Friday, August 19, 2016

World Photo Day

It seems, from a few things I've been reading today, that this day is World Photo Day. In honor of that I thought I could create a post - and I'm choosing to go totally random and feature a bakers dozen of photographs I have taken in the past year or so that did not quite fit a previous topic. Not too much detail about the who, when, where...just a celebration of my camera and I out and about.
How about beginning with a tasty home-made strawberry rhubarb pie?
 If you guessed Fall you'd be wrong. This is a spring shot on location in Maryland.
 And a sunset from the same location.
 Milk and cookie(s).
 Waiting for the bride...
 Tammy's Flowers in Hamilton, Missouri - the town that The Missouri Star Quilt Company brought back to life.
 Kiwis - it's how to eat 'em.
 Storm's a coming thru...
 Fall 2015 I had a lot of fun photographing these small pumpkins...and then they got cast aside in an old plant tray in the garage. In May this year, before I took them out to the compost bin, I couldn't resist one last chance at giving them some glory.
An arrangement.
 Fall on the deck.

Winter up the hill.

Spring on the Farm.
Finishing out with the beginnings of the pie...the rhubarb was not picture perfect and the photo does not do justice to how luscious the strawberries were, but this is, after all, a homegrown blog.

This was a fun way to acknowledge World Photo Day that I hope you enjoyed as much as I did. To begin with I thought I'd show you photos from various parts of the world but then, y'know, I got stuck trying to chose what to include and this is what I ended up with. All from right here in the USA.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Seen in my Garden

My goodness, it has been a while since I dedicated a post to my own garden. Let's see what has been going on there for the past couple of weeks or so.

 I started picking the "Sweet 100" cherry tomatoes a couple of weeks ago. This is a good thing because the basil that I planted to go with the tomatoes has been sending up flower heads for several weeks and I was beginning to fret it would be done before it could be enjoyed with the tomatoes. But all is well. Basil is absolutely the flavor of the month for our dinners just now.
 The coneflowers are now past their peak but this one was shyly posing for the camera on July 15.
 Petunias at the front door. They have not had an easy time this season because we had to clear off the front porch for a couple of weeks while outside painters were here.
 There is a large white crepe myrtle at the end of the deck. Things fall off it all the time. This particular piece of bark had a variety of textures that attracted the camera to it.
 And after the rain? A lot of things fall off the crepe myrtle tree.
 This was not exactly the combination I had in mind when I planted this area a few years back. The white coneflower I did plant and then their cousin, rudbeckia/black-eyed susan, arrived to share the space.
 Black eyed or brown eyed - the deer have decided this year that they are on the "eat me" list and there are only a few remaining that those deer have not found.
 This year I am trying two new tomatoes (well, new to me trying to grow them that is) in my garden. These are Roma's and they are taking a while to grow to full size fruit and then become ripe. This is what they looked like on August 2 and finally last night I noticed color beginning to change in them so hopefully we'll get to try some soon.
 The echinacea sisters.
 The butterfly bushes have been attracting a lot of visitors recently. Alas I have yet to see a monarch butterfly.
 There is somewhat of an issue in the tomato patch. They have now well outgrown the stakes and last night I had to haul out the six foot ladder to be able to pick them.
 It is just as well there is only one "sweet 100" because I am picking daily. I had put in some companion plantings of marigolds and basil but it is only at this end of the garden that they are doing any good because the tomato growth is shading out the sun.
And to close out I liked this view of the moon back on July 15.

Now, hopefully you feel refreshed by the walk around my garden.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Newfoundland Day 10 and onwards

My last full day in Newfoundland was on Canada Day, July 1. July 2 was almost entirely consumed by travel to return home. It seemed to be a four day weekend, bookended by Canada Day and Independence Day.

The sky over St Phillips/Portugal Cove had some glorious clouds on the fine sunny day that was Canada Day.
The lupins, and these are a "wildflower patch" just along the road from DF's home, remain at their peak of bloom.
The MOTH's garden shed is part of the picture perfect landscape.
More of the lupins up close to show you the variety of color.
The sun sank slowly behind Bell Island and the lights began to come on and twinkle on my last evening in Newfoundland. Well, let me qualify that and say, last evening of this trip because the place does bewitch the visitor and beg them to return.
Now I am back home again. Number 2 son decided he wanted to try making hotcakes for breakfast the next morning and we enjoyed them with the delicious homemade jelly that DF had so carefully wrapped up so they could withstand the trip home in my luggage.
Outside it was time to take a stroll in my own garden and see what had grown while I was away. Out front is a bold splash of blue - ageratums in front did not grow much in two weeks but the delphiniums, lavender and salvia behind them have all burst into bloom at the same time.
On the walk up to the front door the coneflowers are in prime bloom.
Round the back the tomatoes have reached the tops of their current staking system so I will need to come up with an auxiliary method.
It is not exactly trick photography but I'm sure I don't know why the background appears blue here; there was dew still on the leaves and I guess the light caught it at an angle that gave this blueish hue. What I am trying to showcase is the heliopsis (sunflower) that has made a reappearance. This particular patch of garden was originally planted with russian sage, white echinacea and these yellow heliopsis. Over the years a later planting of bridal veil spirea in back crowded things out; the russian sage is totally gone, the white echinacea are now dominated by rogue purple ones but this one heliopsis has sprung back into view newly liberated by the drastic rejuvenation pruning we gave the spirea a few weeks ago.
All gardens have to evolve over time. The area that was my herb garden has gradually become too shady as the crepe myrtle has grown. This season I have relocated the herb garden concept to pots on the driveway. It is not as picture perfect but the herbs get all the sun they want. There are quite a few basil there, planted in hopes of making lots of pesto to go with the tomatoes. But I do wonder if the basil will peak well before the tomatoes ripen. Oh well.
Independence Day was a bit of a fizzle weather wise. It began with an overcast theme and we hopefully put the flag out. But by mid afternoon we had full on rain so the flag had to come down, come inside and be draped out to dry. The hat and sunglasses stayed indoors all day long.

Thus ended my four day holiday weekend.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Newfoundland Day 9

On this day the best photo ops were again beside the sea when we went to the small fishing harbor/village of Quidi Vidi Harbor.
 A fine paint job on this dory.
A lineup of a variety of fishing stages (using the local vernacular for the family fishing sheds).
The two main drawcards to this village are the fishing and the Quidi Vidi Brewery, a well known local craft brewery.
 Now you might be wondering why my photos seem to keep changing color. They follow the weather which changes constantly. On this day we had rain spots, we had cloudy overcast conditions and we had sun so bright sunglasses and sunhat were needed. And with all these changes so the color of the water changes too.
 Another couple of the fishing stages. Do notice the flags that fly in this village - here we see the pirate flag!
The entrance to the harbor is a very narrow one.
 This stage is flying the old Newfoundland flag.
Initially I was not going to include this photo because it looks  poorly composed. But it epitomizes the strong colors that are frequently used. This  bright blue shed has just had a fresh coat of paint. The fellow on the right was working on painting the trim bright pink but he has taken time out to stop and chat with passersby. The large building in the background is a new one; it's called the Quidi Vidi Plantation and houses the visitor information on the main floor and what is known as the "incubator" on the upper floor. Here artists can rent a small space for up to three years while they try to establish themselves as working artisans.
A memorial to the lost presumably.
And to close, another painted dory albeit one that no longer goes in the water.
Please pardon the words which seem to wander at will all over the page. I have given up trying to corral them.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Newfoundland Day 8

The day began with the Brigadoon like appearance of Bell Island popping out from the fog...
but it soon became clear that on this day my topic would be food; good food, sourced locally and expertly cooked at home with a delicious result.
The MOTH (man of the house) was delegated the task of procuring the freshly caught lobster and he came home with these four.
We went eyeball to eyeball here...
but the end result was always going to be the same; a swim in the boiling water.
Bring it back to the boil then put the lid on and watch the pot.
And voila! we have cooked lobster.
The task continues as the meat is harvested...
and delivered to the table. There now, doesn't that look delicious!
Don't overfill the plate because it is always satisfying to be able to have seconds. While all the action with the lobsters was going on outside on the driveway which I was busy photographing, DF (dear friend) was quietly busy inside making her traditional family recipe potato salad which went down a treat with the lobster.
However the real reason not to fill up too much on the lobster ?- a delicious homemade rhubarb custard pie. Alas, no action shots of the making here either.
But I can show you that the rhubarb was fresh picked from the garden.
Oh my, it was good pie!
For my closeout photo I give you another shot of the lupins in the garden. They grow as wildflowers but you can surely see why local gardeners are quite happy to welcome these volunteers.