Category Archives: Fauna

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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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.

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!

 

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.

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!

 

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 …

Lined Up

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Where did Summer go?

The watering cans, well-used, gave drinks to so many flowers and veggies

planted on our deck.

Now we’ve picked our last cherry tomatoes,

watered the impatiens and petunias for the last times,

and prepare to winterize soon.

But not too soon.

Please.

Give us more beautiful Autumn days to sprinkle thirsty flowers,

though spindly and fading,

just to enjoy the task.

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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Little Details from the Garden

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God’s beautiful creation details!

The B Family – Life on Their Ohio Farm

When J and K asked me to capture their family’s lifestyle photos on their farm, I was excited to meet them. A day of thunderstorms almost thwarted our efforts. But late in the evening, a rainbow appeared over the soy bean fields, and the sky cleared for us to meet on their farm. I said a thank-You prayer. What a beautiful location!

I was in photographer’s heaven on earth to see all the colorful sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias, gladiolas, marigolds, and sweet peas K had planted in addition to his corn and bean crops. I gasped when I saw the beautiful old barn wood, pallets, stone piles, and tractors to include in backgrounds. What fun we had moving from one spot to the next!

But most important, what a loving, caring family I was blessed to meet and get to know for a couple hours. How many parents have teens and pre-teens who beg to have their photos taken with their parents and never tire of the directions and suggestions? In fact, they had their own awesome suggestions for me to include in their photos.

This evening was above awesome! Take a look and see!

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A natural “frame” for dad and mom! And how about that girl power?

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Kudos to these parents! Their kiddos showed so much love and respect.

They definitely mimic what they see and hear.

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Awww! One of my many favorites. Dear Daughter’s expression makes me giggle.

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A hardworking TEAM B!

I didn’t bring tool props. They are REAL and we didn’t look far for them.

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The wildflower garden by their country home.

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The brick walkway and arbor that K built, leading to their home’s front door.

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These kids don’t just love each other. They LIKE each other too.

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The B Family and kitty Eenie. They told me an eagle nests in the woods behind them.

We didn’t see it on this evening though.

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This father’s love for his daughter is amazing to see. So protective.

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The guys enjoy their hobbies!

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Eenie gets a lot of love from her sweet and spunky friend! Oh does she have beautiful eyes too. Eenie’s friend, I mean!

Aren’t those denims drying on the clothesline the best?!

And the textures on this farm just made me over the top happy.

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Son #1

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Dear Daughter — I love how her initials had been painted on the barn by the previous farm owners.

Had to gobble up that opportunity for a perfect background for her!

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Son #2

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Now you see how much FUN I had with the B Family!

It was a blessing to be with you all. Let’s do it again sometime!

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Our Garden Blooms

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
~~
Luther Burbank

This past year we’ve added a butterfly garden at our home and we enjoy seeing it from our kitchen window. The butterflies, bees, and birds have found this special place! God’s creation is so beautiful and intricate!

Here are some of this summer’s blooms:

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Welcome, Spring! It’s Blissful!

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The flowering Japanese cherry tree has the most delicate, ruffled blooms, and is so pretty against the clear blue sky! I wish the blooms would last all Spring and Summer!

In the Bleak Midwinter

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In the bleak mid-winter  Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter Long ago.

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I enjoy photographing nature and little details of God’s creation even on a cold winter day. On this day we had accumulated 9 inches of new snow, and some of our drifts were higher than two feet tall. My boots weren’t tall enough to keep the cold, icy, snow out, but it was well worth the effort in our garden areas to capture these dried flowers still on their stalks, topped with a dollop of snow. The images, plus a mug of hot chocolate, were sweet rewards.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk, And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel Which adore.

Angels and archangels May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim Thronged the air –
But only His mother In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved With a kiss.

What can I give Him, Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give Him – Give my heart.

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When I found this heart-shaped leaf lying in the snow next to our sidewalk, it reminded me of the stanza, “What can I give Him — Give my heart.”

“In the Bleak Midwinter” is a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti written before 1872 in response to a request from the magazine Scribner’s Monthly for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in Rossetti’s Poetic Works in 1904.

The poem became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Gustav Holst. 

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Bougainvillea Blooms

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This potted bougainvillea has bloomed its heart out this summer, and is still giving us a great show of color off our patio area. I love the tiny white blossoms inside the coral leaf-petals. They’re so intricate and lace-like!

Madagascar Orchid Show

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“The Orchid Show–Madagascar 2013” is in full bloom through March 31 at the St Louis Botanical Garden. It’s a colorful and fragrant place to visit during the dullness of the winter!

The Garden has about 7,000 individual orchid plants representing approximately 280 genera and more than 2,500 unique orchid taxa.

Volunteers spend weeks designing and arranging the orchid show each year. This year’s theme highlights the Garden’s long-standing research and conservation work in Madagascar.

See more about the Missouri Botanical Garden by visiting http://www.mobot.org or by liking their facebook page: Missouri Botanical Garden.

Psalm 103

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The Word of the Lord lasts forever!

Blooms in My May Gardens

Blooms in My Garden May 2011

Earth Laughs in Flowers

 Earth laughs in flowers.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Hamatreya”

My best friend/dear husband and I strolled through the Missouri Botanical Gardens yesterday with camera ready.

These are just a few of the hundreds of luscious blooms and new leaves in God’s gorgeous world. Red maples. Crabapples. Red buds. Daffodils. Tulips. Pansies. Viburnum. Johnny Jump Ups. I just want to live there!

Some of my favorite quotes about flowers:

‘Tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes!
~William Wordsworth, “Lines Written in Early Spring,” Lyrical Ballads, 1798

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
~William Wordsworth, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” 1804

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Afternoon on a Hill”

Look at us, said the violets blooming at her feet, all last winter we slept in the seeming death but at the right time God awakened us, and here we are to comfort you.  ~Edward Payson Rod

Happy awakening! Happy Spring!