Sunday, July 27, 2008

A "First" for me!

My Cousin Mary up the road found this cicada/dryfly while it was still crammed into the little brown shell and put it in her pot of rosemary. The next morning, lo and behold! It had crawled up into the branches and burst open the back of the shell casing and already emerged into its huge "new" self! It was still this beautiful green color most of the day, but gradually turned to the normal gray/brownish color. It's the first time in my 64 years I've ever seen a newly-"hatched" dryfly! It's sure to click on the photo and enlarge it to see the intricate designs in the wings; and how BIG it is to have come from the SMALL shell that it's clinging to!
One of my fondest childhood memories living here is finding and collecting the empty dryfly shells on our trees and fence posts. I still love to bring a few home from my walks even now. Thanks, Cuz, for such a fun visit to your herb garden!
This is a handful of our yard flowers blooming this week. I always feel a need to bring a few indoors so I can see them all day, and then feel guilty because the bees need all the pollen they can get! These little sunflowers after a few days suddenly "dropped" all their pollen into neat piles on the shelf, so I collected it and put it outside on other flowers..........maybe some wayward bee will find it!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Flora and Fauna.........

I just could NOT stop myself from taking more photos of the hot pink zinnias that are finally blooming! And I could NOT stop myself from showing this one to you; this hot pink is my fave color in the world. It fascinates me to see it both in man-made things and Mother Nature's things!
And the reason you're having to see my sunflowers again is because of the tiny little star-shaped pollen thingies that have popped out on this one's brown face! I did not know sunflowers did that! And some are growing little seed-stems that stick out of the face like porcupine quills! The bees are having such a good time. (I HAD to pick a few for me inside the house, but I also left the bees a few, too.)
This gorgeous white moth with black spots was hiding under the bird bath out of the sun one recent morning. Isn't it lovely?! I wished I had picked it up and looked closer at that beautiful iridescent turquoise on his body!!! Click to enlarge the picture, and you can see the sliver of blue near his "tail feathers"!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Around the yard........

Check out this pine straw the wren is putting into the Williamsburg pottery birdhouse! How in the world can she wrap those stiff pine needles around into a circle with no hands?!! I love it. I am amazed.
Kiss me, you fool !!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"C" words today..........

Look what my friend Mary Jane sent me thru the mail !!! Little baby cactus plants (cacti?).......whatever plural is called. Hey, MJ, do they bloom? How old before they do? Thanks.........the outdoor cats are steering clear of them!
Does this child look stressed out to you???!!!!!! Cuz can see he's adjusting just fine indoors since his little surgery, and we believe he's growing and not a "kitten"........... he eats pounds of dry cat food!
Yep, this is what I'm off to do this afternoon, while it's still hot and humid here. What I didn't get done early this a.m. won't get done outside. We might be lucky and get one of those scattered storms and some rain this week. OKay, that's all the "C" words for today.........Cactus, Cat, and more Cat. Check out my dear husband's blog for more silly cat photos..........

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Art projects!

Look what I got in the mail yesterday from Patsy M. in Colorado! A piece of her gorgeous Victorian lady fabric I had admired on her blog........and also some slices of her embellishing laces onto felt..........and the beautiful hot pink fabric sun image! Can't wait to use that on something.......I love bright colors as much as "vintage" browns. Thanks VERY much, Patsy, and your swap is going in the mail today! Be on the lookout.........
And received from the Art Queen herself (Monica Magness), some of the extra beautiful breast cancer squares to be made into an art wall quilt! The wonderful Pink Artist doll she made will start being auctioned next month; so anyone interested, please let me know. I think she says she had received more than 300 squares, which covered the 39" doll's skirt, and also oodles of squares for this wall quilt. I am only one of many who offered to do something more for the breast cancer project, since I'm a survivor of same.

I'm supposed to take these beautiful squares and make them into ANY kind of 10" block I can think of, and return the block to Monica. This fall when all the blocks have been returned to her, she will work her magic again and assemble the blocks into a quilt to also be auctioned. The proceeds of both these ventures are going to the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Thanks, MM, for letting me play with you all again!
Well, my beading buddies came again Sunday afternoon, and I almost got this dang sunflower finished. Now we decided it needs a background and some green leaves! And I don't like FLAT beading much, so I'll be digging in my bead stashes looking for something else to perk it up. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Maypops are here!!!

WE've been watching the field of passion flowers for blooms and looking for their green fruits (maypops), and they're finally "doing their thing"! The fragile, delicate blooms just stop me in my tracks in wonderment. How can anyone not believe God will take care of us when He can make such intricate things as live and grow on this earth?!! These plants move about in the fields here and are VERY hard to transplant, or to raise from seed.
So we just let them, like our wildlife living here, go on about their business while we admire them.
And check out this storm cloud DH and I took pix of the other day! We saw the clouds coming in and jumped on the golf cart with cameras to go as close as we could to see the clouds changing. Maybe this little one gave somebody a shower, but not here! We are still in need of rains, and the hottest month of August to come yet.
This is my monthly beaded block/pin for started out to be a sunflower, and then I didn't like it, so am adding some green leaves. I might be able to save it, and love the iridescent brown beads in the center, but my stock of beads doesn't have many shades or sizes of yellows/oranges, because I don't like those colors much. Hmmmm.....time to go order some yellows (in case I need them again one day)!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

...more nature stuff..........

My little cousins who visit their grandparents next door recently found this box turtle on one of their excursions down to the creek. They came by my house to show me the turtle in this white bucket and the nice ferns and soil and mosses from his natural habitat. They were going to take him home and keep him in a terrarium and feed him flies and lettuce and blackberries..........they've done this before, and were very knowledgeable about what turtles need to live happily ever after in what they THINK is their creek-side habitat! I LOVE it when the cousins come to see me and share their doings........Harley: "Come back soon and tell me how "Snappy" turtle is doing!"
You'll need to click on this photo to see the little toad frog trying to hide from me between the rocks. The pix are supposed to enlarge, but I never can swear to it! This froggy is new to the addition of the waterfall to one of the koi/goldfish ponds DH has installed.
And speaking of our wonderful cousin/neighbors next door (who have green thumbs up to their elbows!) here's Don's watermelon vine blooming and growing like crazy........ that means more little melons in the making!
This is actually a small watermelon in the same patch, but there's nothing nearby to compare the size to. I love the shapes of the leaves; and after a rain, I swear you can almost SEE those vines' little "feeler" ends grow! And they wrap quickly around the nearest thing to support them.......another amazing day with Mother Nature, right here almost in our back yard! Thanks for the opportunity every year, Don, to watch your garden grow! (And also for generously sharing its bounty with us!)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Big Mama

This big, beautiful dragonfly has a wingspan of 4 1/2 inches across! And it measures 3 1/2 inches long from head to tail..........not much color in the body or wings, but I found it dead on the street and brought it home just to admire it and save it from being trampled. The intricate designs in miniature in the wings are just awesome. I plan to trace it for a beaded design...............
And on our early a.m. walk one morning last week, DH took this photo with my little camera of some beautiful wet, dark green mosses on the trunk of a cedar tree; then he found this leafy stuff. A kind of lichen, I suppose. Mother Nature never stops working! Around the clock! Oh, and the full moon last night was gorgeous..........we tried but failed to get a good shot of it and the mosquitoes ate us up!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Buds and beads.................

I couldn't resist a close-up of this bright red'll be sick of my blooms by summer's end, but I can't resist. Deal with it.
And this shot of these HOT pink petunias I took at the Lowe's store this week turned out looking like DH had played with it in his PhotoShop thingie to make it look weird, but he didn't!
And here's my July beaded block............supposed to look like a wavy flag pin, but I think I'll sew the pin back on so the flag stripes point down instead of across. Almost done with the blue........I hope to post the finished piece soon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Foods for body and soul...........

Here's a bag of DH's very first REAL home-grown local tomatoes given to him by a friend.........he is eating tomatoes twice a day or more and just can't get his fill after a long winter and spring without them! And we are SO fortunate to have good neighbors with a beautiful garden who have given us beautiful produce........OMG, the silver queen corn is so delicious!
I am thankful for friends and neighbors who share with us!
Mary Jane, look this little bird up in your bird book for me, hit the storm door and sat here for awhile the other day. Thankfully he wasn't killed, but he let DH pick him up and he took flight into the tall pines at the porch before the outdoor cats found him! I'm sure he had a bad headache, because I heard him when he "thunked" into the glass door!
On our morning walk this weekend (already hot/humid at 7 a.m....ugh!) we saw these huge morning glories! I wished we had something with us to lay beside them to show the width...........we both commented we'd never seen any so large...........if that's what they are! The foliage looks the same as normal-sized morning glories; and can you see the "star" shape made with the five creases in each flower? It's more visible on the left one.........another one of God's little daily miracles that most folks sadly don't even look down to notice. I love the little daily miracles in nature here in the country. I wish busy people could/would slow down enough to smell the roses and "see" the ants building their condominiums; or watch my wren starting to poke pine straw into the pottery Williamsburg bird house........more on her later!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

.........mostly cats

I cannot remember if I already posted this lily or not, but here it is again; it's beautiful enough to see it twice at any rate! It's one of dear husband's
(DH) stargazer lily bulbs he bought on sale at Lowe's and "saved their lives" 'cause the poor things were trying to sprout with no water or air or food in their plastic bags! And save them he did! Oh, they've been so lovely, and all different colors...........a few more to bloom yet.
And here is Mr. Yellow Cat/Buddy-row/Sweet Boy/no-name-yet house kitty making himself at home on a little winter blanket. He loves it, so we can't put it away for the summer. (You can tell who rules in this house.)
Here's Baby Sister for you, Edith.........she's found the new bird bath in the yard and thinks she's Miss Big Stuff 'cause she can reach it and drink rain water. When she yowls enough twice a day to take her outside for a few minutes, this is where she heads for first........
............yummy, Mummy! (And don't mention her fat tummy; it might hurt her feelings......she doesn't know it's there.)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

........more pinks!

Isn't this pink bead and white pearl brooch lovely?! My best buddy Deborah is beading a new pin since she finished her beautiful blue cuff bracelet. Our little Sunday afternoon group is so much fun; I can't wait to see what the others are working on tomorrow! (I'm behine on my beaded pin, but will finish it tonight so they don't fuss at me tomorrow!) Heh, heh. And these gorgeous pink/ lavender/ blue hydrangea blossoms were on the same bush! I cannot get over how Mother Nature does these beautiful things.......I had to bring some indoors so I can enjoy them.
And all my bouquest seem to fit best in my maternal grandmother's old chocolate pot with pink roses hand painted on it. I do believe I'll have to try to do this photo in watercolor.......I just love the blends of colors.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hearts and stars..............

This vintage heart-shaped metal buckle and all the beading around it and inside its holes is finally finished! This is my June challenge pin. Or it WILL be, afer I turn under the white edges of pellon and put a nice backing and pin on it! I already have July's square about half done.........

I couldn't resist a shot of this group of cows in the shade and the beautiful star over the barn door! I love stars and have one of these big ones (rusted) in my kitchen. I took this from a moving car, so if you enlarge it, it may not be sharp and clear..............DH was driving and cars were on our bumper, so he couldn't slow down or stop!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Are these not some of the most gorgeous daylily blooms you've ever seen?! This plant was a gift of our good friends at the local Oakville Farms, which raises and sells hundreds of different varieties of daylilies. I've waited a year to see what color this would be, and it's SO very pretty; and best of all, these blooms last two or three days! Thanks, Sherman and BJ!!!
Well, you can tell I've been to the local vintage shop again. I couldn't resist this red plastic necklace and pin from the 1950's.........I love red and I love heart shapes of all sorts. I might take the necklace apart and make it into a heart charm bracelet. Short entry today; I'm behind in my beading projects!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ridgeway cantaloupes!!!!

Our Ridgeway, N.C. community of farmers is known country-wide for its famously sweet cantaloupes. They used to be shipped by train to upscale
restaurants in Richmond, VA, Washington, DC and New York, as well as
points south of Warren County. There is something in a small acreage of soil in this part of the county that makes the cantaloupes so good, and each summer nearing July 4th, we all wait to see the few families who grow "the REAL cantaloupes" to put out their signs and park the farm trucks at the end of their driveways which front US No.1 Highway. I wish I could send everyone some through cyberspace to enjoy, but this photo is the best I can do!

These two little books I found last week at our local vintage shop.....this first one is full of short and sweet little verses of grace to say before meals on each day of the year. It was published in 1911.
And this little book was published in 1923 and on the inside first page states:

"Birthday wishes and greetings from Tennyson". There is a photo of Lord Tennyson and each page of the book has birth dates on the left, and blank lines across from each date for you to enter favorite relatives and friends' birth dates. I still am using my old "birthday book" from 1965 and surely wish some publisher would print new books like these! Mine is falling apart and I've heard other friends say also they wish they knew where to find a little hardbacked book to list people's birthdays in. Then all you need to do the first of each month is to check your "birthday book" to see whose special days you need to send a card or give a phone call to wish them another "Happy Birthday"!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mother Nature again.........

We have been blessed with several good rains the last week or so, but some trees are shedding leaves. These perfect little heart-shaped redbud tree leaves are plastered all over the deck.
And finally, some wonderful bright colors of zinnias! One of my summer favorites; I can bring some into the house to enjoy and they last for many days! This rich yellow just looks like a burst of sunshine.
This hot pink zinnia is my favorite so far! I don't know what it is with getting older and liking brighter colors, but I'm hearing the same from others enjoying our "golden years"! These make me want to get out my watercolors and brushes again.............

Sunday, July 6, 2008

........more parade photos...........

.......okay! Here's one of the gorgeous vintage cars that came for the old car show.......that wonderful 1957 Chevrolet (with tail fins!) that we all loved and dated in back in the old days! Mmmmmm......sweet memories of drive-in movies and drive-in restaurants!
And this little train engine is blurred, but was sponsored by the Ruritan Club, but the driver was in high spirits for the day!
This is the Hawtree Volunteer Fire Dept. truck, which serves this rural area of 400 residents. Of course it travels into other townships if needed........we love and appreciate our volunteer firemen out here in the country! The fire dept. co-sponsors the little parade with the Wise Baptist Church......when you park your vehicle in the lot you are asked to drop a few dollars into a fireman's boot for your entrance fee.......what a great way to show the firemen our support.
The live bluegrass band was set up in the side yard of the Wise Baptist Church, the other main sponsor of the annual parade. And I didn't get a photo of the big tents and cookers that were serving BBQ and all sorts of other good eats (all home-made, of course!). It all smelled wonderful!!
This little parade has been held for seven years; and this is the usual way the residents come out to watch it go by their front yards. By the way, their yards face directly onto US No. 1 highway, and the state highway patrol actually shuts down the main drag long enough for the parade to go by! I reckon the truckers and travelers at either end of town (less than a mile) wonder what's going on, and some have been known to park and join in the fun! Warren County is a wonderful friendly place to live, work and play.....come on down and join our parade next July 4th!!!