Monday, September 17, 2012

Once in a blue moon...

This year on August 31, we had a "blue moon", the second full moon in a month.  The moon rose late, and I went outside to try to catch a photo through the thick but fast-moving clouds.  Without a tripod, and being dark, it was difficult to get a focused picture, but I like this one.  At any rate, it was a beautiful night and a beautiful sight.

Speaking of beautiful sights, I pass a fabulous farm on my way to work every weekday morning.  It features a giant cutting garden right at road's edge, and it delights me to watch the flowers grow from seedlings to rows and rows of blooms.  My favorites are the sunflowers, and why not!

Another interesting plant I passed often this summer was this pair of fungi.
I got a little surprise one morning when I picked up a plastic pot which was nestled inside a little bucket:
The Spicebush Swallowtail had been clinging to the side of the pot but landed on the bottom when I moved it.
Nothing much bloomed well in my yard this year, not even my hydrangeas (which overflowed vases last year), except for the Limelight
and the Pink Diamond.
Oh, and my lawn was full of Queen Anne's Lace, so I let it grow for a while...
One of the best plants this year was this Big Judy coleus, which provided a striking backdrop for the rest of my potted flowers.
But the real beauty is always the sweet autumn clematis growing up the wall at the back of the house.  This is a plant I would recommend to everyone (unless you're allergic to bees).  It will sprawl over a fence or climb a tree or a trellis, growing as far as it will be supported. 
My sweet pretty reaches to the second-floor bathroom window,

and even though it suffered dieback on the bottom half a couple years ago when it snapped the upper trellis in half from the sheer weight, it's still a spectacular specimen.  (I haven't had the heart to cut it back yet, since the birds are always nesting in it by the time I get out in the spring.)

But anyone who has grown sweet autumn clematis knows that the real pleasure is found in its intoxicating scent, which is why I'm so happy that it grows outside the bathroom window.  This is the real vantage point, looking - and smelling! - out the window.

So, another summer draws to a close.  It's been a lovely, dry, temperate summer, not too hot, not too muggy. 
A once-in-a-blue-moon kind of summer.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Connor

I made this card for Connor's birthday a few weeks ago, and had hoped to post it for Papertrey Ink's Make It Monday challenge, which was to watercolor using ink pads.  It's a pretty simple card, using my old standby Up, Up and Away as well as one of the Think Big Favorites.

 Connor's 15th birthday was in late August and I visited him for a few minutes at his dad's house to give him his present.  He opened it in the dark driveway so I didn't get a good photo...  he won't care:  he's enjoying his new IPod Touch.

 Better late than never, eh?