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Ongoing projects

Posts tagged ‘Garden’

Miscellaneous wildlife from the garden

This snake surprised me, at first I thought it was a branch stuck in my boxwood, but no….. It stayed quite still while I tried to find a decent angle. I wish I could have gotten closer.

This is a Northern Harrier, not a Redtail. The field marking is a white patch at the base of its tail, that is easily visible when it flys away from you. It had some very successful hunting in our fields after we mowed, spending the better part of the day for about a week. It was very blaise about our presence and several times flew low and slow enough for Havoc to give chase.

A fuzzy picture of one of our House Wrens. The first nest of the season was in the upper skull (we watched six fledglings leave the nest) and the later nest was in this skull. I don’t know how many fledged from this attempt, they did so in private.


I’ve been photographing the frogs in my garden for years. They are very cooperative subjects….they sit still for ages and don’t mind the camera…. But the puzzle to solve in photographing them is to make the image interesting, so that the viewers response is more than ‘yes that’s a frog, so?’.

These are my most successful efforts to date, as usual it’s all in the lighting.

Sparkles, yeah….

This one almost feels like a studio shoot, draped backdrop and dramatic lighting….

I like the drama of this one, both the lighting and composition.
Every time I do ‘wildlife’ photography I am more in awe of the skill and patience of professional wildlife photographers.

Summer Color

I looked through a bunch of my garden photos in an effort to remind myself that it will eventually be warm enough for the dogs and I to hang out on the porch, instead of clustering by the wood stove.

I obsessively photographed this Canna this summer. I believe it’s called Tropicana, though it looks just like Pretoria to me.

Calla lilies.

This was my favorite plant combination this summer – Mexican Heather, Sweet Potato Vine and Red Banana (which you can barely make out in the background).

This Hibiscus was an amazing performer this summer. I’ve never had one bloom so prolifically. I don’t know if it was the weather, luck, or that I compulsively dead headed it, in any case it was lovely.

I worry that I’ve become obsessed with photographing sweet potato vines….

Garden Critters

I didn’t have as many frogs this summer, but I still had an amusing assortment of critters in the garden.

One of my few frogs.

The ever present gold fish.

The caterpillar of a Black Swallowtail Butterfly, they are fond of Queens Anne’s Lace, Carrots and Parsley. It’s worth planting extra to help keep them feed.

Spiderwebs are very tricky to photograph.

There was a flock of sparrows that showed up at more or less the same time every day.


First of the garden pictures (for this growing season).

Phoebe admiring the pansies.

This is a new combination for me, Lupins and a annual salvia named ‘Black and Blue’. I’ll move the lupin in to the garden (out of the pot) when it’s done blooming and replace it with a red caladium. The hummingbirds like the salvia enough to drink from it while I am sitting right next to it, made my day.


Foam flowers in bloom.

Passion flower, one of my favorite scents.

My lion before he’s covered in plants.


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.

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.

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?),