Thursday, May 29, 2008

It must be summer!!

It must be summer! The Jacaranda trees are in full bloom all over the city. I hardly had to travel five or six city blocks just to find these shots.

This photo shows bouganvillea which is also in full bloom all over town

This tree is in Holiday park. I-5 is in the background

The Jacaranda is my most favorite tree. The ones shown here are the kind that bloom before their leaves open. My own tree in the front yard is different. It gets its leaves before it blooms. It is just beginning to bloom. I'll get a photo when it finally opens all the way.

Now for the question: is it blue or purple? I insist it's blue. But others don't agree. The same debate arises with the agapanthus which will soon be blooming. To me purple has to be more royal purple. But my husband and I go around and around with the colors blue, green and turquoise. As it happens, colors are only perceived in the brain, so what you see, may not be what I see. Then just to complicate matters, my father was color blind and I may have inherited some of that?!!

FINAL NOTE. The goldfinches have finally found my thistle seed socks. YEAH! It has taken a whole year. So far it is only the lesser goldfinch that has come. It has an olive green back, yellow front and black cap. The true American goldfinch is bright yellow all over with a black cap.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Here We Go Again!

Oh no! Here we go again! This is the big red one (which I will now call Rhoda, for Rhode Island Red, which is what I think she is.) Obviously Henrietta and she are buddies. Look at the mess these two have kicked up on the stepping stones.There are wood chips which you can just see behind them. That bright red thing is the dust pan waiting for me to sweep up chips even further back, from the other day. The MOTH is away so he cannot see all the extra droppings these two have also made, making it hazardous to cross the patio. Rhoda belongs to the nine year old boy next door. When I knocked to ask him to please come and get her, he asked which one it was. So I said "The red one". Then he said "Yes, but is it the one with the dog bite or not?" Dog bite?? It seems the dog two doors away from us got a hold of one. There are dogs at five out of six houses surrounding our house. Well the child caught it, and it wasn't the one with the bite. This one comes to him when he calls. I tried that but she didn't come when I called. Which is just as well since I wouldn't have known what to do with her if she had. Fortunately we haven't put out any new plants for the summer yet. The MOTH will do that when he gets back. But I foresee a LONG, HOT summer. You can't take away a nine-year-old's pet chicken -- can you?

Then as I was inspecting the yard further, look what else I found! They look a little large for Henrietta, but I'm not an expert on these matters.

Yesterday it was raining. So I decided to feed the birds after I came back from my doctor's appointment, but they were already up at the window and perching on the metal screen part of the screen door, pecking at the window very cheekily. Bailey and I stood there only two feet away, but they didn't care. So I fed them before I left.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Mother's Day Gift

The MOTH decided we needed another fountain beside the waterfall area. This is a little late to be posted but it was the Saturday before Mother's Day. We bought it and he installed it the same day.

It didn't all go like clockwork, but actually took several hours and it was HOT.

Three...two The moment of truth -- plugging it in -- and it worked!

It will be even more wonderful when I get the ivy growing around the base and after we have strategically placed a few pieces of rose quartz around it, which we had given to us years ago.

This beautiful picture was taken at the nursery next door to where we bought the fountain. The painting in the gazebo was a unique idea, I thought. It really looked like a window overlooking the ocean. We also bought a cactus -- or succulent, from here -- the pretty light green plant below the palm trees. You can see ours in the pot beside the fountain in the picture above.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hidden Secrets

In case you should think our back yard is all beautiful, I would like to quickly disabuse you of that notion.

Because we live on a circle we have a larger than usual back yard -- a semi-circle that goes around the house and is about 30 or more feet wide in most places. We really only take care of the south and east sides where the patio and the deck are.

The north side is the blighted side -- but very necessary, as this is where a lot of yard 'junk' accumulates. There we have a couple of potting tables and a bunch of stuff we no longer use, or may use in the future.
The previous owners, thirty-five years ago, had a beautiful rose garden -- one bush to each section you see here. There was also a fantastic dwarf orange tree in one section, but it had to be done away with. It got some kind of blight and California oranges have to be protected and this was a registered tree. The deck was originally here, to the right, but MOTH moved it plank by plank to the south-east side. The bushes up in the corner are very popular with the birds, but too far away for me to see from the patio.
We once had a play house for the boys when they were kids, right about where I am standing to take this picture.
And of course here is the inevitable trash can corner. Henrietta's roosting tree is just above the palm leaves.
So now you know our secret. Couldn't have you thinking all was perfect and that we're not normal.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Four More ATC's - or Miniatures

There is a 'sort of' story behind this one. The painting above is actually about 81/2 by 11 inches.
I painted it probably 20 years ago. It was done in water colors.

When my sister was visiting, she was looking through my portfolio (fancy name for scrap book) when we discovered that this painting was missing. I have absolutely no idea what has happened to it. I was - am- quite sorry about its loss, since I thought it was probably one of the best paintings I had done, and as you know I am quite partial to cats -- even big ones.

Anyway, last week I was looking around for something to draw as an ATC (Art Trading Cards, which I think I will now have to call Miniatures, because it is more appropriate). I came across another picture of a lion's face which I really liked but had set aside as being too difficult for me now in my 'declining' years!! This time I decided I would give it a try anyway and I didn't have to finish it if I didn't like it. I used my Prisma Color pencils and it took me two evenings to do as opposed to usually one (remember they are miniatures). It turned out so well that I have now regained all my old confidence and tell myself that I will tackle more difficult subjects in the future, regardless of my arthritis and eyesight. Actually, new glasses have helped a lot also!

Leo the Lion

From the sublime to the ridiculous! Color always fascinates me, and in this one I just wanted to use color.

Aquarium Fish

Note the windblown stance of the tree. They grow like this at Flamborough because of the constant gale force winds. This is from a photo I took in the field behind where I used to lived. The tree slants from the north, because that is where most of the wind comes from.

Hawthorn and Sheep at Flamborough

Finally, by contrast, a Mexican scene. I love the colors of Mexican architecture. This turned out really too yellow, but what a pleasant courtyard nook!

Mexican Portico

Monday, May 12, 2008

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Wanda recently asked "What is new in your yard?" Well, here it is:

Watering cans all lined up at the ready.

A beautiful plant from my student whom I tutored in math for her junior high entrance test this past month.

Fortnight Lilies and Jasmine all in bloom. The Jasmine is early. It has a very strong perfume particularly in the evening.

The orchid cactus has outdone herself this year we must have had more than ten blooms and there are about ten more buds on it. Each bloom is at least 6 or 7 inches wide.

My plumeria survived the few frosty and cold nights we had this past winter. I threw a light cloth over it each night the temp went below 40 degrees

Can you guess what this is????

Henrietta, literally upside down, in the planter outside the den window, taking a long and messy dust bath. Yes she survived the winter also.

Sorry I had to take this through the screen. I couldn't open the screen door or either she would have whisked away -- or like a shot Bailey would have been out after her!

Here she is, looking a bit more respectable but still covered in dust. Note the dirt on the patio stone.

The man of the house is not pleased!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Finally Some More ATC's

Somehow the widget for rating my blog has appeared on my posts. I don't know how it got there and would be happy to have it removed. If anyone knows how to do this, I would would appreciate it very much if you could let me know the secret. (5/8 Later: Well where ever it came from, it has now disappeared, and thanks to Jose for your tips.)

I have been trying to find some time to do more of these pen and ink ATC's. I have several other ideas but we have had some time consuming activities happening at our house. I really enjoy doing them but need an uninterrupted couple of hours to complete one. For those who are not familiar with these, they are drawn on card only 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.

Rural America

Western America.

Urban America

The next two are photo ATC's which for me means finding photos that either have good designs or texture. I love the red color in the first one, and the delicate shades of green in the second one.

Field of Red Feather Flowers.
(I took this off Deborah's quilted bag)

Succulent Shades

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bailey's Cousins in Boise

Owen and Deborah's cats in Boise. Great fun to be with and I didn't feel so lonely for Bailey.

This is Simba. The only male. Deborah didn't want to call him Simba, but because he looks so much like a 'Simba' she had to give in. He is so sweet natured and has such a pretty face. He is the youngest of the three.

This is Sosie. Definitely the matriarch. Very cool, contained and knows she's the boss. Also very sweet natured and very intelligent. Look at those eyes. She knows exactly what's going on. She is also the oldest.

This is Phoebe, the most active of the three. She has one over-riding passion in life. You will see what it is in the next picture...

See that red dot on the back of the sofa? Then look at Barry's hand. The laser beam!! It had been mislaid for several months and we suggested looking down the sides of the sofa -- and there it was. No-one was happier than Phoebe!

Deborah's violas in her window box. Such unusual colors. They fascinated me.

One lonely periwinkle. Probably the first out this year. Such a beautiful, delicate flower.

(Just can't seem to get rid of those large spaces between my pictures.)