Category Archives: Botanicals

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A New Beginning

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Monarch Note Cards

In a short time, our Monarch raising season 2018 will be over and we’ll miss seeing the beauties in the gardens. I’ll miss grabbing my camera to capture them!

Here is a sampling of the Monarch note cards I’ve made by matting my photos and attaching them to 5 x 7 inch note cards. The colors are spectacular!

Inside I stamp a sentiment such as “Happy Birthday!”, “Thinking of you”, “Praying for you”, and “Celebrate Life!”

Each is unique and each honors a special butterfly that we raised this Summer.

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Danaus Plexippus — The Monarch

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The Monarch may be the most recognized butterfly in North America, and maybe in the world!

Three years ago we began to plant milkweed, the host plant for the adult female Monarch to lay eggs and for the caterpillar to feed on the leaves.

This year our nationally registered Monarch Waystation 17014 was the home to many eggs, caterpillars and nectaring Monarchs.

The slideshow presents a few of the Monarchs we released with a “Godspeed” as we watched them catch a high wind on their migratory journey to Mexico.

We enjoyed involving our gardening friends, a teen neighbor girl, and classrooms of third graders, helping them to learn more about Monarchs and establishing their own habitats to protect them.

Did you know only about 2% of all Monarch caterpillars survive in the “wild” to become a butterfly? The entire process takes only about one month. Predators are wasps, lizards, praying mantises, birds, and more.

Monarchs matter! To learn more, please visit http://www.monarchwatch.org

Lantana Camara

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Lantana Camara is one of the varieties in the Lantana family, a flowering plant that attracts both butterflies and pollinators. 

Here it’s blooming amid the lavender hosta blooms. My favorite time to capture blooms is right after a morning rain shower and before I melt with the high heat and humidity!

 

Hello, Black Swallowtails!

Our butterfly garden has been abuzz lately with the hot temperatures and high humidity this Spring. These Black Swallowtails spent some time nectaring on the Butterfly Weed before they flew to their next snack stop. These are common in the Midwest and the Swallowtail caterpillars are usually found on plants in the parsley family (fennel and parsley are favorite host plants). The butterflies look for nectar-providing flowers.

Getting Ready for the Monarchs

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Roxie and I are excited to begin our 2018 butterfly gardens!

Our new book “The Monarch” by Kylee Baumle is just packed with information about the Monarch eggs, caterpillars, chrysalis stage, and the eclosing of the beautiful Monarch! (This book is available on Amazon.com   I’m recommending the book as a personal user and do not receive any compensation for my recommendation.) 

Help save the pollinators and butterflies! Create your own special garden either in containers or in the ground by using a variety of milkweed plants and native host and nectar plants in your growing area!

Find more information at http://www.monarchwatch.org

Visit your nearest botanical garden(s) for information on butterfly and pollinator gardening.

Orchid Mania 2018

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The 2018 Orchid Mania display of hundreds of species of orchids is spectacular each year at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I always enjoy leisurely browsing and finding new surprises as I visit and take photos of unusual orchids! The display ends March 25 this year, so go soon if you can! The colors and the natural light are good medicine for the soul and body on a dark winter day!

 

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Amaryllis in Full Bloom

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The Candy Floss amaryllis bloomed its heart out with multiple flowers on two different stems, and amazingly these lasted for our enjoyment for 10 days! They were spectacular!

My Candy Floss Amaryllis Series

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Catching the Sun

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“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder, Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder: On Wisdom and Virtues

Walk in a favorite place. Soak in the sunshine. Bask in God’s goodness and love. Pray in adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. Delight in all His blessings to you and yours. Breathe deeply and feel grateful. Go and serve others. Catch the sun. Share the Son.

Golden Wedding Anniversary

Golden sunshine blessed us with great light on the afternoon of this dear couple’s anniversary photo session! These are just a handful of the captures for their anniversary book. I can’t wait to see which one they chose for their canvas wall art! I couldn’t have asked for more natural subjects! They are a great example of love and commitment for all who know them and witness their kindness and service to others.

Fritillaries

Fritillaries visited our butterfly garden en masse this summer, perhaps due to the southerly winds from Hurricane Harvey.

My Butterfly Garden

The bumblebees have found my purple coneflowers! I’m still waiting patiently for the Monarchs to arrive. I’ve spotted one Tiger Swallowtail so far.

The “blanket flowers” and butterfly weed and many more plants that attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and yellow finches are just waiting for visitors! I think our cool, wet Spring has affected the pollinators and butterflies so far. So I’ll keep watching!

 

Sunset at Taneycomo

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The worst day of fishing is better than the best day at work.

Sunset fishing at Lake Taneycomo in southern Missouri. He got his line wet, the fish weren’t biting, but he went to sleep relaxed.

It’s all about the bait. And being patient.

Ornamental Cabbage

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Looking forward to digging in the garden and planting beautiful veggies and blooms — dreaming through these next few months!

Love the colors in a variety of ornamental cabbage plants that range from dark to light shades. It’s fun to browse the seed catalogs and plan …

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Alstromerias in Pink

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Alstromerias

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Flowers make me happy, especially in the bleak winter days when the sun doesn’t shine for weeks on end!

Alstromerias can be found in a variety of colors in our local florists’ shops and gardening stores. These are a bright spot on a January day!

Monarchs Have Migrated to Mexico

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This is the last Monarch to visit our butterfly garden in 2016. We enjoyed each and every one that we saw, and thank God for His creation and their beauty! The monarchs enjoyed our butterfly weed, milkweed plants, and butterfly bushes (this one is named “Ruby”) as well as the zinnias and impatiens blooming here.

Read more about Monarchs and their migration here and on other sites that you find when searching Google for “monarchs” and “migration.”

Remember to save your flower seeds and plant in the early spring to help make your environment more butterfly friendly!

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/03/160314-monarchs-mexico-endangered-rare-butterflies-animals/

A Walk in the Park

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Autumn … Ahh!

Leaf colors are beginning to change.

It couldn’t have been a more beautiful morning for this long walk in the park!

Fresh Produce–Healthy Eating

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We’re thankful to be able to grow tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies and herbs on our deck where the deer and squirrels aren’t likely to share in the feast!

This summer we planted two variety of reds–Roma and Cherry Girl, and two of yellow pear tomatoes. They are all still producing, though ripening slowly now that Fall temperatures have arrived. 

Sometimes a tomato or two doesn’t even make it into the kitchen. 

Anticipating the Monarchs

When you plant milkweed and coneflowers, the monarchs WILL come!

If I were a butterfly or a bee, I’d like to live here.

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Happy Hostas

Rain has been abundant this spring and summer. The fauna and flora in our area are all very happy. The best watering comes from heavenly watering, a wise gardener once told me. Better than any spigot and garden hose.

Hosta blooms captured with my macro lens right after an early morning rain:

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Rhododendron Beauty

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Fresh. Delicate. Ethereal.

This is just one of the hundreds of Spring blooms in our gardens.

I can’t get enough of this beauty. Simply awesome to see and inhale.