Phlowers – Yellow Nature

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Forsythia on an overcast day.

The forsythia seemed to be the only sunshine as I watched the sky on this day of April showers.

Creeping Jenny

I find a sense of security in the burst of color from garden perennials. I rely on the plants that green up and blossom with the warmth of the springtime sun. They give me hope that winter is truly behind us.

Double Daffodil

I planted dozens of daffodils in the Autumn. Even against an angry sky they glow.

Hyacinth

This pale yellow hyacinth might not have strong color, but it still has the same glorious scent as the varieties that sport brighter hues. This hyacinth is my choice for Flower of the Day.

Johnny-Jump-Up Violas

Rounding out my collection of yellow flowers are these sweet Johnny-Jump-Ups.

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.

Phlowers – Friday Gems

Black-eyed Susans are a reliable flower in my gardens. They usually don’t last the whole summer, and often fall victim to downy mildew on the leaves, but the golden sunshine they display is worth growing them. I’ve never been able to eradicate the mildew once it starts, so my remedy is to plant a late-flowering annual nearby to take over when the Black-eyed Susan withers away. This Photograph is part of Skywatch Friday.

The plants are part of the sunflower family and will turn their faces to follow the sun. There are many varieties of this beautiful garden flower. The long stems make them a perfect choice for floral arrangements.

Black-eyed Susans are a reliable self-seeder. Let them go to seed and they will return every year.

Black-eyed Susans are part of Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.

Place – Richland Tree

In the town of Richland, New Jersey, between the Delaware River and the Jersey Shore, on Route 40, there stands a tree. Carved into a 235 year old oak tree that died in 2015, are scenes of trains, sawmills, clocks, homes, weathervanes, farms, chickens, people, roadsigns, etc. It’s an amazing sight.

The 235-year-old oak tree, centerpiece of the park, died in 2015. Instead of chopping it down, Richland hired chainsaw artist Brian Ackley to carve the town’s history into the tree’s trunk and branches. He expects to finish later in 2017, in time for Richland to celebrate its 150th birthday. ~Roadside America

We found this place on the return trip from Ocean City. Since Route 55 has been finished, no one travels the ‘old’ way ‘down the shore’ anymore. In the age of the pandemic, leisurely drives are making a comeback. It had been near two decades since we were on this road. We found a few surprises, the most interesting, The Richland Oak.

This post is part of Skywatch.

I’m so glad I found the site Roadside America. Who knew that near this old oak tree are also musical robots. I’m going to have to take a few moments tonight and browse all the interesting places for a drive in my area. Put some towns near you in the search bar, and find things you never knew were near to you.

Pleasures – Warm Day Walkabout/Emerging Spring

We’ve had an up and down week, snow one day, gorgeous sunshine and a taste of springtime the next. A midday walkabout was just what I needed.

A glance upward revealed a blush of Venetian red maple buds against the blue sky.

In my yard I noticed the wisteria pods have been scavenged for food. Spring can’t come quick enough for the hungry animals.

The daffodils are pushing upward. I love the smooth texture of the spring green in contrast to the brown leaves, mosses, and dried grass textures of winter.

I checked on my winter sown containers. Nothing is sprouting as of yet. It’s time for me to take my permanent marker outdoors again and reinforce the labeling of the contents. I don’t want to try and guess what’s growing inside when it’s time to plant.

As always, the first bloom in my garden is this tiny yellow crocus. Every year, it’s a reliable forerunner of all the glorious flowers to come. Am I excited about this taste of spring? Oh Yes!

Pheathers – Monochrome Monday Mockingbird in Snow

Mockingbirds are a favorite of mine. I captured this beauty outside my window today, perched on a branch of the Bald Cypress tree. The beautiful snow is reason enough to gaze out the window, making eye-contact with a mockingbird is an added bonus. Is it possible to develop friendship with birds, moments of real trust? Possibly this morning was an inroad to even better relationships with the backyard flock. I trudged out in the snow to throw a bit of seed on the ground, and into the feeder hoping to give them a few minutes of nourishment before the snow covered my breakfast offering over again.

This Monochrome Monday post is part of Skywatch.

Photo Challenge – Weather Vane Wednesday/Seashore Offerings Part I

We took a Sunday drive to Ocean City, Strathmere and Sea Isle City, New Jersey on the weekend.  Most weather vanes I see tend to be near our seashore towns.  We saw at least three vanes that had spun and predicted wind for so long they lost their decorative top piece and were left with only letters. The chosen weather vane photograph is one my husband predicted, ‘Maybe today you’ll get two vanes in one photo.’ Within minutes of his remark I did just that. Can you see the second vane behind the first in the distance.

Most of the vanes I find at the seashore have a nautical or ocean theme. One interesting note is the positioning of both vanes. These two are actually working vanes and both show the wind blowing from the same direction.

Thanks to these blogs for their participation in last week’s Weather Vane Wednesday. Take at look at their great weather vanes:
The 59 Club – The Highest Point
Exploring Color – Farm Barn Vanity
This Made Me Smile Today – Seascape Weathervane

The weather vanes, seen from above and below, are also a perfect fit for Nancy Merrill’s challenge of Above and Below.

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. The challenge is open all week for comments and posts. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!

Perspective, Photograph & Quote – Waiting

The mountain laurel, late in blooming this year, is finally flowering. It blooms in a small woods near our home. I like to photograph the pristine white flowers illuminated by the canopy of trees and sky.

This Spring, everything has been late in coming into leaf or flower, we’ve waited on just about everything, including the warm weather. I found quite a few quotes on waiting and some lauded the ability to wait while others criticized the tendency. I liked this one by Lincoln…

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

                                      ~ Abraham Lincoln

Today I think I will choose to hustle!

Photograph – Skywatch Friday – Eerie Skyscape

I was outside on my front lawn last night, camera pointed toward the sky. I haven’t taken part in Skywatch Friday for quite a while. Last night’s sky was the perfect opportunity to create a post. The eerie sky was the forerunner of a winter storm. A chilly mix is falling even as I write these words…rain mixed with snow. I went outside before breakfast, dressed in my nightclothes,  and picked a big bouquet of daffodils; I wasn’t willing to allow all the beautiful yellow blooms to be crushed beneath the weight of falling snow.

Photograph – Skywatch Friday in February

skywatch feb 26

If you’ve read my blog with any regularity you might recognize these beautiful pines silhouetted against the sunrise. This is the view from the room where I begin most of my mornings. The sun is rising earlier each day…Hallelujah! Spring is definitely around the corner.

“Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.” ~ Genesis 1:14

I hadn’t taken part in Skywatch Friday for quite awhile, and thought perhaps this sunrise was a good starting point for my day and blog posting. Check out the site: Skywatch Friday and take part in the challenge too.