Saturday, July 25, 2009

COW IN THE WOODS

I went to the woods where their mailbox looks like this in December. And this in July. There were fields of wildflowers everywhere. Even though the place was busy with visitors, I still found some quiet spots. I took plenty of photos of water birds and flowers, and was on my way back to my car when I almost crossed paths with a young cow moose.
I had my zoom lens on my camera and took some photographs. She was headed to the marsh for an afternoon meal.
I tried to stay out of her way and still get a few more shots. She ignored me and went about her business. I also had my video camera with me. I put together a two minute movie of Miss Moose that ends when she decided to follow me down the path.
video This is post number one hundred! In honor of the event I have changed my blog photo to a more recent picture.

Friday, July 24, 2009

HOLY HECKS part 2

A few years ago I raised some midnight purple hollyhocks from seed. They are perennials, but they don't bloom until the second season. When they finally produced flowers they were gorgeous. They looked great with the pink and yellow hollyhocks I had already planted against our house. One of my sons dubbed them the "Holy Hecks." The next winter the dark flowers (as well as other dormant garden plants) were sacrificed to the backhoe gods to bring the return of water to our house.
So the next spring I planted more seeds. Two years later they have filled in nicely as the delphiniums began to wane. But I think these seeds were crossed with some magic beans!
They have grown over ten feet tall! I had Thomas pose (not easy) in front of the flowers to give a reference size. By the way, Thomas is huge as cats go.
So far no giants have climbed down the super tall flowers, but I have my ax ready just in case. Holy Heck!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

COLOR COMBINATIONS

These are two of my favorite paintings:
Langlois Bridge, and Fishing Boats on the Beach by Vincent Van Gogh Two more favorites are: Terrasse Café, and, of course, Starry Night. Van Gogh liked to put sky blue together with creamery butter yellow. So do I. When we put steel siding on our house in 1990 we picked out a pale tan color. We had a steel roof put on as well. Steel roofs are great in snow country. Heavy snow comes off a steel roof like ice cubes out of a hotel ice machine. I picked out blue for the color of the roof. Our roof is REALLY blue. It stands out from the gray and brown roofs in the neighborhood so much (I'm not making this up) that airplane pilots line up on our house on their approach to our small airport. Over the years the constant wearing of ice across the steel wore the blue right off our roof. It was looking pretty shabby. Time to paint.
Even when there were heavy storms the guys didn’t have to get on the steep slick roof to shovel off snow. They didn’t have to get on the the roof that one time to remove the debris from the shattered chimney(I'd give a link to this story but it seems to be lost in cyberspace). But now I had visions of Hubby ending up head down in the shrubs with a paint bucket on one foot.
Fortunately our neighbor is a painting contractor. He let Hubby and Son borrow his extension ladder and an extension pole for their paint roller. The south side of the roof was painted in one day. There were blue freckles on the sidewalk and some of the shrubs, but other than that the job went well; although the guys complained of “bird feet” from standing all day on the ladder.
Hubby decided he wanted to build scaffolding to stand on to complete the other half of the job. He was talking two-by-fours and grabber screws when I insisted he check out renting what he needed. For twenty dollars they had easy-to-assemble light weight scaffolding for a whole day. They were almost through painting by the time I came home from work. Now the airplane pilots can easily line up on the flight path to our airport again.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

DRIFTS OF WILDFLOWERS

Sego Lily, Calochortus nuttallii, is a bulbous perennial which is common to the Western United States.

It is also the state flower of Utah. (Wikipedia) The bulbs of this and other Calochortus species were roasted, boiled or made into a porridge by Native Americans and were also used as a food source by the Mormon pioneers in Utah. (Wikipedia) The blubs are the size of a small onion and, to me, taste like a cross between lettuce and potatoes.

The open places in the forests near here which are, more often than not, covered with snow; are now (thanks to an unusually wet spring) adrift in wild flowers.

There are dozens of varieties of blossoms. But, I think, the Sego Lily is queen of the mountain fields.

Wooly Daisy
Sticky Geranium

Indian Paintbrush