Sunday, April 29, 2018

favorite flower photos along my path

post #384
      Often I have to use the photos that are new in order to tell the story I want to share on a certain Sunday.  They aren't always my very best photos technically speaking -- a trade off of sorts.  But today I thought I would pull some of my favorite flower photos from the last few years and put them together for today's post.  I've really enjoyed "picking" some of them, and I hope they are enjoyed by some of you as well.

     First some flowers from Kentucky, mostly wild ones and wonderful to discover:

wood betony, literally along the path

in the woods

star chickweed

ferns, in the woods
beauty in a nearby garden as well -- thanks Mary Sue and Gary

crocuses left to their own devices

Rose of Sharon

zinnias in Sandy's yard -- and a welcome bee

       And next some favorites from my visits to England, where I go more than once a year, to visit with my stepmother there.  Their gardens are every where, and any photographer finds the long evening light to be so inspiring. 

a corner of my stepmother's walled-in garden, with birch trees, early in the morning

all around the town
very British hanging "baskets", in the Cotswolds

asters, by Peggy

in-town garden

      There are more, but my laptop persists in stubbing up tonight. Therefore the post has taken me a lot longer than what I have to show for the time spent. I'll need to whip everyone into shape and share some more next week. I'm going to try one more last photo, however, taken in New Hampshire, in the beloved garden of Sheila and David. How can I not take all these photos when there are such gifts around to be uncovered. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day, April 22, 2018

post #383
       Busy day today -- starting with time in the woods with my daughter and granddaughter. There are some flowers, but not as many as usual, and the trees feel late as well -- not much greenness yet.  It was a rough cold long winter. It seems to me that the world climate struggles to make the many adjustments that are part of the honest-to-gosh climate changes that are happening.

      A few photos from a day that was supposed to be cloudy (and therefore better for photos) but today was, in the end, pretty sunny. Still, it was a good way to spend Earth Day.
starting out, with the two dogs

a loyal Murry moment, by R. 

T. leading the way

wood betony, yellow, along the path, surrounding a single bluet
Actually, there were a lot of fiddle heads (new fern leaves) but we didn't pick any to eat.

There were not many trillium out yet! These are white ones, kind of basic, always lovely.

wild yellow violet
photo by R of a mayapple, with its flower still just a tease in the center

photo by R., happy hikers

A girl's gotta keep up with her recording and notes while out in nature.  Does anyone recognize my college reunion hat? now belonging to a better head size than mine? T. prefers the bow in front.

boots in the creek

I was trying for a photo of her upside down so it might look as if she had lost her top two teeth instead of the bottom two.... I know, crazy of me, and I didn't quite get the look I had in mind. That's what I get for trying to pose a photo!!
           So, another Earth Day has come and gone, and I still can't figure out why it's so hard for some people to accept that climate change is happening and could be less of a mess if we'd all pay attention and take responsibility for our one and only world. Is it really so hard to imagine what could happen if we don't rise to the occasion? Soon? Please, everyone, think about it with an open mind.

Monday, April 16, 2018

reassured by spring flowers and a creek

post #382
      It's sort of spring! This weekend I have been to where there were wildflowers everywhere. I was at Pine Mountain Settlement School, in Harlan County, in southeastern Kentucky. We had lovely weather on Saturday, with mostly intermittent rain on Sunday (today). In any case, it was reassuring, to say the least, to have redbud trees in bloom, some tint of green on trees, and a canopy of early wildflowers. It took me around four hours to drive home this afternoon, heading as close as I could to the way a crow flies. It never fails that I find driving through eastern Kentucky fascinating and often beautiful. However, it's hard to find places along the way to stop for photo taking. Probably a good thing. I might otherwise not yet be home....
        I wasn't able to make many photos, but here are the few I did have time for:

star chickweed

The Chapel at Pine Mountain Settlement School, with an organ!

Behind the chapel is a wooded area with all kinds of treasures....

trillium (not my best photo but included becase it's my only one from yesterday)

With more time to work, I could have shown better how this feels like a carpet of flowers.

These trillium are blooming atop a large rock.  I love this habit of theirs.  We have some similar patches here as well.  I need to go check on them soon.  (Harlan County is farther south than we are up here.)

big, brave, beaten up tree but still standing

I always like to stand on the little walking path bridge that goes over this creek. For me the creek of a place is like an anchor.

           Creeks also make me think of creek beds, and then tonight I think of my own bed... .Long day, but worth it. I can always hope that some year I will be able to go down there just to take photographs, during April. But then I would miss the fun of being around a fire pit, with kids and marshmellows and a guitar and a ukelele and the singing of vintage songs and current songs, and the such. I hope everyone has had some beauty this weekend, though it is not yet spring everywhere, at least not in the United States.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

diverted again, this time by the creek!

post #381
       Cold and snow were forecast for yesterday, despite the APRIL date.  Who would believe it! I am lucky that my photographing daughter, with T, almost 7, and the two dogs, reluctantly set out for the creek and the waterfalls. Yet, despite the cold, it turned out to be a magical adventure. I have never been down there right after a covering snow. So, thank you, family, for sharing your winter wonderland via these photos. Good job!

headed down to the first crossing of the creek

amazing to have these colors to cross over

communing with a fallen tree

Murry standing out....

Is this magic, or what!

turkey track, one of several in the area

the top of the first waterfall, framed by rhododendron limbs

checking on the fairy pile

This is my favorite of her photos, at the top of the first waterfall. There would have been no snow to see had they not gone down until the afternoon. Again, thank you, thank you. This is what a swamp is not.....


Sunday, April 1, 2018

breaking for spring

post #380
         This time by "spring break" I mean that I'm taking a break from posts featuring my note cards.  Instead, today, I am posting the photos I made in mid March, mostly ones down by the creek. In the time I had I couldn't find any early blooms, even though it was technically spring! However, there are always things to see, no matter what the calendar shows.

         First, to set the scene and to go with last week's duo, here are additional winter photos, also taken in March:

early morning clarity on the 21st

Three days later, where's the driveway this time?!?

blanketed, in the back, nearby the barn
 Celebrating a day without rain, snow or whatever by walking in the woods:

winter feast collections

evidence that the rattlesnake plantain survived the winter, as always. This phrase I lifted from the internet:
This evergreen orchid is a perennial rhizomatous herb of the forest floor. It's an ORCHID! I didn't know!

Later I saw another grouping, this time with the stem left from 2017.  I tried to focus the photo to be mostly on the stem so that it could be seen better.  Even with all the walking that happens on the path to the waterfall, these common plants seem to thrive. In fact, I wonder if we spread them by chance with our walking....

These two photos show the creek when it joins another, all on the way to the waterfalls. I was standing in the same spot for both photos, about to cross over the creek below to follow the path.

All kinds of moss are along the bank on the non-stream side of the path.

And of course there is the wonder of clear water flowing, in the creek.

I wish that all creeks could be so pristine and safe, for the sake of wildlife and for the sake of human beings who live on this planet. I am still shocked that one of first thing negated by the new administration in D.C. was the stream saver bill, which took years of work to get in place, which made common sense, and which would make such a difference in the health of people who happen to live near where mining happens.  Actually, since we all live downstream, the new regulation would have helped generations of families who want to make Appalachia and Kentucky a better place in which to live and work.  I think about this every time I see this little "beginner stream" carrying clean water out into the wider world.

I discovered this collection of treasures on the steep hillside near the first waterfall, in the base of a very tall tree. I would have suspected little creatures at work, but when I asked my granddaughter later about what I found, she told me she had indeed done it! I loved finding it.

And I saw this second sighting on the way back, on the path. As I often say, you just never know.
Am writing this on April 1, so I am looking forward to a month of flowers and surprises. Since moving to Kentucky 45 years ago, April has become my favorite month; it's so beautiful. These photos definitely benefit from being seen larger -- try the click on one, see them all line up in order, and then find the one(s) you want.