Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Right on schedule the Michaelmas daisies or asters are blooming! Hybridizers have been working with the wild species and now have produced some great "new" kinds of fall asters. These white ones are among the kinds that they started with. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Although these wild species plants have very small flowers, the various wild species of bees absolutely love them and that has to be good.

Amazing Morning

Elegant dahlias are still going strong.
It's been a fantastic summer for them.

The  bumblebees love this 'purple' one.
Reason enough to keep it for next year.

Many trees in my north 'forest' are soft wood poplars. They grow fast but easily lose branches, die young, and are toppled by wind. The advantage? Before they fall, they also provide nesting sites for many kinds of woodpeckers and other birds which utilize their vacant cavities after the woodpeckers have left. This limbless giant being explored by Kit fell recently and not during a storm. If you look closely you can spot a large flicker hole and other smaller probably downy and chickadee nesting holes.

I think Colchicums are one of the most under-appreciated fall flowers. I have several species; some start early, others are bridge flowers coming later and linking the early ones to the last flowering varieties. The result is many weeks of bright happy flowers. The catch? Their leaves arrive in the spring and resemble daylilies. They are large and green; they make and store energy in order to produce those fantastic autumn flowers. People tend to lose patience with the large green leaves and cut them off but that is counterproductive, isn't it. Can you identify the differences in the following species. (There are three species now, more later.)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

When I need a shoulder to lean on I can always count on Kathy who came for a visit yesterday.

The dogs are swirling around Kathy; they love her. The interesting thing for me is that they loved her even more AFTER she cut and dremelled their nails! They think she's amazing. Dogs know. They just know!

I especially love how the trees are reflected in the windows behind her, don't you? I can easily see why birds are tempted to fly through the glass - unsuccessfully. The hanging mirrored stars greatly reduce the bird-window confrontations. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

After the rain gardens are more lovely, don't you think? There are several different species of goldenrods and each has its own charm. This woodland variety grows in deep shade and offers a Harry Potter electric wand of yellow.

Hosta are especially nice after a shower or a deluge. This one is as near to perfection as it's possible to get.

It's been interesting to me how plants perform differently in different locales. In Royal Oak I had tried unsuccessfully for many years to grow liriopes. I rescued the plant below on the left from a bargain bin at a shopping center three years ago. It just simply thrived here increasing in size so I planted three additional ones this summer near it and I hope they do as well. They flower this time of year.

A really nice tall dahlia from the dahlia lady.

The north deck was stained last week and Fred was working on the bluff deck on Sunday and got half done. He power washed it first. He wanted me to clear the brush away from the sides which I did but I also got a nice dose of poison ivy which I've been dealing with for several days now.


Icelandic Sheepdog Kit's owner wrote me an mail last week and said that she no longer wanted Kit (Vinlands Kathleen) because she wasn't the right height and her lower jaw was slightly longer than her upper jaw - I think I got the reasons she told me right. I told her that I would take Kit back but not without her papers. She could not find them but would look for them or ask the AKC for replacement registration papers.

Kit is now about a year and a half old. I have not seen her recently and therefore I don't have any recent photos. I thought I was retired from dog handling, breeding, showing, agility, obedience. I thought I was at that stage in life when I and my pack of dogs would be able to slide gracefully into the future. I have mixed, very mixed feelings.

The youngest two of my dogs are both turning nine in a few months; the oldest turns fifteen around the same time. I don't want to be without a dog when I'm older. I had been looking for a nice puppy to accompany me into old age recently and had found a litter I really liked and was ready to commit.

I was blindsided. Kit had not been paid for. I was not expecting her back. Ever. Her owner also owns Vinlands Leifur and had done amazing things with him so I fully expected that Kit would be in her forever home. The story, like most stories, is complicated. I trust too much and, as a result, I sometimes get burned. That's OK. It tells me more about me about the burners than words could.

I believe Kit has amazing genes and should be able to produce fantastic breed standard puppies if or when she gets bred. I also believe, even though I haven't seen her for a very long time, that she could be finished. Her mother, Vinlands Totty, is a grand champion and her father, Kross Gola Kelinn, is a champion. In five generations she has only one set of Great-Great-Great Grandparents repeated. Her ancestors come from virtually every country where Icelandics are found today. She comes from a litter of six. Her siblings below are in excellent homes and are amazing Icelandic Sheepdogs.

Vinlands Elisabeth

Vinlands Gunnar

Vunlands Bangsi

Vinlands Tully Lulu

Vinlands Kippa Jane

This is Kit's great pedigree.
Clicking should enlarge it.

I cannot wait to get her "home".

Saturday, September 24, 2016

And so -

Even though I've never met them and probably never will, I have found friends on facebook; one lives miles away near where I used to live and one lives in a different but also northern state.

Sunrise this morning.

I always think the garden is "at its peak", and it always surprises me by surpassing itself. "Il faut cultiver notre jardin." - a phrase which is probably not meant to be taken literally but which I do take literally and figuratively.

Some shots taken after yet another fantastic start to the day.

It is now officially autumn because the Colchicums have started their long march through the fall months. It's really hard for me to believe how many are here now. When I left Royal Oak I dug only one clump of each kind of Colchicum, leaving many clumps there. I divided those clumps I had dug when I planted them here. They have multiplied beyond my wildest expectations. I wonder sometimes what happen to the many more I left back in R.O.

I also bought wild flower seeds and threw them around the property outside the dog-fenced areas. They supplemented established plants. Many survived and flowered all summer. Clicking on photos enlarges them.