Monday, September 30, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: I Robbed the Woods

I robbed the Woods —
The trusting Woods.
The unsuspecting Trees
Brought out their Burs and Mosses
My fantasy to please.
I scanned their trinkets curious — I grasped — I bore away —
What will the solemn Hemlock —
What will the Oak tree say?
                                 ~Emily Dickinson
After some heavy rains, we are having a few glorious autumn days here in Maine! The sun is shining, the air is crisp, a brisk breeze is blowing, and who could resist a ramble through the woods with the leaves now almost at peak color?  My weekends have been pretty busy lately so I haven't really had time to do many flower arrangements for IAVOM, but I just had to do something this week with so much color around me! 😊

Fiery red Maple leaves contrast with the gold of Wild Sarsaparilla...

Mountain Ash berries...

The ferns are almost as colorful at this time of year as the trees! I find it fascinating that some ferns turn brown after the first frost, while others remain green even after it snows! But I thought this one was especially pretty, being almost white! 

Even the Asters are almost over now, but I was able to find a few...

Overhead view...

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting IAVOM! I'm looking forward to seeing what others have gathered today. The growing season is about over for me, but hopefully many of you have been spared from the frosts so far! 😊 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Showing Off

I was greeted by two stunning flowers this morning. It seems that 'Star of India' decided to show me what it can really do! 😊  The larger flower is perfection. If you look closely you can see the light blue star, and the delicate edging looks like it was painted by an artist's brush! 

But the second flower really made me gasp with delight! I don't even know how to describe it, but you can see for yourself. 😊 I've seen these markings on some Japanese MG varieties in pictures before, but to have one open on my front porch is thrilling! I took over 45 pictures, trying to do it justice. It is very breezy this morning so it was difficult to get a good focus, but here are a few of the best I could do...

Unfortunately, I missed the first flower on I. pubescens was a busy day and I didn't notice until early afternoon, when the flower had already closed. But the plant is covered with buds so I should see another in a couple days! I think this will be the week that all my MG plants will be taking up their residence indoors...they haven't been enjoying the cooler days although they did appreciate the last few days of Indian Summer! 😊

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Last Pale Flowers

The last pale flowers are drooping on the stems,
The last searleaves are fluttering on the trees,
The latest groups of summer’s flying gems,
Are warbling forth their parting melodies.

The winds seem heavy-wing’d, and linger by,
Whispering to every pale and sighing leaf;
And sun-light falls all dim and tremblingly,
Like love’s fond farewell through the mist of grief.

There is a dreamy presence every where,
As if of spirits passing to and fro;
We almost hear their voices in the air,
And feel their balmy pinions touch the brow.

I oft have pray’d that death may come to me
In such a spiritual autumnal day;
For surely it would be no agony
With all the beautiful to pass away.
                                   ~Lydia Jane Peirson

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Star of India

With the days getting shorter and chillier, my Japanese Morning Glories (Ipomoea nil) seem to be hurrying up to bloom while they have time (I haven't told them that they get to come inside yet!).😃 
I noticed the first buds on 'Star of India' a couple weeks ago and predicted that they would open in 10 days-2 weeks...oh great, just when I was going to be leaving on our Niagara Falls/PA trip! I even joked that I would have to stay home as I really didn't want to miss the first flower! Thankfully, my sister was kind enough to keep an eye on them for me and photograph the first flower, which opened 2 days after I left. 😊

I missed 5 flowers while I was away, but was greeted the day after I got back by this small but very pretty bloom, which even has a reverse tube mutation! The exciting thing about Morning Glories is that they are so changeable...even weather conditions can have an effect, so I never know exactly what the next flower will look like! The first flower actually looks more like the true 'Star of India' than subsequent blooms so far, but the lady who so kindly shared her collection of seeds, warned me that they may be cross-pollinated and that I might not get an exact match, but she did guarantee that whatever I got would be pretty. I love surprises, so that was alright with me! 😊

A larger flower opened on Thursday. I love all the pinkish streaks in the blue!

The same flower looks like silk in the sunlight!

Yesterday was cold and wet, so this flower actually didn't open until late afternoon, but it sure was worth the wait! 

Some of the other varieties are starting to get buds now and I also hope to be able to show you the flowers of the more exotic  I. pubescens and I. transvaalensis before too long! I'm looking forward to many more blooms on these plants this Fall and Winter. 😊

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Niagara Falls

NATURE has many waterfalls, a few cataracts —ONE NIAGARA! That stands alone, vast, grand, indescribable! - the mighty alembic in which the world of waters is refined and etherealized!- the august throne upon which Nature sits, clothed in the glorious attributes of power and beauty -the everlasting altar, at whose cloud-wrapt base the elements pay homage to Omnipotence! The floods that pour down its tremendous heights, seem gushing from the opened heavens, and plunging into the depths of the unfathomable abyss! Air groans, earth trembles, deep calleth unto deep, and answering thunders roll up the vast empyrean! Like a seething hell the gulf below sends up the smoke of its torment, and the foam of agony thickens upon the face of the dread profound, while far above upon the verge of the precipice, sits the sweet Iris - like faith upon a dying martyr's brow - arching the fearful chasm with its outspread arms, and smiling through all the terrors of the scene. 
                                                                                                                  ~George Van Waters

My father and I got back last night from another trip to PA and OH, stopping at Niagara Falls on the way! It was a nice trip but exhausting....the drive down took a full 24 hours, with almost no stops to rest. We decided to cut across Canada to avoid the New England traffic and we thought it would be shorter too, but we ended up making a few wrong turns which lost us some time. We still can't quite figure out why it took that long though! Anyway, it was nice to see some different scenery, including the Thousand Islands...

As we got close to Niagara Falls we noticed this cloud rising up and thought at first that it was a factory or something, but it turned out to be mist from the Falls!

The rapids above the Falls were amazing too. 

I didn't see the "sweet Iris", but this lovely Purple Loosestrife caught my eye. My father couldn't figure out why I was taking pictures of a silly plant at such a time, but I thought it had the perfect background! 😁

We were already very tired by this time (my father especially) so we really didn't spend as much time or look around as much as I would have liked. Still, it was beautiful and awe-inspiring!

I really envied the people riding down below on the Maid of the Mist...what an experience that must be! But I think the most wonderful place to be must be the Cave of the Winds. Hopefully one day I'll go back there and have the time to see that!

Peeking around the corner at the Canadian side...

I'll finish with a little video we took (this is the first time I've uploaded a video directly to my blog, so hopefully it works!). But neither videos, pictures, or words, can adequately describe the grandeur of Niagara Falls!

Monday, September 2, 2019

There is a Spell in Every Flower...

There is a spell in every flower-
A sweetness in each spray,
And every simple bird has power
To please me with its lay!

And there is music on each breeze
That sports along the glade;
The crystal dew-drops on the trees
Are gems, by Fancy made.

And I! - my heart is full of joy,
And gratitude is there,
That He, who might my life destroy,
Has yet vouchsafed to spare.

And now there is a happiness 
In every thing I see,
Which bids my soul rise up and bless
The God who blesses me.
                              ~Anna Peyre Dinnies