Sunday, October 28, 2012

Here We Go Again

This is the little single-lane private road leading to Pink Gardens. The overhead Comcast cables/wires are strung all along the right side of the road in this photo. We still have several trees that are leaning precariously from last year's two fall storms, Tropical Storm Irene in early September and the freak Halloween Blizzard. I have zero doubt that many more will come down in the next day with Hurricane Sandy simultaneously taking out my internet, phone and TV. Since it's such a huge storm, I doubt Comcast will be able to get things up and running for weeks. I'm not looking forward to the next month without these utilities! Or heat if the electricity stays off for long, t too! I won't be able to do any work for the publisher or work on my blog. If you don't hear from me for a while, I will be back as soon as I can!

Friday, October 26, 2012

AutumnColour Continues

Behold the only purple-and-white dahlia that blossomed this year! It came out two or three days before our frost, so there won't be anymore. Too bad. I would have loved to have lots of these to photograph and enjoy. I've been under the weather for the past week or so. I apologize for the dearth of photos and posts recently!

An obligatory photo of typical New England fall foliage! The leaves are all blowing off the trees now. It was a very short colorful season, but much better than last year when the leaves came off in September due to Tropical Storm Irene.

These hydrangeas have turned an absolutely gorgeous shade of raspberry this autumn!

My yellow Butterfly bush still has a few pretty blooms on it. Since I planted it in July, this bush has tripled in width but hasn't gotten much taller. I'm very interested to see how it grows next year in a full season.

That same purple-and-white dahlia in an small arrangement with peach and yellow dahlias around it. A 1:43 scale model of a red '55 Cadillac Eldorado peeks out from behind the flowers...

My African violet garden hanging out on the porch for some fresh fall air. The darker purple plant is more than fifteen inches wide!

Friday, October 19, 2012

AutumnColours—Porch Afternoon

I bought these three awesome heirloom yellow-and-red tomatoes recently at my town's Friday farmer's market on the green. They were so physically beautiful, I decided to set up an impromptu photoshoot on the porch so I picked some of the last dahlias, marigolds, zinnias, and morning glories. I had to shoot quickly as glories fade after just a few minutes. Those rusty clippers were new last fall and are my main summer tool!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Season Over

Above, last week, the Hummingbird Gate to the vegetable garden hinted at the blue morning glories within.

Our growing season is officially over now, with our first frost last Friday night. The morning glories, most of the dahlias and a few other tender plantings have finished for the year. My marigolds, Joe-Pye, one dahlia, and the geraniums are all hanging in there. The geraniums will make their annual trek up to the attic soon, and my Christmas cacti, spider plants and ferns are all safely inside again.

Pretty in Peach—This perfect dahlia was pointing towards the ground, so when I photographed it from below with a close focus, the leaves and sky above show up as impressionist shapes and colors

The Golden Pair—I forget the name of this annual, but they're still going strong in both cast-iron Victorian planters.

Slow to Unfurl—Dahlias tend to look a bit pie-eyed or lopsided as they slowly unfurl their glorious petals. The soft-focused morning glories formed a ring behind them. Orange and blue are great together!
A giant honeybee is in the shadows of this Butterfly bush flower, was so intent on fattening up for the long siesta coming up he couldn't pay me any attention at all. I swear we had hummingbirds smaller than this bee!

Another view of this perfect peach dahlia. I took hundreds of photos of my few dahlias this year so we'll have plenty of nice colors for the winter blog!

Pink Gardens recently received its final coats of paint. The color is a beautiful dark, almost ruddy, salmon. It reminds me of the women's fashion trend from the '80s for darker cheek rouge!

These twin bicolor zinnias were just about on their last "legs" last week when I photographed them one last time. They didn't make it past the frost, but my spider plants are now inside.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Yours Truly, 1959

Approximately 2 years old, U.S. Army base, Stuttgart, Germany. I was born to style, lol.
A cool photo of the family car during our time in Germany, our 1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner convertible in pink and black. Above, the family German Shepherd, Duke, is sitting in the driver's seat. All sorts of cool European cars are all around, early VW Beetles, Renaults, and what I think is an Austin. The American Army personnel liked their American cars, though. There are two Studebakers on the left, and a Jeepster station wagon in the background. Those early SUVs were all-metal but the early ones were embossed and painted to resemble wood siding. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Last Sunflowers—Babies!

My sunflowers were pretty successful this summer. I had about half a dozen plants, or stems, with several different color varieties. The original flowers didn't last long, a combination of yard critters and a couple of windy rainstorms pulled down those first large flowers. But I never cut down the plants afterwards, and now they are sending out tiny flowers up and down the stems. Each bloom is only about 2-3 inches across, they're somewhat mishapen, but are a nice surprise in my rapidly aging October flowergardens!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

BIzzy Buzzy Bees

I can't shoot a single photo of a flower these days without bees, butterflies, late hummingbirds, and even birds, competing with me for their attention. It's really incredible how Nature knows the seasons are changing and they change their innate behaviors without thought. I've noticed that each insect stays a bit longer at each flower. They aren't so anxious to use any energy to find their glorious nectar. In spring and summer, these same insects are just fast as can be, flitting here and there, from flower to flower, excited about the next, and the next, and the NEXT bit of nectar! These days, they're happy to sit on each petal and suck it all down for everything its worth. 'Til it's sucked dry.

October Connecticut flowers are like 2 am Last Calls: Earlier than you'd like but later than some places, lol.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Early October IndoorColour

Mid-day ambient light, southern and western exposure. Digital cam chose to "paint" the violets two different hues which I worked with instead of correcting. As the camera fades from everyday usability, I'm going to keep documenting its work.

I picked an impromptu arrangement the other day, of whatever was blooming around Pink Gardens. Still in flower are marigolds, dahlias, Joe-Pye, goldenrod, geraniums, and zinnias. They all work together beautifully. I walked around the apartment photographing the arrangement in different settings and lighting.

My camera is either possessed or in a downward spiral of effectiveness, lol. I'm going to be working with the results, but you'll notice soft focusing and odd coloring in some. I've used Photoshop to enlarge and enhance and work with the flaws instead of covering them up.

 Upstairs foyer, no direct natural light, mid-day.

 Western window, direct sunlight filtered through evergreen trees.

Overhead ceiling light, mid-day, ambient light.
Upstairs foyer, late afternoon, no direct lighting, inadvertent flash on foreground. Possessed rabbit grooms are fun.
Upstairs foyer, late afternoon, no direct lighting, inadvertent flash on foreground. Camera does whatever Camera wants to these days, lo.

Overhead ceiling light, mid-day

Overhead ceiling light, mid-day

South window, not-quite-dusk, ambient light from iMac flatscreen

Monday, October 1, 2012

Making Up an October Pie . . .

Granny Grape Pie—Granny Smith sour apples, Rose's Lime Juice and grape jam combined with graphic pastry for my latest made-up pie. I've read lots of pie recipes and seen a lot of pies, lol, and I'm in the process of trying to create "undiscovered" ones. Instead of using sugar to sweeten the pie apples, I used grape jam. And to keep the apples from discoloring while I was coring and peeling them, I doused them with the commercial cocktail lime juice.  A healthy amount of freshly grated nutmeg and rainbow peppercorns add just the right amount of spice to the sweet-and-sour. Now that I've perfected the classic latticework top I'm starting to paint with pastry, lol.