Tag Archives: nature

It’s been a while

I haven’t had a lot of camera time lately so it’s been a while since I’ve had any postings.

Well, finally got to spend a day out. These are taken at the Botanical Garden in Naples Florida.

So many of my northern family and friends are very tired of snow and cold. Way too much of it. So I hope these colors, blooming plants and sunshine can bring some relief from my eye to them.

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Waiting for the Monarch

I found two catepillars in the field the other day and brought them to the back porch to observe.  Was able to watch one wander down and was able to direct to a spot to watch. 

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August 25, 2013 · 9:28 am

Time goes by fast

I can’t believe it’s been over two months since I have written and posted anything on this blog.  Sometimes life gets in the way.  With two minor surgeries and a flair-up of Fibromyalgia, a LOT of life has gotten in my way this late summer and fall.

Didn’t do a lot of camera time in but am going to share some shots taken on a walk around the property when I finally got outdoors again.

This being the month of Thanksgiving, many on Facebook, including myself, are posting a thankful post each day leading up to Thanksgiving.  This quote is my thankful post for today:  “I am thankful for the God given talents that I have.  My nursing career was beyond my expectations!
I never expected to plant over 1000 trees/shrubs to create a backyard wildlife habitat.  And witness the return of wildlife.
Through that path, my photography skills developed into art and has brought me to where I am today.
Gods plan isn’t static, let it evolve through you.”

Story…. In 2001 I found the Indiana Departmen of Forestries website and lottory for ordering trees from the nursery.  It was late in the year, way past the lottery time, and I figured they wouldn’t be able to fulfill a full order, so I ordered several options.  Well these options come in bundles of 100 trees.  I got them all.  My family was ready to certify me as substantially nuts when in March of 2002 UPS backed the truck up and unloaded eight bundles of trees.  You do the math.  That’s right I had over 800 trees.  They got “toed into a row of mulch and it took me, my hubby, and my parents helping, until June to get them planted.

2012 is the tenth anniversary of their growth.  These first few photos are a series I took from the road looking back toward the house.  As you can see, we have Green Ash lining the drive.  Now this was just when the discovery of the Emerald Ash Borer was doing major damage in Michigan and just begining to come into Northern Indiana.  So far so good, and I hold my breath as the pest has made it’s way to Marion and Hendricks County.

The antique tractor was the first flower bed I built after recovering from the initial onslaught of the Fibro.  Bought this and a manurer spreader at one of my uncles auctions and used it as a marker for where we live.  Both are prominent in some of my photography.

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It’s a foggy morning in Danville this morning

Labor Day weekend was a wet one here in central Indiana.  We soo needed the rain!  Got 2.5 inches here.  First time it’s been soggy in a good while.  So this morning the fog rolled in.

Now I’m not a morning person anymore (living better with chemistry, it takes a couple hours for the meds to settle in) but I decided there was too much potential outdoors.

So out the door in my nightgown, put on my boots with camera in hand.

Tha’ts the nice thing about living in the country and off the road, people can’t see me so well, and I can hide behind trees.

I hope you enjoy my foggy morning walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monarch butterflies need Milkweed

Swamp Milkweed popping open and ready to flyIt is not fall, but the milkweed are blooming and I posted a photo from my phone of a monarch on milkweed, which started this conversation again, so I thought I would repost this from last fall.

The milkweed to the left is a swamp milkweed pod.  Smaller than a common milkweed.

It is time to harvest  ripe Milkweed pods full of seeds as they start to split.  We have two fairly large patches of Milkweed with smaller patches randomly growing in the unmowed areas of the property.  So far I have picked about 3/4 of a five gallon bucket, with many more to go.

My hubby asked me, “Why are you picking all those pods?  Where are you going to put them?”  I responded that I would give some of the pods away so others can have Monarchs visit them as well.  He noted that it was a statement of our nature that we had to harvest and sow milkweed at this point to have the Monarchs.

Milkweed has become less and less prominent in our surroundings as there are less and less farm land with fence rows and the farmers have such good herbicides to kill all the weeds growing around their crops.  I understand the need to keep the weeds from the crops, so those of us with gardens and yards need to take the place of the fence rows where milkweed was one of the prominent places to grow.

Why is Milkweed important to grow and keep around?  Well it is the ONLY plant that can support the Monarch Butterfly!!

Are you seeing less and less of the bright orange and black butterflies that fluttered around in the spring and then again in the fall?  That’s because the Monarchs are decreasing in numbers due to not having milkweed to support them.

Did you know that the Monarch Butterfly migrates to Mexico every winter?  Then in the spring they come north in a migration that passes through the middle of the United States, including Indiana.  The thing is the Monarch butterfly only lives three to fours weeks and its sole purpose is to breed, lay eggs, hatch into a caterpillar, curl up into a chrysalis then break out of that shell into a new Monarch butterfly.  They do this four or five times on their way north.  Then at their final destination in the fall, that last Monarch makes the full flight back to Mexico.  Some of them from as far north as Canada!  But Indiana is one of the final coming out for many who fly south for the winter.

How do they know they are supposed to do all of this?  It’s just inbred in them to repeat the cycle each and every year.

So what does the Milkweed have to do with all of this?  It is their ONLY plant of egg laying and caterpillar eating.  They must have milkweed to survive.

Milkweed is a tall plant standing 4 to 6 feet.  In the spring it has a beautiful cluster of pink blooms that smell really good.  All manner of bees and bugs love to help pollinate the clusters.  These clusters will them become the seed pods.  The seeds are attached to a very silky strands that when the pods burst open will fly away into the air and deposit the seed to grow.  milkweed are perennials and have a deep root system.  When the caterpillars come out the Milkweed will be eaten to the stalk.  If you are a neat gardener, you will want to plant it to the back of the flower beds and have taller flowers in front of it.  Good pairings for planting are Purple cone flower,   Black eyed Susan’s, Autumn Joy Sedum, Purple Gay Flowers, and zinnias.  Now zinnias are not a native or perennial.  They must be sown each year.  The seeds do not survive the winters here.  zinnias are native to Mexico.  But once you buy a few packs to sow and have blooms, let them dry then pick the heads and let them dry fully, rub seeds from the central cone, store for the winter and you will have more zinnias for next year.  If you do this each year, you won’t ever have to buy zinnias again and you will be blessed with more and more seeds each year.

There are many types of Milkweed.  I have four types on our property.  Common Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, Sullivant’s Milkweed, and Butterfly weed.

The term “weed” by definition is something growing where you don’t want it to be growing.  These are tough natives and grew where the farmers didn’t want them, their fields, thus they have been named “weed”  The milk part comes because these plants have a milky substance that flows from their stems.  This “milk” is poisonous

So, do you have a spot where you can plant some Milkweed?  Here is a link to Monarch Butterfly support http://monarchwatch.org/waystations/

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Photos of Iris in Bloom

 As a child growing up we had a neighbor who raised Iris’s.  She belonged to the Iris Association and bred an Iris that was accepted into the group for propogation.  An honor she was quite proud of.  My Mom was gifted many Iris specimens and they have been passed down to our family and friends as well. 

I have no idea what the names of they hybridized Iris’s are.  I do know that if left together in one large bed they will eventually revert back into their original purple state.  So I have tried to seperate all of them into their own spots to keep this from happening and to keep them special. 

They petals have such an awsome shimmer and sparkle in the light.  I try to capture some of this in the photos that I take.  Hard to see in this low resolution I know.  But, gotta keep the resolution low for putting it out in the world.  Sorry.  Full resolution photos may be found on my website. 

I hope you are enjoying my posts as much as I enjoy sharing.  I love my habitat and all it has to offer, I also have a passion about capturing all this beauty around me. 

I would love to hear what you think about either, the floral aspect or the photography.

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Until next time…..

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Photos of spring too soon

We were expecting frost and I wanted to get some good photos before it came.  Thank goodness it didn’t get as cold as expected at our place.

But it is way early for some of these blooms.  Lilacs are traditionally May Day blooms, and Peonies are for Memorial Day.  The lilacs are in full bloom now, the end of March, and the peonies are budding out.

So many people want to ignore Global Warming, but those of us who garden can attest to the fact that bloom times keep getting earlier and earlier due to the warmer climate we are having.  It used to be that in our region (Zone 5 that has now officially been moved into Zone 6) the average frost date was May 10th.  The news gave the average frost date of April 12th the other evening!  To me, that is a sure sign of GLOBAL WARMING!!

I would gladly put solar panels on my home if it was affordable to do so!!

Ok, enough for politics, enjoy the tour of early blooms around my property.

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Photos the color of PURPLE

Walked around the yard last evening with my camera.  The color of purple is just jumping at us right now.

Wisteria vine and “shrub” are just fabulous.  The shrub is my hubby’s project.  He keeps it trimmed so it doesn’t go everywhere.  The vine is on our shelter house.  I hung an old hammock for it to climb on and it has now reaching out on the old dog run as well.

The Lilac bush is at peak.

The purple of the grape hyacinths, and the violets, and the carpet of creeping phlox completes the purple presence.

The aroma therapy that is going on with all of this is just amazing.  That is why I also had to include the apple tree in full bloom as well.  It’s not purple, but just shouts out sweet aroma.

I put some tease photos on Twitter last evening.  Those were taken on my phone and nothing done with them.  These photos were taken on the big girl camera.  Not all of these will make the website either.  This is more of a sharing the colors and I so wish you could smell this post.  Enjoy  till next time…

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Photos along I-75, and I-24 driving home

Our second day driving home was from Atlanta Georgia, through the mountains.  Including Chattanooga Tennessee, and Nashville Tennessee.  It was foggy most of the morning.

Note that most of these photos were taken through the windshield while my hubby was driving.  One or two were taken by my hubby while I was driving.  So I have to give him credit for a couple.

We did stop at a rest stop where I got the dogwood trees and that wonderful sunrise coming through the fog at the river’s edge.

I hope you enjoy the trip with me.

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Photos at Goodland Florida

Lunch on Goodland Island was my best Osprey watching for the whole season.  There was a nest in top of a pine tree just across from the restaurant!!  I was glad they weren’t open yet and we had to wait.

A good time to watch and shoot.

By the way, lunch was really good too.

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