Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yard Work

Now that Spring has finally arrived and our plants and flowers are making the transition from winter to spring, I'm sure we're all spending more time outdoors working in our yards. I spent some time in our courtyard yesterday planting some flowers and washing pollen off of everything in sight (a losing battle at this point, I'm afraid, but I couldn't stand it any longer).

And speaking of pollen, I captured this close-up picture of a pine tree's seed pod the other day and although they cause allergy-prone folks a lot of misery this time of year, you have to admit that they are pretty.

It seems that our hard winter here in the Deep South affected the supply of flowers and plants available to the local nurseries. I was disappointed in the selection of large hanging baskets and larger size annuals, but finally decided to try some pretty red Temari Verbena plants around our waterfall area. Although they don't have any blooms on them right now, the plants look healthy and, hopefully, will have some bright red blooms soon.

You can see them in the bottom left corner of the picture below (under "Harry," the blue Heron).

The winter also took its toll on our water plants, as you can see in this picture. Those brown "sticks" are all that's left of a gorgeous Umbrella Plant, that didn't survive. Unfortunately, we'll have to replace it and a few more of our water plants.

Here is the way it looked last Spring ...

I did find this pretty Verbena hanging basket for the waterfall ...

And this pink Geranium ...

Our courtyard is where we spend our time in the spring and summer months, and it is always a "work in progress." Right now, I'm (not so patiently) waiting for all the plants around the waterfall and pond to leaf out and bloom. We had to trim them last month to get them ready for their new spring growth, so some of them look pretty stark now.

I was pleased with what I accomplished yesterday, though, and am looking forward to spending our Easter weekend in the courtyard.

Confederate Jasmine vine growing around our front doors, with baskets of Azaleas.

I hope you're enjoying Spring in your part of the world, and are having fun working in your yard.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Spring Photo Shoot

Yesterday was a beautiful spring-like day, with breathtakingly blue skies and bright sunshine. There was a chill in the air as lingering March breezes made their presence felt, but I took advantage of the pretty weather and went exploring with my camera.

I began my adventure at the Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg. The dogwoods are in bloom, but haven't quite reached their peak yet. Can you believe that sky!

I had company as I rambled around the grounds. The "Court House Cat" joined me, and I captured him with my camera when he stopped to rest at the base of one of those huge columns ...

Isn't he beautiful!

I also captured this huge Iris.

When I changed to my macro lens to get a closer look, I was amazed by what I saw. It looked as if there was a candle glowing deep within its petals (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them if you'd like to see the details).

I've discovered that so much of God's glory is hidden within the petals of a flower or under a leaf, and I feel so blessed every time I get a glimpse of it through my camera lenses.

After saying 'goodbye' to my little cat friend, I left the Court House and drove over to the National Cemetery, which is located in the Vicksburg National Military Park. The cemetery is one of my favorite places to photograph in Vicksburg, and this beautiful Redbud tree immediately caught my eye ...

I couldn't get close to that tree, but found another Redbud on a country road that was easy to reach and captured these close-up shots.

As you can see, it was one of those days when you can't help but think, "How great Thou Art" ... and it was a very memorable way to celebrate the beginning of this Holy Week.

The Days of Holy Week

Holy Monday was when Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers, saying to them: "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer'; But you make it a den of robbers." [Matthew: 21:13]

Holy Tuesday of Holy Week is the day when the incident between Jesus and Pharisees is thought to have taken place. This was when the churchmen tried to trap Jesus into making a blasphemous, or, anti-God remark. This day is also significant as the day Jesus discoursed to his disciples on the Mount of Olives about the destruction of Jerusalem and the signs of the last day.

Spy Wednesday: The day Judas betrayed Jesus.

Maundy Thursday: The day of the Last Supper. In the words of Matthew: Jesus took bread, and blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

Good Friday: The Crucifixion

Holy Saturday commemorates the day Jesus Christ's body lay in the tomb.

Easter Sunday: The day of the Resurrection.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Blue Flowers

I would like to thank Sally at Smiling Sally, our gracious "Blue Monday" hostess, for continuing to host our Blue Mondays, even though she has had a couple of serious surgeries in the past few weeks. I hope this finds Sally feeling much better and enjoying Spring.

I love blue flowers, especially in summer gardens. Even when planted in a sunny location, they seem to look "cooler" and more soothing to me than some of the "hot" reds, yellows, and oranges of summer flowers like zinnias and geraniums.

I was surprised by how many pictures of blue flowers I have in my "Flower Pictures," and thought I would share them on this Blue Monday (I "borrowed" some of these from the Internet, too).

I took this picture in Vicksburg last summer. I love the contrast of the blue and pink Hydrangeas.

I don't think there's anything prettier than old-fashioned Morning Glories growing on a fence. Our granddaughter Avery and I planted these a couple of years ago ...

I captured these delicate little blue Dayflowers while on a photo shoot in Canton, Mississippi.

One of my favorite blue-flowering plants is the Chaste Plant in our courtyard. It has the most gorgeous "spiky" blue blossoms, and blooms most of the summer (I took these pictures a couple of summers ago).

Here are a few more of my favorite blue flowers ...

Texas Bluebonnets

Blue Salvia

Blue Phlox


I love old-fashioned Cornflowers, or as my grandmother used to call them, Bachelor's Buttons. They bring back sweet memories of when I was a little girl and would go out and pick a "bouquet" of them for my grandmother. The stems were probably only an inch long, but she always managed to "Oooooh and Ahhhhh" over them and find a vase small enough to hold them.

I guess my least favorite blue flower is a Blue Rose. It's pretty, but it just doesn't look "natural" to me.

This little Johnny Jump-Up is in a basket of mixed flowers I bought at Home Depot over the weekend, which I'm going to feature in a post later this week. I love the contrast of the blue and yellow ...

Can you add more blue flowers to the list?

Best wishes for a Happy Blue Monday
filled with lots of Spring sunshine!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Holy City

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:

And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.

And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.

And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.

And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them.

And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him.

And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.

And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.

And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;

Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.

Luke 19:28-41

Friday, March 26, 2010

Waiting for the Butterflies

One day soon, we're going to see our first Spring butterflies fluttering around our yards. Have you ever wondered about where they come from and how they just show up one day? I wonder if they've traveled far, or if they've just escaped from their cocoons after a long winter's sleep. And what makes them choose our yard for their new home? I'll probably never know the answers to these questions, but that's okay ... I'll just be glad when they get here.

While I'm waiting, I'd like to share some of my butterfly pictures from past springs and summers (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them, if you'd like).

I love capturing butterflies with my camera, especially when my Lantana blooms are at their peak. There's nothing like standing amongst them while they flutter all around me, and it's truly an awesome experience.

I can't wait until they get here!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Springtime is God's way

of smiling down on us.