Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Hiatus for the Holidays!

Here's wishes for a Happy Holiday season
from my house to yours.


Lots to be done to celebrate this wonderful time of year.

The tree needs putting up and trimming.


Menus for parties need planning and advance preparations started.
Cookies need baking.
Last minute gifts need purchasing and wrapping.
Cards need to be addressed and mailed.


It's also that time of year for reflecting on events of the past year and future events to come.

I will return to blogging in the New Year.


Joyous Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Note: photos are from years' past!  No snow here and no tree or decorations up yet!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Two Drive By Churches

I need to take some more church photos.  These two are the last ones I have from visiting New Hampshire/Vermont in October.  I need to carry my camera with me in the car and take some photos.

These two were drive by photos and not the best quality.


The flag above is on the telephone pole not on the church.




Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Outside My Window


Outside my study window is one of my birdfeeders.  It's placed in the Pond Garden.


Sunday morning it was a busy spot but the newcomer I noticed was the junco below.
It was under the feeder looking for the droppings of seed bits.  Juncoes or snowbirds are a harbinger of winter to come.



This feeder gets emptied fast because the goldfinch (not gold at this time of year) sit there and eat.


The tufted titmouse manages to squeeze in to get one sunflower seed which they take to a branch to open between their feet.



The purple finch is also another that monopolizes the feeder.




These birds must travel to other feeders through the day - equal opportunity feeding.



Hang on their chickadee, your turn will come.



Later Sunday morning I heard a loud thump on the window.  I looked up in time to see mourning doves scattering but no sign of a hawk in pursuit.  Below the window was one dove that took a direct hit on the window.  It didn't survive.  By Monday morning the corpse was gone - food for the fox, I'm sure.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church

These photos are from last December 29th when my daughter got married in this church. Not many churches allow non-members to use their facilities for weddings as we found out.  Sarah and William were members of a Presbyterian church that meets in a neighborhood center - not big enough for the wedding they planned.  Fortunately Mount Hebron is very open to others using their lovely modern sanctuary so that's where we gathered on a Monday morning, yes Monday, in December.  We followed the ceremony with a brunch at the Howard County Conservancy.



Here's William relaxing on the piano before finishing his dressing.


The church was still decorated for Christmas.



This old stone building on the church grounds dates to pre-Revolutionary times.  It's used for meetings now and for the bride's party dressing room.


Here's the lovely couple with Dan and I.



For another post on this wedding link to A Three Dress Wedding

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November Sunrise

Red in the morning,
Sailors take warning.

The sky this morning was a deep shade of red and sure enough it's raining now as I type this.




We don't often see these colors in a sunrise. 


They don't last long even when they show up.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Vegetable Garden - November

Vegetable gardening is done for 2015.  The beds have been planted with a cover crop of barley and field peas.  Surprisingly the bunny has not been in there to eat nor have the voles.


The bed on the right above is seen below in close up.  It's planted with garlic all of which are coming up nicely.  I did see a vole hole in there but nothing seemed to be eaten.


The only plant left to harvest is parsley and with a harder frost this may also be done for the year.  We did have frost this morning but from my window it still looks to be green out there.



Saturday, November 7, 2015

Church Among the Trees


Another set of church photos from our trip to NH in October.  This one was on the way to Wellwood Orchards in Ascutney, VT.


When we first passed by church members were planting in front of the stone walls.  You can see the disturbed ground there in the photo below.  They must have been planting bulbs.


I didn't quite get a full photo of the steeple from the side of the road, but don't you agree it's quite a lovely setting?



Thursday, November 5, 2015

Stages of Fall

Our fall color is in another stage - the beech trees are providing the golds now.  Tulip poplar the tallest trees in our woods have lost almost all their leaves.  Beech are the understory now though in years to come will become the climax forest.

It is lovely to wake to this sight each morning with the sun making the golds glow.













Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Joe Pye Weed

Here's a then and now set of photos.


All its growth is new each year.





Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pond Clean up


A warm day here today, perfect for cutting back the growth around the pond. I have tried to do it in the fall because come spring there is so much else to do.  Also the dead leaves of the iris seem to be harder to trim and all laying down so harder to get too.  Besides it makes the pond look neater all winter long.

Here's the grass blocking the view of the pond.   I had trimmed this earlier this fall because it was making it difficult to drive in to my side of the garage.  Now the rest needs to go.


The iris ring the pond and need a good trimming too.


Here's the after with the grass and iris cut back.


I didn't have boots on so didn't wade in to trim the cattails or the iris growing in the water.


I'll wait until a very cold day when the pond is frozen to walk out on it to trim the cattails.  The dark plant in the background is the Joe Pye weed.  I'll wait until Spring to cut that down and use the stalks in my brush fence.

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