Sunday, 29 July 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 41

Another busy week in these parts . . . and today, well let's just say I never would have guessed it would turn out the way it did.  Once again it is after midnight as I make up this post, but it's helping me unwind after the day's activities.  Looking forward to checking out the different submissions for this week's fun clues.

1.  Paint
 Nothing like a fresh coat of paint on a picket fence.

2. Green
 Ah green, my favourite colour . . . here, this sunflower bud is close to bursting into golden bloom.

3.  Eyelash
 Dipping into the archives for this shot of my sister Kari planting sweet kisses on her new granddaughter Pippa's soft cheeks.

4.  Shapes

 Struggled with shapes  . . . all the things I wanted to do didn't turn out right.  Finally settled for these adhesive circle mirror tiles on my daughter's wall.

5.  Clouds
Nothing fancy, but I like this shot a lot.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Bee Balm . . . I Had No Idea!

Surprised and delighted . . . oh, yeah.  
I came across this lovely stand of tall stalks crowned with red feathery headdresses in one of my local parks.  I had never seen these before in all my life so I was anxious to discover what they were.  

My searching revealed that these lovelies are "Monarda", more commonly known as "Bee Balm". Other common names are Horsemint, Oswego Tea and Bergamot.
I had heard of bee balm but did not know what it looked like and for whatever reason never searched it out.  

These flowers will bloom and stay for 3-5 weeks and a 2nd blooming can be encouraged if the spent blooms are deadheaded. They enjoy sun to part sun and can handle a moderate degree of drought.  They are very easy to grow and are highly favoured by bees and hummingbirds alike.

There are a number of bee balm species that have long been used for medicinal purposes.  Poultices for skin infections and minor wounds, tea for throat and mouth infections and infusions for headache and fever.  Native Americans were also known to have used the plant as a seasoning for wild game (birds, in particular).  Its flavour is said to taste like a mix of spearmint, peppermint and oregano.

I really do love delving into plant lore and am always amazed at God's creative genius.  Makes me wonder if He created the flower for its beauty then added the healing properties or designed the medicinal qualities and just made them look so beautiful.  Either way, I stand in awe.

Linking with LeAnne for . . .

Sunday, 22 July 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 40

Seems like my life has changed so much and I am busy, busy with new demands on my time and energy.  That's why I am putting this together at 12:30 in the morning.  Thankful that the evening has cooled down a lot and sleep should come easier tonight.
Here we go . . .

1.  Wrapped
My first three shots are all taken at Fleetwood Park . . . this one shows the pillars that support the arches in this walkway, wrapped tightly in roots of various plantings.

2.  Time Together
This daddy and daughter were having some quality time together.

3.  Tell Me a Story
I imagine this girlie whispering in her daddy's ear as they stroll around the park . . . "Tell me a story, Papa".

4.  Couple
The BC Summer Games were held in Surrey (mostly) this weekend and I was trying to get some interesting shots to enter in another photo contest.  Friday's weather was quite changeable and this couple had to break out the umbrellas and rain gear to watch the beach volleyball event.

5. Duplicated
I followed this truck for 20 minutes the other day and snapped this while waiting at a traffic light.  The letters P and A are duplicated to produce the word Papa.  Now don't we all need a Papa who is always on call.

Looking forward to seeing what you all found this week.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 39

Time to post the finds for the latest Scavenger Hunt. That's a couple of weeks running now that I am not scrambling last minute to put this together . . . feels good.  Lot's on the plate today so I'm keeping the chit-chat short.  Looking forward to browsing the fabulous submissions later on.

1.  Water
 My friend Alison has CP.  On hot summer days she would love to run through the sprinkler but her electric wheelchair would not take too kindly to that so she settles for a refreshing hand shower.

2.  Petal
 Clusters of petals form clusters of blossoms that delight this woman's soul . . . oh how I love hydrangeas.
3.  Fresh
 These seedheads from centranthus ruber, "Jupiter's Beard", look like little snowflakes in July.  They self seed prolifically and will bring a fresh crop of little pink blossoms next season.

4.  Eight
 This eight-legged critter spun her wispy web between spirea branches
 and blades of iris leaves in the  flower bed.  Kind of gives me the creeps.

5.  Calm
After seeing the spider in my "Eight" shot you may need to calm down a bit (I know I do).  I used a blue filter on these lovely rose petals as the colour blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body.  It slows your metabolism and produces a calming effect. Light blue in particular is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding and softness.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Gazanias to Gaze Upon

A first this year,  for me, was planting gazanias.  I have my traditional favourites . . . petunias, geraniums, marigolds, lobelia and alyssum . . . but I like to try something new every once in a while. 
Gazanias are native to South Africa and are resistant to drought and high temperatures. I have the clumping variety that grow in mounds of attractive, deep green symmetrical leaves.  Each bloom lasts for about 5 or 6 days, but the plant itself will bloom all summer and even into the fall.  The blossoms close up each evening at sundown and open wide again in response to the sun the next day.
Hope you enjoy my beauties!

"The artist is the confidant of nature . . . 
flowers carry on dialogues with him 
through the graceful bending of their stems 
and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms.  
Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him."
~ Auguste Rodin

"The actual flower is the plant's highest fulfillment, 
and are not here exclusively for herbaria, county floras and plant geography; 
they are here first of all for our delight."
~ John Ruskin

"The 'Amen' of nature is always a flower."
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes


Saturday, 7 July 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 38

Well this is a first . . . I had my hunt finished by the end of the 1st day!  Last Sunday was Canada Day and I picked up all the clues during the festivities at Cloverdale's Millenium Park.  The celebration itself was disappointing as when we arrived there were two stages blaring music so loud that you couldn't enjoy either one.  It had rained earlier in the day and as a result the lawns were wet/muddy and all the sidewalks were congested . . . hard to get around with a 2 wheelchairs and a cane.  On top of that it just seemed so commercialized that we spent little more than 45 minutes and headed home.  Opted for take-out Chinese and a movie instead, so no fireworks photos from this girl.

1.  Patriotic
On our way to the Millenium Park for Canada Day Celebrations I spotted this young person sporting a patriotic cape and top hat.

2.  View From Above
These people riding the Octopus were able to get a great 'view from above'.

3.  Mosaic
My country is a rich mosaic of people and cultures from around the globe.

4. Something Tiny
This little fella was enjoying the 'tiny bubbles' from a bubble machine in the park.

5. Vibrant
The Red Serge of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police dress uniform is certainly vibrant.

This is a bonus photo combining Something Tiny and Vibrant . . .
. . . the vibrant colours of a tiny little ladybug.

It was a good thing that I got these all in one place as my week was so hectic that I don't think I would have pulled it off otherwise.  Looking forward to see what you all came up with for these great prompts. 
Thanks Sarah, for hosting us once again.

Ramblings and Photos

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Flower Art Friday

To the Daisy,
The poet's darling 
~ William Wordsworth

There is a flower, a little flower
with silver crest and golden eye,
That welcomes every changing hour
and weathers every sky.
~ James Montgomery

Daisies infinite, uplift in praise their little growing hands
O'er every hill that under heaven expands.
~ Ebenezer Elliott

 Not worlds on worlds, in phalanx deep
Need we to prove a God is here;
The daisy, fresh from nature's sleep,
Tells of His hand in lines as clear.
~ John Mason Good

Thanks to those who voted for my entry last week that put me in the Top 3.
Such a delight to link up each week with so many talented "Floral" artists that inspire me to learn new techniques and willingly share their knowledge and links to resources.