Category Archives: Flora

Getting Ready …

Dogwood Bud
Heatherwood Spring

I have been keeping a close eye on our dogwood tree buds. A few are getting ready to start their bloom. The sepals on this bud are starting to pull back. Soon the blossom will start to appear. The yellow blur in the background is a Wintersonne Mugo Pine. I had to stand on my tip toes to line the bud up with the Wintersonne. It was hard to keep the camera steady on my toes. (I was too lazy to go in and get a tripod.) I took a million images to get one that was reasonably crisp. It was a good way to pass the time!

The last couple of weeks, I have been spending way, way too much time sitting around. My excursions have been short trips to the garden to take a few images. I have made a resolution to be much more active in April as we will be pretty much staying at home.

  1. I will take a daily walk or mini-hike with Mary around our neighborhood and hills around our home.
  2. I will work/play a bit each day in our garden to get it ready for spring.
  3. I will experiment with new techniques and approaches with my my camera to improve my overall skills.

And above all I will make the most of each day as I enjoy the wonders of the world around us!

A Star Harbinger

Star Magnolia
Heatherwood Spring

Looking up at me
bright and brilliant as a star
brings spring’s warm glory.

The Seattle Japanese Garden posts a daily photo accompanied with a haiku. The haiku form is a 3 line poem consisting of 17 phonetic syllables. The first line has 5 syllables, the second 7 and the third 5. I thought I would give it a try (at lease for one post).

The star magnolia is the second plant in our garden to bloom each year, following the forsythia. We do not have any spring bulbs planted … yet. This spring we are planting several shrubs and trees that will produce even earlier blossoms. Hopefully this fall we will get some spring flowering bulbs in the ground.

Immersed in Warmth

North Star Spruce
Heatherwood Spring

This image just gives me warmth. The warm spring sun was highlighting a Wintersomme Mugo Pine. It was radiating its bright yellow winter color. My assignment was to find something interesting to put in front of it. The tip of a young North Star Spruce called out “Here I Am.”

The Coronavirus and “Social Distancing” will be with us for quite some time I am afraid. To me, “Social Distancing” is the wrong term to use. “Physical Distancing” is really what we should be addressing. With all the means we have for remotely communicating including social media, there is no reason that we need to lock our minds and souls up and quarantine communication and connections with others. Physical distancing is important in today’s time, but nothing is stopping us for reaching out and saying, “Here I Am!”

It Has Started …

Viburnum Starting to Bloom
Heatherwood Spring

Like I mentioned in a previous post, I have been watching this viburnum waiting for it to bloom. A few of the bud pods are now opening up. Very soon, white blossoms will appear form each of the individual flower buds. Maybe tomorrow!

It is an exciting time of year in the garden. Little needles are starting to emerge from buds on the evergreens. Tiny cones are starting to form. Buds on our cherry, plum, crabapple, and pear trees are swelling. A few leaves are popping out on our October Glory maple. Needles are turning from their winter yellows and browns to their spring light green. Things are happening!

The First Day of Spring

Star Magnolia Bloom
Heatherwood Spring

Today is an absolutely beautiful spring day here in Eastern Washington. The sky is bright blue and the temperature is a warm 65 degrees. It couldn’t be a nicer day. I spent a good part of the morning going from plant to plant photographing emerging flower and leaf buds. I finished the morning off sitting with Mary overlooking our stream soaking in the rays from the sun. It felt so, so good!

The beauty of this simple star magnolia bloom brings me peace. Nature is not letting the Coronavirus gain the upper hand. We all need to do the same. Gradually things will get better like nature gradually transitioning from winter dormancy, through spring awakening, to the flourish of summer brightness. There are so many things to be thankful for. Take a walk and enjoy nature … spring is here!

Any Day Now …

Viburnum
Heatherwood

I have been watching this viburnum for a couple of weeks waiting for the buds to pop open in bloom. It should happen any day now … I hope.

During these times when it is best to stay home and keep isolated as much as possible, I am so thankful that I can just walk through our garden and enjoy the wonder of nature that surrounds me. My camera is always busy. It is a catalyst to stop, look at things in detail, and discover little jewels that I have passed by many times before. There is always something new to see and explore!

Sunshine in Your Face

Pinus mugo ‘Wintersomeā€¯
Heatherwood Spring

Walking along our garden path, these bright yellow mugo pines burst sunshine into my face. During the winter the pines turn to bright yellow and highlight the winter garden. The side light of the late afternoon sun creates a glow around the the edges of the shrub. They look like a sunburst. Soon they will be turning into their bright green summer color.

Spring is Coming

Heatherwood

With all the crazy things going on and the limitations we are all managing as the result of Coronavirus precautions, I am spending my free time outside in our garden and taking walks in nature. I will start a series of postings on harbingers of spring.

With the mild seasonal temperatures we have experienced this winter, many plants and trees have started budding early. This little spruce is about ready to release its spring growth.

Have a happy day and get out and enjoy nature if you can.

When Something Catches My Eye

Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Garden

A splash of white and pink,
Against a sea of red, blue and green,
Is a pleasure to be seen!

Clusters of orchids were everywhere. Tourists and other photographers were lined up to get that “perfect” orchid image. I stepped back and walked away when I saw this lone flower standing out all by itself. Behind it several feet, were other blooms and foliage of various colors. I walked around the flower to get an interesting combination of color as a background. I used a wide aperture to separate the flower and blur the background. It looked great on my camera display. I was happy!

But when I got home and viewed the image on a large monitor, I was disappointed. By using a wide aperture and blurring the background, the flower itself was not as sharp as I would like. I could not give up on the image and used a little Topaz Impression to add an artistic perspective.

“The Chief”

“Chief Joseph”
Lodgepole Pine

In my last post, I described the path up to the top of our Japanese-style garden. This is the “Chief” that I mentioned at the the first turn of the upward path. The brilliant gold of this small pine stops me in my tracks. It is absolutely beautiful against the cold winter snow. It is a jewel in this area of the garden.

Bright and light it captures me.
Gold shines apart from the surrounding land,
Everything else is a background blur.