Further [Flower] Developments

I enjoy watching our flowers come into blossom.  It seems there is always something in bloom.  There is beauty in everyday, and not just in the flower beds and out on the lawn and in the fields.  If you look you will find it.

Miniature Daffodils

Miniature Daffodils

At first glance, these look like the full-size version.  However they are only about 1.5 inches across.  That compares with the 4-inch daffodils, and makes these only one seventh the size (area).  I am fond of these little fellows.

This one was shy

This one was shy

All blossoms of this variety wanted to look at the ground.  I had to shoot up to get capture this image.  The orange gives a nice frilly touch.

Only a few of this type

Only a few of this type

White and yellow daffodil (no orange) is the least numerous of the many daffodils in our flower beds.  These seem to have a pleasant two-tone simplicity that I find appealing.

It won’t be long before we see tulips in blossom.  The buds are getting bigger each day.

Out in the Garden

Today, an inspection of the garden revealed weeds.  What did I expect?  More than weeds were peeking through the soil.

Giant garlic

Giant garlic

We’ve nearly used of all last year’s harvest of giant garlic.  This is just one of the plants that grows in that section.

I see pie in my future.

I see pie in my future.

The rhubarb was first to appear–just as you would expect.  Some folks call it “pie plant” and that’s a good name.  Rhubarb pie is my favorite.  It also works well with apples in a pie.  There are a lot of other ways to enjoy rhubarb.  I used to enjoy chewing on the raw stalks, but not everyone likes it that way.  Mix rhubarb with raspberries for making a very tasty jam.  (We run the berries through a juicer to remove the seeds.)

Giving Thanks

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph 5:20)

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph 5:20)

At prayer meeting last night, our pastor read a letter from a missionary family in Haiti that we help support.  Toward the end of the letter, they had a list of items that they were thankful for.  We understood the handshakes and hugs from Haitian believers and the smiles on faces of children.  We laughed at “working visitors who are out of breath as they walk up the mountain.”  Most of us could relate to the rich odor of newly turned soil.  (The husband is an agriculturalist, who is developing and introducing new food crops and improved strains of others.)

That listed ended with, “The sound of voodoo drums.”  Several gasps could be heard around the assembled group.  Why would they be thankful for that?

Those were not the final words of the letter.  Indeed, they were not the final words of the sentence.  The sentence continued, “because they remind us to pray.”

It was over forty years ago that Sylvia and I learned of the power in giving thanks.  Three weeks ago, when she fell and broke her wrist she had began a list of “I’m thankful for this because.”

The list has obvious items, such as it was not her dominant hand.  In the ER she discovered that the bone density med that she was taking is not good.  We had just learned that a young lady was unemployed.  She is now coming here a couple of times a week to help with cleaning and cooking.  The list is now very long.

Do you practice giving thanks for every thing?

Good and Bad News

No picture today.  I received a formal complaint for having posted an image of snow yesterday.  It is snowing again today.  Just take my word for it.  I’ll trouble you no further about that revolting development.

Good News: A year and a half after surgery and I’m still cancer free!

When I went out this morning, our road still had holes in which you could bury a medium sized animal.  The path to avoiding the holes moves around from day to day, but slow driving allows one to avoid the worst parts.

This afternoon, the county road truck went by.  They are working on the road.

The only thing I miss about winter is the roads.  That dirt converts itself into “poor man’s concrete.”  I still prefer warm dry weather.  So does my arthritis.

Okay, here’s today’s picture.  Just one reason why I love this place.

Mom and one of the twins look for better grass

Mom and one of the twins look for better grass

Fairy Dust?

What do you think it is?

Whazzat?

Whazzat?

Fairy dust?  Saw dust?  Pollen?

Today, I stepped out the door to place an outgoing letter in the mailbox.  I had taken only a few steps when the first drops began to fall.  A little rain water never hurt anyone.  I kept walking.

I remember my mother used to collect rain water in a tub.  She wanted soft water and that’s how she got it.  She taught me that rain water is soft water.

By the time I reached the mailbox, that rain was starting to feel like hard water.  On the way back to the house, I could see the little pellets hitting the driveway ahead of me.  Snow!  No, really.  One-eighth-inch size little snow balls were hitting the ground.

As I stepped into the house, the pace picked up.  Maybe I could capture an image.  I did that.  Got two shots.

April snow upon the grass

April snow upon the grass

Like most April snows, this one didn’t last long.

Out on the Lawn

“Roses are red,
Violet are purple . . .”

How does the rest of that verse go? Maybe, “Everyone knows I love maple syruple.” Can anyone lend a line?

I’ve been watching for them. Sunday I found them.

There were lots of these little beauties

There were lots of these little beauties dancing upon the greensward

My searching eyes were rewarded with the sight of these violets. Does anyone out there remember the old-time radio program “Mr Keene, Tracer of Lost Persons?” His theme song was, “Someday I’ll Find You.” Next on my “To Find” list are the grape hyacinths that grow on the lawn.

Sylvia Update

Sylvia continues to do well. The broken wrist is doing fine as it heals. She only suffers from the restrictions that are imposed on her activities. I’m having to learn to get out of her way and let her do what she wants to do.

Together, we’ve worked out how to do some tasks that neither one of us can do alone. We usually ending up smiling and laughing . . . a lot.

With her dad this week, she has planned well and had meals for a week all set to go when she left here. That woman is amazing. :awe:

Looking Up

It was shortly after 6 PM Wednesday evening, and I was driving home.  I looked toward the east and saw a vapor trail.  That is not at all unusual.  However, this one seemed to end at some scattered clouds where it became a bare space cutting through those clouds.  I found myself praying that it would last long enough for me to capture the image.  Fortunately, it did.

The eastern sky was interesting to me

The eastern sky was interesting to me

From behind the barn, where I took the shot above, I walked toward our back door.  The color and texture of the sky seemed to be begging me to “take my picture.”

It is skies like this that make me love my Michigan home

It is skies like this that make me love my Michigan home

I captured the above image while facing north-northwest.  Notice how much lighter the sky on the left.  The sun is over in that direction.

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Finally, I pointed the camera northwest and zoomed in a bit tighter.  The shot overlaps the previous image.  It was those wispy clouds that pleased my eye.

We are now in my favorite part of spring.  It’s warm enough to go outside without a jacket, but the grass doesn’t need cutting.  :yea:  Yet.

Tardy

I had looked and looked for our last remaining crocus to appear.  It was beginning to look like our friend had gone the way of the others.  What a sad feeling that is.

Sylvia went for a walk around the yard the other day.  When she came in, she reported that our crocus had put in a late appearance.  With camera in hand, I went out to see.

At last!

At last!

Worth waiting for, don’t you think?

A short distance away, I encountered these little beauties growing on the lawn.

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I don’t know their name, but they are a welcome splash of color amid the grass.  Perhaps Sharkbytes will know what they are.  Can you help me?

Ladies of the Night Sky

Last night was beautiful.  The weather was warm and the sky was clear.  I looked up at Venus as she made her way toward the western horizon.  She had sisters with her–the ones that we call the Pleiades.  With camera on tripod, I used a 30-second exposure to capture the scene.

Venus and the Pleiades

Venus and the Pleiades

At first glance, I saw only six of the seven (Pleiades) sisters. Celaeno, the dimmest of the lot is there midway between Taugeta and Electra on the right.  (See it here.)

You may detect some motion in the photo.  There was some.  During the thirty seconds that the shutter was open, the camera moved over eight miles.  (An angular rotation of 450 seconds of arc)

As I was completing my shoot, other ladies of the night passed by not forty feet from me.  They were the female deer that we see regularly.  It was the little bit extra.  Like whipped cream atop your hot chocolate.

My mind was on another lady.  Not a lady of the night, but a lady at all times.  I’m talking about my lovely bride, Sylvia.  I went back in the house, put the camera on my desk and took a seat beside my wife.  We spent the next hour talking about the day and about a hundred other things.  On that high note, I ended my day.

Yes!

Now that’s what I’ve been waiting for.

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The bee was enjoying the day as much as I was.

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And what a beautiful day it was . . . and is.

The frost has gone out of our [dirt] road.  The result is holes big enough to bury medium-sized critters.  Nobody speeds along our road these days.

I went out this morning in the rain.  I had to drive on the paved road just a mile from here.  The travels lanes, have sunk over time so that today rain will fill the depressions, creating miles-long puddles–four of them all parallel.  That’s not problem out here in the country where we just drive with two tires on the center line in such conditions.