Friday, April 30, 2010

This One's For Sheana! :)

Even though Sheana, and her dear family, will be here in five weeks, by then, her favorite tree will no longer be in full bloom! So, with her in mind, I've posted many photos of her beloved tree! Hopefully these pic's will bring pleasure to others of you too! :)

This tree has a story to tell! When we first moved here, she was just a baby. She had been a mother's day gift to the previous owner, and was the one thing she said she'd like to have once she got settled. If she hadn't come for it within two years, it would be too big to safely move, and it would then become mine! - So for our first two years at this property, I thought of the tree as being Erleens! After two years came and went, the tree became ours, in both my mind and heart! :)

If you look close, you will notice harsh cuts, where whole branches have been severed! She developed a disease that I've been fighting over the years! I think we are getting a handle on it because she looked fairly healthy last year, and looks very healthy this year!! She is worth her weight in gold, to me, so I'm anxious to do whatever it takes to see to her needs! She pays us back with glorious blooms each spring, shade in the summer, and a full span of color each fall! :)
Soon this devine mass of blooms will drop to the grass and blanket the ground like a pink carpet! I just love her in all of her stages, through every season! For those who may not recognize her, she is an ornamental cherry tree! :)

No matter what angle I look at her from, I enjoy her beauty! :)

I hope you enjoyed this bit of time with her too! :)
And Sheana, I know how you love seeing her in bloom, so ... this one's for you! :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Hummers! :)

I was sitting on the front deck experimenting with the zoom lens on my Sure Shot cam! :)
Here you see a male Rufous Hummingbird (red) on our left, and a female (green) on our right! :)

I was surprised when the male zipped right over to the female, and continued lapping up the nectar next to her! :)

I turned the focus of the lens to the feeder closest to me for a closer zoom! This is may favorite hummer photo, so far! :) If it enlarges when you click on this photo, you will even see his tiny tongue extending from his beak! :)

Don't they make the nectar look desirable and refreshing!? :)

From this angle I can't tell if this is a female or a young male. Since it's early in the season, I'm thinking it's a female! :)

I love how her green feathers shimmer! :)
When we first moved here we didn't have any hummers, which seemed strange to me since we are out in the country! Through the years I've planted many trees, shrubs, and flowering perennials and, between the landscaping and the feeders, we now have many regulars who come to our yard every year!! :)
They are great pollinators, like the many bees that come to our property, and they are my favorite bird, so I love having them around! :)
Since we've lived here over 16 years, I now have something in bloom almost year round! When the last expected frost has passed, I'll be planting a long row of flowering annual seeds in the veggie garden and, once they begin flowering, they can zip through the garden to their hearts content! I'll enjoy their company when I'm out there working!! :) One of my many pleasures is having happy hummers! :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tree Tassels, Blossoms, & Bling! :)

Oh how I love trees in the Spring, - dressed in tassels, blossoms, & bling!! :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

First Attempts At Wildlife! :)

When I first knew I wanted my "Christmas camera", it was for the purpose of being able to take photos of birds and other wildlife! The photos that follow are pretty much (the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), of these first attempts! :) I was lucky to be close enough to take this first clear (Good) photo of a tree swallow, before we noticed each other! Even so, the zoom lens came in handy! :)
Here's how close I was without the zoom! :)

This is one of the female finches! She's either the purple finch or the house finch, - I can never tell them apart! I just know these birds sing like they're rejoicing! :)

I managed to catch two females in the lens! I hope this photo enlarges when you click on it, for greater enjoyment! :)

I've been wishing I had the camera with me whenever I see the elk out in an area close to where we live! Rud took it with him one evening just in case the elk were visable and took some decent photos! We're still trying to learn how to keep some of the zoom photos from being grainy. :)

This (Bad) photo is grainy due to being taken from inside the house, through two pains of window glass! One day I hope to take a photo of the hummers outdoors before they zip away! :)

I always enjoy seeing Canadian Geese fly overhead! :)

I couldn't resist taking (Ugly) photos of these vultures that showed up! Turned out the lens had fog-like dust on it, from being out on the beach! I came in and cleaned the lens, but by then they had gone! I would have loved to have gotten clearer photos! :)
Who would have thought such an unattractive buzzard would have such graceful flight! :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Fought And Tamed The Dragon! :)

It takes great courage to fight a dragon! Some tell me it's foolishness in me to have done it! They say I should leave the fight to those warriors who're more experienced and have the better skills and armor! Pay Them to fight my fight! - But I've fought dragons before, and I believed in my own skill and my trusty sword and armor! - For a time, in the midst of the battle, I wondered if I Was being fool-hardy! This turned out to be my toughest dragon yet! There was so much power in this one that I felt emblazonded in it's Fire!!
But as I fought I began to see that, at last, I was getting the upper hand! It's fire was failing and it was beginning to cough on it's own smoke! :)

It wasn't long before I had brought the dragon down to size! :)

I looked deep into it's eyes and sighed! ... Taxes are done for another year! ... I have fought and tamed the dragon!! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April Flowers! :)

We're all familiar with the saying "April showers bring May flowers." Here's proof that April has flowers all her own! :)

Thought I'd throw in a photo of the area I planted with succulents! I needed plants that could take the full sun this area will be getting this summer! :)

Had to toss in a photo of these skimmia berries too! :)

While the peonies aren't in bloom yet, some of their buds are noticably swelling! :)

I love seeing flowers that have been kissed by dew and the morning sun, like these, that are in full bloom, right now, in April! :)
So while it's true that April brings alot of showers, (atleast here in western WA), - April also brings flowers, long before May arrives! :)
I could have added the flowering quince, in full bloom, but since I recently posted a couple photos of them, I thought it may be repetitious to add them again.
I, for one, appreciate April flowers and the bees and hummingbirds are enjoying them too! Hope they brightened your day as well! :)