Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Last of the wildflowers to bloom

When the woodland sunflowers begin to fade and the asters blossom the end of summer is at hand.

I recently read a comment that the summer solstice should really mark "mid-summer" rather than the beginning of summer.

Red damsel fly on a plantain leaf
In thinking about the solstices and equinoxes marking the beginning of each season, I do agree with the commentator that it doesn't really fit in this northern climate.

Late season September strawberries
The spring equinox more often than not, marks for us the ending of winter and the reminder that spring WILL come eventually.  The autumn equinox seems to arrive about mid-autumn, not at the beginning. As far as the winter solstice, quite often, winter is in full swing that day.

A wet and rainy August means lush greens at the beginning of September as the asters blossom

So in a year like this, when spring seemed so late and June was cool, followed by a wet and rainy August, I'm not sure which part of summer was marked by this year's solstice. But like always, in the past year we experienced the two undeniable seasons: winter and road construction.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cosmos, agate chips, bits, and wanna-bees

A heavy rainfall last week broke a stem of cosmos. The buds keep opening in it's vase and I just keep snipping off the fading blooms.

It's even setting roots.

I added some of the Lake Superior agate chips, bits, and wanna-bees collected from my walks.  The gravel here has a good supply of these small pieces, and occasionally, larger ones. These were selected for their translucency and ability to catch the light.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Strange bug

While airing one of the sleeping bags the other day, the strangest looking bug landed on it... this is as close as I could get... have you ever seen anything like it before?

I didn't see it move or fly away, so I don't know if it stays all curvy and hump-backed like that.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May Showers Bring May Flowers

It's a grey day and we've had some pretty good thunderstorms in the past twelve hours, so I thought I'd share a little bit of the sunshine we enjoyed last weeked.

So far, there are only crocuses and one johnny-jump-up in bloom... but I am still hopeful for more flowers before June!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Walking in the Woods

The other day we went for a walk in the woods.  My daughter's favorite area is where there are quite a few fallen trees that make for good "forts" and jungle gyms. 

It's an area where the trees have fallen over time, in different storms. They lay every which way and crisscross atop each other. 

Several have gone completely over from the roots. The ground is very much gravel in this area and often their roots brought up large rocks... it's amazing how they've held those rocks in place in the air for a long time.

Interesting coloration in a large rock suspended and held into place by roots above the hole where an uprooted tree once stood.

It won't be nearly as easy to get there once all the underbrush and grass grows up, and since deer ticks and Lyme disease are synonymous with the area we live in, nightly checks for ticks is part of life from now until next winter has truly set in.


So Late Seems Spring

Winter is over, but the memory of it will remain for a long time. It was much colder than most years, with longer stretches of frigid temperatures than usual. It wasn't that it reached a record breaking sub-zero temperature anytime, but that there were such long stretches so much colder than normal.

It took its toll on even the hardiest of native plants. Many evergreen trees of every variety have large amounts of brown needles this spring. I don't think that I am alone as I anxiously await signs of life in some favorite perenials.

The little bits of green in this photo might mean Cosmos and maybe Bachelor's Buttons to bloom in the summer if they can survive the remaining nights of freezing temperatures.  Then again, they could just be weeds, in which case, it will be preferable if they are edible.

As I finally cleared away protective layers of leaves in some flower and herb beds the other day, there was joy for the bits of life beginning to emerge and wondering for the areas that are still barren. Most years, by the time I remove the protective leaves, the poor plants underneath are stretching upward, colorless for lack of sunlight.  This year, it will still be a few more weeks yet before we know the full extent of what survived and what succumbed. I am very grateful for everything that survived.

The poor, mistreated red rhubarb (not planted when it should have been, nor with good manure, then uprooted and moved less than a year later, and again, alas, no manure) is just poking through the ground. I wonder if it will ever grow large enough to pick for eating?

It's still colder than normal here and that makes it seem like spring is so late. I just hope most of the leaves removed today were protecting hardy natives, like wild violets and wild columbine, because they just might survive the freezing temperatures we still get at night.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Aha! Journals and Journaling

I've been somewhat fascinated by art journals for quite some time, but I've never started one of my own.  As I was just looking at some more pictures of these quirky, all-too-often strange, but frequently beautiful books, there was an "aha!" moment.

All those little scraps of pretty paper, interesting bits and bobs, and other ephemera that I've been hoarding because there is just something about them that is too good for the garbage are just waiting to be put into a personal journal.

This idea of putting them into a book of mini-collages for my own personal enjoyment is growing in its appeal for me. There will be no rules. No critiques. Just pure, frivolous enjoyment. And a place to record a fleeting thought or two.

Now, would it be going to far to convince myself this is a perfect project upon which to try my hand at some simple bookbinding?