two or Three

This time of year the Baccharis bush is beginning its bloom and later transition into feathery seeds that float over the shoreline down by my dock. The setting sun paints them in relief this time of year.

They are hardy and a bit fragrant like sage.

The golden evening light is longer and warmer than summer or winter when the sun falls to the autumn angles. All of the shadows are more dramatic.

This is also the time of the year when I get perfect sunsets over the water before the sun moves to the left and sets over the peninsula of land that protects our finger of the river. It is the best time to catch sunset photos. These photos are the smile worthy when the waters are calm like a liquid mirror.

Then the sun crests over the distant farmland and I can then attempt a sunset photo. I patiently wait through all of the stages. This time of year the temperatures are perfect, the biting insects are gone, and the only noise is the baitfish slapping the water ahead of the few striped bass that are chasing them into the edges of the river at my feet.

Patience as the sky blushes even deeper red.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

It Takes Some Effort

Every year I start with small seed pots and soak the hard white seed overnight in a wet towel in a ziplock and then headstart this plant.  Every year I plant this plant in pots on my deck. Every year I have to get them out when the nights are still cool because they need a long growing season and only really take off when the days and nights are warm. Not all of the seeds are viable or easy to germinate.  It is a tropical plant, of course. A friend of mine in Florida wondered if I could send her seeds and I research the plant and found it was classified as an invasive in Florida!

This plant only blooms at night! I have seen tiny ants, small flies, etc. that come in to pollinate.  It is probably pollinated by a night moth in its native home (Argentina to Mexico).   We had a wonderful hot and wet summer and this plant loved it.  It starts real blooms when 12 hour days begin much like our Chrysanthemum.

In the photo above I had to turn on the deck light to capture the detail. It is Ipomoea alba or a "tropical white morning glory."

Now the best part is that it has the most gentle, angelic, exotic fragrance. For those who live in a tropical climate, this may not sound like much, but for those of us who reside where fragrant flowers are iris, phlox and the rare rose, this is so dreamlike and a special reward.

They are only elegant for one night.  By the sun's early light they wilt like wet Kleenex.   They are agressive when in a large well fertilized pot.  The plant below was on its way down the deck to wrap around the kayak.