Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yes, You Can Go Home Again

So far, October has been a gray and rainy month. It's hard to enjoy the fall color show when all it does is rain. So my solution has been to take a trip to the beach.

 I know, it seems like a strange solution to a chilly and rainy fall. But this particular beach is my hometown of St. Joseph Michigan!

When your hometown is a charming little beach town, you can go back any time of year and enjoy it, no matter what the weather.

And if you like to take pictures, well, there are plenty of sights to see.

I was picturing these vivid fall color shots with crystal blue skies. But it didn't happen. Every day was cloudy, rainy and gray. The skies would clear for an hour or so, then the rains would move in again. But honestly, it didn't matter to me. I still love it there.

Anyone who has visited my blog before knows how much I love the beach, and how much I love my little hometown on the shores of Lake Michigan. So sorry if you've seen all this before. You'd think I'd get tired of going there to see the same sights, and taking the same pictures. But I don't!

The challenge is always to find another angle, another hidden spot, another perfect shot. And we all know there's no such thing as the perfect shot. So I just keep trying.

 My favorite photo opportunity all week happened the day that I went to just sit and watch the waves roll in. I'd take a few shots, then I'd just sit and daydream for awhile. It was a beautiful way to while away a cool autumn afternoon. Rain kept threatening, but it held off long enough for me to enjoy a good long think. And my reward was this beautiful lake rainbow.
 It was so low on the horizon that no one in the town could see it, and it persisted for over an hour. I've never seen a beach rainbow like this, so I took a lot of pictures that day. And even if I hadn't, I still have it all saved up in my mind. You see, you really can go home again.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Savor September

It's hard for me to believe that the first frost is only a few weeks away. I'm still wearing sandals every day, that means summer, right?
Monarch on bicolor buddliea
Green Envy zinnia
Oh, but the mornings are so cool. That's the sure sign that I'm in denial. Summer is fading before my eyes.
Soraya sunflower
Funny Face rose
Dwarf pennisetum with cherry profusion zinnias
It's a little sad, isn't it? I'll miss walking out the door and grabbing dinner ingredients as I need them. But mostly I'll miss the flowers.
Verbena bonariensis
Pearl Crescent butterfly
Karly Rose grass
The hardest part for me is that most of my favorite flowers are late bloomers. I feel like I just never have enough time to enjoy the dahlias,

Dahlias with Sedum Autumn Joy
or the hydrangeas,
Front-Endless Summer hydrangea Back-Quickfire hydrangea
or the Queen Red Lime zinnias especially. When frost does threaten, these flowers are always still peaking. So I end up gathering bouquets for inside, so that I can enjoy them to the bitter end.
Queen Red Lime zinnia
Queen Red Lime zinnia
Queen Red Lime zinnia
I guess I'd better spend every moment I can outside enjoying the last of the blooms. There is still a lot of gardening left to do.
Ruby throated hummingbird on Candy Corn cuphea
Painted lady butterfly on Black Knight buddliea
My husband is always puzzled that I still spend so much time watering the garden. I've reminded him many times that perennials, shrubs, roses, and trees all need to go into winter strong. They'll do much better if they are well watered before the bitter cold arrives.
Hot air balloons! 
Hot air balloons!
But let's not think about that yet. Let's just enjoy the last of summer, and the last of the flowers. They'll be gone all too soon!
Penny ball
Tall Ribbon Mix snapdragons

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Some Summer Sights

Summer is going to fade away soon. It's still warm and sunny, but I know it can't last much longer.
Endless Summer hydrangeas
Colorful coleus container with Sky Pencil holly nearby
Grandpa Ott's morning glory
Luckily, September is an easy transition into fall. The weather is so perfect that it could fool you into thinking it was still summer.
Goldfinch with Bachelor's Buttons

Red Admiral butterfly with bicolor buddliea

Swallowtail butterfly on purple coneflowers
Wait, it is still summer! The kids may be back in school, but the calendar says it's still summer for a little longer yet.
Angel Wing begonia hanging basket

Porch container in front of coleus patch
Unknown wasp on Green Envy zinnia
 I mean, look at these pretties. It's got to be summer with all these flowers still around.
Queen Red Lime zinnia
So take it in, enjoy it. Savor all these summer sights. You'll need these memories when winter comes to call. On those bleak winter days, you'll find it hard to believe that flowers still exist.
Apple Blossom pelargonium

Polka Dot pot
It's still summer folks, go out and enjoy it! All too soon, it will be gone.
Candy Corn cuphea

Dill flowers, very popular with insects!

Black and blue salvia