Category Archives: Nature

Come on in!

In my last post I wrote about the importance of passions to happiness or contentment. One of mine which is incredibly satisfying is gardening; that is, making nature beautiful (or more beautiful if you will). I love both the working part and the enjoying part. Creating a gorgeous garden is like creating art and in the end there’s something to look at, just as with a painting or sculpture. It has a calming effect and delights me. Even a small yard can have many charms.

In the fall a large nearby tree came down (it was pretty much dead) and its absence gave me more sun which means brighter flowers and even a crack at vegetable growing (veggies need a lot of sunlight). I think the 2017 yard is the most beautiful it’s been. When I look out I am sometimes taken aback by it. I took these photos on the last day of July.

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MUST have a screen against mosquitoes

 

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On the right, a fabric shower curtain to block a not great view

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Lydia, the one-armed watering girl

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BASIL!! My favorite

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The coloring on this moth is fantastic

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This is a prize. It’s a dipladenia (an annual flower that’s supposed to die) I bought in summer 2016, wintered inside and brought back out and BAM! Gorgeous again.

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Silver Arrow grass plant, a garden star

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The grass plant kept getting bigger so I dug/wrestled a piece out and potted it

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The Bathing Station (for the birds not me) 2017

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Trying some different basil types, Purple, Thai

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More basil types, Lemon, lime

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Tomato attempts

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This guy kept a beady eye on me

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Dollar Tree yard decor (plus one fix-it-up project)

Yard decorations can be expensive and since they take a pounding outdoors from the elements they don’t always last. So over recent years – with most this year – I’ve picked up several cute seasonal decorations from Dollar Tree. Please don’t think they will have these particular items if you go to a Dollar Tree – their stock varies and things they have one year they might never have again. I got lucky I expect.

The earliest pieces I got faded in the sun so I’ve hit upon a way to make them last longer. I touched up the paint myself on two and followed that up with a coat of clear gloss spray paint. It seemed worth a try and this year when I bought a few new pieces I sprayed the clear gloss immediately.

I touched up the paint on these two after it faded.

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Here they are in context today.

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ASIDE: This isn’t a Dollar Tree thing but since I showed you the shed picture, I want to share a recent project, the little shelves on the door. They were on the curb, headed for the landfill. I didn’t need metal bathroom shelves but they were solidly built and I thought maybe I could do something with them.

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Hum-drum right?

A little paint later…

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All I did was get a few clay pots I wasn’t using and voilà! Art!

Back to our Dollar Tree program. Also in the shed door photo was this wonderful sun image (in the pot on the ground in the lower right corner). I moved it there because it got “lost” in other locations; but with the white background it shows up.

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Isn’t this great? That’s real glass. I sprayed all of the bird with clear gloss

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Out of the corner of my eye – and from a little distance – sometimes I think I’m seeing a real bird – especially when I hung it by the bird feeder

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I always like spinners in OTHER people’s yards – it was high time I had one.

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I was so smitten I went back for another. (Maybe I can paint them when they invariably fade…)

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I got two of the flower chime thingees but they were only painted on one side which looked stupid when they spun in the breeze…

…So I painted the “plain” sides myself using random colors I had. I didn’t worry about a “perfect” job for these. Nobody will see them closeup.

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Can you tell I like sun imagery?!

think* that’s everything.

(p.s. I’m having internet issues so if I don’t respond in a timely way, that is why. Not because I don’t love you.)

Gliding into summer…

I love being outside. I am a summer girl. I like decorating the outside too making it a comfortable, beautiful place to be, on the cheap.

I recently posted about several lovely things that have come my way of late, including a free bench style glider. Now, I’m the sort who likes to rearrange items till they’re “right.” This season I started with a red bench in my seasonal screen tent. I had finally needed to knock apart and throw out my preferred bench because it passed the point repairs could keep it going. While the red bench looked cute it really isn’t too comfortable because of the shallowness of the seat. I don’t want to sit rigidly upright like I’m in a church; I want to shift positions and sprawl at whim.

I moved another bench in, a legless one that is intended to be a porch swing (which I sit atop cinder blocks instead) but out it came once the glider arrived. Space-wise it made the most sense to put the glider in the tent, space being not “spacious.” I wanted to share with you my inaugural glider ride and popcorn snack.

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With shredded cheese and Nutritional yeast, yum (seriously)

But of course I must show you the view from inside which is really what it’s all about.

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Panoramic view (sorry, it’s not the clearest)

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Calibrachoa

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Lydia, the One-armed Watering Girl

A Walk (or two) in the Woods

I’m a pretty independent sort. Not only can I do things by myself, a lot of times I prefer it. That said, this past week I went on not one but TWO hikes in the woods in the company of groups. Both outings had splendid weather tucked into a week of mostly rain. Each was enjoyable in its way and each had a very different “feel” about it. It’s funny how that goes. For better and worse I am constantly absorbing and responding to the environments I find myself in. I know also, by being in them I am affecting said environments, hopefully contributing.

Anyway I took this photo on the second hike. Looking at it – independent of knowing where it actually is – I just want to set out down that path and see where it goes. Maybe it’s the sunlight casting its welcome rays on the trees ahead. I feel calmer just looking at this scene.

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Fun with nature!

Did you know this? I discovered it by accident several years ago when I decided to wash a dusty pine cone. The cone had been on a shelf for years and I dunked it in water as I did again yesterday.

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See how it’s open

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But look what happens after it sits out on the counter overnight!

How did I not know this?! A pine cone, even one long parted from its original tree, closes up when it gets wet. After it dries out, it returns to the original open state. I don’t know about you, but I was very impressed with this bit of magic! I mean that’s the sort of thing which would have fascinated me as a child, had I known. After the first time I washed this pine cone I started noticing that random pine cones on the ground outside did the same thing. Huh!

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Back to normal

 

 

 

Seeing (a little) red

This past August I shared photos of my Dipladenia, an annual flower (which means it grows for one season and dies). Well I wasn’t having that, since despite being described as tropical, the plant still looked good as Fall came. So I brought the pot inside over a month ago and made sure it got lamp light. Damned if the beautiful thing isn’t still producing blooms! I am so excited! To walk into the room or come home after being out and see that stunning red is so cheering (I HATE when all the flowers die and everything turns brown-n-dreary – and stays that way for months). It’s not like it was outside but anything is good by me. I took these photos today.

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This goofy tendril has grown since it came inside

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