Friday, June 22, 2012

About the Garden

Fire Update: It continues: Day 14, 191 homes and structures destroyed, 1 death, nearly 70,000 acres burned. Some residents have been able to return home, others-- such as Jenn's family-- are still waiting. The fire didn't burn the forest floor clean; instead, it left hot spots that tend to flair up again, making a return home for many dangerous. In addition, power and telephone lines have to be restored. There are as many as 750 homes in the burn area.  So here are photos around the Garden Spot that remind us that the fire burns on. From the office window, the sun through the curtains. The reflection of the sunset in the puddle of water left by the sprinkler. The sunset filtered through the shroud of smoke and our pine trees.

Our gardens change daily, so camera in hand we head to our gardens, looking for the perfect shot.

As photographers and gardeners we all seem to have a fascination with the textures in the garden, especially the various bloom stages because they make such pretty photos. Echinops (globe thistle). I don't know if this one is a blue or white. Blue, I hope. It reseeded and probably should have been on my friend or foe weed list because they are abundant in the center circle.   Rudbekia, a spent clematis, and echinacea (Raspberry Delight, I think)

We haven't had rain since the hail storm two weeks ago before the High Park Fire started, so these are not rain drops, rather droplets after sprinkling the garden. I used my Cannon SLR, but actually I think I get better macros with the little point and shoot and I know that I got better macros with my Pentax 35 mm with a macro doubler attached to the regular lens. How do you take your macros? Any tips for me? I love trying to get reflections in the water droplets.
I have several varieties of cone flowers planted. This might possibly be my favorite one. It is lacy and elegant.  The coneflowers are just beginning to bloom.

Achillea millefolium rosea Pink Yarrow. Sweet, delicate, pretty, hardy. 

This prairie sun rudbeckia has reseeded and reseeded almost to ad-nausium if it weren't so hot and pretty.
 Children bring a special perspective to the garden. Little Miss Mother Nature loves to pick flowers for the table, so she beheaded most of my cosmos.

Tiger Swallowtail
 I found little bug catching kits at Tuesday Morning: a butterfly net, a bug cage, tweezers, and a magnifying glass. Ellie heads to the garden in search of bugs and what do we see right a way? A brand new tiger swallowtail feasting on the Milkweed. I never thought that she could catch it, but she scooped it right in the cage with her hand, sans net. We had quite an argument discussion about catch and release. Her thought was to take the butterfly home, but with some discussion she came to understand what the right thing to do was.

From butterflies to fish?

Kids have fascination with water, don't they? So left unattended, they found their way to fish pond. Of course I had to put a stop to trying to catch the little fish that hide in the water lilies. The girls were dressed up for our next adventure for the day, Afternoon Tea at the little tea house down the road.

Lucy enjoys her cup of tea

And Ellie plays dress up after tea.

It is supposed to reach 99+ today with a bit of wind, so I have closed up the house, drawn the curtains and will head to cool basement to sew for the afternoon. I have seen the news of the huge amounts of rain and the flooding in Minnesota; one state gets drowned, another burns up, begging the question: What on earth is Mother Nature thinking these days?

Still on baby watch. Hopefully this week.
Have a great weekend. 


  1. I'm glad to hear that everyone is safe. Your flowers are beautiful. It's nice to see beauty emerge in spite of the raging fires.

  2. Your photos are really great, what lovely flowers, and foliage, and grandchildren! Your house guests seem to keep very active! I hate to think of all the damage from the fire and now flooding in another state. Such difficult circumstances all around us.

  3. Oh, I hate the fire. The air is so smoky and I worry about my granddaughter who has a bit of asthma. They are coming down here next week, so she'll get some good air.
    Your flowers are so beautiful, Ann!
    It looks like the grands are receiving the royal treatment! I might sew some more owls today. I like the rat a tat tat of the sewing machine, too.

  4. So happy to read you and yours are safe from harm, forrest fires are so devastating to both man and beast.
    Your flowers are so lovely, when we lived in Colorado, I used to think it would be forever before the weather warmed and the flowers would poke through, patience is a virtue I 'spect :)
    Beautiful grandchildren enjoying nature !

  5. I'm so happy to hear you're all safe. Your photos are beautiful and so are the girls!

  6. So glad you and yours are safe and sound. The grandchildren had fun, looks like. Don't you love the tea thing!Your flowers are beautiful in spite of the dryness. So glad that fire is somewhat contained now.

  7. oh My, I wish I could send some of this rain over..we have floods here!
    hope it rains for you soon.
    Your garden is looking lovely.

  8. We seem to alternate between heat waves, and humidity and then torrential rains...seems like no one can decide what to do.

    I hope that your state gets some relief from what ever ails you, it seems to be upside down just like us.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  9. Hi Ann,

    Your daughter caught an enormous insect! I don't think that, beside a grasshopper, we don't have insects in Holland that are so huge.

    The flowers in your garden look beautiful. You captured them wonderfully! The raindrops look like diamonds. So very pretty!

    Hope the fires will go out soon. It all sounds horrible. Wish I could send some Dutch rain over to you!

    Happy new week,

    Madelief x

  10. Super photos Ann. Love the sprinkler drops. Sounds like you need the rains that we've been having over here, a months worth of rain in just 3 days in some parts of Britain. Hope the fires are all out soon, scary. You have foxgloves so I think the astrantia Roma would be worth a try. Best wishes Sharon x