Saturday, December 31, 2016

More of the December 6 morning light

On December 6th I sat at my front window looking through the last of the autumn leaves, to the  snowfall that seemed to light up the morning sunrise.  The sunrise added some spectacular colors to the clouds and sky.  The leaves were brightly colored, the trunks were golden, and the moss and lichens on the tree were cool or dark green, depending on the plant.  

Friday, December 23, 2016

More of the Light and Leaves of December 6

 the sky turned a wonderful blue
the light snow on the branches of the tree against the white of the snow in the park and the golden sunrise.
 the david in the garden wearing his hat and scarf of snow
 a closer look at one of the last leaves of the year
 Sunlight on the last leaves of the year against the background of light snow
 The golden sunlight on the tree trunks against the wonderfully blue sky on December 6th

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Last Leaves of Autumn and Morning Light

 The robins eating berries on December 1st.  The berries feast has been going on for about a month now.  Usually this does not happen until Christmas Day.
 I was sitting in my front window seat watching the fantastic light on the morning of December 6th.  I used the long zoom, shooting through the front tree at this marvelous colored cloud and sky.  It seems the colors were fading from the light golden color to the deep bright blue that developed a bit later.
 This lovely violet color seemed to be the cloud cover over the roof tops.  The cloud was crowned by the golden light of the sunrise.
 Closer to the camera the colors of the light softened and the colors of the in focus leaf and lichens popped out against the soft colors.
 Some of the last leaves of Autumn on the front tree, against the light blanket of snow on the trail and park across the street.  Also on the morning of December 6th.
The closer look at the last Autumn leaf against the bright deep blue of the fantastic light day.
There is more to come of this marvelous morning light.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Fruits and Flowers in October

 a yellow phal. orchid in bloom at the beginning of October.  The blooms lasted for more than a month.
 The unknown orchid in bloom.  These blossoms did not last nearly as long as the yellow phal.
 The seed head of a clematis.
 One of the figs in the beginning of October. We had a quite a few fresh figs.  The second crop kept ripening on into November.  They were not as sweet as the ones that had ripened earlier. I left most of them on the tree and they are now finished.  Two years ago I had preserved the extra figs in syrup.  They were really very good.  So, rather than letting the late ripening ones go to waste I will be able to preserve them in the syrup and freeze them.
 After the rains started this little rock plant began to look more healthy.  It seems to like the moisture.
 The lovely royal blue primula that I got at Matticks Farm last winter decided to put out blooms in October.  I hope it blooms again in the spring with the rest of the primulas.   The moss garden needs to be cleaned up.  As do all of the flower beds.  Most of the leaves are off the trees, except for the oak trees, whose leaves have gone brown.
Gorgeous color on the front, sweet gum tree, on October 31st.
This is a link to Kevin Gilbertt's live feed from Standing Rock, North Dakota.  Kevin's posts have disappeared off FaceBook.  So, I thought I would put this link on my page to replace his posts.  He was encouraging people to get in touch with Obama, etc.  Millions of people shared his posts and sent to their donations page.  At last count there were 11K people in the camp and the police (?  don't recall who they were) had given the camping people to disband the camp by today.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Autumn Color in October

 Pin Oak and the Japanese Cedar just behind it, in the woodland.
 The Virginia Creeper in the front of the strip between the driveways.
 The pin oak towers above the garage and the other trees in the woodland.  Across the back garden from the pin oak is the English oak that does not get nearly the spectacular colors.
 The sumacs, the holly tree and the firethorn in the back borde/woodland.
 More of the sumacs, firethorn, and the saskatoon berry bushes, in the woodland area.
 The garage roof with the pin oak, Japanese cedar and sumacs showing behind it in the woodland.
 The plum tree that is just off the deck.  Of course all the leaves fall into the pond and need to be skimmed off.  The tree did have some good golden color this year.  The water hawthorn are now in bloom in the pond.  Strange I did not see them all summer, after draining and cleaning out the pond.
The tree peony off the front entry after a shower and with the sun backlighting the colors.
The garden had gorgeous Autumn color this year.   There are only a few leaves left on the front sweet gum tree.  The magnolia seems to think it is time to put out buds.  The roses are having the last display of color.  The crocus leaves are up so I do not mow the lawn in the crocus field.  I have put mulched leaves on the garden beds and the whole leaves in other places when I did not mulch them.  Hopefully this builds up a good bit of top soil over the years.  The new snap dragons in the magnolia tree bed are still blooming and are mulched with leaves.  They should be nice for next year.  I am slowly replacing thyme in the bare spots in the thyme circle.  I move pieces of thyme from the stone path and add them to the circle.  This seems to work better than buying plants to transplant, so I shall do more of this as time permits.  The moss looks lush  and fluffy, so I must get out and remove leaves and debris from the moss garden as time permits, too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Birds in November

 I have finally caught a humming brid in flight.  This was the beginning of November.
 The flicker was high in the cedar tree watching the robins sample the firethorn berries below, on November 4.
 One of the robins in the fire thorn shrub, on November 4.  Since this time the berries have been diminishing.  There is not as many robins testing the berries as there has been in other years.  Usually the berries are not ripe at this time.  One memorable year  there were a flock of robins eating the berries on Christmas morning.  They had all of the berries cleaned off the tree in a couple of hours.
 I think this will make a good Christmas Card this year.
 The color version of the Winter Roses in my previous post.
While looking back at some Can-Am photos from over the years, I found this one from 2011.  We were fortunate to visit the Johnson Group's collection of vintage cars, that year.   This is a very good example of how some of these old autos are found.  They undergo restoration to their original condition over time, with meticulous care and attention.

We have had a lot of rain in October and it is continuing in November.  I have the apples harvested  and a lot of them frozen as apple sauce, and pie filling, with some apple butter, and a couple of bags of them given away.  They are sweet and delicious for eating fresh, but definitely 'organic'.  I have been raking leaves and mulching them with the lawn mower, and putting the mulch on the woodland.  About three quarters of the leaves have fallen off the front tree.  It had beautiful color this year and leaves have hung on for a long time.  The petunias in the front garden where I renovated under the magnolia tree, are still in bloom.  We have not had a frost yet.  I wonder if I will be able to keep these petunias on into next year.  They are a rich burgundy color and would look super with the dark, royal blue of the big crocuses that come up in that flower bed in the spring.  

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Winter Roses

The world is a darker place for the loss of Leonard Cohen.  His last album:  You want it darker.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Can-Am Model T tour in September

Pat and his 1912 Torpedo Roadster Model T Ford in front of the murial on what is now the Studebaker Building in Harrington, Wa.  This was our lunch stop on the first day of the tour.
 Some of the crops on the way to Spokane for the Can Am tour
 More of the tour cars in this Palouse country.
 More scenery with the train.  These trains are probably primarily for the transport of grain and other crops from the area.
 An old homestead.  Yes the trees lean over.  Our first day of touring was very hot and windy.  The second day was rainy, cold and windy.  I did not take my camera the second day, but wish that I had, as there was some more spectacular scenery.
 This is a photo of a mountain (I do not know which one) on our way home along the I-5.
There were cows just across the fence from our KOA campsite, near Burlington.  No, this is not our motor home.  :)
It was a very well organized tour and enjoyable despite the weather.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Some of the garden at the end of September

 The amaryillis belladona in a bouquet with michaelmas daisies
 This is the flower bed beside the old garage where the oriental poppies, the Lily of the Nile, the cyclmens, and the amaryillies grow.  The lily of the Nile are hugs blue flowers that finished blooming just before the amaryillies started.  The cyclamen are spreading all over the garden.
 The amaryillies had a large clump of blossoms this year.  They were in bloom for a few weeks.  This makes a very good cut flower with the michaelmas daisies, in boquets.
 The figs, at the end of September were just starting to ripen.   This is the second crop that does not usually ripen before they freeze.  We have had a very mild winter last year, so they were early.  We have been eating some in the past week.  They are not as sweet as the summer sun ripened ones.  The leaves are dropping from the tree now too.
 The sedum Autumn Joy was in bloom on September 26 and is still looking quite good now.  We have had quite a bit of rain recently.  The Autumn colors are glorious this year.  The autumn flowers have come along very nicely with the rain.
 I have been doing some renovations to the front garden.  This was the juniper by the front entry way.  It has grown too big and was falling apart.  I now have it all taken out and have a tiny yew tree to fill its spot.  There is a hyacinth that will come up in the spring, and a blue geranium, that is evergreen.  Next to this there is a globe cedar that wraps around the stems of the lovely big pink tree peony.  The globe cedar got pruned back a bit and will look like a green pot that holds the peony, when it grows out.  The other spot where I removed another overgrown birds nets spruce, has annuals planted in the improved soil around the ugly water meter spot.  The petunias are looking very good in that spot right now.  I hope the snapdragons survive.  I must add some tulips and perhaps hyacinths.
 a close up of the cyclamens along the old garage flower bed, at the end of September.  They are still in bloom now.
A glorious sunset from off the back deck on September 26.

I have harvested the purple plums and have packages of fruit frozen for winter eating.  There is also about 60 packages of soup frozen too.  The next Autumn harvest will be the apples.  The tree is loaded.  I have some apple sauce packages frozen, there is much more to do.  I have a package of plums made into pie filling, so I should be able to do this with some of the apples, too.  The better ones will be saved for eating fresh, and making apple sauce.  The apple tree produces a heavy crop one year and the next year there is very few apples, so we should have apple sauce and pie filling for two years made up.    After that, of course there will be leaves to rake and mulch with the mower to put on the garden beds for winter protection.  This mulch seems to disappear over the year.
Last week there was a weather warning for high winds and heavy rain.  So, I moved the orange trees into the house, along with the echeveria.  That chore went very well and seemed to be much easier to do this year.