Flower of the Day (FOTD), April 21: Abutilon

It is hard to take a picture of abutilon. Self should know: she’s taken dozens of pictures over the years. There’s not one that’s a keeper.

But for some reason, she’s decided to save this one. It’s nice, the contrast of pale orange and the speckled leaves. This grows in her backyard, without any shape at all. It’s just there, sprawled in the shade of a massive, old holly tree.

The host of the Flower of the Day Photo Challenge is Cee Neuner.

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge (CMMC): Pick a Topic

Cee’s current Midweek Madness Challenge (CMMC) is Pick Your Topic from My Photo.

The photo is of a train.

The topic self chose is LADDER.

She took these pictures February 2020, when she was having her trellis re-painted.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Flower of the Day (FOTD): Clematis Montana

Flower of the Day is the mighty clematis montana rubens. Self has had this plant 20 years. Never has it flowered the way it is flowering now. Guess all it needed was company.

Thank you to Cee Neuner for hosting this wonderful photo challenge.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

April 8 BRIGHT SQUARES

Today’s Bright Squares are two pictures self took from her porch a few minutes ago: both of her clematis montana (“white surprise” and “rubens”) are profusely blooming!

Join the Bright Squares challenge hosted by The Life of B here.

Spring is truly the season for clematis montana!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Mama Cormier’s Thursday Trios

Self is discovering so many new challenges!

Her latest find: Mama Cormier’s Thursday Trios: people, animals, or things grouped in threes.

From self’s porch this afternoon:

And from last year, April:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Challenge #141: GEOMETRY

Thank you, P. A. Moed, for this very interesting challenge, and for the great quote from Johannes Kepler:

  • Geometry is the archetype of the beauty of the world.

P. A. Moed:

The world is full of shapes. Circles, squares, ovals, triangles, and even some of your favorites from geometry class like parallelograms. For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, we are focusing on geometry—shapes that are visually interesting and form a pattern or rhythm.

Hanging on the back wall in the first picture is a print by Eizo Sakata, a gift. Self met him at the Fundacion Valparaiso in Mojåcar, Spain, over 20 years ago!

The figs are from self’s backyard. She took the picture last year (Right now, the fig trees are just beginning to leaf.) Self can hardly wait until she can start picking the ripe figs!

The last image are three prints, part of a series called Variations on a Field, by Irish artist Pam de Brie. When self purchased them, years ago, she had nowhere to hang them. So she asked Pam to hang on to them; when she was ready, she would let her know. That time came three years ago. Four prints arrived by US mail! The last print, self will put in its own frame. It’s the brightest of the four prints.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

ELEMENTAL: Challenge Your Camera # 12

The host for this challenge is Buddha Walks Into a Wine Bar:

Today, another guest theme from Marie at Hops Skips and Jumps, a challenge with some choices. Marie’s theme Elemental is based on the 4 classical elements from Ancient Greece in which it was believed that the universe was made up of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

So, make your choice, choose one element and post any number of photos, or decide on all elements and post one photo of each. Try to be creative with your camera, close up or distant, creative with the image the element alone or combined with other elements.

Self’s gallery is made up of pictures taken in: her backyard; one in Filoli Garden in Woodside; one in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland; and one in New Mexico. They contain all the four elements, even fire. The picture of a murky sun was taken on the day the San Mateo Complex Fires came close, close enough for smoky ash to fill the air, and for self to smell burning. The firefighters saved us, again, as they do every year.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge: Euphorbia

Cee Neuner’s Flower of the Day today are tulips! Gorgeous red tulips.

Self spends hours at plant nurseries every week, and one of her favorite purchases this year has been this wee euphorbia. Not technically a flower, but oh so pretty. So far, it’s the star of her porch.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Challenge Your Camera # 11: Still Life

Discovered another Photo Challenge! This one’s from Buddha Walks Into a Wine Bar, and it’s called Challenge Your Camera.

This week’s Challenge Your Camera (# 11) is STILL LIFE.

Here are a few pointers for the Challenge:

  • What is a Still Life? A still life is a work of art that focuses on inanimate objects. Usually commonplace objects which can include both man made objects (vases, items of clothing, and consumer products) and natural objects (plants, food, rocks, shells) as examples.

So, here are self’s still lifes, all of which she pulled from her archives. They’re mostly food-related.

Still Life # 1: Self loves farmers markets. The ones in her area are held on Sundays. She bought these mushrooms at the Menlo Park Farmers Market. This picture’s from a few weeks ago. The farmers markets stayed open throughout the pandemic, and self went regularly (of course masked). Her last COVID test was ten days ago, and that was negative.

Still Life # 2: Shoreditch, East London, November 2019. She doesn’t think she’ll be able to get back to London until late 2022, at the very soonest. In the meantime, she has a huge trove of photographs from her last visit. Someone with a sense of humor left this on a window ledge.

Still Life # 3: Her last visit home was September 2019. She spent her time in Dear Departed Dad’s hometown of Bacolod, and spent a few nights in a city close by: Silay. And ate herself into a food coma. All the variety of food made from rice! These are just two examples, and they’re from the public market.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Flower of the Day (FOTD) 13 March 2021: Clematis montana

Self is following another Cee Neuner Photo Challenge, Flower of the Day. Fun!

She was lucky to find a wee Clematis montana ‘White Surprise’ in Wegman’s last week. To tell you the truth, she is a bit obsessed with clematis. Ever since her aunt in Montauk sent her, through the mail, a sprig of white clematis henryii. It was so beautiful, with big white, dinner-plate size flowers that eventually covered one entire fence. Then our neighbor decided to replace the fence. He cut all the clematis twigs, and it never grew back. Self mourns the loss even now, 20 years later.

Last year, self decided to experiment with a mail-order service. She ordered a ‘native’ variety called Saucy Alice from a nursery on the east coast. Never grew, eventually died.

This year, self was in her local nursery when she saw a white clematis montana, which reminded her of the clematis montana rubens that every spring bursts into glorious flower on her front porch trellis. It was in a wee pot, and she snagged it.

The clematis montana don’t have flowers as big as henryii, but self doesn’t care. It will be lovely.

Since arriving on self’s porch, it’s been behaving really well:

The white blooms should be ready for another close-up in a few days!

Here’s what my clematis montana rubens looked like, March 2020:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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