semi-monthly macro post …

I’m trying my best not to think this summer. That has backfired on me on more than one occasion, some occasions more important than others, including remembering to keep up with exploring macro photography. I did manage to get out in my garden this morning while there was still dew on the plants and lingering rain from the storms. I adore the early morning, the sun just rising, the earth & all her creatures just awakening. Here are some of my macros from today:

I waited and waited to capture this one. These little busy bees are so small and so quick! This is aΒ Metallic Green Bee, Agapostemon texanus.Β Or as it’s more commonly known – a sweat bee. They were working my Mexican Heather like crazy.IMG_5549

I love how you can see the pollen on this flower:IMG_5548

 

And then there are my favorites … my daisies:IMG_5544 IMG_5539 IMG_5538 IMG_5537

My ABSOLUTE favorite shot from this morning:IMG_5535 IMG_5534 IMG_5532

This macro lens is fun! If I can remember, I’ll be sure to try some captures with it while we’re at the beach next week πŸ™‚

 

A-HA!!! Strawberry {thief}

I have strawberries that just grow wild and crazy. Yes, I must admit that I really don’t cultivate them much and they just grow. I suppose I could have a quite a bounty of them if I’d only pay more attention. So I decided to rearrange the little patch this weekend. Last night I discovered that many of the berries that once smiled at me from these plants were no longer. Hmmm … what happened to them?

A-HA!!

Who knew Moxie liked strawberries so much? I certainly had no idea! What I laugh we got watching her eat them πŸ™‚

I was able to save a few …

{Happy} Mother’s Day to me …

Saturday my dear hubby took me shopping for Mother’s Day. We went to a local nursery where he normally shops for his customers, but we went to buy flowers and plants for *my* garden this time πŸ™‚ …

Mmmmm … Jasmine!!! I am eager to watch this grow & smell it’s wonderful fragrance and train it around my garden fence β™₯

Gardenia bush … can you smell it? Oh, the glorious smell of Gardenias! β™₯ 
I’ve always wanted a Hydrangea πŸ™‚
Day Lilies … β™₯ the color!

I have no idea the names of half of these, but I have an idea that in no time my garden will be brimming with color and life!

Just like these girls …

Grace smelling the gardenias πŸ™‚

And later he took the girls shopping for these …

I’ve always wanted hanging baskets and it has taken me 6 years of living in this house to get them. I β™₯ them – these are what the girls picked out that they wanted to buy for me. Hanging baskets definitely make it look and feel so much more homey β™₯

I hope you had a great Mother’s Day … I know I did!

Spring Gardening {bliss}

The veggie garden has been planted. Raised beds were in order this year due to my utter hatred of fire ants. I’m sure they will infest the bed, but at least I won’t have to walk amongst them. I decided to pretend like I have never done this before and go small. The bed is 4′ x 4′ and containers are also scattered along the side. Tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, basil and marigolds. And corn and beans. I’m starting those from seeds. I have never grown corn before … we’ll see how that goes!

There’s corn planted in them there pots …

I surrounded my raised bed with chicken wire to keep the dog out so that she might enjoy another year of life frolicking in the yard. It’s not the prettiest thing ever, but it’ll do.

And blueberry bushes are growing CRAZY! I think these are my favorite things in my garden! I β™₯ that!! Can’t wait until they are ready for harvesting this summer … mmmmmm!! I’d love to plant an apple tree and some raspberries too πŸ™‚

Here is Moxie protecting my blueberry bushes from the birds πŸ™‚ β™₯

Oh, and the strawberries …

And my flowers … cannas are coming back in full force, lamb’s ear is thriving, tiger lilies are growing nicely, knockout roses are also happy.

And my clematis. How I adore them. They are pleasantly climbing the lovely arbor that my dad built for me β™₯ . Last year I thought one of them (the purple one) was dead. But now … they are lovely!

I’m hoping to fill in the remaining bare areas of the garden in the next few days (translation = shopping for plants!).

One other thing … I have decided that every time I go thrifting (which is often) I am going to pick up at least one thing that can be used in the garden to plant in. The last time it was this bucket:

Grace decided to plant Mexican Heather in it. I plan to fill this garden with whatever strikes my fancy. I think those are lovely gardens β™₯ .

And our shed, affectionately called “The Barn” …

And my new wasp trap. It probably won’t work, but it looks nice πŸ™‚

so blah blah blah … my garden is growing … & I wanted to share the pictures with you πŸ™‚

Homegrown Blueberry Muffins

Yum Yum Yum !!! My blueberries are doing SO well this year (thanks, in large part to Moxie, who diligently chases the birds away!). Many of them are ripe now, so the girls wanted to pick them last night. We did and they are fabulous!
blueberries
blueberries2
Not sour at all … just the right texture and flavor! You know how blueberries in the grocery store tend to be on the sour and not-so-soft side? Well, these are neither! So of course, we made some blueberry muffins with them today.
blueberrymuffins
I use this recipe (minus the crumb topping – I put powdered sugar on top instead). So yummy! I think I’ll go and have another πŸ™‚

Fresh and Happy

This is what I want to see on my mantel at all times. I β™₯ fresh cut flowers displayed in glass jars of any kind. Not vases, but jars. And I β™₯ soda bottles. Like these. I placed some of the flowers from the girls’ recital bouquets in jars around the house and it makes me smile. It brings a freshness to the room that I love. I’m looking forward to starting my first flower garden this year. Hopefully very soon! I’d love to have a cutting garden … did you know that the best way to grow a cutting garden is just like a vegetable garden? I didn’t know that. It’s not supposed to be so lovely to look at as a regular garden, but it’s more to be able to cut the flowers and bring them inside. I thought that was interesting. I didn’t know that until last night when I was reading one of the many books I checked out from the library. I don’t know if I’ll grow one of those this year … I just want the loveliness of a garden in my life. Several gardens preferably. I want flowers everywhere. Flowers … growth … life. β™₯

2010 Garden Musings

Along with completely redoing the inside of our house, we are also redoing the outside. It’s been sort of a mess for a while now.

And speaking of being sort of a mess for a while … I think all the renovating we’re doing on our home is simply a reflection of what is going on INSIDE of me. Since we have lived here I have been going through a lot … starting with a miscarriage (we moved her in the midst of it), then a rough pregnancy, but great delivery of a healthy and wonderful, but very demanding little girl (but oh, does she bring me joy!!). After that there was some personal and relationship junk & experiences that just left me dry spiritually and emotionally. And as my soul sat fallow so did my home.

dead
But I feel like I am waking up as I am seeking the Lord with my whole heart … I am breaking up this fallow ground and through this process I am coming alive again.

Speaking of coming alive again … I finally (FINALLY) planted my veggie garden for this year. It is MUCH smaller than last year’s garden. Last year I went a little crazy and decided that I would plant enough stuff to can for the coming winter. Little did I know that I had actually planted too little, even though I planted a lot! So I never had enough of anything at one time to can and we got tired of having zucchini at every meal along with zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, etc. Confession time! I got so overwhelmed by the garden that I just let it become overgrown. There. I said it. All 3 of you who think that I am Caroline Ingalls can collectively gasp now! πŸ˜‰

Seriously, though, I think it’s a picture of my heart’s condition. I got overwhelmed and just gave up rather than plowing through it, doing what it took to make it what it needed to be. I wasn’t even going to plant a garden this year. Caroline Ingalls here was not going to do it this year. I had given up on the gardening thing. Much as I had given up and allowed my soul to become neglected and impoverished.

Back to the garden … this year I thought it was wise to scale back. A lot. So I just have 3 better boys, 3 romas, 3 jalapenos, 2 zucchini and some basil, oregano, thyme, and cilantro. Just a little 8′ x 14′ plot. And nothing fancy. Just a mound of dirt with some plants. And it just may soon be the burial ground for my dog if I find another broken plant like I did this afternoon!

tomato
I also have fruit! Yes … strawberries and blueberries! OK … another confession time. That overwhelmedness at my garden last year also pertained to my strawberries. So I sat their pots on the side of the yard (where my old/new plot is) and left them there to … die. Yes. I know. But guess what?? They didn’t die!! In fact … they are thriving! We picked enough to fill a large bowl the other day:

strawberries1
strawberries6
And my blueberries? Well, the only bad thing I did with them last year was that I didn’t cover them with a bird net and so birds ate every.last.one. I won’t make that mistake this year! I need to go get one this week as a matter of fact … check them out:

blueberries1
So lovely!

What a joy it is was to look over one day and see the wonderful, red, juicy strawberries growing! And after I had just left them to die! It’s such a great metaphor for my heart’s condition and for the Father’s love for us. I just left my heart to die. Truly that is what I did. But God, in His graciousness and faithfulness has seen to it that I come back to life! Oh how He loves us!

I am looking forward to a fruitful summer!