Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Summer of...

Butterflies and Hummingbirds!

The good news is, Marion and I had our day(s) in court and we succeeded in keeping things as they are. In other words, we won our case. Unfortunately, the last couple of months have been excruciating especially for Marion. She has been in and out of the hospital for the past month or so. To be perfectly honest, I have lost all track of time but, she is now home and doing better than she has been. Fingers crossed and lots of prayers...

As for me, I am getting into the swing of things once again. As you can imagine, it has been utter chaos around here. I can't even begin to tell you what my "To-Do-List" looks like. Little by little I will be tackling it. Sadly, I don't see me coming back to blogging for a while. I am going on a much needed vacation in October courtesy of my wonderful children! I plan to take lots of pictures and share them with you some time in Novemember.

You all have been so wonderful through these most difficult times. I can't even begin to tell you how much we appreciate your kind words and thoughts. Thank you so much for not giving up on us. I think with time we should be back to our "old" selves:) Thank you soooooooooooooo much, Louise

I hope you all are doing well. I miss each and every one of you and look forward to the time we can all virtually be together again:) Louise

If it weren't for the many butterfly plants in the garden, I'm sure Marion and I would not have had some of the peaceful afternoons we were able to squeeze in throughout the Summer. One such plant is this stunning Blood Flower whose Latin name Asclepias comes from Greek meaning medicine and healing. Also called Sunset Flower, it is in the Milkweed family the same as the perennial Butterfly Weed which you can see above in the picture with the two Frillary butterflies. Contrary to the Butterfly Weed, the Sunset Flower or Mexican Butterfly Weed, yet another name for it, is an annual up here in Pennsylvania.

Milkweeds are not only beautiful and easy to care for, they are very important host plants for Monarch Butterflies. (they are also deer resistant:) I can tell you for sure, the hummingbirds don't mind having them around either! I find it quite interesting that the Sunset Flower blooms and seeds at the same time. The seeds are such fun to watch as they float by when the wind blows whisping them through the air. Of course, I am saving some for next year. I read some where that at one time, the silk from the seed pods was used for stuffing pillows. You can find more fascinating tidbits about the Sunset Flower here.

P.s. That really is a blue butterfly. I don't fool around with changing the color in pictures. I'm lucky I know how to snap and crop them no less deal with hues and saturations, lol...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Arrives with an Update

Garden Collage 2015
For those of you who may be thinking I have disappeared from the face of the Earth, I can assure you I have not...All is well in our little corner of the world. Marion is holding her own and has actually been storing up her energy for what we think may be our last trip down to New York for the rest of this year anyway! Whew! I'm not going to go into the detail of the fiasco that has been going on around here. Suffice to say I have been re-educated as to why some lawyers earn the "bigger" bucks. We have been very fortunate in that department. I'm still not sure as to when things will be back to normal. Not much is going to go on now until after the 4th of July. In the mean time, Marion and I will continue to gather information, fill out lots of paper work and save our strength. We both appreciate your kind and encouraging words and miss you all very much. It's hard to believe today is the first day of Summer for some of us and the first day of Winter in other parts of the world. Normally by now I would have been boring you to tears with every new blossom in the garden, lol...I don't really think you find it boring, lol... I hope you like the quick collage I threw together above. It doesn't even begin to touch on all the blooms the garden is bursting with this year but to be perfectly honest, I've missed quite a few of them myself. Thank goodness for Bill (the boy across the street) he has been keeping an eye on it while we've been taking care of business:) The Peonies were gorgeous this year. Bill did the sweetest thing. While we were gone, he managed to pick a few peonies before the rain. He put them in a vase and presented them to Marion the day we returned. She was delighted! (she even gave Bill a peck on the cheek:) She placed them carefully on her "picture table" for all to enjoy:)
Peonies 2015
If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you know I LOVE Carnations! They are my very best favorite flower, if I had to choose that is, please don't make me:) I love this shot of the carnations with the magenta Dianthus blooming in the background and the shades of green from the Turtleheads behind them both. They won't be blooming for a a month or so...
Carnations & Dianthus
Bill decided that if he was going to be "Lord of the Garden Manor," we had to add a hummingbird feeder. He said he would make sure the hummers always had sweet nectar. So far it seems he's doing a mighty fine job. Sometimes there are as many as five hummingbirds on the feeder at once. I managed to get a video (which I couldn't figure out how to upload) and a pretty cool picture of just one though. I believe it, probably a she, is a Ruby Throated Hummingbird but I'm not positive. It seems Bill has plans on pulling up a chair and reading back issues of Birds and Blooms in the back yard the next time Marion and I leave:) He wants to learn about birds, hummers in particular. What a kid!
Female Red Throat Hummingbird
Speaking of kids, mine are simply fantastic! Not only have they been helpful and supportive during these trying times, they got together and are sending me on an all expenses paid vacation! I can't tell you when or where because they won't tell me until "I'm in the right frame of mind." Their words not mine, lol... Well, there you have it. We are doing fine, the garden goes on with or without us as do the seasons of change. I wish you all happy thoughts, pleasant dreams and good health because as the saying goes my dear friends, your health is your wealth...thank you all so much. Happy Fathers' Day to all you "Pops" out there! I'll "see" you soon, Louise:)

If you are viewing the video of the hummingbird, it is thanks to Amelia who left a wonderful comment and instructions on how to upload. Thanks, Amelia! Your Steamed Rice Rolls sound amazing!!! (the klip klop sound in the background is an Amish buggy passing by:)

Butterfly Weed |Milkweed | Asclepias tuberosa