an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Posts tagged “plants

Chicory

Chicory
Chicory

Chicory

Chicory. From today’s walk to the bank. Taken with my phone. Wildflowers are everywhere. Some people misunderstand and call them weeds.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Busy Bees

Busy Bees
Busy Bees

Busy Bees

Bees, hard at work in the garden, all taken in a 15-minute span—and these were the ones who weren’t too blurry or didn’t look alike. Don’t forget to plant something for them to eat so we can eat too. Collage made in Instagram.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Phloxy

Phloxy
Phloxy

Phloxy

Taken in my garden this morning and filtered in Instagram. I let the phlox grow a little wild.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Rise Now and Sing

Rise Now and Sing
Rise Now and Sing

Rise Now and Sing

The dewy phlox flowers greet the morning.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Good Morning, Everyone!

Good Morning Everyone!
Good Morning Everyone!

Good Morning Everyone!

Good morning everyone! The feverfew was up bright and early this morning! I love that yellow early morning sunlight.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Old-fashioned

Old-fashioned
Old-fashioned

Old-fashioned

Peonies always seem so frilly and fussy when they are actually quite resilient plants. I like this old favorite, not one of the double varieties that is a mass of petals but a singled variety called “Sea Shell”, delicate pink with flowers like crepe-paper, or like the crepe de chine fabric that had been so popular in the 1940s when this was named, or like the fluted edges of a clamshell. A friend’s grandmother gave up her home to a highway, and my friend gave me this peony from her grandmother’s yard.

Sea Shell Peony

Sea Shell Peony

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Stand Out in a Crowd

Stand Out in a Crowd
Stand Out in a Crowd

Stand Out in a Crowd

Just one white crocus among all the purples in my neighbor’s little garden. It appeared on its own a few years ago—this clump of crocuses were all purple for years, and I have the photos to prove it because I’ve photographed them just about every year even though the photos look pretty much the same. Some people want to remove it because it breaks up the perfection of purple, plant it somewhere else on its own, but this is where it was meant to be. Some things are like that.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


On Planting Peas

Pease Vine
Pease Vine

Pease Vine

It’s my annual paean to gardening and the cycles of life.

Every year in the month of March I awaken one morning with the knowledge it’s time to plant the peas, another step in the flow of the seasons. Though I have plants growing indoors, this is truly the beginning of the gardening season for me. Whether it’s the sun, moon, weather, schedule or simple urge to get out there and get my hands dirty I don’t know, but I enjoy the simple manual labor without assistance from any electronic device, ears open to the birds, face feeling the breeze, hands and feet feeling the earth. Many a photo, poem, essay and painting has been inspired by the simple acts of growing things.

Today might be the day though I have much cleanup out there and the soil is either too frozen or too soggy, yet very son I feel, it will be, and then I will be far too busy, and nowhere near my computer, to post this essay, so I want to share it now, and share my excitement for the coming season of growing. I first read this essay for the first New Year Poetry and Prose Reading of the erstwhile Carnegie Writer’s Group which I’d led from 2003 to 2006. In the meantime, my “Early Sweetness” peas are at the ready for when the day comes.

On Planting Peas

It is early March and I am planting peas. The wan spring sun is finding its heat and lays like a warm hand upon my back as I work. Signs of approaching spring fill my senses in the mild air on my skin, the scent of damp soil and the shrieks of children as they run in frenzied circles of freedom, much like the birds swooping and circling above whistling their mix of songs.

We have passed the first intoxicating days of air that does not bite, endless sun warm enough to melt the last snowfall into a composition of dripping and trickling, soften the soil and make one’s blood run with the abandon of a stream overflowing with spring thaw. The dawns have come noticeably earlier and the muted indigo dusks have lost the sharp quickness of winter and softened to a moist lingering evening.

Perhaps it is the phase of the sun or the moon, the proximity to the vernal equinox or some eternal voice that speaks to those who will listen about the time and season of things, or my own impatience to join in with the cycle that has been going on without me for a few months. Whether it is any of these reasons or all of them or none of them, I awaken one day in March every year with the knowledge that this is the day to plant the peas. It is as clear a yearly anniversary for me as any holiday, and can…

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Wishful Thinking

Violets in spring grass.
Violets in spring grass.

Violets in spring grass.

“Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.”

~Gautama Buddha, The Dhammapada as translated by Eknath Easwaran

I’ve never been one to be dissatisfied with the season at hand. What’s the point? I’ll put my energies to more productive activities, or like Moses napping below, taken in March 2004, I’ll just enjoy what is for what it has to offer and learn from that.

Moses napping on the sun-warmed boards of the deck.

Moses napping on the sun-warmed boards of the deck.

But I will admit near the end of a season I am decidedly looking forward to the change to the next one. I have always enjoyed the changing of the seasons. I am intensely visual and even indoors I become visually bored with colors and patterns so I thank nature for providing me with a reason to wear different clothes, participate in different activities and see things in both a real and virtual different light. I also then have a marker for memories by the season, or the weather, or what I was wearing, and many other details gathered and stored by my senses. And just as I have a way to perceive the past, I have a way to shape the future with the same means.

Contact print from March 2004 photos.

Contact print from March 2004 photos.

I’ve been following the seasons in my ongoing quest to work through three decades of photos on film to determine which ones to add to my collections, and with no small amount of wishful thinking this particular year I am anticipating spring, and in my photo collections I’ve come around to the sudden burst of colors I’ll soon see blooming in my yard. On just about each roll of 36 exposures there is at least one study of one of my cats, maybe just one photo of a special moment that marks it in time for me.

Cookie at the top of the stairs in spring sun.

Cookie at the top of the stairs in spring sun.

No doubt I appreciate now more fully what I see, be it clear or blurry, artsy or simply functional, than I did when first saw the contact prints and sorted through the prints themselves. At that time I was looking for what I saw when I took the photo, and often the image didn’t look at all like what I’d “seen”, what I’d “envisioned” when I set all the settings and hit the shutter. I often met with disappointment but just as often surprise as I discovered something I hadn’t planned that I thought was far better than what I had planned. Sometimes I took field notes on the mechanics of each shot, but usually not and I had to guess how to recreate the effect based on what I remembered, but so I learned through the years, reading, studying, and experimenting with lots of photos.

Native wild columbines, trying to capture their buoyant blooming habit.

Native wild columbines, trying to capture their buoyant blooming habit.

But now I have more years of experience at both taking photos and looking at them. As I would expect, my assessment has changed, evolved, as I have learned, seen, experienced, sharpened my vision and softened my expectations, both in photography and in life. Now when I look at these photos I see more clearly what is actually there, and less what I then thought could, should or would be there.

Namir studying me through the lace curtain; look for the ear.

Namir studying me through the lace curtain; look for the ear.

It’s perfectly fine that I’ve gone through this process, that I saw things as I did when I was younger and less knowledgeable but see things as I do now through a lens more clearly focused by experience. We roll around and squall before we crawl and babble, and there to toddling and talking. Learning and change is part of life. In the same way I have learned more and yet more about caring for my cats, and myself, and my garden, and new skills and preferences that didn’t even exist when I first set out on this journey.

Contact print from April 2004 photos.

Contact print from April 2004 photos.

And as I can look through that lens filtered with my collected experiences and see what is there, I can relive the memories gathered therein, remember the heat of Moses’s fur after she’d been absorbing the sun on the deck and how deeply I loved her in that moment of trust for a formerly feral cat, or exactly what Cookie’s face looked like fearing I might actually forget, and how she always made me smile inside and out, and she knew it too, Namir studying me through the lace curtain metaphorically hiding his feelings, and those spring mornings in my yard with each of them, hearing birds whistle, finding new flowers each day, finding new ways to capture, interpret and express all of it. I can also look through it for what could be there with new ideals and aspirations modifying my view, anticipating changes to make to achieve new effects or conclusions, trying a new technique or further perfecting one I’ve been learning, determining what materials I need to achieve my goal.

Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.”

Wishful thinking has never been a bad thing. I’m looking forward to a new spring of cats and flowers so that I can perceive and interpret these things with yet one more year of experience to filter my abilities and my creative endeavors.

A cardinal seen between the porch pillar and a tree.

A cardinal seen between the porch pillar and a tree.

I originally posted this essay on The Creative Cat.

For more feline photos, visit The Creative Cat.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

 


Backlit Bouquet

wildflowers in evening woods
wildflowers in evening woods

Backlit Bouquet

I photographed this scene for the obliquely backlit combination of bold yellow coneflower and delicate wormwood, but all the varied patterns and shades of green in the background, silhouettes, shadows, blurs and bokeh, were too interesting to crop out.

Your beauty
delicate, ephemeral, eternal;

had I not chanced by
as setting sun journeyed deep into the autumn woods
to touch your face
you would still have been
as beautiful.

verse ©2014 Bernadette  E. Kazmarski

That is the first draft of a new poem, written just now after I posted this photo. We’ll see what it develops into some time in the future.

September 7: I have an edited version of this poem in progress…once I’d written the rest, I found I just didn’t need those two first lines, they felt heavy and formal, and without them I found I could reorganize the lines of the poem, especially that really long one that I couldn’t split before. I also changed the word “journeyed” to “reached” because it was more of what I’d intended, remembering the sunlight that day as it moved down toward the horizon and reached and touched different spots deep in the woods. Added a comma too.

Had I not chanced by
as setting sun
reached deep into the autumn woods

to touch your face,
you would still have been
as beautiful.

 

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


Dame’s Rocket

pink wildflower
pink wildflower

Dame’s Rocket

I’d always known this wildflower by this name but I might prefer a few others I’ve come to know: damask violet, dame’s violet, night-scented gilliflower and summer lilac, the first two for its typical shades of intense violet and the last two for its intense scent at evening. I’d also always confused it was tall phlox, also a wildflower that blooms a little later with a few weeks of overlap, until I realized the rocket has four petals on its cruciferous flowers and is a brassica, related to wild and cultivated mustards as well as broccoli and collard greens. Below is a close-up of flowers and stems, and possibly between the photo above and the photo below you can see the reason for calling it “rocket”, though I think that is more for its relation to eruca sativa or in Italian rucola, what we know today as rocket, or arugula.

pink wildflower

A closeup

I had also always thought of it as a native wildflower until I learned it was another passenger on European ships, whether intentionally or accidentally, coming over with crop seeds, yet often the migrants would bring the seeds of their favorite blooming plants so that the new world would seem more familiar, more like home.

And that scent; this is one thing we lose when we grow only hybrid cultivated flowers. Nothing smells like a wildflower, like “night-scented gilliflower” or like tall phlox that has to work so hard to bring pollinators into its flowers to ensure the next generation.

I’d been driving past this little detention pond at the intersection of two roads, and where normally it’s just an overgrown pattern of greens and textures, each spring at this time it literally bursts into bloom another possible use of the word “rocket”.

pink wildflower

A whole lot of it.

 

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Raspberries in the Bloom

Raspberry in the Bloom
Raspberry in the Bloom

Raspberry in the Bloom

This is a raspberry long before you find it on the stem. Just opened this morning some of its features may look like another common flower, the rose, the family to which the raspberry belongs. It has a ring of five tiny petals but that puffy center and the unopened bud next along with the leaves, though larger bearing the same compound structure with tiny sawtooth edges, and those thorns.

A raspberry is a compound fruit like a blackberry, raspberry, mulberry and many other berries which are clusters of “drupes”, which sounds like an insult but simply refers to a seed with a fleshy outer covering. Looking at that center part, that ring of stamens around the outside has to get in touch with the fluff of pistils in the center in order for each drupe to be pollinated so you find that perfect hemisphere of juicy blobs that, all clustered together, make up a raspberry. The plant itself can take care of some of this, but not all, and if you’ve ever seen a raspberry with a few blobs missing, this is why.

raspberries

Ready to Eat

What’s all this talk about bees lately? Apparently the Little Green Bee is a specialist pollinating raspberries. Didn’t see any about this morning, but I do know they visit here pretty regularly. Possibly that’s why, though I don’t have too many raspberry plants, the berries are very successful.

little green bee on blue vervain

Little Green Bee

Personally, I can already taste the raspberries some morning soon, still cool from overnight.

More black raspberries in a vintage cup.

Berries in a Cup

 

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Bowl of Sunlight

Buttercup in the Sun
Buttercup in the Sun

Bowl of Sunlight

This buttercup looks like a bowl of sunlight.

My little smartphone camera isn’t terribly sophisticated and has no shade around the lens for when the sun shines toward the lens. Playing around getting macros of buttercups in my back ayrd I thought I’d intentionally capture those sun flares.

Here’s another.

Buttercup in the Sun

Buttercup in the Sun

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Spring Sunshine

geranium leaves
geranium leaves

Spring Sunshine

My geraniums on the windowsill are lovin’ it!

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Alien Life Forms in November Garden

brussels sprouts
brussels sprouts

Alien Life Forms in the November Garden

Plants can look very interesting after they’ve been frosted and snowed on a few times. It’s really just my erstwhile Brussels sprouts, which I’d planted a second set later in the summer to be sure to have some fresh at Thanksgiving. Sprouts are tough, and I’ve often picked them after the frost and even in the snow, and I’ve also cooked the greens which are very much like collards. But the sun’s angle is too low after August and falls behind the trees, so even though it’s temperate and great weather for a cool-season crop like Brussels sprouts, there just isn’t enough sun to make the little sprouts grow. But they made very interesting photo subjects.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Still Some Green

lemon verbena on rocker
lemon verbena on rocker

Still Some Green

The lemon verbena was so vibrant, perfectly touched by early evening sun, though most things are touched with autumn color.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Raindrops on Roses

photo of rose with raindrops
pink rose with raindrops

Raindrops on Roses

Who doesn’t welcome the sight of a brilliant pink rose on a dark autumn day?

Catching such voluptuous raindrops as these is a rare event—it either has to be right after the rain has stopped (falling raindrops will blur the photo with movement) or a day where rain falls intermittently and the humidity remains high so the raindrops don’t evaporate.

In either case, it’s generally pretty dark and overcast so all those lovely raindrops have few highlights, and shadows are saturated.

In this case, between the showers, the sky brightened enough to pick up each and every droplet, and to highlight the brilliant pink of this rose on one of my neighbor’s rose bushes. It had rained so hard that the water was even pooling in between the petals.

Raindrops on roses…and for my feline-oriented friends, we all know the next line!

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Ripe Purple

poke berries
poke berries

Pokeberries

The pokeberries are ripe in my garden—but they aren’t something I planted, nor will I harvest and eat them! American Pokeberries, Phytolacca americana, are a the fruit of a native wild plant that is nearly entirely quite toxic to humans and animals, yet prepared and eaten properly are nutritious and even healing, and also make an interesting red dye. It’s a matter of learning about the plant and being careful, something humans had learned to be over millennia or they would simply die. But cooking and rinsing the young leaves, only young leaves, no stems, several times produces “poke salad” which you may have read about in pioneer or southern cultural novels. The berry pulp has toxins but the seeds are the highly toxic part, so carefully cooking the berries without crushing or softening the seeds produces a pretty red dye, though it’s not as intense a color as you would expect, nor very long-lasting.

The pokeberries show up in my garden courtesy of the birds. They can eat the berry, but the seed is toxic to them as well, so they carefully eat the berry and swallow the whole thing, excreting the seed with a proper amount of fertilizer to give it a good start when it sprouts the next year. These seeds are favorites of cardinals, catbirds and mockingbirds, so if you want to invite those species to your yard you can carefully bring home a bunch of purple pokeberries, preferrably in a container so you don’t get any juices on your hands, and just bury them stem and all in a spot you’d like them to grow. Hopefully next spring you’ll see vibrant but simple green leaves with red stems emerge from the soil.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


“Everything Is Connected”

bumblebee on vervain by bernadette e. kazmarski

Save Your Native Bees

The flower of a tomato plant has the pollen so tightly held on the anther that it takes the vibration of a bumblebee to loosen it. The bee becomes dusted with the golden treasure, and leaves that flower for the next flower, spreading this elixir of life for tomatoes while gathering some for his own family back at the hive.

After WWII, when we began monocropping larger and larger farms, we used all the new pesticides invented during the war to kill off all the “weeds” in the fields which were too large to work by hand and making it easier for farmers to grow and harvest huge amounts of food. But the “weeds” were native wildflowers that fed the bees, that pollinated those fields.

I listened to a speaker tell us about all the ways bees make life on earth possible. Bees, yes, the ones we may be frightened of stinging us, the ones we don’t want building nests in our attics, the ones we wave away at picnics, the ones that are disappearing all over the globe and no one understands why.

I heard Marla Spivak in a segment entitled, “Why Are Bees Disappearing?” on the TED Radio Hour, which offers three or four segments of TED Talks under one topic, this one being “Everything Is Connected”.

If you garden, you know know these things, but many people do not. You can make a difference with your own back yard, letting your grass and cultivated plants mix with or be replaced by native species. I did this, and rather than being criticized and fined for a messy overgrown yard, my neighbors and visitors describe it as “lush” and “like a park”. And I am rewarded with this…

blue vervain

Evening Purple Dance

The delicate purple spikes of blue vervain bloom in the quiet time of the summer, elegant and dignified among the frenzy of production in my vegetable garden. One of my favorite wildflowers for its color and its sweet blooming, blue vervain was a volunteer in my garden, finding my little space acceptable to its needs.

In return I am rewarded with watching native honeybees visit to collect pollen, knowing I am at least doing a bit in the effort to save them by maintaining a wildness about my yard. I watched this bee march all the way around each little circlet of flowers before moving on to the next circlet.

honeybee on blue vervain

Save the Bumblebees

And purple and green below—my favorite color combination! Looks like it might be Euglossa dilemma or a Little Green Sweat Bee, but I don’t know my bees all that well. The tiny spiders have taken up residence as well. In fact, blue vervain is native to most of North America and along with the flowers attracting important pollinators, the seeds are also important through the winter for songbirds, and the plant is the larval host for the common buckeye butterfly and it has a long history of medicinal use for humans. Refer to this USDA document to read more.

little green bee on blue vervain

Little Green Bee, also an important pollinator.

Please feel free to copy and past this image with a link back to this post. Here’s another post with bees and wildflowers.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Sunshine

sunflower
sunflower

Sunshine

Truly a “sun” flower. It’s next to a building on Main Street in Carnegie, PA.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Evening Purple Dance

blue vervain
blue vervain

Evening Purple Dance

The delicate purple spikes of blue vervain bloom in the quiet time of the summer, elegant and dignified among the frenzy of production in my vegetable garden. One of my favorite wildflowers for its color and its sweet blooming, blue vervain was a volunteer in my garden, finding my little space acceptable to its needs.

In return I am rewarded with watching native honeybees visit to collect pollen, knowing I am at least doing a bit in the effort to save them by maintaining a wildness about my yard. I watched this bee march all the way around each little circlet of flowers before moving on to the next circlet.

honeybee on blue vervain

Save the Bumblebees

And purple and green below—my favorite color combination! Looks like it might be Euglossa dilemma or a Little Green Sweat Bee, but I don’t know my bees all that well. The tiny spiders have taken up residence as well. In fact, blue vervain is native to most of North America and along with the flowers attracting important pollinators, the seeds are also important through the winter for songbirds, and the plant is the larval host for the common buckeye butterfly and it has a long history of medicinal use for humans. Refer to this USDA document to read more.

little green bee on blue vervain

Little Green Bee, also an important pollinator.

Please feel free to copy and past this image with a link back to this post. Here’s another post with bees and wildflowers.

bumblebee on vervain by bernadette e. kazmarski

SaveYourNativeBees

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Pink

rhododendron blossom
rhododendron blossom

Pink

My rhododendron is blooming. It’s blindingly pink when the sun shines on it. So welcome.


Cranesbill

cranesbill geranium
cranesbill geranium

Cranesbill

I typically like to photograph light-colored flowers against a dark background, like the shadows in the woods, but the breeze was moving the shadows and sunlight around and a very light patch ended up behind these cranesbill geranium flowers. I love the shade of green, and I like the effect. They are in my back yard, and have naturalized in a nice row at the edge of my “woodland garden”. The are a native wild plant, and I brought home bits and pieces of plants from old homesteads about to be bulldozed for development. They are a geranium, and if you look at the shape of the flower you’ll see a similarity with the flowers that grow in clusters in the geraniums we find more familiar. The name “cranesbill” is derived from the shape of the seeds, which grow in clusters like the buds you see on the left, a small oblong shape but with a long pointed protuberance that is reminiscent of the beak of a crane.

Join us in Our World Tuesday blog hop.


Gleanings

baby carrots from garden
baby carrots from garden

Gleanings

I turned the soil in my garden during a sunny afternoon yesterday. The first turn in the spring always assures a few root crops left behind the previous autumn, like the tiny carrots, above. I usually also find tiny potatoes, a turnip or parsnip or two, and a few things sprouting early with edible greens and even a few edible natives are sprouting and greening up. Often it’s enough to make a soup or stew or a side dish, but this year these carrots and a basket of turnip greens were all that were to be had.

It wasn’t so long ago when people gleaned the fields for such things, food stores were gone, and what they found was the only thing available to them to eat. I sometimes wonder how society advanced when simply not starving to death was a daily battle, and I wonder how many lives were lost because only a handful of baby carrots was available for food. I will not complain about how had life is—modern days have their travails, but I have a refrigerator with food, and a store just down the street. Many thanks to our ancestors who had the will to survive.