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Ongoing projects

Posts from the ‘gardens’ category


It’s snowing…… again…..ugh….I miss my garden.

20140215-133007.jpgYou can barely see the fence now there is so much snow piled up.

20140215-133331.jpgI haven’t seen the lion in ages.

20140215-134051.jpgMaybe it’s just that I miss the intensity of the color and my fish.

20140215-134258.jpgI hope they’re OK down there under all that snow and ice.

I’ve posted some of these before, but I figure everyone enjoys a change of pace now and then.

Snow, more snow and yet again more snow…..

This is what we had after the first snow this year, we skated NYC got slammed.

20140213-233110.jpgMy favorite allee on rt. 32.

The second storm, boredom really starting to set in.

20140213-234049.jpgMy garden.

Really bored.

20140213-234721.jpgMy porch.

This is Trouble in the first half of this storm.

My garden agian, roughly four of the eight inches we got today, at least it’s over 25 degrees.

What I’m waiting for.

20140213-235237.jpgMy favorite allee on rt. 32 in summer.

Even if I’m complaining I will take the snow and cold over the flooding in England or the drought in California.

Maybe more soon…….


This trope has been done to death, but……





I blame it all on end of the year editing/review. It does help to remind me that it will eventually be warm and green again.

Frogs and the naming of….

I have really enjoyed watching the frogs at my water feature this year, happily assuming I knew what they were – Green frogs (Rana clamitans melanota). However as the summer went on it became obvious one was not like the others. Turns out she’s a Bullfrog (Rana catasbeiana). By the way, Scientific Latin + auto spell check = nightmare. There is a trick to telling them apart, besides the size difference, which is only helpful when you can compare them. Green frogs have a dorsal lateral ridge a raised line that begins at their eye and runs down their back. Don’t be confused by the black markings which go around his eye (I believe these markings vary from frog to frog).

The Bullfrog not so much ridge, you can see her’s starts at her eye and goes around her ear (tympanum).

20131013-185432.jpgI refer to the Bullfrog as female because the male of both species has a yellow throat and the one above has a whitish one. The photo below shows the color difference in Green frogs.

Male Green frogs reach sexual maturity at one year of age and females at two or three, seems a bit unfair to me. Bullfrogs don’t reach sexual maturity until four or five and take two to three years to develop from egg to frog – that’s a long time as a tadpole.
Here are some photos that clarify the size difference.

The bars are 3.5 inches apart and the cedar plank is 6 inches wide, essentially Green frogs are as long as Bullfrogs are wide. Well, at least are/were.

More fun facts can be found at Rhode Island Vernal Pools. All the information in this post should be credited to them, any mistakes to me. It’s a very neat site, lots of cool ecology info.

Fish finally …….and a toad

Finally two fish photos that I am pleased with. Some skill this time, but still mostly luck at least I am starting to understand how the images will turn out. Next I will have to find something to say besides “look, look pretty fish!”


And on a slightly different note our resident toad Bufo americanus, he’s about four inches nose to tail. He hangs out in front of our door at night, eating insects we assume. The cat gives him a pretty wide birth and the dogs are curious but cautious. Photo by Victor



It’s that time of year when I should be assessing my garden…what plants grew well, which should be moved, what combinations are worth repeating, which should never be, where to plant the tomatoes next year, what seeds to buy, do I need more dafs, more muscari……on and on. But really I’d rather sit in the sun and try and figure out how to photograph fish.

I find I plant more leaves and fewer flowers every year.

20130908-162354.jpgBanana and Passion flower vine, I didn’t get many blooms, but the few I did were wonderfully fragrant in the evenings. My favorite thing about them is their twiney bits.

20130908-162640.jpgTaro,I grew three types this year and they are all beautiful when back lit like this.

20130908-162807.jpgOxalis and co. I have developed a real soft spot for these deep purple/reds with bright greens.

20130908-163355.jpgAster and sweet potato. A different type of purple green combination.
These really are the best weather days, autumn in upstate New York the apples and pumpkins are in the stands and the early trees are just starting to change.

Garden cont…

Being wheelchair bound complicates gardening, but I have crazy friends who relieve some of their gardening compulsions in my garden. They also provide a brilliant excuse for hanging out, the question is why do they put up with the camera.

Youngest gardener in training.

20130828-144504.jpgAmanda and Phoebe


20130828-144721.jpgAmanda trimming the green and white garden, which is very difficult to photograph. It’s a geometric garden made out of different size cubes of boxwood and masses of white flowers. At least that’s the theory, it’s finally maturing and I must confess to adding some blue asters for fall and the hydrangeas fade to pink.

20130828-145314.jpgKarin and Lil in the depth of winter planning gardens. Karin is my stealth gardener, she does drive by speed planting and weeding. It’s awesome especially when she comes late enough to have a beer.

20130828-145723.jpgVictor, he does the vegetable garden, waters my flowers and makes sure the water feature continues to function. This shot is in early June compare the plants to the one below shot in late July.

20130828-150158.jpgPhoto by Mary E

The water feature periodically needs major intervention. This summer re-lining it fell to Rowan, a woman of many skills – she’s building her own house almost completely by herself.

Rowan in front of her tiny home, which is going to be completely off the grid as well as cool. She blogs about atRowan’s tiny home. It’s a cool blog full of tons of how to info.
This is by no means a complete list of people that contribute to my gardening, but they are the ones that I’ve captured on film (can you still say that now that its all memory cards?),


I garden in a somewhat haphazard manner, mostly in pots on my porch/deck and three beds near the house. The pots I can manage on my own, but anything in the ground I have to coerce others into maintaining (it’s a good thing I have fabulous friends). Things grew at unexpected rates this year, some thrived with the additional rain and some sulked from diminished sunlight, but I had relatively few fatalities.
This was my most successful color combination this year, mostly because everyone was a little horrified at the colors initially and they almost died in a late frost in the spring – they looked skanky for ages.

I find my water feature, sometimes referred to as the puddle absurdly hard to photograph. Late day looking toward the paddock and the perennial bed.

The fountain at the raised end.

The best thing about the puddle is the critters – frogs, fish, dragonflies, butterflies and in dry weather the birds.

They are green frogs (Rana clamitans) which is right up there with blue birds for a name, so simple you’re sure you’re wrong. I often see four at the same time and I’ve grown ridiculously fond of them.
Fish are very frustrating to photograph, it’s all luck….you just keep shooting and hope they arrange themselves in a pleasing fashion at some point…..argh. The frogs are easier to capture, but hard to make interesting.

I regularly see four of them sunning themselves. They are Green frogs (Rana clamitans) a name that’s right up there with Blue birds for simplicity and making you feel like an idiot when people ask “What is it?” “It’s a green frog.” “I can see that, what kind of frog is it?” “A Green frog” “If you don’t know….” You get the idea, happened to me with Blue birds, the woman was convinced I was making fun of her. A bit not good.