Saturday, April 28, 2007

Golden Daffodils Galore!

Our gardens are filled with daffodils nodding their bright heads in the breeze, although today and yesterday they were drooping a little at times in the cool April showers. We had some dry periods too, so that I was able to get outside with my camera and have a little fun.

These are King Alfred daffodils.

The grass is turning green and beginning to grow. Soon it'll be time to get out the lawn mower and weed wacker. I need to do some trimming around this garden already.

The blue of the Scilla Sibirica makes a pretty contrast with the yellow.

I like these white daffs with the yellow centers too.

Jasmine can't wait to get outside these days, now that the temperatures have warmed up a bit. They actually haven't been particularly warm this week, with a chilly wind blowing sometimes.

This is Tink. I couldn't get her to smile :)

The cats love to play in the gardens, much to my frustration. You know how they like to be close by :)

This is Finnegan. Toby and Murphy are in the other garden.

And now Murphy is in the Lilac bush with Tink.

I'd love to properly capture the sunlight shining through the daffodils at twilight. It's truly a golden glow! I wish you could see it. This photo doesn't do it justice. It's my favorite time of the day to look out and see the daffodils reflecting the beautiful fading rays of light. Posted by Picasa

The perennials will grow up and cover most of the daffodil foliage while it feeds the bulb for next year. It will fade away between June and July. Sometimes I put a rubber band around the clumps after the flowers are finished, to keep them from falling over on neighboring plants and help them look a little tidier.

These daffs are growing in the little fence garden at the bottom of the driveway. I've seen a lot of mole activity in this garden and getting rid of them is on my list of jobs to do.

Jasmine is always a big help, of course! Posted by Picasa

There are hyacinths opening in the gardens further up, but I'll save those for another post.

It's been a very busy week with working at school, plus time spent at the nursery. I got a little work done in the gardens, but not as much as I would've liked. Very soon it'll be time to plant window boxes and containers. My hubby has been plowing, dragging and picking rocks, getting the ground ready to plant corn and hay crops. He's also been enjoying himself using the sawmill whenever he has time.
I'm hoping and praying for more sunshine and warmer temperatures during the coming week. We have more rain predicted, but there'll be some sun in between according to the weather man.
I hope you're all having a lovely weekend!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Joyful, Joyful!

My very first daffodil bloom, Friday, April 20th!

Spring seems to have finally sprung here in upstate NY, after a couple of false starts.....
and I'm rejoicing!!!

This is what our front yard looked like after Monday's (April 16th) big nor'easter snowstorm a week ago. The birds were busy at the feeders all day. We had about 7" of snow but it melted within a couple of days.

Now that that we have sun and warm temps the birds are singing sweetly and a pair of chickadees are building a nest in the nest box on the grape arbor

These crocus bounced back remarkably well after being completely buried in snow.

I'm amazed at how large these three colorful crocus blooms are.

On Friday morning the daffodils in this garden were getting ready to pop open....
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And by 4PM they were bobbing their cheerful faces in the breeze.

And now, on Monday, we have a host of golden daffodils, and that favorite poem by William Wordsworth fills my mind as I gaze upon their bright yellow beauty....

"I wandered lonely as a cloud, that floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd, a host, of golden daffodils,

Beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze".

This was always a favorite of my father's too, and made me think of him, so I called him tonight and we had a nice chat. He lives in Australia in an assisted care facility, and at 90 years old he's still doing quite well. He has the beginnings of dementia and doesn't remember things so well these days. I think it took a while for him to realize who I was, but he didn't say so, and he had it figured out after about 10 minutes into the conversation.

The cats were out playing and enjoying the warmer temperatures (Murphy and Pepper).

We had a high of 76ºF/24ºC on Friday and I'm sure you can imagine how good that felt to us. The last time we had temps in the 70's (around 22ºC) was 6 months ago, on October 9th!

Last Thursday and today I had a wonderful time helping out at my favorite nursery!! Can you imagine the exultation? (Yes Val, I'm exulting!) (Val is an exulter :) There were 3 other ladies there besides the owner. Two of them are Master Gardeners and the other is the president of a local garden club.

I was in seventh heaven planting flowers and talking gardens. What could be more fun? Well......there's grandchildren, but this is a close second :)

These lovely geraniums will be ready for Mother's Day, the second Sunday in May.

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Last night we performed our Community Choir concert, "The Love Of Jesus", an Easter musical. We had to cancel it last Sunday because the storm started on Sunday afternoon and the weather was just too nasty for traveling on the roads. The music is beautiful, and we were so thankful to have the chance to sing it because at first our director thought we wouldn't be able to reschedule.

Here are a couple more photos of the barn cats enjoying the sunshine. That's Murphey to the left, Pepper is the black and white, and Cleo is the calico. She's a sister to Jasmine, our house kitty, but from the litter of the previous summer.

Cleo and Murphy again

And here's sweet Pete sunning himself.

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They were all keeping me company as I worked in the gardens, cleaning up and doing some weeding.

Tonight we had thunder, lightning and rain. Our first thunder storm of the season! We have cooler temperatures (50'sF/10ºC) in the forecast for the rest of the week, but we've had a nice taste of spring at least, and I have faith that there'll be more coming soon!

I hope you all have a lovely week. I'll try to catch up on my visits to your blogs during these next few days. It's been busy here!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thirty-Six Years and Counting!

Another year has gone by since I posted about our anniversary last year. The time seems to fly, doesn't it?
I told the story of our meeting and subsequent marriage here if you'd like to read it. There's still much to tell, but not enough time today, so I'll just show you this picture of us before we were married, taken at Whale Beach (next to Palm Beach), NSW, Australia, where I grew up. Gosh, we were young! Ah yes, I remember it well :)

Happy Anniversary to my dear husband.
It's been a wonderful 36 years!
Thank you! Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 13, 2007

Spring Has Caught Cold! (Or something worse!)

And the "Thinking Blogger Award"

I'll tell you about that in a minute, but first I wanted to show you what we've been looking at outside for most of the week.

Our snowy front yard

There's a war going on here and Old Man Winter seems to be winning! I wish Spring would stop being a wimp and stand up and fight back!
While the snow hasn't been sticking around for long, we've woken up to a light covering most mornings this week. Yesterday we had heavy wet snow that stayed until early afternoon. These pictures were taken yesterday morning.
I'm feeling sorry for the school kids who've been on spring break all week. I hope they rugged up and got a little fresh air in spite of the cold temperatures and frigid winds. Our forecast is for another week of this same weather pattern. By the end of next week we'll probably be tearing out our hair!
I suppose because the cold weather didn't really begin until mid-January that "Old Man Winter" is determined to give us the full dose!

Old Man Winter go away!

A sad state of affairs - poor crocus!

Where's the sun?

These are the same purple and yellow crocus flowers I showed in the previous post. Sad to say, they're now looking a little worse for wear. Posted by Picasa

Two of my very dear blog friends have nominated me for a “Thinking Blogger Award”.

Horizon of Message in a Bottle, and Cris of Country Patch are two young mothers who are indeed great thinkers. I love to visit their blogs to read their thoughts and see the wonderful pictures they post of their pretty corners of the world.
Horizon and Cris, I greatly appreciate your kind words and the nomination. Thank you! I learn so much from both of you, and I’m grateful to know you both through this wonderful world of blogging.

Edit: I received a comment this morning from Inland Empire Girl in Washington state and she informed me that she'd also nominated me for the award in her April 10th post. I wanted to say thanks for the honor, and for her lovely comments. We've only recently discovered each other's blogs and I'm enjoying glimpses of her beautiful state, her daily life, and the lovely poetry and recipes she shares.

I now have the difficult task of choosing 5 others to pass the award along to.
I consider each and every one of my blog friends to be excellent thinkers, but many of you have already been given the award, so I’ll try to choose friends who haven’t already been nominated.
I’ve purposely avoided nominating friends who I know are too busy to do this meme at the moment, with the exception of "Jelly". I know she’s very busy but I’m nominating her anyway! She may very well choose to ignore it for this very reason, and that’s perfectly fine. I just wanted her to know that I consider her among the most excellent of thinkers.

Claire, of “Claire’s Garden” in Scotland.
Claire has a wonderful appreciation of nature and inspires me with her beautiful photos of flowers, her cats, the horses she trains and the lovely Scottish countryside. She raises some unusual plants in her small greenhouse, and grows delicious fresh vegetables in raised beds alongside her flower gardens. In the warmer months she loves to go kayaking with friends. Claire writes with that wry Scottish humor that I find so appealing.

Jellyhead, of “Jellyhead Rambles” in sunny Australia.
Jelly is the doctor that everyone would love to have! In fact, if she were my doctor I’d probably make up illnesses just so that I could go and visit with her :) She’s also a busy young wife and the mother of two sweet children.
Jelly is compassionately wise, jotting down her thoughts with great charm, and just the right mix of seriousness and a cheeky sense of humor. I imagine her thinking never stops, even while she’s sleeping!

Stuart of “Gardening Tips and Ideas in Western Australia.
I remember Stuart saying, “I’ve started another blog because I found I was getting way too much sleep”. Yes, he has a great sense of humor :) Stuart constantly and tirelessly strives to bring interesting information to his fellow gardeners, and has a keen desire to draw garden bloggers together. He has created a world map of garden bloggers, and is working on other innovative ideas to unveil in the future. You’ll find the link to his map in the top right corner of this blog.

Linda of "Dew on the Roses" in sunny Florida.
Linda finds beauty in everything around her, and shares her thoughts in a quiet and contemplative way. She has great affection for all God’s creatures, as well as a wonderful appreciation of flowers and plants. Linda is a sweet grandma who loves her family, and remembers fondly the house and barn in Maine that she and her husband spent many happy years in when their children were young. Visiting Linda always leaves me with a feeling of peacefulness.

Giddy of "The Giddy Garden Gnome" in Maine.
Giddy lives across the water from scenic Acadia National Park, which in my opinion is very close to Paradise. She posts breathtaking photos of some of the most glorious sunsets I’ve ever seen, and shares hiking trips in the park. She’s also a doting grandma and passionate gardener. She’s very creative and has just spent time this past winter learning to knit. I love her enthusiasm for life. Giddy always leaves me smiling :)

The procedure now is to copy the Award button to your post and side bar, link to the original source of the meme (the "Thinking Blogger Award" title is a link), and then pick 5 bloggers who you consider to be great thinkers (and whose blogs make you think) to pass the award along to.

Please know that I would pass the award to all my sidebar links if the rules allowed. Each and every one of you enrich my life in your own unique way, and I thank you for that.

Have a lovely weekend everyone, and those of you in warm places, please start huffing and puffing, and blow some of that warm air our way!!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Cheerful Crocus

The crocuses are blooming!

We had a beautiful day last Tuesday and I managed to get out in the garden after work and do some spring clean-up.

What bliss to feel the warm sunshine on my shoulders and smell the fresh air! If nothing else, our long, cold winters make me fully appreciate the warmer weather when it finally comes.

I've been trying out the new camera and having fun with it. There's so much to learn and I'm feeling a bit inadequate. I need to have patience and realize that I can't learn everything at once. How nice it would be to wave a magic wand and know it all immediately!

But perhaps that would take away the fun aspect.

The crocuses were so bright and cheerful on Tuesday, but not so now after several dreary days, with bitterly colds winds and frigid temperatures. It feels like we're back in February! We've had snow flurries for several days, but not enough to accumulate any snow on the ground. Others haven't been so lucky. Apple told me they had a foot of new snow on Friday, and they've had more since, with still more to come tomorrow!

As we headed out into the cold this morning after choir practice a friend remarked that her grandfather used to say, "Spring's caught cold!" A perfect way to put it!

Unlike Tuesday's perky blooms, the poor crocus blossoms and snowdrops are now all drooping and sad, but I've seen them bounce back before.

Hopefully, even though more cold temperatures are predicted, we'll have a little sunshine during the spring break, and the blossoms with perk up again.

There are just a few pure white blossoms Posted by Picasa

The daffodils are budding and it shouldn't be long before we see their bright, happy yellow faces again. I can't wait!

Ross has been busy putting compost on all the gardens for me. Until this year I've had to do it myself because he was always at work, and therefore, not much got spread around. He used the Bobcat skid-steer loader and got the job done much quicker and easier than I ever could. I hope my plants will express their gratitude by growing like crazy! Posted by Picasa

I love this little Easter Joke :) Posted by Picasa

I hope you all have a blessed Easter Sunday and enjoy your time with family and friends. Posted by Picasa