November 22, 2009

Less Is More

Sometimes less is more, like apple trees without the leaves. I think they look amazing. The bright red apples have the appearance of ornaments hanging in the trees. They brighten up the brown landscape and I can just imagine how pretty it would look if snow covered the orchard. All that fruit will provide food for wildlife. Blacks bears, red squirrels, deer, turkeys, fox, fishers, porcupines, bobcat and coyotes are all known to eat apples.

Star Orchard is located in Hollandtown, just blocks from P & N's house. The orchard can be seen out their windows and provides a scenic view all year long.

Wish I could muster up this much enthusiasm. Maybe I'll ask P & N for permission to jump on their couch and experience what it feels like to jump up to the ceiling.

Phillip has a blog now. If you're interested in what a second grader blogs about, you can go here to take a look. Having trouble getting this link to work. Hope I'm not driving you crazy with the edits.

November 17, 2009

A Birthday Girl Named Sue

The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune.

English Proverb

Sue, my birthday gift to you
is this tiny house.
I know you love them so.

I pass by it every week
on my way to Hollandtown.
It always makes me think of you.

Now, if only I could
move this tiny house from
north to south.

Happy Birthday far away friend.
You are someone special
who deserves the very best!

November 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - 11/15/09

If you came here expecting to find blooms in these containers, I'm sorry but you're about a month late. Here's where the pots spend the winter, the northwest corner of the house where nobody can see them. Kind of sad.

The ornamental grasses look as nice in the late fall as they do in the summer. Different, but nice. I'm determined to cut them down right after Thanksgiving because in my opinion, they do not provide attractive visual interest buried in snow and are a terrible mess to clean up in the spring. If Alley Cat wasn't part of our family, I'd consider bringing in some plumes to arrange in a tall vase.

Staghorn sumac is a decidious shrub that can grow to a height of 25'. Its leaves are very colorful in the early fall. The cylinder-shaped berry clusters are red and fuzzy looking and last through the winter. The branches have a velvet appearance that resembles deer antlers, thus the name Staghorn. Only the female plants produce berries which provide food for birds, especially game birds.

Our neighbors have this tangled conglomeration of yellow apples and red berries growing together in their front yard. I can't walk by it without stopping to admire it.

The very talented Carol from May Dreams Gardens is the host of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and I thank her very much for doing so. And I thank YOU for stopping by Mamma Mia Days.

November 13, 2009

Closed For The Season

When I saw all these picnic tables standing on end at Pamperin Park last Saturday, I figured that the park employees were sending the message that if we wanted to have a picnic in November, we should bring a blanket along. It's our largest developed county park and it's less than a mile from our house. The park is hilly and wooded and has the scenic Duck Creek flowing through it. I've been taking Phillip there on a regular basis since he's been able to walk.

There's not a lot of color to be found outside this time of year so when I noticed how amazing this little girl's hair looked in the sunlight, I couldn't resist taking a picture of it. She was unknown to me so I didn't photograph her face, but she was very pretty and seemed so happy to be at the park with all the other kids.

It's that time of year here in Wisconsin when the Asian lady beetles seem to be every place including on my water bottle. They're looking for places to hibernate for the winter and we find them both on the house and in the house. They love a warm southern exposure. Did I mention that they bite?

Near the end of last summer, my niece, the Garden Princess, was digging out some of her California Poppies and gave me a bunch of roots that looked dried out and close to death. I brought them home, planted them, watered them a few times and then forgot about them. I looked at them last week and found them pushing out some green. They like a lot of sun and do well in dry, sandy soil so I suspect it's happy where it's planted. They don't usually transplant well because of the long tap root and so it's best to sow the seed directly into the garden in the spring.

At first glance, I wasn't sure if I was seeing seeds in this pod or mouse droppings. Seeds, right? I've got mice on my mind because Alley Cat has been sitting and staring at the fireplace for long periods of time. We ignore her because he don't want to think that there are mice in the fireplace.

I still see a leaf now and then that grabs my attention, like this one. I've always liked the look of a lone leaf.

Not sure why our neighbors have left their red cooler sitting outside, but I take my shot of color wherever I can find it. They borrowed our wheelbarrow back in July and never returned it. Today I saw it in their backyard and wheeled it back to our house. I wonder if they'll even notice. They're a very nice family, but I hope they don't ask to borrow anything else.

Happy Weekend To All Of You.

November 6, 2009

Back In The Saddle

I'm back to blogging, but this isn't me in the saddle. It's Phillip, horseback riding while on a family vacation to Yellowstone last summer.

It's true that all of our pretty spring, summer and autumn color is gone and we're left with mostly brown, but that's no excuse not to get outside with my camera and look for something that's still growing. If not growing, then at least something that catches my eye.

I took the camera along when I walked out to get the mail today and found both the Foamflower (Tiarella 'Pirate's Patch') and Heuchera (Coral Bells 'Caramel') wearing their fall colors and looking rather nice.

The Lamium 'Beacon's Silver' must like cool weather because it's still pushing out some violet-colored blooms.

We have several of these bushes in our yard that show off nice clumps of berries in November. I don't know the name of the bushes, but I like them.

Back in the summer, I grew a pumpkin plant that produced plenty of flowers, but not even one teeny, tiny pumpkin. I wasn't expecting one that weighed 1,232 pounds, but one pumpkin would have been nice. In the plant's defense, it suffered miserably from mildew.

I saw this colorful sign at the edge of a drab November cornfield. There was no sign of the dairy being under construction. Clever name.

Now that I've managed to publish a post, I'll be around to visit your blogs and see what you've been up to lately.