15_the_circle: (rosette raindrop)
Monday, March 28th, 2011 09:33 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

What does one do for one's dear sister's birthday?
Give her flowers, of course. 

These were taken out on the Circle and in the cottage garden while wishing you birthday greetings by (very) long distance 'phone. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)


Scilla siberica


Scilla siberica


Forsythia
15_the_circle: (cottage autumnal)
Sunday, November 14th, 2010 08:25 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

November in the Grove is our time for the annual leaf crop harvest, or it would be if it had any market value.  Failing that the next best thing is to pile them along the walkways and paved roads from which they are collected by impressively massive and noisy machinery and hauled off to become compost.  The nearby Asbury community used to accrete truly massive leaf piles but some sort of development has been underway over there and that part of their facility has been a construction site for rather a while now so our excess biomass has since been diverted to places unknown. 

As the leaves turn and fall into the ever-shortening days one has to choose carefully: any time spent moving leaves is subtracted from that available for walking around to appreciate and perhaps record the show, and vice versa

The images below represent Saturday's trade-off in this regard:
(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)




Step out the back door and the low hanging leaves of the dogwoods are right there, catching the afternoon light. 


Cornus florida

Meanwhile out in the circle the Japanese Maples are at it again, leaves glowing like bright jewels:


Acer palmatum

Down at the other end of the Grove the stately sycamore is using the same light into a different, but equally compelling way against a wonderfully blue sky ...


Platanus occidentalis

... and nearby these stellate leaves are not to be overlooked. 


Around the corner and a ways down Brown Street the light is helping along this found composition.  There's a lot going on here: paint on paint on cement; shadows on brick and mortar; bits of detail that at first seemed extraneous but on taking another look seemed to belong. 


Heading back along Oak Street, looking up into the sugar maples the effect was once again completely overpowering. 


Acer


Coming back to the Circle one returns just as the light is starting to run out. 


127.0.0.1 a/k/a ::1


That was yesterday.  This afternoon's images are still in the camera.  With any luck they will appear in this space in another day or so. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Sunday, November 15th, 2009 02:15 am

[OT from cottage renovations]

the Grove's hostas often have variegated leaves, some of them quite spectacular.  give them enough time and the hydrangeas can often do nearly as well though only at end of life. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

Monday's watery sunlight passing through the same leaf as seen against different backgrounds. 

hydrangea

this is in its own way an historic event: the first time that stupid T-111 siding on the newer parts of the place has been useful for anything. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Sunday, November 15th, 2009 02:02 am

[OT from cottage renovations]

in the side yard there's a forsythia that often fumbles the seasonal transitions by flowering in the fall as well as in the spring. 

one difference is the year's first blooms come before the leaves are out whereas the second round turns up when the leaves are going through the annual colour change. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



Bittersweet Cottage garden




forsythia

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Sunday, May 11th, 2008 01:34 am

[OT from cottage renovations]

it didn't all of it fall on Baltimore: the Grove seems to have gotten its share of the rain too. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

red poppies:  lush, gangly, downright outrageous. 
add water and the texture gets even better, worth revisiting.  seen here all hunched over under the cumulative load of all those drops. 

red poppy after rain
Papaver rhoeas

but they don't all make it ...

they don't all make it
Papaver rhoeas

something caused this heavy bud to snap before it could bloom. 




on the back steps this tulip poplar blossom fragment was doing the unexpected: an excellent false colour rendition of the batman logo. 

tulip poplar petal on wet wooden step
petal of Liriodendron tulipifera

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Monday, May 5th, 2008 09:48 am

[OT from cottage renovations]
[image crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] texture]

there's a reason this red poppy gets to be appreciated in situ ...

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

... it stayed tight in its bud until two hours after the deadline for flower show submissions.  surely it knew I was out there with shears in hand. 

red poppy
Papaver rhoeas

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 02:47 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

it's sad but inevitable that each season the Virginia bluebells get to the end of their run. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

the blossom falls away from the center stalk, leaving behind the makings of a seed pod. 

late stage Virginia bluebell
Mertensia virginica

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 02:10 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

the last few days of rain were preceded by a warm and sunny day. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

morning light brings both shadow and texture to these dogwood blossoms.  the rear petal of the foreground blossom curves over it like a sail filled with wind.

dogwood
Cornus florida

the view from the side brings out this stalk detail. 

Azalea
Azalea

it won't be long until the red poppies start blooming. 

poppy bud
Papaver rhoeas

15_the_circle: (virginia bluebells)
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 11:30 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

the Virginia bluebells are nearing the end of their run.  it's been a good year for them but not a great one; certainly they've done better in the past. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

a couple of warm days and some hard rain seems to have been enough to trigger their internal kill cycle.  stems are beginning to droop outward and the blossoms are shifting colour and starting to fall away, leaving behind the seeds in which next year's hopes are stored. 

Virginia, uh, pinkbell?
Virginia bluebell Virginia bluebell
Mertensia virginica

even though they can't last forever, I'm always sad to see them go.  they didn't hang around as long this year as they have in the past but their time, however long or short it may have been, is always the best part of the year for me. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Monday, April 21st, 2008 12:35 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

the onset of a a couple of warm days in a row was what it took to get the hydrangeas to start leafing out, which of course they endavoured to do all at once. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

the leaves first emerge from the bud as a tightly crinkled texturefest. 

hydrangea furled
hydrangea

the unfurling is gradual, and was caught below while working its way across from one side to the other. 

hydrangea unfurling
hydrangea

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Thursday, April 17th, 2008 07:47 am

[OT from cottage renovations]

if this warm spell persists it won't be long before these come into bloom. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

double bud
azalea

15_the_circle: (virginia bluebells)
Thursday, April 17th, 2008 07:41 am

[OT from cottage renovations]

give these leaves a little light and they bring forth a wealth of detail. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

Virginia bluebell
Mertensia virginica

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Thursday, April 17th, 2008 07:38 am

[OT from cottage renovations]

at some point there must have been a very frustrated squirrel -- and a vision impaired cat -- around here. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

one of these things is not like the others ...

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Thursday, April 17th, 2008 07:31 am

[OT from cottage renovations]

though I tend to resist categorisation, in the morning light of a perfect day any passer-by might come to certain conclusions about my political leanings. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



bleeding heart

bleeding heart
Prunus pendularia



15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Thursday, April 17th, 2008 07:24 am

[OT from cottage renovations]

after a run of cooler and overcast days suddenly a beautiful one comes along.  though rain is in the forecast for both days of the weekend, the immediacy of the moment is what matters. 

I put this weeping cherry in 15 or 16 years ago.  it is a consistent source of springtime delight. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

weeping cherry
Prunus pendula

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 06:29 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

when a warm day like this one comes along it seems that everything that has been fixing to bloom sooner or later decides to get on with it right away; whether the plan had been for last week or next, suddenly it's all immediate. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

the Virginia bluebells are something I look forward to every year and as soon as the first tips appear I start watching them closely to see how they are coming along.  they don't need the attention but that doesn't hold me back. 

Virginia bluebells

Virginia bluebells
Mertensia virginica



the first image shows how far along a couple of them have already gotten; the second is more representative of current conditions. 



Grove Road

with the sun out the time seemed right for revisiting the  swamp (marsh) buttercups  [edit: fig buttercups, a/k/a lesser celandine] at the other end of the athletic field.  they're happy as can be: click through the second one to see its pollinator. 

fig buttercup

swamp (marsh) buttercup
Ranunculus  septentrionalis  ficaria



quite a change from the other day



Woodward Park

the Spring Beauties are another seasonal highlight here in the Grove.  they can be expected to remain in bloom for a month or so but one never tires of them. 

Spring beauty
Claytonia virginica

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 11:58 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

the new bird feeder has been working out quite well, attracting birds but not accommodating squirrels. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



Bittersweet Cottage garden

in addition to the goldfinches and chickadees, today this downy woodpecker showed up.  it had no interest in sharing the resource with the other two species and a certain amount of aggressive fluttering and chirping -- and a few flying feathers -- settled matters more to its satisfaction than to theirs. 

guest
Picoides pubescens

(apologies for poor image quality, shot through screen and ripply old glass)

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Thursday, March 20th, 2008 12:17 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

this spring has been characterised so far by a mixture of warm and cold days.  in response the blooms seem to be overlapping more than usual though since I don't exactly keep hard records it's more of an impression than a conclusion. 

the past couple of days have been quite blustery; more windy than cold though the effect is the same as far as going out of doors is concerned.  not that I've been able to do that: last week I pulled a muscle in the upper R leg and after a few days of it getting worse rather than better I went from mildly bothered to concerned and sought medical consultation.  the doc was able to rule out all sorts of horrific things but she ordered me off the leg until it gets better, at least a week.  so I've been complying with the instructions: no biking, no unassisted walking and even then to do as little of it as possible, and throw ibuprofen and ice at it. 

the goal is to sustain enough improvement to be able to manage at least limited duty participation in next week's gulf coast relief expedition.  if it were to have left yesterday or today I would have been obliged to bail on it but with a few more days to go there's a chance. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)




undeterred by bark mulch
crocus

OK, so going after an image of this crocus blooming out front may not have been in full compliance with medical instruction.  my excuse is that the picture is inspirational: the crocus has pushed aside the oak bark mulch and is reaching up to the air and light. 
surely we should all try to do likewise. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Sunday, February 24th, 2008 11:40 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]
[select images crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] texture]

things warmed up some after the ice storm passed through but Saturday was still overcast in a dreary rather than restful sort of way.  today was another story: the sun came out, and what a difference it made. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



the Circle

out in front there's the sawn off section of a hollow log, left there by Town maintenance forces after a nearby tree had to be taken out.  the cats love to perch on it and the squirrels eat nuts there. 

cat perch texture

a bit of the ice was still there, caught in the morning light along with saw marks and tree rings. 


the week's ice and snow hasn't bothered these snowdrops in the slightest.  it seems a bit premature for pollinators to be out there but some species must be active else these blooms would serve no purpose other than decorative. 

snowdrops
Galanthus nivalis


East Woods

this rock is hosting a determined growth of moss.  there's nothing particularly special about it, I just liked how the texture stood out in morning light. 

mossy rock


the Circle

over on the other side of the circle is the stump of one of the great oaks, its nutrients being collected and passed for future cycles by these fungi. 

decomposition
decomposition

the forestry committee has completed a survey of Town trees; those in the inventory are marked with these blue tags. 

squirrely

some squirrel seems to have spent some time gnawing on this one though it is unclear whether it was done out of disapproval of the committee's methods or from attraction to the shiny bright tag. 

15_the_circle: (dried)
Monday, November 12th, 2007 10:26 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

stale because these images have been sitting around for a week now, having been taken last Sunday.  one hopes only that over that time they haven't degraded too much. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)




shadow of wicker and hydrangea
shadow of wicker and hydrangea

[image crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] texture]



the Circle

leaves.  this time of year we have so many of them that hauling off the fallen comsumes the entire month.  but any one of them can capture the light in a way that makes it impossible to walk past without stopping for another look. 

this redbud shows what it's all about, a full measure of perfection in the afternoon light. 

redbud
Cercis canadensis


Bittersweet Cottage garden

this is the season when the hydrangeas go through subtle spectral transformations that nonetheless can dazzle the eye. 

hydrangea
hydrangea