It was 64 degrees as I drove in to work this morning. Gray and cloudy like the videos below. However, word on the weather news was that we would gain a hefty 25 degrees in the next 48 hours. Yipes!
After a mildly annoying day filled with miscommunication, lack of communication and then a cancelled meeting (not yet re-scheduled which is also annoying since it needs to happen by Friday, grrrr)…I remembered that perhaps I should check out the outdoors to see if the sun was out at least.
Yes, it was and yes, it was already feeling warmer. Photos from a much needed walk today are a little bit brighter as a result
Click on the collage to see it full sized. I played a little more with borders and backgrounds. I love the single, bright red leaf in that one tree. A holdover from the fall? I don’t know, but it sure stands out.
I went home for lunch earlier this week and was treated to this spectacular display for the first time this year. It’s either been cloudy, or, by the time I get home even if it is still light out, some of the flowers are starting to close. (nearly all of the daisies and groundcover close up at night). What I LOVE about my yard is that all of those flowers are self-propagating. I haven’t planted anything on that hillside in years. All we have to do is pull some weeds in spots where the yellow flower ground cover hasn’t totally taken over yet towards the back end of the hill. Which is what 16 and I were doing last weekend meaning I could take this pictures knowing it wouldn’t look TOO unkept!
Enjoy – oh, but maybe take a zyrtec if you have allergies – ACHOO!
Amber posing for her closeup. She's up on the midway point stair rail ledge.
Amber poses above the Crooked Acres Cat Calendar for 2011 feature the November pinup feline - Sugarbutt. We sure do love our Crooked Acres kitties!
- Mini Daffodils all confused and blooming in October
Plumbago adding some blue to the corner
Mini fuschia up close - check out the drop of water to the far right. I love this camera's close up setting!
Standard size single fuschia - as confused as the daffodils it is still covered in flowers in the fall!
Lobelia in it's last throes with daffodils & plumbago in the background
The full and pre-storm glowing moon from last week.
Does anyone know which planet is right there next to the moon in the sky? It was also super bright Wednesday night.
So those are my samples as I keep trying to learn how to use the new Canon EOS Rebel. So many auto settings that I am still only have partially figured out and don’t even get me started on the manual ones!
Now I get to start the “taking photos of holiday lights at night” experiment. Because yes, Renee & and I put up indoor lights at both our places this weekend. While Eve napped of course, she’s the Grinchy one We figured that Thanksgiving is so early and now it’s dark early, so why not get a head start on adding some sparkle to our lives? You sure don’t need to twist my arm!
Mini daffodils in bloom
Saturday version of Friday beauty. Some pictures from this week in the back yard. I know daffodils are supposed to be February flowers, but these mini daffodil bulbs that I bought several years ago can’t wait that long. They are also becoming more and more prolific year to year. The spikes poked out in late October and the flowers started bursting out in December. They are at their peak now in this one pot, but a new set of plants have seeded in the other pot and are just starting to bloom. It’s such a lovely burst of yellow and orange against the wall in the corner and when you get close there is even a really lovely scent. I’ve never had daffodils before so these are a fun and cheerful discovery and I will surely continue to encourage them spreading themselves around the yard. Enjoy these lovely little bursts of floral sunshine. I’m going to enjoy the real sunshine in my yard. The bands of rain seem to have passed and now it’s down right warm and dry again. I am not complaining
Jacaranda tree next door
Since one of the google search hits that is still going strong here is “Jacaranda Tree” rather than bringing peeps to a post with a randomly stolen picture from the web, I thought I would post a picture of my local one in full glory. Apparently these were planted in front of every house when these homes were built 26 years ago. Almost all have since been yanked out because, as you can see below the tree, they kinda make a mess! But I am really glad that this is one of the rare ones still around. It’s next door where I can enjoy it daily – and I do love it’s shape – and also not have to clean up after it
Despite being very sore from a leg-heavy workout yesterday morning, I did get out into the yard today to start some way overdue cleanup. It’s so easy to ignore my yard now! Sprinklers are automatic, SweetPrince does the lawn maintenance and the only thing I need to do is water the backyard potted plants twice a week which takes about 3 minutes. The landscaping has matured nicely and the hillside is covered with succulents vs weeds. It’s down now to just the two small side yard beds leading to the front door and the main front hillside which needs attention now and then for some weeding and cutting back overgrowth. I could only handle the side yards today though. My legs were protesting heavily and there is no way I could support myself on slanted ground to clean things up. My roses are getting eaten up though – another down side of neglect – pests. Despite that though, one of the roses that was here when I bought the house is having it’s best year ever as far as blooms. It’s just covered and the blooms smell so nice. I think it’s the only one of the plants that has a scent really.
I think this is a tea rose variety.
Ok, the Parental Advisory: Make sure when cleaning out your child’s backpack now that school is over to follow these steps:
- Take it outside (you will need the ventillation)
- Bring a trash can nearby, preferably one not too full already
- Wear gloves
- A face mask might be a good idea too
- Be prepared to just throw the entire thing out
I was not willing to consider #5 since I had just bought the backpack over the winter break and it’s only beenin circluation half a school year. We try to squeeze 3 full years out of them and I really want this one to make it at least through jr high, and hopefully through 9th grade too. So, I had to clean it completely and get it to a point where I could wipe down the inside. Now, the boy *has* a lunch box but heaven forbid after he removes food from it which he doesn’t finish, OR after he trades food or simply buys something additional that he should put those items back in the lunchbox itself. Much easier to stuff them into the bottom of the main pockets. Yummy.
At least I earned some money – found about 45 cents in there which is mine. But, ick, do I want it?
Star Jasmine - can you smell it?
More African Daisies
Fuschia about ready to burst open
After a lazy morning, we got to the field for LL game warm ups at 10:45. I got my walk in for the day – 40mins worth by making one lap around the fields and then going around the entire neighborhood block which is pretty darn big and very very hilly so it was a goood walk. Now that I have been walking more, I am no longer feeling so sore after which is an improvement over a couple of weeks ago! The team won again 7-6 after falling behind 6-1 making for a very exciting game. Weird thing was – it was COLD at the field. Sun never really came out and the wind from the ocean is quite bracing. Still, my plan was to clean up the weeds and one dead bush in the side yard beds so I bundled up and went to work after lunch. And…then the sun came out! Blazing. Which was actually kinda nice. I finished up and then sat out back and read for awhile. Sportsboy had come home and hit the books to finish 2 of 4 subjects and was reading quietly inside. On his own. Do you know the boy who took almost a full year to read the first three Harry Potter books has now finished books 4-6? He started book 6 just a week ago. He kept on marvelling at how fast I went through them, but I told him it was just practice. I think he gets it now The challenge will be what to get him into when he is done with HP.
How about you dear reader? Any signs of spring around you?
My yard in flowers (despite my overall neglect for the past 5 months) + the jacaranda next door:
Wouldn’t you know that after I wrote yesterday’s post, THE big political flub of the season came down. Of course, you could say that my one sentence on Hillary addressed that However, yesterday was more than just making a fool of herself. Now, there has been plenty written and said about it already. And I think I read and watched it all last night and this morning! A lot of it was overdone which is pretty much what the media does best. Yes, I loved Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment. Especially when he ran down all of things she, or her surrogates have said in the past year which required forgiveness and then declared this one Unforgivable. So true. But I think the one that more completely matches my reaction to every is this one by Juan Cole. Short, to the point, no hysteria or hyperbole. The final paragraph is particularly on point I think:
The second thing the incident tells us is how traumatized the nation still is by those horrible killings 40 years ago, and how much unfinished business of healing those wounds there is. Hillary didn’t mean to pick at the scab. But she did. And we bled a little, all over again.
For the first time in almost 20 years, I didn’t have any fuschias in my yard this year! They all bit the dust in the big heat wave last summer. Probably because I didn’t have the time to go out and mist them every night. And I thought it was for the best. I don’t have time for these gorgeous, but high maintenance flowers right now. But then I went to Grumpy’s house and saw their beautiful, large, profusely blooming fuschias around their pool. And I drooled. And he remembered and brought me some cuttings this week that I promptly stuck in the only free pot I had in the back yard:
It’s been awhile since I have grown these from cuttings, but I am confident that at least half of these will take root. Yes, they are sharing space with a random lobelia sprig that has been growing in that pot. I am hoping it provides inspiration One thing this wet weather has been good for of course are these cuttings. The fuschia variety is called Display and is one of the more hearty varieties. Of course, that was also one of the ones I neglected to death! Hopefully by next spring, I will be seeing this:
What happens when toilet paper just doesn’t do it for you anymore?
What Mama? Me? Not sweet lil me!!
And because I am trying to avoid surfing the ‘net while watching the AI finale, yet it is odd to watch and not blog….here is a picture of trees that flower (top 5 search hit). My favorite and a so cal staple, the jacaranda:
A gorgeous tree that lines older streets in So Cal just like this one. It’s messy as hell and looks truly scraggly once those blooms drop, but for that spring time bloom, it is worth it!