Place – Six on Saturday – Cedar Lake

Twenty-five years ago, on hot summer days, I took my pre-teen sons to a beautiful swimming pond called Washington Lake. The place closed, was vacant for years, but recently was repurposed into a walking park. The day was warm, but there was plenty of ice on the water to remind us it was still February. It was a perfect opportunity to visit a beloved place I hadn’t seen in decades.

The beach, once dotted with lawn chairs and umbrellas, is still wide and inviting. New docks now stand where once my boys jumped from diving boards and slid down slides.

The water is so clear it reminded us of the Caribbean. It is pristine, almost like looking through glass.

We walked all the way around, something you couldn’t do years ago, now the walking trails give you a 360 degree view.

This little knoll seemed a perfect place to picnic.

The white pine in the surrounding woodland is beautiful. I saw a lot of milkweed pods too, a good place for monarch butterflies to thrive. In about six weeks or so the trees might begin to bud. We will try to visit often in the next few months.

This challenge is part of Six on Saturday and Skywatch.

Photo Challenge & Quick Tip – Six on Saturday/Poinsettias

Poinsettias—I bought several this year to brighten up the house for Christmas. The variety of colors and easy availability of these holiday plants causes me to pause when passing a pallet of the bright flowers. I usually give into temptation and bring one, or more, home.

The ‘Six on Saturday’ Challenge was a perfect foil for my lack of willpower, and I have four types of poinsettias to display as part of my six, with an additional two as a Quick Christmas Tip. The flowers are also a good choice for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.

A common problem I encounter with Poinsettias, no matter how carefully packed inside their cellophane sleeves, is the broken stems from overcrowded displays, a rough ride down the cashier’s conveyor belt, or a bumpy trip home. Taken out of their protective plastic it is almost inevitable one or two stems will be cracked or broken, revealing a dying flower.

Years ago I read a blog post on using these broken stems in vases. It seemed a hopeless experiment, but I gave it a try. Oh my, success was achieved within an hour. The broken stems filled with water, the limp bracts spread out and were almost more beautiful than the stems still in the pot.

If you don’t find a broken stem you can always harvest one from the back of your plant for a vased arrangement. My Poinsettia cuttings are over a week old, and I am hoping they will eventually develop roots. Oh the JOY, another experiment to try. Keeps me going. Merry Christmas to you.

How to propagate Poinsettia plants

Although I read you need to singe the ends of poinsettias to use them in arrangements, I did nothing but cut and pop my broken stems in water. Perhaps singeing the stems is needed only if you use them in floral foam.

Using Poinsettias in Floral Arrangements.

Photo Challenges – Six on Saturday

We visited Longwood Gardens this week. The conservatory was filled with Christmas trees, some elegant and designed by floral experts, a few covered with decorations created by children. All the trees were beautiful, but my favorites were in the Exhibition Hall, atop the sunken marble floor, with faux ice above the water.

This post is part of Six on Saturday.

Photo Challenge – Six on Saturday/Sanctuary of Light

GOD’S DIAMONDS – An overnight rain left our pine trees covered in a million sparkles in the morning sunlight. I feel blessed when I am able to see such a beautiful work of art at the beginning of the day.
LIGHT REFLECTED ON RIPPLING STREAM – Slanting Autumn sunlight mirrors the colors of stained glass onto the brook.
END OF THE ROAD GOLD – A final glory, the best is at the last…golden leaves beside the creek.
STAINED GLASS COLEUS – Did the first stained glass craftsmen use nature as inspiration? (This beautiful pot of coleus are growing in my home. They self-seeded in the front garden in an odd and unusual manner. More on this in a later post.)
MORNING-BORN GRATITUDE – I don’t need rose-colored glasses to feel blessed when a day starts in living color.
GOD’S DIAMONDS PART II – I am bookending my Six on Saturday with more morning sunshine diamonds in the pines.

Thanks to THE PROPAGATOR blog for this great challenge.