Sunday, January 27, 2013

Winter Sunsets

I am particularly enchanted by sunsets. Some will watch them when vacationing at the beach, but otherwise don't seem to notice the unfolding beauty. I've even been at the beach during a beautiful sunset, while others are casually leaving the scene without a backward glance. How do they do that?
Me, I seek out the sunset, where ever and when ever I can. I'm always looking for the perfect spot where I can enjoy the closing of the day. Generally, they seem to be better if they can be seen over a body of water, right? Well, there is a big pond right down the road, but because it's part of a wetland nature preserve, the access is limited. You just can't get on the right side of the pond to see the sun set in summer. But in winter, the sun sets right over the water, or ice as the case may be. Perfect.

Now it takes a little fortitude to enjoy the scene in winter. Yes, you can point your camera out the car window. But the best views require you to get out of the warm car, and brave the cold. And I do believe it is impossible to take a picture with gloves on.
Oh well, it doesn't matter. The sun is gone in a few minutes, then it's home to warm up. And of course I have the place to myself in winter.
So try it sometime. Enjoy a winter sunset. Enjoy any sunset! It's the marking of another beautiful day gone by. Isn't that worthy of our appreciation?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Thinking about Roses

I've been thinking about my roses. You see, I am quite famous for my roses here in the neighborhood. My home is on the corner lot, and the long, east side of it faces out onto the street. East facing gardens are ideal for roses, so they line that whole side, right where the neighbors can enjoy them. I didn't plan it for them actually, but it was a happy accident nonetheless.
I am an organic gardener for the most part. But no matter how I try, I cannot manage the blackspot without a little boost of fungal spray. Otherwise, I use organic methods for my pretties. I use purchased organic fertilizer, and generous amounts of coffee grounds from Starbucks. Occasionally, I apply crushed egg shells and banana peels to the soil.
 I've even tried purchasing ladybugs to keep the aphids at bay, but they mostly flew away. Still, the natural population of ladybugs here is fairly good.
But the worst problem for me are the dreaded Japanese beetles that arrive every year to devour my favorite blooms. And before you tell me to treat the grubs in my lawn, I have to make it clear that we don't have a problem with grubs. What no one seems to remember is that Japanese beetles can fly, and travel right over to my delicious roses after they hatch from the other grub filled lawns!
My solution is an easy one, but it's rather gross. I simply patrol the roses every day, wearing a plastic glove, and holding a cup of soapy water to drown them in.
With all that being said, I would still like the roses to be even better. I found many of the canes to be bare at the bottom. So I'll study up on that. Do you think I should actually *read* that lovely rose book I purchased? Yes, I think I will. After all, they are the fairest of the flowers.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Learning to Appreciate Winter

After the mild winter we had last year, this one has already been a snowy one. As suspected, we've already had more snow so far than we had the whole winter last year. You'd think that would be a bad thing for a winter hater like me. Instead, I'm enjoying it. What?
I have no idea why the change of heart. Maybe it's something as simple as the cleanliness of the snow cover.
What ever the reason, I'm simply going to accept my new found appreciation for winter.
  I even thought of another good reason to enjoy all this snow. We need the moisture! Remember, we are coming off of a drought. Once the snow melts, my garden will say "Ahhh". Well, if it could talk, I guarantee it would make that sound we all make when our thirst is quenched.

The snow was so pretty on this New Year's Day that I had to go out and walk in it, of course with my camera in hand. I have my own little spot to enjoy a snowy day, and no one else seemed much interested in it. Their loss. The only bad part is that its unpopularity means that the paths will not be shoveled. I had to wade right through the snow, but came prepared with boots.
I thought it was noteworthy that the first day of the new year was whitewashed clean by the snow. Our lives are the same way. We have a brand new year to do with what ever we want. The old year has been covered in snow, and the new one is clean, fresh, and ready to go!
Welcome 2013, I'm glad to see you, even covered in snow.