Lens-Artists #103: Surprise

This week our host Ann-Christine has challenged us to show anything that was a surprise.

I’ve had a few surprises in the garden this summer. When I found two unidentified plants growing in one of my small beds I left them alone to see what would happen. I was surprised when they turned out to be Black Eyed Susans that I planted about two years ago.

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Black Eyed Susan

I’ve seen plenty of cicada skins attached to things around the exterior of our house but I was surprised to find one hanging onto a zinnia while it was shedding its skin. A few days later, the skin was still there.

Another time a mama diamond back terrapin decided that underneath the salvia would be a perfect place to lay her eggs.

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Female Diamond Terrapin laying eggs in the garden

Thank you Ann-Christine for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Surprise

Lens-Artists #83: Future

For this week’s challenge Ann-Christine has asked us to illustrate the Future.

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow ~ Audrey Hepburn

A flower bud’s future is to become a flower.

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Bud on newly planted Bobbie Fain Variegated Camellia

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First bloom on newly planting Camellia

The future of a caterpillar is to become a butterfly.

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Monarch Caterpillar munching on milkweed leaf

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Monarch on milkweed

While I don’t know what my future will bring, I can enjoy watching my garden grow. The seeds I plant in March become summer flowers.

Many thanks to Ann-Christine for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Future

 

Camellias make me happy

I fell in love with Camellias last year when I saw them blooming during my Adventure in Bonaventure.

I have an old Camellia in my yard that my next door neighbor passed on to me many years ago. I didn’t know what I was doing and just stuck it in the ground and hoped for the best. For years I would only get a few flowers each year. A few years ago it was covered with the white blooms in January and February. Seeing those blooms always make me smile.

When the Camellia is blooming I like to have flowers all around the house.

I enjoy those winter blooms so much that I decided to plant some more Camellias. Last Friday I drove across town to visit a nursery that specializes in Camellias. I spent about an hour with the owner as he told me everything I needed to know about how to plant and care for them. He helped me select three bushes that should do well in my yard – a pink High Fragrance, a gorgeous white Sea Foam, and a red and white variegated Bobbie Fain.

It took me two days to decide exactly where I wanted to put them. Sunday afternoon before the Super Bowl I dug three holes and followed the instructions on how to plant my new plants. There are buds on each of them.

It was a lot of work digging those three holes but it was worth it! Seeing the plants in their new home makes me happy.

This post was inspired by the Weekly Smile over at Trent’s World. What made you smile this week?

Photo Challenge: Lens-Artists #57 – Taking a Break

As a retired senior, I’m lucky that I don’t have to go through the daily grind of a 40 hour work week any more. Even so, there are still times when even retired people need to take a break . Sometimes, reading a book, calling a friend, or watching an old movie is just what I need.

Other times, I need to get out in nature in order to soothe my soul. Whether it’s walking out into my back yard, taking a walk through the neighborhood, or getting in the car to do something new , there are plenty of things I can do outside to take a break.

When I’m busy at home, if I need a short break I can go outside to see what’s happening in my own back yard.

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Bee in the Butterfly Garden

In the evening, I love to stop whatever I’m doing to watch a beautiful sunset.

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Sunset over the Georgia Salt Marsh

The beach is my happy place, and any time I can get my toes in the sand makes me happy.

Ready for Beach Chair Sitting on the Gulf of Mexico
Ready for Beach Chair Sitting on the Gulf of Mexico

Getting out and exploring somewhere close to home is a great way to take a break.

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McQueens – Tybee Island Rails To Trails, Savannah, GA

When we’re traveling in the RV, there’s no better way to take a break from driving, sightseeing, or hiking than relaxing right in our own campsite.

Our campsite was a great place to watch the herons, egrets
Just Chillin’ in our campsite

For longer breaks, taking a trip and experiencing new places is the answer.

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Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

Thanks to Tina at Travels and Trifles for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Taking a Break this week

Late Summer in the Garden

Most of the flower beds around our house are planted with drought tolerant plants that can survive the summer heat here in coastal Georgia. On the summers we take off on an RV trip I don’t have to worry too much about these established plants back home.

When we are home for the summer, I like to plant a butterfly garden. This year I added new milkweed, a butterfly bush, zinnias, black eyed susans, purple coneflower, and Mexican Sunflower to attract the hummingbirds and butterflies. With all these blooms I enjoy having cut flowers from the garden.

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Black Eyed Susans

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Cut Flowers from the garden

In addition to my flowers I had a small crop of basil, jalapeño peppers and cherry tomatoes. The peppers are still producing but the tomatoes and basil are gone.

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Bounty from my little garden

Earlier in the summer we weren’t getting very many butterflies but lately the Gulf Fritillarys and Swallowtails have been visiting the garden regularly.

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Gulf Fritillary on Mexican Sunflower

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Swallowtail

Inspired by Ingrid’s Wandering Wednesday photo prompt – garden