Thursday, May 30, 2013

Promises kept, part 2

Despite the late start, we have May flowers...

One of the two crabby crabapples finally bloomed this year! Maybe the other one will follow suit next year and quit being so crabby! I'm not sure how long ago we planted them as bareroot sticks, but it's been at least three years.

Wood anemones are abundant in the wooded areas and the among the first woodland flowers.

Wood anemone

A few of the wild blueberries in my blueberry patch are blooming. It looks like I might get another thimbleful this year, but it's so hard to trim them back because they are so small and it  takes two years after trimming to get more blossoms and berries.

The lady's slippers are growing nicely!

The wild oats (bellwort) with their gentle nodding heads are one of the earliest flowers in the wild flower bed.

Alas, unless they open in two days, I shall miss the lilacs this year.

A pink sonata cosmos, one of several I plant around the well each year because they hide it so nicely.

So sunny and bright! I just don't understand how anyone could not love them!

What's blooming in your neck of the woods?


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Promises kept, part 1

Later, the deer munched on this violet, taking all the leaves, but there are many blossoms!

Shadbush, serviceberry, or Juneberry... take your pick! I've never seen any fruit on this scrubby little single stem bush, but it blooms every spring!

Not the most stellar, but these were the first of the johnny jump-ups... after a season in close proximity with assorted violas, the results are sometimes strange in their coloring, like this one!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fire in the sky

This incredible "sunset" color in late afternoon was brought on by smoke from wildfires to the west and north of us last week. Some minutes before this, our rooms were bathed in the most golden light I've seen as the smoke began to drift into the path of the sun.



Only in the beginning, when the leaves are just starting to grow, is true "spring green" color found in the woods on the aspen and ironwood.

Violets and wild bergamot beginning to grow.

Hmmm... does anyone remember which perennial this is?  I'm happy to see it return to life!

 Some Cosmos self-seeded! You really cannot know how excited I am about this!

Poor rhubarb, it was mistreated early in life and continues to struggle. Maybe some year we'll actually be able to eat some.

And the best promise of them all. These little shoots are the rebirth of plants that take several years to mature enough to bloom. They cannot be transplanted because they rely on a fungus in the soil where they grow. Both of these are mature enough to bloom this year and although I haven't spied them yet, there should be two or three more plants nearby. They are yellow lady's slipper orchids, and they are in the woods outside my kitchen window.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Using hands-free paperback book holders for hardcover books

Sometimes it is hard to admit when you've had an ah-hah! moment because you feel quite the fool for not having realized what is now so very obvious.

Until now, I've said that my paperback book holders do not work with hardcover books. An ah-hah! moment opened my eyes to a way that they may be used to hold a hardcover book.

When using the paperback book cover to hold open a hardcover book, use the wide elastic bands to hold the covers rather than trying to slide them into the fabric pockets. This method will also work with paperback books that are just a bit too large to for the pockets.

This hardcover book is almost the same size as the mass market sized book holder.

A smaller hard cover book, such as this one, fits beautifully into a trade sized book holder.
A full-sized hardcover book like this works best with the larger trade sized book holders although it doesn't really close.
Depending upon the size of your hardcover book, you may or may not be able to close the book. Even if you aren't able to close the book, it will still function as a hands-free book holder, helping hold your place. It works best if the hard cover book is not taller, wider, or thicker than the book holder.

The covers close with varying degrees of success.

Now, I'm off to the shop to update all my tags, titles, and listing descriptions, provided that this gorgeous sunny day is really as cold as forecast! And as soon as it is warm again (we're having a "cool" weekend) a photo session is order too. Now that spring is really here, I'm looking forward to more outdoor product shots. As you can probably tell, the photos in this post were taken on a grey day and tend to look dark and blue.

Happy reading!