WPC: Rounded

The Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy, Lincoln City, Oregon

~

“As above, so below; as below, so above.”
.
The Kybalion

~

Sea anemones grow in a shallow pool beneath a barnacle covered rock on Oregon’s coast.

~

My eye is drawn to rounded, organic forms.  Living, growing, breathing, changing things tend to be more rounded than straight.

This week’s photo challenge invites us to explore round things and curving lines.  I’ll use the opportunity to share a few more of the photos captured while traveling along the Oregon coast.

~

Bowls and ceramic flowers are displayed in front of Mossy Creek Pottery, near Gleneden Beach

~

“Everything an Indian does is in a circle,

and that is because the power of the World

always works in circles,

and everything tries to be round . . .

The sky is round and I have heard

the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars.

The wind in its greatest power whirls,

birds make their nest in circles,

for theirs is the same religion as ours.

The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle.

The moon does the same and both are round.

Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing,

and always come back again to where they were.

Our teepees were round like the nests of birds.

And they were always set in a circle, the nation’s hoop.”

.

Chief Black Elk

~

~

“This world has been changing from time immemorial.

But because it is “round”

(subject to cycle of cause-effect),

one cannot find an end to it.”

.

Dada Bhagwan

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

“I live my life in growing orbits

which move out over this wondrous world.

I am circling around God,

around ancient towers

and I have been circling for a thousand years.

And I still don’t know

if I am an eagle or a storm

or a great song.”

.

Rainer Maria Rilke

~

~

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Rounded

Advertisements

There and Back Again: The (After)Glow

~

“Why do you go away?
So that you can come back.
So that you can see the place you came from
with new eyes and extra colors.
And the people there see you differently, too.
Coming back to where you started
is not the same as never leaving.”
.
Terry Pratchet

~

~

Travel invites us to break our routines, sharpen our senses, and open ourselves to seeing our world from a novel point of view.

Back now from a week on the West Coast with daughter and her family, I am enjoying the warm after-glow of our time together as I edit the hundreds of photos which came home with me.

~

~

The weather was fine during most of my visit, and so we spent as much time as we could playing on the many beautiful nearby beaches, or letting little one run and explore at the Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy.  I was very pleased to see the upgrades and improvements to the garden there, all accomplished by devoted volunteer gardeners.

~

A sunset walk at the Connie Hansen garden revealed this beautiful glade beneath old Rhododendrons.

~

Now nearly four years old, my granddaughter has grown and matured a great deal since I last saw her.  She bubbles with happiness and personality; her fearless energy driving her to explore and transcend the limitations of the very young (and sometimes the very old…)

~

~

I watched as my daughter tended her own garden, and as she tended this beautiful child.  It takes great vision, patience and understanding to nurture both children and gardens.  

We wandered together through a local nursery while little one was away at her pre-school class; I indulged in buying herbs, flowers and ferns to grow in my daughter’s garden and in her care.

~

Beautiful native and exotic ferns fill the shady spots at the Connie Hansen Garden.

~

There was so much to enjoy and to feel glad about on this visit to the Oregon Coast.  I was delighted to find abundant life in the tidal pools and around the rocks which line the coast.

~

~

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”
.
Anita Desai

~

~

I have come home energized and inspired.  Even as I unpack, re-organize and readjust to Eastern time; my mind is teeming with ideas to tend and improve my own garden.  I’ve photos to share, trees to sculpt, bulbs to plant and plans to make with friends.

~

I made this for a friend one evening, after little one and her mom went home.  Now I am filled with ideas for incorporating sculpted trees with slices of geode to make unique pendants.

~

There will be a new line of note cards with photos taken in Oregon.  And, I came home with heavy suitcases because I picked up so many beautiful rocks from the beach!

I’ll soon use them as bases for the trees I plan to make over the next few weeks.

~

What an unusual view of Siletz Bay, with the tide completely gone out.  These trees remain an inspiration to me as I combine organic and mineral forms.

~

“The real voyage of discovery
consists not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes.”
.
Marcel Proust
~

So fair warning:  I have many photos  left from my trip to share here at Forest Garden during the coming weeks.  I hope you won’t mind too much..

I remain intrigued by how the same plant grown in Virginia and grown in Oregon can come to look so different. Climate and soil make all the difference.

And I am endlessly fascinated by the magic that always greets me in Oregon.

~

Gorgeous Fuchsia grows at Mossy Creek Pottery near Gleneden Beach, Oregon.

~
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~
Fabulous Friday:  Happiness is contagious….
Let’s infect one another!
~

~

For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Glow

Leaf IV: Satisfaction

~

Small things can bring great satisfaction.

~
~

Velvety, fragrant herbs offer leaves both beautiful and delicious.  I eat them mostly with my eyes, but both the sage and scented geranium can be used for cooking or for tea.  Many fry sage leaves in a little olive oil for a savory garnish.

~
~

Their volatile oils perfume the air on hot summer days.  Scented geraniums carry many sweet fragrances, from rose, to citrus, to mint. Their leaves may be large or small, serrated or smooth.  But all are wonderfully fragrant and hold their fragrance as they dry.

Rubbed against our skin, they protect us from mosquitoes as we work in the garden.

~
~

Brought indoors in a vase, their scent fills the room.  These exquisite leaves fill out a bouquet with summer flowers as beautifully as they fill a pot or a border in the garden.

They love the heat and take off when many other garden plants begin to wilt.   Site these beauties in full sun, and watch your satisfaction grow.

~
~
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
~
~
For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Satisfaction

~

Tri-color sage

~

Leaf:  Illumination
Leaf II:  Celebration
Leaf III: Decoration

 

Small Worlds

january-31-2017-terrarium-010

~

“As Above, so Below,

as within, so without,

as the universe, so the soul…”

.

Hermes Trismegistus

~

“Small worlds….”  What a peaceful pleasure to construct them.  Terrariums, fairy gardens, dish gardens, bonsai or fern cases; all bring delight both to the creator and to the viewer.

~

january-31-2017-terrarium-018

~

Building these little gardens has become a favorite winter project during the first months of the year.  I’ve had a few ideas percolating since mid-January, but just managed a trip to The Great Big Greenhouse, in Richmond on Saturday, to explore their stock of tiny plants.

TGBGH specializes, especially each winter, in the tiny plants, pots and accessories one needs to create little indoor gardens.   Last Saturday I found myself in company with a jolly crowd of gardeners soaking up the warm moist air and verdant green of their magical greenhouse complex.  Orchids, Philodendron, ferns,  little trees for bonsai, and garden plants forced early into bloom competed to tempt a gardener’s heart.

~

The taller birds nest ferm could eventually fill this space. They enjoy a warm, moist environment.

The taller birds nest fern could eventually fill this space. They enjoy a warm, moist environment.

~

I had only a tiny slice of time to take it all in, and so quickly found their selection of miniatures in 1″ pots offered for terrariums.  I came away with an intriguing mix of ferns and Begonias, all new to my collection, save for the Bird’s Nest ferns.

While tiny now, these plants will quickly grow into their potential.  This is a very economical and enjoyable way to experiment with new cultivars over winter, knowing they can be moved into larger pots and planting schemes by early summer.

The Birds Nest ferns, Asplenium nidus, grow as epiphytes in warm, moist tropical rain forests.  This makes them a great candidate for a terrarium or fern case.  Like many ferns, they will grow well without direct sunlight and grow happily indoors so long as humidity is provided.  Their long, beautiful leaves emerge from the center of the plant.  After several years of growth, they may grow to well over a 18″ tall.

My arrangement features a pair of Birds Nest ferns, one ‘above’ and the other below.  I will be interested to see which grows better and faster!

~

Pleopeltis percussa creeps along the rocks in the foreground. This evergreen fern grows on bark or rocks in Central and South America.

Pleopeltis percussa creeps along the rocks in the foreground. This tropical epiphytic  fern grows on trees or rocks in Central and South American forests.

~

I particularly like “footed” ferns; those with rhizomes which creep across the earth, sending up new leaves directly from their “furry” stem.  This little Pleopeltis percussa is a new fern I’ve not yet grown.  While its rhizomes will wander and branch, the individual leaves remain fairly small.  Roots grow from the rhizomes down into the moist soil below.  If growing on a tree branch, the roots would anchor in the tree’s bark and absorb water from the bark and moist air.  Any small piece of the rhizome which has both established roots and a leaf or two, may be cut away and potted up to grow on into a new plant.

These don’t look much like traditional ferns. Their rather thick, long lasting leaves don’t look like the more common lacy fern frond.   But they produce spores on the undersides of their leaves rather than seeds.  They will never produce flowers or fruits.  It is their way of reproducing from tiny spores which makes them a fern.

Besides the Pleopeltis and Birds Nest fern, you may notice two tiny divisions of Strawberry Begonia, Saxifraga stolonifera, in this tiny garden.  These are divisions from a larger plant overwintering in our garage.  After they establish, each will send out a long stem with an embryonic clone of itself at the stem’s tip.  Where it touches moist soil, it will send down roots and begin to grow, quickly forming a dense colony of these lovely evergreen plants.

Small colonies of these evergreen perennials continue to grow through the winter in pots left outside in the garden.  They will send up long stalks of tiny white or pink flowers in mid-spring.  It is unlikely these little plants will have enough light to bloom indoors, but could produce flowers  if I move them out to a shaded spot in late spring.

~

A tiny offset of Strawberry Begonia, saxifraga stolonifera, nestles into its new home beside the Birds Nest fern.

A tiny offset of Strawberry Begonia, Saxifraga stolonifera, nestles into its new home beside the Birds Nest fern.  Notice the new leaf emerging in the center of the fern.

~

I’ve made these little gardens from re-purposed vases found in our basement.  Both held ivy, red berries  and floating candles at the holidays.  I was pleased to see that the wider dish balances easily on the glass cylinder, enclosing it into its own little space.  Terrariums can go on sustaining themselves indefinitely if they receive enough light for the plants to grow, because the moisture which evaporates from leaves and soil remains in the atmosphere.  It may condense on the glass and run back into the soil, but the soil remains moist and the plants remain hydrated.

This is something like our own little world we call Earth:  our atmosphere catches evaporating moisture into clouds, and it settles as dew or falls as rain.  Our outer atmosphere and magnetic fields hold our precious water close to the surface so it may be used again and again by all  living things.  The water I brewed into coffee this morning has probably been around for millions of years….

It is only when there is imbalance or disruption that this process runs amuck, resulting in drought or floods.

~

january-30-2017-ferns-004

~

If you know me personally, you may be wondering why on Earth I’m sitting at home puttering around with sacks of soil and stone and these little plants rather than getting involved in the wider issues of the day.  You may wonder if I’m insensible to the sweep of historical change touching each one of our lives.

You know I remain passionate about the very questions of human rights, environmental preservation, Constitutional government, and non-discrimination which the new administration appears to be daily shredding;  and the rule of law which has been dramatically called into question.

And yes, I’ve been spending large chunks of my time following the events of the day.  Often I’m too wrapped up in what is happening to stop and garden or write or work with photos.

~

january-31-2017-terrarium-008

~

 

“Close your eyes and let the mind expand.

Let no fear of death or darkness arrest its course.

Allow the mind to merge with Mind.

Let it flow out upon the great curve of consciousness.

Let it soar on the wings of the great bird

of duration, up to the very Circle of Eternity.”


.

Hermes Trismegistus

~

january-31-2017-terrarium-022

~

Each of us has a part to play in the unfolding of life here on our Earth.  But we each do what we can, when we can, where we can.    From small beginnings, large movements grow.  And from our daily thoughts, prayers and actions, the fabric of our lives emerge.

What each one of us does, personally, has an impact on the whole.  We must be the changes we seek.  We must envision and live the reality we intend to manifest.  This is a basic principle that all of the great wisdom teachers , throughout all of our recorded history, demonstrate.

The love we bring to our own environment resonates with the whole.  The peace we maintain in our own minds and hearts resonates in the larger community.   We plant our intentions, tucking them into the fertile soil of our hopeful imaginations, and watch them grow.

~

january-31-2017-terrarium-024

~

And that is why I believe that we must guard our thoughts and speak our truth.

Without fear or spite, we continue to create beauty and harmony in whatever way we can, knowing it is magnified and reflected in unimagined ways to affect the greater whole.

~

“Everything flows out and in; everything has its tides;
all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests
in everything; the measure of the swing to the right,
is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm
compensates…

“Everything happens according to Law;

that nothing ever “merely happens”;

that there is no such thing as Chance;

that while there are various planes

of Cause and Effect, the higher dominating

the lower planes, still

nothing ever entirely escapes the Law.”

.

The Kybalion

~

january-31-2017-terrarium-015

~

Woodland Gnome 2017

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Repurpose

~

january-31-2017-terrarium-001

~

“If thou but settest foot on this path,

thou shalt see it everywhere.”

.

Hermes Trismegistus

 

Building A Terrarium

Tiny Gardens

Naturalized

Naturalized Cyclamen at the Connie Hansen Garden in Lincoln City, OR

Naturalized Cyclamen at the Connie Hansen Garden in Lincoln City, OR

~

“…the creative potential of disorderly randomness…” 

Ben Huberman

~

october-20-2016-oregon-trip-216

~

Ben invites us to show photos of  ‘chaos’ in this week’s Photo Challenge. 

I’m not a great fan of  ‘chaos;’  however much it might invite creativity.  Perhaps there is that much conditioning left from my teaching days…. But I think it runs a bit deeper in my psyche.

Mother nature has her own sense of order, realized or not by the human mind, and those of us who work with her grow a bit lenient with her exuberance in our gardens.  Especially when the plant spreading in all directions is so lovely!

~

october-20-2016-oregon-trip-215

~

If you grow potted florists’ Cyclamen on your windowsill each winter, as do I, you may love these little winter blooming hardy Cyclamen coum  and Cyclamen hederifolium, and excuse their untidiness.   Planted as little bulbs, and hardy in zones 6-9, these lovely plants emerge in autumn to grow and spread all winter.  They self-seed easily and form beautiful expanding clumps as the years pass.  Once planted, they naturalize and basically take care of themselves.

These grow in an island bed between the entrance drive and the exit drive at the Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy in Lincoln City, Oregon.  My daughter and I were there to let my granddaughter run around a bit.  Two year olds have a lot of energy to burn, and life around a toddler always feels a bit chaotic… unless they are sleeping.

With two of us, we just managed to keep up with her, and I managed to still click off a few shots.  This one may give you a better idea of that visit:

~

Yes, those are my Sebagos before my fateful walk on the beach when a sleeper wave caught me.....

Yes, those are my Sebagos before my fateful walk on the beach when a sleeper wave caught me…..

~

As we were herding her back to the car, this beautiful stand of Cyclamen, mulched in falling pine tags, caught my eye.  These have been growing and spreading for quite a few years, by the looks of this  lush coverage filling the little traffic island bed.

~

october-20-2016-oregon-trip-214

~

I believe we can always find a bit of order out of chaos, once we take a deep breath and concentrate a bit.  The patterns begin to emerge.  We can understand each burst of unruly, exuberant energy in the context of the whole.  And so while little one was buckled into her booster seat, I framed and shot as many images of the Cyclamen bed as the moment allowed.

Exuberant energy seems to be the rule along the Pacific coast.  Whether rolling waves, moss covered trees, thick rain forests, or creative people; the energy is contagious.  And this special garden captures the vibe beautifully, only a few blocks from the beach.

Woodland Gnome 2016

~

october-20-2016-oregon-trip-246

~

for the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Chaos

WPC: Nostalgia

october-1-2016-patchwork-025

~

My dad loves Coleus, and I remember watching him plant Coleus and Scarlet Sage, Impatiens, Calaldiums and Begonias since I was a little girl.  He loves growing flowers and tending bright annual beds each summer.

And his love of flowers came from his mother’s mother, who had an overgrown garden of old roses and bright perennials behind her house decades after she was able to go out and tend to it herself.  I remember picking flowers in her garden as a very young child; flowers and mulberries, which we ate over ice cream.

~

september-15-2016-folliage-007

~

Always the Boy Scout, Dad believes in leaving a place a little better than he found it.  And part of that philosophy always expressed itself in making beds of flowers and cultivating the lawn at each of our family homes.

And he is a talented gardener with an artist’s eye for color and a pastor’s touch for making things thrive.  He still breaks off bits of annual stem and thrusts them into moist soil, somehow coaxing them to root into new plants at his whim.

~

september-22-2016-rain-005

~

And now I join him in his gardening projects again.  Others might call me his ‘enabler’ with undisguised disdain.  And that is fine with me. 

~

Caladiums and Impatiens growing this summer in my father's garden.

Caladiums and Impatiens growing this summer in my father’s garden.

~

Despite physical handicaps, his gardener’s heart is strong and craves color and flowers as it always has.  Sometimes we openly visit the Great Big Greenhouse together, loading the cart he pushes for us.  The shopping cart is even better than his walker for letting his legs follow where his eyes see something of interest.

~

One of the Coleus plant we bought together this summer, and shared by rooting cuttings.

This is one of the Coleus plants we bought together this summer, and shared by rooting cuttings.

~

Other times I quietly leave offerings of little plants on the back patio where he knows to find them, without saying a word about them in front of  Mother.  I’ve filled his tubs with Caladiums this summer and helped him plant a hedge of Coleus beside the back walk.  The Coleus we both love so much. 

Nostalgia can hurt or heal.  We all know this.  But I believe that nostalgia heals when it keeps us in touch with those people and things we love.

Nostalgia helps us share our happiness from generation to generation.

~

Caladiums in my father's garden.

Caladiums in my father’s garden.

~

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Nostalgia

~

july-31-2016-flowers-014

~

Woodland Gnome 2016

WPC: Rare Beauty

August 20, 2016 Butterflies 010

~

Butterflies visit our gardens for just a few weeks of the year.  These delicate, colorful creatures float from flower to flower on warm summer days.  Their presence brings our garden to life. 

~

August 20, 2016 Butterflies 005

~

Certain butterflies grow more rare, each passing year, in the United States.  The chemical assault on butterflies, at all stages of their life cycle, have decimated their numbers.  Herbicides destroy  their habitat and host plants.  Pesticides, often designed to kill other insects, also kill many adult butterflies and their larvae.

~

August 20, 2016 Butterflies 020

~

Organic  gardeners can provide an oasis of safety for butterflies to lay their eggs, for their larvae to grow, and for adults to feed along the path of their migration.  We consciously designed a butterfly friendly certified Wildlife Habitat to help support butterflies at all stages of their life cycle.

~

August 20, 2016 Butterflies 016

~

We plan for the appearance of the first spring butterflies returning from their migration, and have nectar rich flowers blooming to greet them.

We grow  the favored trees, herbs and perennials needed by growing Monarch and swallowtail caterpillars.  And we fill our garden with nectar plants to fuel the adults for their long flight south each autumn.

Lantana, the flowers they are feeding on today, proves their absolute favorite.  Its blooms attract butterflies like no other!  Lantana blooms prolifically until killed by the first heavy frost in early winter.

~

August 20, 2016 Butterflies 006

~

Swallowtail butterfly beauties, which have grown alarmingly rare in recent years, fill our garden on summer days like today.  I counted at least six individual swallowtails feeding as I worked in the garden this morning.

This makes us happy, to see our garden come alive with butterflies; their flight from flower to flower showing us that all of our gardening efforts have a greater purpose.

~

August 20, 2016 Butterflies 021

~

As gardeners across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America each create safe havens for butterflies, and other migrating wildlife, on their own properties; we can hope the butterfly population will recover.

My great dream is that populations of these exquisite creatures will rebound.  Their appearance no longer a sighting of rare beauty…..

~

August 20, 2016 Butterflies 014

~

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Rare

~

August 20, 2016 Butterflies 018

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

~

August 20, 2016 Butterflies 022

Nature Challenge Day Four: Flowering Woodies

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Oakleaf Hydrangea

~

Blooming shrubs fill our forest garden.  We enjoy their flowers throughout the entire year, beginning with early spring’s first Forsythia, Camellia, Magnolia and Azaleas.  Now, our garden is filled with the sweet aroma of millions of tiny white Ligustrum flowers covering towering evergreen shrubs.  It appears that some of the smaller seedling shrubs along the borders are blooming for the first time this spring.

~

Towering evergreen Ligustrum bloom for weeks in early summer, filling our garden with sweet fragrance.

Towering evergreen Ligustrum bloom for several weeks in early summer, filling our garden with sweet fragrance.

~

And to our deep delight, we have blossoms on some of our Oakleaf Hydrangeas.  We’ve managed to protect and sustain four, of the many planted over our years here, and they have grown into lovely shrubs this spring.

As May fades into memory, and we prepare to greet another June, we continue to enjoy a garden filled with roses.

Butterfly bush, Rose of Sharon, Lantana, Hibiscus, and many other flowering shrubs will soon open their blossoms, inviting all hummingbirds and pollinators to come share the feast in our garden.

~

May 14, 2016 clouds 015~

Blooming shrubs offer so many benefits over other types of flowering plants.  First, most offer evergreen structure throughout the year, or at least a woody silhouette through the winter months.  Our winter flowers, like Edgeworthia, Camellia and Mahonia come from flowering shrubs.  They prove hardier than any herbaceous perennial, shrugging off snow and ice.

These are ‘perma-culture’ flowers, growing larger and more floriferous each year.

~

Hydrangea macrophylla have opened their first flowers this week.

Hydrangea macrophylla have opened their first flowers this week.

~

Few require any significant care; most don’t even want deadheading when the flowers fade.  Many are deer resistant, although we must faithfully protect Azaleas, Hydrangeas and Roses from grazing Bambies, if they are to survive.

~

Spiraea japonica

Spiraea japonica

~

Like a horticultural clock, flowering shrubs mark the passing seasons.  They are dependable and predictable.  We plant a few more each year , while also watching seedlings emerge in those places we dare not dig.  Some, like Rose of Sharon and Beautyberry seed so prolifically, I pull and compost the ‘extras.’

The question comes to which seedling shrubs to prune out; which to leave and nurture.  I’m glad we’ve nurtured the Ligustrum.  They are spectacular when in bloom and provide more nectar than our pollinators could possibly forage!There is a constant hum of activity around them now.  Insects feed from the flowers, and grateful birds catch the insects.

~

May 27, 2016 garden 014

~

Flowering shrubs fill an important niche in our garden for all sorts of wildlife; including some slightly crazed gardeners!

~

May 27, 2016 garden 008

~

Blogging friend, Y. invited me to join the Seven Day Nature Challenge last Saturday from her new site, In the Zone.  I appreciate the invitation and the renewed friendship as we trade comments each day!

For this fourth day of the challenge, I’ll invite you again to join in. 

This challenge has been out there for a while, and many nature photographers have already participated.  If you would like to take up the challenge, please accept in the comments and I’ll link back to you tomorrow.

 If you decide to accept this Seven Day Nature Photo Challenge, too, I’ll look forward to seeing what surprises May has brought to your corner of the world, even as I share the beauty of ours. 

Woodland Gnome 2016

~

All green is lovely, too. An autumn fern frond grows against Oakleaf Hydrangea foliage.

All green is lovely, too. An autumn fern frond grows against Oakleaf Hydrangea leaves.

Nature Challenge Day 1: Tree Frog

May 24, 2016 frog 004

~

Near the end of a long day of gardening, as I was planting the last Caladium in a bed near our drive and preparing to clean up, my partner came out to check on my progress.   As we were visiting, he asked, “What on Earth is that?!”

He was looking at the front fender of our car, where a light grey blob had attached itself just beyond the headlight.  At first glance it looked like a huge bumpy wad of chewed gum.

I pulled off one muddy glove and retrieved my camera from its pocket in my gardening vest, then ever so quietly focused on the blob.

~

May 24, 2016 frog 005

~

It never moved as the camera powered up or as I crept into position to shoot.  But it didn’t take long for me to realize this was a living creature clinging to the side of the car.

Not just any creature, but one neither of us had seen before.

~

May 24, 2016 frog 007

~

It remained perfectly still as I moved around it for several more shots, drawing ever closer.  Finally, I could see its sides moving faintly with its shallow breathing.   But it never startled as we conversed, and I took photo after photo.  We could tell it was some sort of frog, but the strangest frog we’ve ever seen!

Only later, with the photos uploaded and edited, did we finally solve the mystery of its name.  We consulted The Virginia Herpetological Society’s website, where we learned there are two grey tree frogs native to Virginia.  This one appears to be “Cope’s Gray Treefrog,” or Hyla chrysoscelis.

~

May 24, 2016 frog 008

~

We’re not sure it is an exact match because the frog on our car is much lighter than the ones in their photos.  But the Cope’s Gray Treefrog is native to James City County, so we will go with this identification.

It was still clinging to the side of the car an hour or so later when the cat went outside for the evening.  We hope it has taken up residence in our garden and that we will see it again this summer.  We’ve sometimes seen green tree frogs, in previous years, clinging to the windows of our home.  They never cease to amaze us with their ability to cling for hours on end.

Always peaceful, we enjoy their presence and appreciate their appetite!

~

May 24, 2016 frog 009~

Blogging friend, Y,  invited me to join the Seven Day Nature Challenge last Saturday.  Thank you for your invitation Y., at In the Zone, and for sharing your fascinating photos taken around our shared state of Virginia.  Y and I know many of the same places and share a love for the quirky and beautiful, the fun and poignant.  I appreciate her invitation and will follow her lead to capture the spirit, if not the exact parameters of the challenge.

Not only is one asked to post a nature photo for seven days running, but to also invite another blogger to join in each day.

For this first day of the challenge, I’ll invite you.  If you would like to take up the challenge, please accept in the comments and I’ll link back to you tomorrow.

Although I try to take photos in our garden each day, friends and followers may have noticed that it has been a very long time since I’ve been able to post daily.  Life has gotten quite busy over the past year, and I would always rather spend a free hour digging in the dirt, given the blessing of choice!

But in the spirit of the challenge I’ll set the intention to post a photo daily.  If you decide to accept this challenge, too, I’ll look forward to seeing what surprises May has brought to your corner of the world, even as I share the beauty of ours.

~

Another photogenic visitor in our garden today, a Broad Headed Skink.

Another photogenic visitor in our garden today, a Broad Headed Skink.

~

Woodland Gnome 2016

What’s Hanging On Your Tree?

December 25, 2015 Christmas tree 007

~

What hangs on your Christmas tree this year?

~

December 25, 2015 Christmas tree 010

~

I hope the ornaments give you joy, whatever they may be; are fun, and hold good memories.

~

December 25, 2015 Christmas tree 002

~

Our friend brought us a beautiful hummingbird last night, made by her daughter, who is a potter.

The top half of our Christmas tree is always covered with birds.  I’ve been collecting them for more than 40 years now, and some of the originals are still with us!

~

December 25, 2015 Christmas tree 008

~

I also collect stars and snowflakes, loving their beautiful geometry.

The only snowflakes we’ll see this  Christmas are the porcelain kind.  But that is really fine. 

~

December 25, 2015 Christmas tree 003

~

 

We have our snowflakes on the tree, and the garden remains full of flowers instead of blanketed in ice and snow.

~

December 25, 2015 Christmas tree 011

~

And I was inspired to make a new set of ornaments for our trees this year, which celebrate the beauty of bare branches against a winter sky.

These are simply glass balls decorated with free hand drawings of bare trees.

~

December 25, 2015 Christmas tree 005

~

They bring to mind the traditional Yggdrasil, the World Tree, which allows one to travel between the worlds.  The roots of all of these trees connect.

It is as though each orb is covered with a forest of small trees, which really are only one tree growing out in all directions.

~

December 25, 2015 Christmas tree 006

~

Our Christmas decorating has also been minimalist this December.  We are enjoying the simplicity of it.  Most of our traditional decorations remain packed away.

We didn’t plan it that way; I was busy with other projects and left the decorating to the last minute this year.

But we have our lights and our trees.

~

December 25, 2015 Christmas tree 004

~

And we greeted the sun’s rising this Christmas morning, barely visible behind the  mist  and clouds.

~

December 25, 2015 Christmas tree 018

~

Beauty always surrounds us, when we remember to remain in the ‘Now.’

Merry Christmas!

~

December 25, 2015 garden 014

~

Woodland Gnome 2015

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge: Now!

~

We found this Great Blue Heron on her nest, along College Creek this afternoon.

We found this Great Blue Heron on her nest, along College Creek this afternoon.  What a beautiful gift to find this majestic bird on Christmas Day!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 554 other followers

Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com
Order Classic Caladiums

This Month’s Posts

Topics of Interest