An Unusual Year

By the end of July my photographic library usually has a myriad of colorful photos of the butterflies that grace the gardens.  This year they are few and far between. Perhaps it was the many March snowstorms or the early heat followed by a cold snap.  Maybe it is the lack of some larval foods as seven oaks fell during a wind storm. 

Felled oak trees

But last week a few began to appeared.  It led me on a quest to locate their caterpillars.  A of today I am raising six monarch and six black swallowtail caterpillars.  I hope to help increase the population!

Cabbage white on white cone flower 2
Cabbage white on white cone flower
Red admiral on pink cone flower
Red admiral on pink cone flower

 

Monarch on pink cone flower
Monarch on pink cone flower
Silver-spotted skipper on white cone flower
Silver-spotted skipper on white cone flower
Black swallowtail caterpillar on dill
Black swallowtail caterpillar on dill
Black swallowtail caterpillars on dill
Mature Black swallowtail caterpillars on dill
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Intimate Spaces

 

Vegetable garden
Vegetable garden

A garden for a gardener is a reflection

Sitting area in the lower gardens
Seating area in the lower gardens

A reflection of who they are

potting shed in July
Potting Shed in July

Each bed is a piece of a puzzle once completed mirrors the gardener’s soul

Standing stone and hosta Whirlwnd
Standing stone and hosta Whirlwind

A piece of planned chaos – a piece of chromatic flora – a piece of neutral shades

Outside the back door
Outside the back door

 

Rain Garden behind home
Rain Garden behind home

 

DSCN1892

Come, walk the garden paths and meet me

The labryinth garden
The labyrinth garden

 

Looking down on  lower gardens
Looking down on lower gardens

 

Deer sculpture an way to lower gardens
Deer sculpture on way to lower gardens

 

Hosta Herifu and the pyramid
Hosta Herifu and the pyramid

My Backyard Bird List

Flying primary colors

Sometimes hidden in plain sight

Music to awaken you in the morning or lull you to sleep

Mourning Dove 2-18-2018

Melodic – haunting – beautiful

Male cardinal 3-22-2018

Female cardinal 2-18-2018

Currently I have 43 birds I’ve photographed for my yard bird list and 4 I have yet to capture. Some photos are less than perfect but You can still identify the bird. Just go to the top of the page and click on Birds observed in the gardens of Valley View.

Does anyone else have a yard bird list? 

Eastern Bluebirds 3-22-2018

Northern Flicker 2-18-2018

Red- headed woodpecker 1-7-2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American robin 2-18-2018

 

White-breasted Nuthatch 1-23-2018

All photographs taken since January 1st, 2018.

Skunk Cabbage – the plant world’s modernism

Skunk cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

Symplocarpus foetidus one of the first flowers of spring in eastern North America.

Skunk cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

Every spring since I began photographing wildflowers I seek out the erotic skunk cabbage in the spring seep behind my home.

Skunk cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

The shapes and colors are mesmerizing, reminding me of modernism art. 

Skunk cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

Skunk cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

Skunk cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

The Last of the Winter’s Snow

It began as dusk descended, as fine as the sand on a crescent beach

The light from passing cars reflected their crystalline structure

These wind-blown diamonds struck my cheeks It felt as though a thousand pins had assaulted me

Soon the wind died and the snow crystals  were attracted to one another as the north and south poles of a magnet

They cascaded  bumping into one another combining to create snowflakes 

The night was no longer dark – White enveloped the landscape

I awoke to a quiet stillness

snow February 18, 2018

Snow 2 February 18, 2018

Snow 3 February 18, 2018 wind sculpture

Snow 5 February 18, 2018

Snow 4 February 18, 2018

Snow 6 February 18, 2018

 

sunrise snow February 18, 2018