Last night K was out in the yard with Coraline and noticed that there were a LOT of Japanese Beetles on one of the trellises. I looked them up to find out what they were called and how to get rid of them, since they seem to be doing a real number on the foliage of these vines.
So this morning I headed out first thing with a bucket of warm soapy water and started knocking them into it. Perhaps they are less active in the wee hours, because they were quite subdued and mostly just fell right into the bucket. Lots of them appeared to be mating, so TWO FOR ONE SPECIAL. I realized, though, that I was going to need a ladder to reach the higher vines. As I went to the bedroom to put on some real shoes in order to climb safely, I realized that I felt…something under my shirt. I put my hand on top of my tee, near my bellybutton, and felt a beetle moving there. ACKKKKKKKKKKKK! Lifting my shirt so the bug fell onto the carpet and dancing around like a fool, I quietly (others in the house were still asleep) and ridiculously freaked the eff out. SERIOUSLY. These beetles are not huge, but they’re not that small either! Especially when compared with my bellybutton. SHUDDER. Plans for further beetle drownings were then put off in favor of a really, really hot shower.
Well, I’m not sure, but something happened to some of the purple wintercreeper on the back fence. I don’t know if it got frostbitten, or maybe salted from the other side?
For now, I’m not going to do anything with it. There’s still quite a bit of it that isn’t brown, so maybe it’ll recover as the weather continues to warm up. Has anyone seen something like this before?
It’s finally starting to feel like spring! It feels really late this year, though our winter wasn’t particularly harsh.
Lots of iris and other foliage poking up in front of the tall stuff (butterfly bushes, etc) in the front garden.
This bright yellow looks so cheery among the dead brown leaves.
This area has lots more blooms to come, as you can see.
And some of the happy bright purple crocus – these must have been open for a little while already, as the bloom in back looks a little the worse for wear.
This weekend we had one of those very light, fluffity snows that is so weightless it piles up on itself, making it seem like a bigger deal than it really is.
I braved the ridiculously cold temps to get a few shots. This one turned out, mostly. It’s not quite as crisp as I’d like, but it’s not bad.
The weather the last few days hasn’t been able to make up its mind about what season it is. We had snow, rain, freezing rain, ice, slush, and temps ranging from very cold to over 40F.
This weirdness made for some good photo-taking opportunities, though.
I’m sure there’s some way to have Lightroom accentuate the bokeh on this shot so the background would fade away more, but I’m not sure how to do it. I just love the water droplets. They looked like little gems.
This one is super-over-zoomed but the way that an Allium is visible inside the water droplet was too cool not to share.
It’s crazy that one of the Butterfly Bushes still has leaves this green on it, isn’t it?
And speaking of green, this Vinca is in total denial about the fact that it’s winter.
So I’ve been trying to learn more about how our DSLR camera works so I can take advantage of more of its capabilities. I saw this tutorial pinned a few times on Pinterest, and lo and behold, unlike a ton of other stuff on there, it turned out to actually have good information behind the pin!
This is the silver maple tree in front of our house, as seen from where I usually sit on the couch. I can’t believe this photo turned out this well considering it’s through the window and on a pretty overcast day. I did crop it to a square shape to cut out the little bit of the interior that was visible.
I’d noticed recently (while peering out our bedroom window at the for-sale house next door) that the barberry shrubs I planted a few years ago actually have a couple berries on them! I’ve never actually seen any berries on them before – I’m not sure if they were under snow, never developed, or were quickly eaten by birds in the past, but I was happy to see a few. Of course I wasn’t thinking ahead and didn’t write down any of the settings I was playing with while I took these photos. But! Awesomeness of digital cameras is that they record that shit for you! It’s taken care of! It even shows up on Flickr so I can see it easily when I look at any particular shot I’ve uploaded. Anyway, I’m pretty pleased with how these turned out! For a first try, I’d say it was a success for sure.
We’ve had a generally warmer-than-usual winter again this year, but at least we’ve had a little bit of snow and more than a couple frosty mornings. I did a hideously bad job of getting in-focus close-ups during this photo shoot, probably because it was really cold out and I neglected to properly bundle up before heading out.
I’m semi-embarrassed to even post this photo, because it is evidence of me being too lazy to put all the patio containers in the garage this year. But the frost on these teensy lettuce leaves (which are, yes, encased in ice – more evidence of my laziness since I neglected to dump out the water that accumulated after the previous thaw) was too neat not to share.
The clover was really neat looking, too.
And my favorite shot: a morning glory seed pod with frost on it, and the neat pattern the frost made on the black fence. Even the little hairs on the morning glory vine have teensy bits of frost on! This is where my laziness is rewarded – theoretically I should have cleared away all the morning glory vines, but I never quite finished that task before winter arrived.
As we get to the end of the blooming season for many perennials, I’ve been reading up on seed saving. I was excited to see Mr. BrownThumb’s post about direct sowing entire seedheads for purple coneflowers.
I’ll definitely be trying it this year! I have a lot of coneflowers and it will be very easy to plant the entire heads rather than extracting all the seeds. Since I am not counting on having a certain rate of return, it’ll be a low-risk experiment to see how they do.
It’s starting to act like fall weather, and that means that the sedum is starting to blossom.
The pollinators in my garden are still out in full force. I was so pleased to see this bee making himself so easily photographed on the background of the still-very-light sedum.
I have a few varieties of this plant, and some are more colorful than others at this stage.
I love the delicate white-pink of the one in the first two photos, but this more intense pink one is pleasing, too.
One of the glads I have in the front garden decided to wait until much later than all its counterparts to bloom.
These were a gift from our across-the-street neighbors, who had ordered too many bulbs for the space she had and generously shared her extras with me. I will likely move them since they turned out to be yellow (they were in a mixed bag) and I have yellow in the back yard garden.
I was delighted to see this little guy climbing around the blossoms the other day!
I’m not sure what kind of bug he is, but he’s pretty cute.