Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What's Blooming In Winter

Happily, the perennial nemesia are making their return. It resembles a miniature snapdragon flower, with delicate markings and a velvety texture. This is another plant that thrives if you cut back hard once the bloom has ended. It reseeds itself like crazy and works well at the front or middle of the flower border.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

100 Years Ago

Photo by Lewis Hine, his captions reads:

"From left to right. Joe, 12 years, Jacob, 8 years. Bonny, 10 yrs. Levi, 10 yrs. Teacher says Joe doesn't know anything, not even enough to be bad. He is always drowsy in class. "Jacob is "awful" in school work and conduct. He gets sleepy in class. Benny is good in school work and conduct. These three boys are brothers. 4:15 P.M. Location: Newark, New Jersey."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Walking In The Neighborhood

The citrus trees are all heavy with fruit this time of year.

The goose who invariably charges the fence when we pass was up to his usual tricks.

The view looking north, up the coast, looking over the hedge that grows along the edge of the street.

Last but not least, a type of flowering bulb we'd not seen before.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

At The Grocery Store

There's a lone orchid tree in the parking lot at the grocery store. It's surrounded by acres of asphalt, but blooms gloriously as if it's out in the wild somewhere. Not so long ago, when a swarm of bees formed a hive in its branches, grocery store employees erected a temporary fence around the trunk to keep the curious at bay. And then as suddenly as they had come, the bees were gone.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Walk On A Winter's Day

A chance to walk on the beach with my daughter on a 70 degree winter day was too good to pass up. We found a parking spot under one of the golden lotuses.

Making our way down the seven flights of stairs, we were greeted by acres and acres of sand, abundant sunshine and a sparkling blue sea.

A solitary kelp bulb glowed like a pearl.

Walking north, the sky was so blue it reflected its color onto the wet sand. Below, a youngster with a boogie board watched the older kids in the lineup as the afternoon sun turned the ocean silver.

Friday, February 24, 2012

At The Fruit Stand

More often than not, we eat all the raspberries and blackberries before we even get home from the fruit stand.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Impressionists On The Beach

Painted in 1888 by Vincent Van Gogh, "Boats on the Beach at Saintes-Maries".

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Washington's Birthday

George Washington, born 280 years ago in Virginia, on this day in 1732, the man essential to the survival of our fragile new country.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What's Blooming In Winter

The trumpet vine that grows along the front porch blooms almost all year. The recent winds we had blew away most of the dried leaves that build up in the thicket, so it's been cut back hard and is ready to burst with blossoms.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Out My Bedroom Window

The morning sun lights the sky as it makes its way over the hill behind our house and it dawns on me anew that there are no ordinary days.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Looking Back

Growing up in the 1950s, my mom made all of our clothes. More often than not, she dressed my big sister and me in matching dresses, and sometimes she made herself one to match, as well.

All dressed up for Easter, with matching shoes and socks, and full, itchy petticoats.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

100 Years Ago

Modern day amusement parks can't hold a candle to Luna Park, Coney Island, circa 1912.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Impressionists On The Beach

Another by Claude Monet, 1882, "Cliff Walk At Pourville".

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Stormy Day

The clouds built in the north yesterday as we waited for them to circle around and bring some rain from the south, which is how the weather works in this neck of the woods.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's Blooming In Winter

The freesias are back, blooming along the walkway to the front door.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Carrot Cake And Tea

Savoring the last slice of birthday cake - for breakfast!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lincoln's Birthday

The hat, cane and gloves of our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, born this day, in 1809.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Out And About

We were out and about for my daughter's birthday earlier this week, first dinner and then a stroll through a nearby town, pausing when we spotted King Tut and peeking into galleries.

We happened upon a wonderful surprise.

In the great room of an old hotel, a four piece flamenco band was playing.

With only a handful of other people there, we sat under the hand painted ceiling and wrought iron chandeliers and held back tears at the beauty of their music.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Impressionists On The Beach

American Maurice Prendergrast painted "Crescent Beach" in 1896.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Another Happy Birthday

Everyone knows how fast time flies, but it seems to even more when all the sudden you realize your child is older than you were when she was born... Having a daughter such as she is my greatest joy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What's Blooming In Winter

Spent shell ginger canes that should have had my attention last autumn were finally gotten to this past weekend. They were thatchy and dry, long past time for cutting back.

To my great surprise, one stalk was still in bloom! Granted, the blossoms are way smaller than normal, but a tropical shell ginger blossom in middle of winter is still a sight to behold.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

100 Years Ago

100 years ago, the caption reads: "Auto races, Laurel, Md., June 1912"

Monday, February 6, 2012

Where You Are

It's fun to look at Google Analytics, to see where you readers live. You're from seventy-six countries in all. Besides the United States, most of you live in the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia, Italy, Germany, India, Brazil, the Netherlands and Spain, in that order.

To new readers in Iceland, Slovenia, Nepal, Azerbaijan, and Malta, thanks for stopping by and welcome to all.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

By The Sea

Yesterday was perfect for a drive up the coast with my daughter, to get hamburgers and fries to eat on the bluffs above the beach.

Above, looking north, the late afternoon sun turns the sandstone cliffs orange.

The bluff had the thinnest layer of moss on the shady side of the tumbleweeds. Below, looking south.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

100 Years Ago

100 years ago, the caption reads "Freeman children, Vienna, Va., 1912".

Friday, February 3, 2012

Greening Up

Our coastal hills have gotten a head start on greening up, thanks to the record rainfall we had in November. Slightly blurry from passing by at 65 miles per hour.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Impressionists On The Beach

Not on the beach, exactly, but close enough. "View Of Collioure", painted in 1905 by Henri Matisse.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What's Blooming In Winter

The camellias haven't been entirely robust this year, helped along in their decline, no doubt, by the likes of this grasshopper.