Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our Kitchen: A Gathering Place

I think one of the most important rooms in a house is the kitchen. It is usually the gathering place for families and friends, not only for cooking and/or eating, but for fellowship and fun. Most of today's kitchens are designed with that in mind, featuring open floor plans that combine the kitchen, breakfast, and family room areas into one large room.

When we have company, our kitchen is the "gathering place," a place where the smells of good food mingle with the sounds of a family sharing good times and making memories while we prepare meals, play games at our breakfast table, and just "hang out."

I recently updated pictures of our kitchen and would like to share it with you.

The green bench beckons you to come "sit a spell."

This old tole tray is one of my favorite treasures, and when we bought the house, I knew exactly where I was going to put it.

This old scale is another one of my favorite things.

The little lamp has a special place in my heart, too. It sat on my dresser when I was a little girl.

I took these pictures and enjoy them on the side of the pantry by the china cabinet, especially the one of our granddaughter Avery helping me make a lemon pie. The bowl holding the peaches was my grandmother's.

I love this sign and its message ...

I hope you enjoyed seeing our "gathering place." I would love to see yours.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hummingbird Slideshow

I'd like to share a brief slideshow of some of my best attempts to capture our hummingbirds with my camera. I love to watch these little guys as they zoom and swoop around the feeder, and by summer's end, I find that I've really become attached to them.

Be sure and turn your sound up before you click on "Play," if you'd like to hear the music.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Creating a Butterfly Garden

I always look forward to participating in Blue Mondays, which is so graciously hosted by Sally at Smiling Sally.

Today I'd like to share this pretty blue blown glass butterfly feeder I found at a specialty gardening shop in Jackson. After trying it in several places, I finally settled on a spot close to the waterfall in our courtyard.

The information on the tag suggested filling the tube part of the flower with the same kind of nectar you put in hummingbird feeders [one-fourth cup sugar to one cup water], which I did.

Then, I googled "how to attract butterflies" and found the following information.

  • Plant good nectar sources in the sun. Your key butterfly nectar source plants should receive full sun from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Butterfly adults generally feed only in the sun.

  • Provide a place for butterflies to rest. Butterflies need sun for orientation and to warm their wings for flight. Place flat stones in your garden to provide space for butterflies to rest and bask in the sun.

  • Give them a place for puddling. Butterflies often congregate on wet sand and mud to partake in "puddling," drinking water and extracting minerals from damp puddles. Place coarse sand in a shallow pan and then insert the pan in the soil of your habitat. Make sure to keep the sand moist.

  • Butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple blossoms that are flat-topped or clustered, and have short flower tubes.

Flowers and plants that attract butterflies:

Milkweed, arabis, black-eyed susan, purple coneflower, hollyhocks, sweet william, white and purple alyssum, cosmos, lantana, coreopsis, phlox, daisies, catnip, asters, stocks, zinnias, yarrow, lavender, rosemary, thyme, candytuft, and verbena.

Good choices for shrubs and small trees include the butterfly bush, common lilac, mock orange, beauty bush, blackberry, honeysuckle, hawthorn, weigela, sumac, rose of Sharon, spirea, and privet.

If you love butterflies and would like to attract them to your yard, I hope you find this information useful. I'm looking forward to capturing some butterflies with my camera while they dine on nectar from my little feeder, flitter amongst the lantana and butterfly bush, drink from our waterfall, and bask in the sun on our rocks. I'll let you know if it works!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Road Trip: Louisiana Hwy. 65

This is a continuation of my trip through the heart of the Louisiana Delta. If you haven't read the first part and would like to, you can click here.

I love photographing animals and was delighted when I saw several little goats close to the road.

Just look at these little beauties ...

I love the expressions on their faces and their soft velvety hair. This little one entertained me by sticking his tongue out at me. He was so cute I wanted to take him home with me.

A donkey was standing close by and his curiosity finally got the best of him. He wandered over to check me out, and I couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking.

My next stop was at a cotton processing plant where this neat rocking chair caught my eye as I passed by.

It looks like it has been well used and I didn't have the nerve to ask if they wanted to sell it. I'm sure the answer would have been a resounding, "No Ma'am!" I didn't ask what kind of skull that was beside it either.

This little rabbit was almost hidden amongst a lethal-looking cactus plant. I love yard art and couldn't resist taking his picture.

One of the things I always notice as I drive through little towns are the water towers. This one was at Transylvania, Louisiana, and I love the picture on it.

I did an "about-face," aka U-turn, when I passed by this old barn. I like the unusual windows on the side of what I assume is the hay loft.

I love silos, and was pleased with the way the trees framed this one for me.

I enjoyed my trip through the Louisiana Delta, and would like to go back someday. I had to leave a lot of "pictures" up there, and that rocking chair is haunting me.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Train Art

Yesterday, I drove up to Lake Village, Arkansas, to visit a home decor/import store called Paul Michael Company, which is one of my favorite places to shop for accessories for my house and outdoor decor. Paul Michael has a store in Monroe, Louisiana, which is closer to Vicksburg, but I haven't been to the Lake Village store in quite a while and thought it would be fun to take pictures along the way.

Well, as it turned out, taking pictures was a lot more fun than shopping, if you can believe that. I just didn't see anything I had to have at Paul Michael's, which is a rarity. Of course, it could have been because on the way to Lake Village, I saw so many things I wanted to capture with my camera, but didn't take the time to stop. By the time I got there, I really wasn't in the mood to shop, and couldn't wait to get back in my car and find those "pictures" I saw on the way up.

I was traveling on Louisiana Highway 65 North, which is in the heart of the Louisiana Delta. A railroad track runs parallel to the road for miles and miles, and I noticed a very long line of railroad cars on a side track beside the road. I was fascinated by the "graffiti," or "urban art" painted on some of the cars.

I've always wondered about the people who paint those pictures on train cars. It has to take some time to paint the more detailed pictures and intricate letters, and I wonder when and where they paint them without getting caught.

Some of them are quite good, and if they painted their creations on canvas instead of trains, they could probably make a living by selling their art. I can just imagine an art gallery in New York City featuring an exhibit called "Train Art." Hmmmm ... I wonder if they would exhibit my pictures of train art ?

Oh, well ... I'll just share them with you here instead. Here are my favorites (you can click on the pictures to see the details, if you'd like):

I love the views from underneath the train cars, too.

Aren't they amazing! I hope you will join me tomorrow to see the rest of the pictures I captured on my journey through the beautiful Louisiana Delta.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday "Outdoor Potpourri"

I'd like to thank our hostess Susan at A Southern Daydreamer, for taking the time to host our "Outdoor Wednesdays." Be sure to visit Susan and see her gorgeous "heat-resistant" summer flowers, and follow the links to see everyone else's outdoors.

Today, I'd like to share a few "potpourri" pictures that I've taken recently and haven't used on my blog. I took the first two a couple of weeks ago of a sunset over the Mississippi River at Vicksburg.

The rest of these are just random shots taken on photo shoots ...

Presbyterian Church steeple in Edwards, Mississippi

This is a close up of the columns at the
Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg.

Our "Chaste Plant" in full bloom

And last, but not least, fireworks over
the Mississippi River on the 4th of July

I hope you have a happy "Outdoor Wednesday," and can take time to stop and smell the roses along your way.