Archive for the 'Flowers' Category

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Beautiful. Dangerous.

It’s June, which means the cactus is blooming in our backyard.

I’m in love.

Why is the title of this post so appropriate? Click here to find out!

Beautiful. Dangerous. There’s a lesson in life in there somewhere…

The Iris is Blooming!

You know what this means…

Someone’s Half-Birthday is just around the corner!

Wild Plum in Bloom

This afternoon, I went to open my home office window to let in the fresh air, when something caught my eye.


The wild plum is in bloom!  Claire and I went outside to investigate, and the fragrance is intoxicating.  You can hear the bees buzzing as they busily work.  We had fun taking pictures with Eva of this beautiful moment.  (This photo hasn’t been edited…just uploaded directly from Eva.)

What a fantastic surprise!

The eternal struggle isn’t between man and weed.

Looking out into the backyard:

Daddy: Ugh! Look at all those weeds!

Claire: Where?  …Between the dandelions?

The eternal struggle isn’t between man and weed…it’s between Daddy’s definition of weed and Claire’s definition of the most beautiful flower rivaled only by the rose.

Claire and the tulips

Three of these photos were taken three years ago.  One of them was taken just the other day.  In other news, the tulips are blooming!  Someone is very excited about this…and always has been.  😉

Shot Glass Bouquet

The Grape Hyacinth and Forsythia are blooming!  I love this time of year.

In other news…

We use our shot glasses for little impromptu bouquets now. My, my, my how times have changed. 🙂

Cactus in Bloom

I love the cactus in our backyard. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. I love this cactus.

Every year, we wait for it. We wait for the explosion of color. Every year, we gasp when we see it, never fully expecting it.

Yesterday, Claire and I spotted it from the kitchen window at exactly the same moment, so we took Glenda out to check it out.

It’s breathtaking.
It’s intense.
It’s magical.
It’s almost too beautiful to be real.

But, it is.
And, it’s back.

I love it!

Stop to smell the roses

The roses are in full bloom!  We have wonderful roses climbing up our chimney, and they’ve finally burst into bloom.  One of Claire’s favorite things is to admire the roses.  (I took the above photo with Glenda, and as you can see, Claire takes smelling the roses very seriously.)

I hear that’s good advice, you know:  Stop and smell the roses.  We do, and they’re right!  It makes the day just that much better.


Autumn Shadow Portrait 2008

The Shadow Portrait is back in the header!  (If you read this in a FeedReader, go check it out!)

This last Friday, we were able to play outside in the gorgeous weather and take pictures of the fall leaves in the backyard.  Daddy had the day off from work and was working on landscaping, and Claire and I were having a great time helping him and playing hide-and-seek.  It was a wonderfully warm, fall day.

As the sun got to the right angle, Daddy took a break, and we wandered around the yard playing with our shadows, trying to capture the wonderful autumn colors and our shadows in the same frame.

The key to getting a good shadow portrait is to just keep clicking the camera and sort them out when you have a chance to sit down at the computer.  You never know which ones will look the best or capture the message you’re trying to convey.

I got a lot of good shots, and as I looked at all the photos, one just leapt off the screen.

Click to enlarge: Autumn Shadow Portrait 2008

Click to enlarge: Autumn Shadow Portrait 2008

Normally, I try to hide the shadow of the camera in The Shadow Portrait, and those pictures rarely make the cut.  But, this one spoke to me.  This shadow portrait captures exactly how I feel when I write.  I try to capture bits and pieces of our lives and record them.  I don’t want to forget the details.  The everyday details are an integral part of everything.  They make up our lives, but they are easily lost in the passage of time.

How can something so important at the time be forgotten?  It’s because the tiny details are no match for the big picture.  Many times, something happens, and I have the urge to write it down.  Then, I’ll think to myself, “Okay…I’ll write about this…but how could I ever forget this!?”

But I do.  Often times, I look through the archives of the things I’ve written and the memories come flooding back to me.

It just solidifies in my mind that I won’t remember these things on my own.  I need to record this.  I don’t want to forget the details.

That’s what this picture represents to me.

This picture, which was just a random moment, shows a typical shot of the three of us.  I’m the recorder of the details (this time, my tool is the camera…and now my writing…).  If you could hear what was going on when the camera captured this image, you’d hear the three of us laughing.  You can see the interaction between Claire and Daddy.  She’s showing him a stick that she’s found, and he’s answering all of her questions about it and the world around her.  In fact, just after I snapped this photo, she bent down and asked us both why the reddish plants in the picture are called Dragon’s Blood.  How did the Dragon get hurt, and why did he bleed all over the plants, and where is he now?

This picture is so us, and I love it.

I don’t ever want to forget the moment we had playing in the leaves, exploring all the colors of autumn, and explaining that no Dragons were harmed in our backyard.  And, now, I won’t.

Cactus Flowers

We have a huge cholla cactus in our backyard. I wrote about it last year, around this time, and you can check out that post here. (It was a post about how I put Claire a little too close to it during a photo shoot, and she tried to touch the pretty flowers, resulting in Momma and Daddy learning how to remove cactus spines…)

Things are blooming a little later this year than last year, and this cactus has finally exploded into its wonderful magenta color. I dare say that the wonderful color almost detracts from the neighbor’s ramshackle fence and the weeds. 😉

Click photos to enlarge.
Clicking a second time will show more detail.

Cactus in Bloom, June 2008

As you can see, it’s almost regained most of its height. About four years ago, we got four feet of snow in one fell swoop, during an uncharacteristically bad spring storm. That wreaked havoc all over our city, but most importantly, broke our cactus. The poor thing couldn’t withstand the weight of all the snow and it fell in on itself. We weren’t sure how long it would take for it to reach back up to where it was. Well, it’s made it!

It’s almost five feet high and nearly eight feet wide. And to think the original owners brought it home in a coffee cup.

Granted, that was over 30 years ago…

And, to give some perspective as to how big it is, here is a picture of Claire standing next to it. The first one was taken last year and is one of the pictures that resulted in our impromptu cactus spine removal session. The second picture was taken Sunday evening. (You can see the difference in light between morning and evening, and the cactus is on an incline, so it may be hard to tell how tall it is, based on Claire’s height…but I love seeing the difference a year makes!)

As you can see, both Claire and the cactus have grown.

Cactus in Bloom, June 2007 Claire and the Cactus in Bloom, June 2008

So, like the iris and the roses, we inherited this gorgeous plant. And, just like with the iris and the roses, I can’t take credit for its success. I’m merely along for the ride. I mean, it has little offshoots that grow near the base of it, and we do replant them in other places throughout our landscaping design. We also clean the trash out of it (you’d be amazed at the things that blow over the fence from the street in back) and pull the weeds around it (albeit not that often and not before taking these pictures *cough*), but other than that, it grows all on its own.

Every year, by the time the first day of summer rolls around, I wait anxiously for the magenta blooms to start glowing, wondering when we’ll get a glimpse of this breath-taking color.

Cactus Bloom, June 2008