Tuesday, November 13, 2018

First Real Snow of the Season

As normal, my Icelandic Sheepdogs wanted to get up very early this morning. Daylight Savings Time or not they have their own schedule and DST is not a concern to them. Of course, OF COURSE, right after they go outside, they want to go right back to bed. Me? I'm awake and up and couldn't go back to sleep even if I wanted to. We only had about an inch of snow. It still looks lovely, this first one, doesn't it? And it fits perfectly with "Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go. The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh in the white and drifted snow - oh, oh!"

I try to grow indoor plants that flower (and smell nice too) in the winter; there are enough spring, summer, and autumn flowers outside, don't need houseplants with flowers during those seasons.

One of my reliable orchids whose name is lost in the mists of time. Looking closely you can see numerous flower buds on the way too. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Hopefully these birds will still be around next week to help me celebrate Thanksgiving. I blame myself for not counting the young soon after hatching so I would now know how many have made it so far. The highest count I've had recently? Eight.

These shots were from yesterday - before the snowfall. It's hard to believe a lake as large as Lake Huron has days when the surface is so calm, isn't it?

We had our first real hard frost last Friday and I realized that I hadn't dug the dahlias for winter storage in the garage yet. So after breaking the top inch of frozen soil, I dug them, cut off their stalks for recycling, put them on a tray, and stored them in the garage.  Dahlias seem succulent, and tropical and are worth the small bit of effort needed to save them for another year of lush flowers.

Sharon and Jeff had me over for cookies last weekend. They are busy packing 'gifts' for children in South America. They keep me up to date on some of the "neighborhood" gossip - even though I try hard not to be involved, it is interesting.

On Sunday I went looking for the house I almost bought - before I found the land here to build on - but once again, I missed the turn off Lakeshore Road. It's clearly marked on the maps but not physically. I'll try again.

These few stragglers were still flowering last weekend. They are obviously not as large and showy as their summer peers but are still very much appreciated. Some Colchicums, a snapdragon, roses, and some winter hardy mums. Snapdragons are tough and can sometimes even survive winters here. They can also self-sow which fits them neatly into my parameters for garden inclusion.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Oakland University Art Gallery

I took a trip to visit the Art Gallery at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. (See http://www.ouartgallery.org/ )

Dick (Steven) Goody had asked me to lend them two of my Bryant Tillman paintings for their show, so I had to see the whole show.

Dick curated "Who Were They Then" a great show. Artists included are: Morgan Barrie, Carole Harris, Mel Rosas, Clinton Snider, and Bryant Tillman. I have to wonder why I don't have their art in my collection. Christmas is coming.

Here are a few of my favorites in alpha order, even though it was difficult to decide which ones I liked "more". I've been following Carole Harris for several years. I love her quilts.

Carole Harris: - 

Autumn Etude


I love Mel Rosas's work. I wish I could afford something of his. They are spectacular. 

Mel Rosas: -

The Abyss and Gentrification

The Sacred, the Popular, and the Innocent

El Macho Se Fue

Seeing Clinton Snider's works in person was an awesome experience. I've seen screen shots and some of his art in pamphlets and books. They absolutely have to be see in person up close. They are nuanced and thought provoking. Memorable. I've emailed him but not heard back.

Clinton Snider: -

The Back Forty

Tree of Heaven

The Last Winter

After the Flood

Bryant Tillman: - 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Audurs Tryna, Maryanna

My friend Maryanna who adopted Trýna from Auður Valsdóttir & Ralph Biggs in Canada in 2004 just told me that Trýna passed away recently. Over the years Maryanna and I talked often. Trýna was a very bright, happy dog with an outgoing personality; she will be missed.

Trýna was the daughter of Flúðir Kappi and Ralphs Birna and has many ancestors from all over the Icelandic Sheepdog world including Denmark, Norway, Iceland, as well as many of the original Icelandics in North America from the 1970s. Her ancestors here were from Palmahaus Kennel, Bolstad Farms, Byron Kennel, Dyggur Kennel, the Sigurdssons, and of course Auður. I know several people who are trying to save those old North American lines so more solid dogs like Tryna will grace us with their presence into the future. (Clicking on photos will enlarge them.)

Ulmus americana - The American Elm

Even though this is not a very old elm tree, there are not many left that live even this long. Wouldn't it be nice if this one had some resistance to the fungus? There are fewer and fewer people alive now who remember these towering giants. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

This is probably the last of the fall color shots. We've had days and days of rain and inevitably the leaves are all coming down. Of course for real nature lovers and gardeners, these leaves are gold because of how they nourish plants in the future, plants yet to come. The sugar maples and the Norway maples are good now and even the oaks are pretty for a few days before their leaves turn brown.

It does seem to me that the trees spend a greater part of the year leafless than leaf-full. While I do like looking at branch and twig patterns - - - - - - .