One Word Photo Challenge: Bittersweet

February 27, 2015 Bittersweet 001

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Light remains the magical ingredient which colors our perception.

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February 27, 2015 Bittersweet 002

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Light clothes our world with beauty.

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February 27, 2015 Bittersweet 004~

It penetrates; it reflects.

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February 27, 2015 glass 002

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It animates both form and shadow.

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February 27, 2015 Bittersweet 007

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Light illuminates what is bitter and what is sweet.

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February 27, 2015 glass 001

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With Appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Wells for her

One Word Photo Challenge:  Bittersweet

 

Bittersweet_429948_i0

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

 

February 26, 2015 Begonia and Ferns 006

 

One Word Photo Challenge: Strawberry

February 3, 2015 strawberry 008

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Real strawberries may be months away from ripening in our pots on the deck, yet I’ve found touches of pink and red growing now in our indoor winter garden.

Thank you for coming to enjoy these photos today, inspired by Jennifer Nichole Well’s One Word Photo Challenge:  Strawberry.

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This challenge helps us focus on the many beautiful and unusual colors which surround us each day.

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This Christmas Cactus, Schlumbergera truncata, is so happy in its cool spot near a window that it continues to set buds.

This Christmas Cactus, Schlumbergera truncata, is so happy in its cool spot near a window that it continues to set buds.

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I found touches of “strawberry” in new growth on our houseplants today, and also in a single Viola blossom in a sheltered area on our still-frozen deck.  I thought you might enjoy it in the same vase photographed last Monday for Cathy’s Vase Challenge.

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February 3, 2015 strawberry 016

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Although last week’s Violas and snowdrops didn’t stay fresh for the entire week, the two white Hellebore blossoms continue to swell and will open later this week.  Forsythia branches have responded to the warmth indoors and have begun to show color.  The blueberry buds remain tightly closed, which isn’t surprising since they open much later in the spring than the Forsythia in the garden.

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February 3, 2015 strawberry 015

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While you’re here, I need to share something with you that we learned earlier today.  It seems a neighbor of ours suffered a robbery while he was sleeping last week.  But there were no signs of forced entry.  It was as though the robber somehow had a key…. and the crime remains a mystery so far as has been told to the community.

We heard a related story on our local news this afternoon about a website which allows one to order duplicate keys from a photograph.  Would-be robbers can simply take a photo of your house key with their phone, upload it to a particular website, and order a duplicate key for less than $10.00.

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This newly opened Philodendron leaf is nearly 'strawberry'....

This newly opened Philodendron leaf is nearly ‘strawberry’….

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As much as we love the conveniences technology offers, now we must all be vigilant and careful with yet another bit of our daily routine.  The days of leaving our keys in plain sight, whether on our desk, clipped to our belt or purse, or even loaned out to a valet or mechanic’s shop, have passed.  Any unscrupulous person may quickly snap a photo and help themselves to duplicates of our keys.

Even a workman coming into our home could quickly snap a photo of our keys left lying on a counter, and then sell our house key and our address.  Please don’t think I’m overly paranoid in sharing this with you.  We just all need to be very smart and mindful in these interesting times in which we live.  We weren’t aware of this  online “service” until we heard the story today; and you may not have heard of it yet, either.

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New spring growth on a cane Begonia

New spring growth on a cane Begonia

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Here is the story from our local news, and another from New York.  Keysduplicated.com, which provides this service, offers these safety tips to help you protect yourself from an invasion of your privacy:

  • Keep keys in a pocket, purse, or anything else worthy of guarding your credit cards.
  • Don’t leave your keys unattended, even on your desk at work.
  • Be careful who you let borrow your keys, whether it’s a friend, mechanic or valet. Only hand over the necessary keys, not your whole key-ring.
  • Buy (or have your landlord buy) high security locks
  • Don’t post pictures of your keys on Twitter, Facebook, or other online services.

We have ventured a bit far afield from a photo challenge post today, and I appreciate your patience.  If you were hoping for a bit of poetry, I’m sorry to disappoint.

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Our Amaryllis is coming along nicely.

Our Amaryllis is coming along nicely.

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Assuming I’m finally able to get out of the house tomorrow, it will be to pick up a quart of strawberries.

And once we have some fresh strawberries in the house, I’ll hope to show you something delicious made with them.  When it’s too wet and cold to dig in the garden, there is always the kitchen to play in…

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Ah, June....

Remembering June….

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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February 3, 2015 strawberry 012

One Word Photo Challenge: Scarlet

Scarlet Sumac

 

October 28, 2014 fall color 062

Jennifer chose a wonderful week to feature “scarlet” for her photo challenge!

Scarlet surrounds us, at the moment. 

 

October 28, 2014 fall color 098

And the most intense, beautiful scarlet by far may be found on our wild Sumac shrubs.

We have both Staghorn Sumac, Rhus typhina; and Flameleaf Sumac , Rhus copallinum.

 

October 28, 2014 fall color 095

These beautiful shrubs are native to the eastern United States.

Providing nectar, shelter, and berries for wildlife, these large shrubs self-seed and spread from their roots as they grow.

Long lived and hardy, Sumac loves full to part sun and can tolerate a variety of soil types.

 

October 28, 2014 fall color 060

It is very drought tolerant and will grow in areas where more demanding plants would perish.

Sumac can be grown in a large pot or in the ground; and may be used in difficult situations, like median strips and parking lots.

They grow into an excellent, thick screen.

 

October 28, 2014 fall color 096

These grow along the Colonial Parkway between Williamsburg and Jamestown, on the bank of the James River.

October 28, 2014 fall color 071

The berries may be eaten, usually ground up or infused in water to make a beverage.

The only poisonous Sumac has white berries, so it is unlikely they would be confused with the edible ones.

October 28, 2014 fall color 067

And because we have several different varieties of Sumac growing in our area, we have enjoyed their gorgeous scarlet leaves for weeks now.

Sumac, the ” opening act” of our fall color, leads us quite happily  into the beauty of autumn.

October 19, 2014 fall color 040

 

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

 

With appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Wells

for her One Word Photo Challenge:  Scarlet

A Touch of Scarlet

 

One Word Photo Challenge: Aqua

July 14, 2014 Jamestown Island 018

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Aqua,

Where water filled sky meets sky filled water.

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June 14, 2014 trees 001

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Bluish-Greenish-Blue-

Constant color of life and living,

Cool, damp, new growth -giving…

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July 19, 2014 Container 045

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A color to sip in long, cool droughts.

Peaceful, Silent, Sustaining

Aqua.

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July 19, 2014 Container 040

 

Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

With Appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Wells

For her One Word Photo Challenge:  Aqua

July 20, 2014 butterflies 049

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