Elizabeth Melton Parsons

Writing~Art~Life


21 Comments

Star of Bethlehem and Chives

Some photos- edible and non-edible plants.

I love it when my chives are blooming. Although delicious, I mostly grow them for ornamental purposes. I also snapped a couple of pictures of  Star of Bethlehem in my garden yesterday. These little guys grow abundantly along our creek banks and they seem to like my garden areas too. Although it’s sold as a spring time garden flower, it’s an invasive species which will crowd out native plants.  All parts of this little beauty are poisonous. Even though I think it’s beautiful, I keep my eye on it in my gardens. When it starts spreading, I dig it out.

Chives-Garlic Variety

Chives-Garlic Variety

Chives-Onion Variety

Chives-Onion Variety

Ornithogalum umbellatum

Common Names: (Star-of-Bethlehemgrass lilynap-at-nooneleven-o’clock lady)

Star of Bethlehem-Afternoon

Star of Bethlehem-Afternoon

Star of Bethlehem-Morning

Star of Bethlehem-Morning


20 Comments

Azaleas and Strawberries

I was feeling down all last week after learning of my cousin’s death so soon after losing another family member and my post yesterday reflected that. Thought I’d attempt to lighten both my mood and my blog’s with a little post on gardening and some photos. The azaleas are blooming. Always a treat. So pretty I had to snatch a couple for my nightstand.

My neighbor had a large strawberry garden that had mostly died out, but there were plants growing here and there. He very kindly told me I could dig them all and keep them. So I trudged my happy little self down there and with the help of my eldest son dug up a wheel barrow full. I do love strawberries. My dad was a strawberry farmer and having an abundance of fresh berries to eat every spring and summer is something I have really missed.

I’ve stuck the plants into containers until I get my raised bed finished. I’ve got it about half full of a mixture of compost and top soil. I didn’t realize it would take so much to fill it. The plants are blooming and have little baby berries already. I’ll have get out there today and clip all those off so they can concentrate on sending out all those little runners. They’re ever-bearing which means if they do well, I might have a few berries to eat come late summer.

azaleas-white-2

azaleas-pink

azaleas-vase-2

strawberries-2

 


12 Comments

First Signs of Spring-Purple Crocus

It’s said that when the Robins return spring has sprung. The Robins have been back for about three weeks, but it has still been very wintry. Seeing them hopping around the yard with their rusty, red chests puffed out did however, give the promise of spring.

A more definite sign are these little beauties. I came across a huge patch of them on my walk a couple of days ago. They were growing in a vacant lot where once a devoted gardener lived and with a loving hand planted them all over their front lawn. The house and it’s occupants may be long gone, but these purple blooms popping up every year means they will never be forgotten. It may be snowing today, but having seen these crocus I know spring is very, very near.

Crocus Blooming

Crocus Blooming

Crocus Flowers

Crocus Flowers

Crocus Booms

Crocus Blooms


15 Comments

The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Wow, the month of February has been quite a roller coaster ride around here. The good is that we warmed up considerably for a few days, even reached 72 one day. I didn’t think anything could melt those eight inches of petrified ice on my driveway, but it’s gone. In fact all the snow and ice is gone with the exception of a few spots here and there. The bad is that as usual with a warm up comes wind and rain. Lots of wind and rain. And the ugly is that the tornado sirens were blaring the other night, as we were under tornado warnings. Nothing happened, other than a few smaller tree limbs came down. I was so happy for the warmer temps even tornadoes were unable to dampen my enthusiasm. My brother had major surgery last week and Saturday hubby and I made the two hour trip to the hospital. It was a glorious day. My brother was doing well, the sun was shining and it was 63 degrees. Unfortunately, as they say, all good things must come to an end. It was snowing again last night, but just as it began to accumulate, it stopped. So there’s still bare ground out there, but the cold is definitely back. Here’s a few photos from February. Look at the first one. I found these sedum coming up under all that ice.

Early Sedum

Early Sedum

Feb Crescent Moon

Feb Crescent Moon

Feb Full Moon

Feb Full Moon


14 Comments

Tomato Hornworm Morphs into Hawk Moth

Just thought I’d expand on my last post and show what that creepy fat green worm will morph into.

tomato horn worm

tomato hornworm

Manduca_sexta - Moth

Manduca_sexta – Moth

 Hawk Moth

Hawk Moth

 

Moth Photo Credit: Armin Hinterwirth, University of Washington, Dept. of Biology, Daniel Lab

“Courtesy: National Science Foundation”

Hornworm Photo Credits:  Elizabeth Melton Parsons


19 Comments

Beautiful Creepy Crawlies and Morning Glories

I had tomatoes planted along side my garage and they were doing pretty well until the tomato horn worms moved in and then a huge pink morning glory vine decided to take advantage of my tomato cage and climbed all over it. And this morning I had a visitor hanging out on my side door. You can click the images for full size.

Walkingstick-Insect

Walkingstick-Insect

tomato horn worm

tomato horn worm

pink morning glory vine

pink morning glory vine


17 Comments

Flowers and Critters

yellow swallotail on white butterfly bush

the nectar of the butterfly bush is oh so sweet

black butterfly-white butterfly bush

black and white

blue morning glory-2

an oyster may have a pearl-a morning glory always has one

flowers and critters 004

Oh, my aching back!!

flowers and critters 005

you want some of this? go ahead make my day!

flowers and critters 007

Susan Sunshine with her dark eyes makes the boys want to cry

flowers and critters 011

one is the loneliest number

flowers and critters 013

pretty in pink-coneflowers

flowers and critters 017

I don’t know this Beetle or is it a Beatle? Paul, maybe?

flowers and critters 021

just a sip will never do

flowers and critters 025

enjoying lunch

flowers and critters 035

out on parole my neighbor, Mr. Bushtail is back to stealing birdseed

Is that the cops I hear?

Is that the cops I hear?


16 Comments

West Baden Springs – Part I – Exterior and Gardens

Here are the photos of the old hotel I promised. This will be in two posts because of the number of photos. First the exterior and part two will be the interior. Click the pictures for larger image and click the wiki link for the history of this amazing place. Touted as the eighth wonder of the world, West Baden Springs Hotel is part of the French Lick Resort and is a National Historic Landmark. It sits on 100 acres and is centered on a circular building, topped by a one-of-a-kind domed atrium spanning 200 feet. Rooms rise in six tiers around the dome and balcony rooms offer a panoramic view of the atrium. Although originally built as and is now a hotel, it has also been both a Jesuit seminary and a private college. I can spend hours here just walking the gardens. Part of the upper porch was closed because of scaffolding set up for maintenance. You can see it in one of the pictures. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Baden_Springs_Hotel 

from a distance

from a distance

the dome-garden view

the dome-garden view

front-doing maintenance

front-doing maintenance

front

front

side porch and stairs

side porch and stairs

brick drive divided by rose bushes

brick drive divided by hydrangeas

entering the gardens

entering the gardens-spring house in back

fountain and gazebo

fountain and part of Apollo spring house 

fountain

fountain

bridge over creek

bridge over creek

pink hardy hibiscus

pink hardy hibiscus

white hardy hibiscus

white hardy hibiscus

spring house 1

one of many spring houses that were here

view from another spring house

view from another spring house

Eric taking a break at door of one of the spring houses

Eric taking a break at door of one of the spring houses

backside walk lined with rose bushes

backside walk lined with rose bushes

back side from parking area

back side from self parking area

back of dome

back of dome

entrance gates as we're leaving

entrance gates as we’re leaving


17 Comments

Marigolds in the Rain at Dusk

Snapped these last night in the rain just as it was getting dark. I was curious to see how to the lack of light would effect the shots since I use a cheap camera with no special lighting. They’re actually better than I imagined they’d be. As usual you can click images for larger size.

Large Marigold

Large Marigold

Marigold

Marigold
Marigold

Marigold

flowers 022

 

flowers 014

 

 


8 Comments

Somebody Loves Pink

Black Swallowtail butterfly on pink coneflower. Click the photo for large resolution.

Swallowtail Butterfly on Pink Coneflower

Swallowtail Butterfly on Pink Coneflower