Saturday, August 31, 2013

Floating on the Sky

The first falling leaf of the coming season, on the hood of June's new blue Subaru. The clouds and trees frame the leaf perfectly. Have a great Labor Day weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Well, Hello There!

This is the season for cute bright green grasshoppers. This one was trying to lay low on a rose begonia but I found him anyway, lol.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

This and That, Here and There.

Walking around the place one day, taking photos here and there of this and that.  Above, inside my antique wicker baby carriage in the attic is an assortment of items including an original Elvis record, vintage Korean black lacquered photo albums, and century old cotton lace.

Antique handmade, or hand 'fixed," clothes hangers, made from twigs and salvaged rockers of rocking chairs.

One of my ripped-paper pieces from the late 1970s and early '80s, resting on childhood wicker rocking chair from Germany.

A red-and gold-gilded Victorian mirror reflects other family items hanging around the attic.

This '71 Chevelle SS454 is in the 1:18 scale range. It's fairy heavy-handed and not-to-scale, but it enjoys living in the dusty attic these days.

My "punk" Wishnik oversees a bunch of collectibles. The least noticeable item, the grayish stone the size of a pencil eraser next to the tiny Edsel Bermuda wagon, was a gift from none other than RuPaul back in the early 1990s. It's an unpolished crystal and she told me it would bring me good luck. I'm still waiting, lol!

This is what I call "Mozart" stuff, lol. It's a very fussy 1940s era ceramic work, not my style, but they're sort of kitsch.

This is a turn-of-the-century wooden and metal  school desk. The chair for the desk ahead is in front. It's an ingenious design. There are decades of initials and sayings carved in it. It's from a school in Manhattan. Behind it is an early postwar Ethan Allen Early American reproduction sidetable, painted in a frivolous manner by yours truly several years ago. I'm still thinking about it...

Another two Wishniks, this is my special pair, lol. They're next to a '72 AMC Hornet gas cap, a 1940s slushcast Cadillac model and a pair of ceramic covered chicken salt dishes.

A Victorianl bisque doll's head next to a 1950s Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera, some unused military patches, and a very good scale 1955 Bel Air 2-door sedan by Johnny Lightning.

My broken bentwood rocker and assorted attic collectibles.

An old watercolor with a broken glass and frame waits in the attic.

This is a vintage pressed cardboard print of an autumn scene. It's fairly realistic in person with the impression of brush strokes and pigment layers.

These plastic scale model kits were reissued in the early-to-mid 1990s when I shopped for things like this all the time.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Awesome and Abundant August Swallowtails!

After 3-4 years of planting butterfly-friendly plantings and shrubs, now we really get to enjoy some of natures prettiest creatures. Above, the pale yellow and black Tiger swallowtails are numerous. This one almost blends in with the pale yellow zinnias and greenery. Tiger swallowtails are pretty calm creatures. If uninterrupted they'll just stay at each blossom until they're full. Remember, every photo here at casey/artandcolour are clickable thumbnails. They enlarge nicely!

This variety is, I think, the Spicebush Swallowtail. On this sunny day, the bright orange color of the zinnia reflects off the bottom of its wings, highlighting the unique coloring of this butterfly.

Just a slash of a wing, here.

As this Spicebush ascends, its top wings flap first, creating this blurry effect. Then the bottom wing joins in and it flies to another flower. Then it flies back to the original flower. Then back to the second and then a third. This variety flits from one to another and back again rather than staying put on each flower like the Tiger swallowtails do.

Literally, this Tiger is just hanging around June's Butterfly bush. Imagine that!

This view really shows the unique wing structure and coloring of this swallowtail.

This Spicebush has its complete wing structure. Many of them in the yard are more ragged and missing one or both of the "swallowtails" at the bottom right in this photo.

Glistening in the sun with newly-collected pollen, this butterfly shines like it's Team Edward in the popular Twilight movie series, lol.

You can really see how "dusty" the wings look here. That's all excess pollen from the multitudes of flowers they attend to in the yard.

Although it's almost completely blurry, I love this image. The colors alone would make it interesting, but it's also how these creatures appear in person. They rapidly fly from one blossom to another.

A perfect photo of the beautiful blue sections of the Spicebush's coloring. Orange and blue are always a perfect combination, anyway.

Lots of Color!

Late August and the yard is still quite green. We had one heatwave during July, but the rest of the time we've had 80° days with just about the perfect mix of sun and rain. And yet much isn't growing, lol. For some reason many things have become stunted. Maybe that 10 days in July is responsible. We're not used to heatwaves until August when things are further along in their growing cycles. Still, there are pockets of nice color all around the yard if you walk around! Above, a pink zinnia unfurls its petals.

This deep purple petunia lives in a hanging basket next to the vegetable garden fence. The pollen is spread around it from all the bees and butterflies that visit our flowers.

My Angelwing begonia, well, one of them. I've made a few plants from my original one almost ten yeas ago.

Some of June's tomatoes have ripened. All of mine are still green.

I planted twelve dahlias in the cutting garden this year. Then a whole bunch of tomato plants started growing up around them, lol. They must have reseeded from last year. So now my dahlias are underneath the tomatoes but they're still going to do well. I like the combination of flowers and veggies next to each other, accident as it was.

A few tomato flowers reaching for the sky. Most of my plants are San Marzano plum tomatoes.
A lavender dahlia in the rain. Some small green tomatoes can be seen to the right of it.
This salmon-colored geranium must be ten years old, too. I had to cut it up and begin the rooting process again. After so long, this "annual's" stems become so woody they don't pass water anymore. So I just cut some of the more tender new growth and reroot it in water. I'll keep 'em going one way or another!
June's purple Butterfly bush. I bought a yellow one but it's not that pretty. I think it needs more sun, too, so I may move it. This one contrasts with the house color so well! And they really do attract butterflies and bees and hummingbirds.
One of my pure marigolds. I like the plain shapes and bright orange color. I save my deadheads and plant the seeds from the same plants every year.
The subtle and very pretty flower of my spearmint plant. I have a dedicated small herb garden this year with this mint, oregano, chives, thyme, sage, and rosemary. And, yes, a tomato plant came up in the middle of this section of the garden, too!

This nasturtium is a gorgeous deep red. It has flowers every day.
Some of my San Marzano plum tomatoes. I have 7-8 plants and they're all beginning to bear fruit. None of them have ripened yet. At this point I may have tomatoes until October if we don't have an early frost!

One of the prettiest of my zinnias this year is this absolutely perfect orange variety. The color couldn't be more pure and the flowers are large and multi-petaled.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Coming Along Nicely!

Second week of August and things are finally starting to grow! We've had perfect days lately and plenty of rain. I was able to buy some great mulched and organic manure from Maine, and I've been very diligent with my weeding, pruning, staking, caging, and deadheading. Above, a saturated portrait of one of my Nasturtiums. 

A nice white Cosmos. I believe two pink and two white Cosmos made it through the rabbit and chipmunk wars, but they're not all flowering right now.

Amaranth. This is a very pretty wildflower that grows stalks 5-6 feet tall. It resembles a maroon corn plant almost, with fuzzy flowers that will both stand up and hang down depending where they are growing on the plant.

An annual begonia in the cast iron Victorian planters in front of Pink Gardens. They match the paint beautifully. They're planted with pink geraniums, nasturtiums, vinca, and a few other annuals.

One of my purple wild Thistles. Yes, they grow horizontally, too, lol. They grown 4-5 feet tall and tend to "lean" one way or another in the gardens.

One of my dahlias growing alongside a tomato plant. AFter I planter my cutting garden, I had many, many tomato plants reseed from last year.

This dahlia is a very simple and small white blossom. 

A nice view showing a dahlia, celosia, zinnias, and a tomato plant sharing cages in the "cutting garden." They all seem to be agreeable about it.

A ten year-old white geranium is putting out small clusters of flowers. It's in a primitive clay container.

One of June's heirloom tomatoes. She spares no expense with organic plants and lobster mulch from Maine. My garden plot is a little lower than hers so I hope I get some of the runoff, lol.

 This heirloom turns a pretty pinkish orange.

Sungold cherry tomatoes of June's. They're more than six-feet tall and are arching over to meet the deer netting on the other side of the walkway.

Portulacas are planted in containers on the front porch by neighbor Rick.

One of my "freeby" tomatoes is this plum-shaped variety known as a San Marzano. It's growing next to celosias, or cockscombs, an annual that's very nice in arrangements.

One of my sedums. I found several of these in the woods and transplanted them back into the sun. They're all around the yard, and seem to bloom from June to September. They are very ungainly however. Some sedums have very thick strong stems, and others grow way too tall for their weight and fall over. I like my messy ones.

Another view of the Sungold cherry tomatoes, with my new herb garden in the background. It's bordered with small rocks and sunbleached white scallop shells.

This angle of the yellow cherries shows my cutting garden in the background. I have about an 9 x 12 plot and it's crammed with tomatoes and annual cutting flowers.

This is the new Tradescantia zembrina, or the old-fashioned coloquial name, Wandering Jew, with a Nasturtium that must have been in the soil. I'll add new soil each year but don't throw away the old in the containers. I like the surprise plants that reseed themselves.

Some of my tomatoes. I don't know what type they are. They seem to be plum-sized when they ripen to a pale yellow green, but they're completely round.

Zinnias growing next to my plum tomatoes which are growing in the same cage as a dahlia. It's completely crowded but looks so nice. I'll add a photo of the entire garden in the next day or two.