Tree Garden Time, illustrated…

When I built my house in the middle of the cabbage patch about sixteen years ago (with my little hammer and nails)  I decided to preserve a patch of former farm land to create a garden area.   Envisioning trails and paths through tall stately trees, flowering shrubs and perennials, I set out to physically dig out certain areas to accommodate raised beds of Boxwood and Myrtle, Winterberry and Rhododendron.

The size of the Tree Garden is approximately 80 feet by maybe 40 feet.  The patch was really an area behind my house and in front of the barn, where my late husband and his family had farmed for half a century before my time.   The land had been part of about 12 acres on which all kinds of crops: cabbage, corn, tomatoes, cauliflower, apples, rhubarb, onions, garlic…and various other foods like herbs and lettuce.

The land was split up, with four acres or more going to the state of Ohio for a highway, selling of 13 acres to neighbors in the land-locked parcel on the other side, leaving 8 1/2 acres including our original house.   When my husband died in 2000, my daughter and son-in-law bought much of the remainder … and I built a new house to the East.   There is still about two acres in a vacant lot, and about an acre and a half where my house is.

So…to get back to the Tree Garden parcel.   The piece was pretty much over-growing with saplings and assorted volunteer plants and shrubs.   Over the years it was shaped through arbitrary pruning and removal of young trees to form sections which would be cleared and shaped into paths.     I intend to include some photos with this post that more or less illustrate what I am trying to do.

For years only the youngest grandkids understood what I was trying to do back there.   But as it took shape eventually my vision was better understood.

Now the basic shaping is pretty much workable, as the Maple, Oak, and various trees I am not sure of, became so tall and so big that they needed to be Pruned with a chain-saw.  The paths have become clear and discernible, and garden aspects are clearer.

The tall Pampas Grass I planted back there took over, but has now died back, or rather probably the deer trampled it during winter.   Originally when I set up the garden I planted some big shrubs like Hawthorne and Black Pussy Willow which flourished then died off probably because of too much shade as the trees grew.

This year (again) I plan (hope) to build an arch from maple-tree-culls cut from the paths.    Also I’d like to plant some more perennials, shade ones this time, and paint some signs and plaques and stuff, paint the old bird cage hanging from a tree, resurrect the huge plaster Sun with its ray tips broken off.     Hang up some of the wonderful treasures from garage sale junk boxes acquired.   Use up some of the numerous plastic/silk flowers in the basement, line the paths with rocks (ha! that ain’t going to happen), and create a couple of seating places back there….which will involve mosquito control.

Big plans….more than likely I’ll spend more time on the blog talking about what I’d like to do.   🙂

Here are some photos taken in the last year or two, with examples of the assortment of critters that live in the Tree Garden and nearby, and some of the “decorations” natural and ornamental.    I had to look closely to see the one cat in these photos, a white cat named “coon tail” because he has a striped tail.   Peggy is one of my most photogenic outdoor cats, odd she isn’t in any of these pics, but I was choosing from thumbnails so some of the details didn’t show up.

Tile Art

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Here are some pictures that just tugged at me to create while walking through my entry.  They are twelve-inch natural stone tiles.   I never noticed the (featured photo) before, but once the face popped out at me…at least three faces in fact…I knew they were perfect for Cee’s Odd Ball Photo challenge.     The eye just seems to adjust for the scene.

These shots remind me of mountain and desert terrain, the color scheme of the Southwest.      What wonders do YOU see here, boys and girls?   I’d love to hear….

(all photos © Sometimes, 2017)

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A Puff Ball Mushroom

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This is a photo from an online collection.  It is a foot wide at its diameter,.  This is just like the ones that grow in my yard sometimes after a heavy rain. They are edible, but due caution is needed to make sure that what ya think is a puff ball is indeed that.

These big ball-like mushrooms are fairly common around where we live, in Northern Ohio.  In fact there was one next door that I wanted to photograph, but forgot about it before I had my camera in my hands.    They appear in fields or forest areas after heavy rains.

 

 

Mercado Flores Pantleon Re-Blogged

Here is a great treat! I found this site this morning and just had to browse the marvelous photos. This post is of a flower market in Guadalajara, Mexico. I do love Mexico and all things Mexican—so I’m happy to look around. These photos are great! Be sure to click on one of the photos so as to get the slide show—and be prepared to say WOW!!! Thanks to the blogger for permission to repost…

Guadalajara en Fotos

This is the biggest flower market in Guadalajara, and the best place to go on Valentines day.  It is across the street from the Cemetary, so people can buy flowers for the departed.  It has stores that face the street Federalismo, and more and more stores as you walk a block behind the storefronts.  My favorite part is the open air Flower Market and watching the trucks unload flowers in bulk.

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Fairy Ring

 

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After the Rain….before the grass turned green again.       We call this growth of mushrooms a Fairy Ring.     This is a half-ring, with other parts in the semi-circle. in place but not complete.      I don’t know what kind of mushrooms they are, probably not edible.  My late husband used to gather wild mushrooms, including huge round puff-balls, some as large as a soccer ball.

Beetle Survivors

These photos of my Knockout Roses were  taken last weekend.    The Japanese Beetles, which had effectively destroyed these beautiful roses, finally left the area, so recovery is possible.   These bushes were spectacular in May and June, the beetles visited in July, and by the first week in August they were gone.

 

500 Posts…a Milestone!

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In view of the fact that today marks the 500th post to my blog, SOMETIMES, I decided to repost the  very first two posts I EVER made…FIVE years ago!    Coincidentally, tomorrow the 13th is also my birthday. 

 

BUTTERFLIES AND CAMERAS.

 

At first I thought it was artificial, a butterfly made of painted wood, with wire legs and antennae.  One of the kids had put it there to fool me, or as a surprise.   I stared at it closely, and one of its legs twitched almost imperceptibly.  Its black body was covered with white polka-dots, close together in horizontal rows.  It appeared almost surreal, its delicate wings black and a cobalt blue, with yellow and white dots.

My cellular phone was in my pocket, and I took three photos before the phone’s camera froze up.   It would not shut down, save, change functions… the light would not go off.

[Here’s where the plot thickens, in maddening illustration of Murphy’s Law of Cameras.]

My trusty Nikon had died, and I had been using my son’s camera.  It works well enough, as long as the packaging tape holding the battery case stays tightly in place.  But there was a problem, I had neglected to replace the batteries…I guess hoping for a break giving  another burst of power .   The power light flickered a couple of times then quit.  OH NO!  Prying off the tape was more difficult than it sounds, but there were four AA batteries in the refrigerator.      They would not work…apparently old batteries that should have been thrown away.

I kept glancing out the window, checking to make sure the butterfly was still there.   I tried to call my camera savvy daughter, who was not answering her phone.  Verizon had a “longer than normal wait” for service.   A small radio in my room had no batteries.  Finally another look into the refrigerator bag miraculously provided four brand new AAs, which worked fine.  The tape worked as it was supposed to and the battery case was in place.   The red light came on.

During my frantic search the butterfly continued to sit in place without moving, for a full twenty minutes.   Once it spread its wings fully and walked up the post a few inches, stretching its legs.  But when I went back outside, the camera ready–the butterfly was no longer there– apparently tired of waiting for me to get my act together.

Well…the photo that I did get turned out, proving that my butterfly was real.   I’m honored to have communicated with the butterfly.   Now if my camera skills, or rather my battery replacing skills improve–maybe I’ll be ready the next time nature leaves me a beautiful gift!

© Sometimes, 2011

AN UNLIKELY VISIT FROM A HUMMINGBIRD 

My story about the Butterfly on my deck originally included a Hummingbird.  The tale is true, but I decided not to stretch my credibility by putting two improbable creatures in the same post, but they were in fact on my deck under a canopy at the same time.

There are a pair of the little birds that work the red Bee Balm, and the huge Hibiscus flowers, a brilliant scarlet.  We have had hummingbirds in the gardens for years, so although they never outwear their welcome and run short of charm, they are not really a novelty.   The birds prefer red, going after Million Bells hanging plants which they like so much they actually come around the plant to work the flowers hanging underneath the roof.  They are not shy about being inside the canopy.

Photo by Karen Chandler, Visioning

So, while I was trying to get the photos of the black and blue Butterfly with my battery-less camera a hummingbird came around the Million Bells and encountered me–standing less than arms length from his hovering pattern as he treaded air for maybe ten seconds before it flew up and away.   Maybe it saw its reflection in my glasses.

This is the first time a bird and I have been in such close proximity, although we do watch them frequently through the glass door.  Too bad the camera was following Murphy’s Law — if anything can go wrong, it will — and I admit it is the operator and not the camera that are to blame.

©Sometimes, 2011

[Thanks to photographer and blogger Karen Chandler, of Visioning, photography and digital scrapbooking, for permission to use her photo of the hummingbird.]

Butterflies and Cameras

 At first I thought it was artificial, a butterfly made of painted wood, with wire legs and antennae.  One of the kids had put it there to fool me, or as a surprise.   I stared at it closely, and one of its legs twitched…

Butterflies and Cameras

 At first I thought it was artificial, a butterfly made of painted wood, with wire legs and antennae.  One of the kids had put it there to fool me, or as a surprise.   I stared at it closely, and one of its legs twitched…