Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

November 26, 2010

My plants are confused!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 5:04 pm
Tags: , , , ,

We’ve made an awful lot about the fact that we had one of the most fabulous summers in memory this year and that autumn has been relatively mild so far, with even some unseasonably warm days mixed in there.  Apparently, the warmth has been enough to confuse a few plants into beginning their spring growth about four months early!  I was drawn out into the yard today (though it is NOT unseasonably warm) because I noticed an abundance of red decorating some trees in the backyard.  It also seemed like a good excuse to try out the new 50 mm lens.  Teddy was at the ready to accompany me as Official Backyard Guide.

Yard escort, at my service

(taken with the new lens)

Upon closer inspection, the decorative red turned out to be a giant weed of bittersweet.  Unimpressive at 50mm, I took a close-up instead with the 55-250:
It is but bittersweet...

I was undeterred, and continued looking around a somewhat bleak yard for interesting photo subjects.  That was when I discovered many plants believing it is actually March rather than November:

Hydrangea with new leaves

Those are new leaves on the tippy-tops of those otherwise dead looking hydrangea canes.

New growth on butterfly bushes

Fresh young leaves on the butterfly bushes

Herbs live!

Parsley and chives continuing to grow (though the basil checked out quite a while ago) with fur of OBG sneaking into the corner of the shot.

Each year when I plant my whiskey barrel planter with annuals, I always include a spike plant as an accent piece.  For the past few years, my girls and I have marvelled at Spike’s staying power into the colder months – it has sometimes made it almost to the new year.  This year, when I replanted my barrel with mums, there wasn’t room for Spike, but I didn’t have the heart to just chuck him to the compost heap, so I replanted him in a small planter on the deck with a mini-rose that had long finished blooming for the year:

Spike lives!

Spike is still living, but more suprisingly, that mini-rose is too.  Roses are little more than expensive annuals for me, for the most part, so I’m surprised to see this mini hanging on. (Notice OBG fur and toes accompany this shot)

Teddy poses

OBG poses with one drop of water on nose.  His services were no longer required as I took my search to the front yard.  The front yard is not fenced in.  It distresses OBG to not be allowed to be an Official Frontyard Guide.

The front yard revealed daffodils poking up:
Daffodils poking up in November

and irises as well:

confused iris growing in November

Sorry about the lack of sharp focus there.  My fingers were getting quite chilled in the wind.  I may need to pick up some of those photographer’s gloves Michaela mentioned in the comments of Scott’s blog post about Christmas ideas for photographers.  In addition, I also found buds on my lilac trees, but try as I might,  I could not get a focused shot of one of the tiny buds.  The wind was blowing  and I was getting colder and frustrated.  I hope Mother Nature knows what she’s up to and doesn’t let her son Snow Miser wreck havoc on my plants!


  1. How did you get the background blurred on the shot of Teddy with the drop of water on his nose? I’ve been playing with this effect on my camera but I can’t get the background as blurred as I want. P.S. I’ll send the menu items later tonight.

    Comment by Andrea — November 26, 2010 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

    • The blurred background comes from using the a large aperture – smaller the number, larger the aperture, smaller the focus area. I took that with my new 50mm f1.8 lens – this lens allows the aperture to open much more than my other lens, so I get the blurred background even more dramatically.
      (Did I explain that correctly, photographer friends?)

      Comment by Karma — November 26, 2010 @ 6:38 pm | Reply

      • Thanks, I’ll keep playing with the aperture. I may have better luck with one of my other lenses. I just sent you the menu items — finally! I’m sorry for the delay.

        Comment by Andrea — November 26, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

      • No problem Andrea – there are actually a couple other people who were going to write up some things for me too, who I haven’t heard from yet. My plan was to write up that post this weekend sometime, so I’ll have to see if they end up having the time to do it.

        Comment by Karma — November 27, 2010 @ 8:13 am

  2. Official Backyard Guide… LOL… That’s a great little lens you got yourself there… Not tried one myself, but with that aperture it must be great to mess with… You’ve sure got some great shots here…

    Comment by FS Photography — November 26, 2010 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

    • I’m having great fun with that aperture so far! There seems to be both a nice sharpness and a pretty softness the lens seems to allow.
      Teddy is definitely the OBG – he doesn’t like to let anyone outside without him!
      Thanks, Brian.

      Comment by Karma — November 26, 2010 @ 6:40 pm | Reply

  3. Love that bittersweet! Wish I had one or two in my yard.
    Wouldn’t it be nice to see some blooms before the cold arrives for good? I’m waiting to see if my plum trees get confused again and start blooming like they did late last year.

    Comment by thedailyclick — November 26, 2010 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

    • Oh I doubt any of my plants will progress that far. Winter is surely waiting to pounce. Better chance of that in your neck of the woods, I’m sure.
      It appears that bittersweet is actually rather invasive. It has twisted itself around several trees and shows no sign of slowing down.

      Comment by Karma — November 26, 2010 @ 6:42 pm | Reply

  4. Wow, look at those daffodils. That’s so odd. I’ll have to do some scouting tomorrow. Sweet Teddy, love his nose. Lovin’ the bokeh you are getting with the new lens.

    Comment by Becky Sue — November 26, 2010 @ 11:12 pm | Reply

    • Thanks, Becky. I only discovered the daffodils after I raked some leaves, so I wonder if maybe the leaves were giving them a little extra warmth.

      Comment by Karma — November 27, 2010 @ 8:11 am | Reply

  5. So you got a new lens, Karen? Cool!! I like how it’s possible to find intriguing photos in a dismal-looking between-the-seasons yard. You did good. Those gloves sound like a sure investment, don’t they?

    Comment by Kathy — November 27, 2010 @ 1:48 pm | Reply

    • I’m very happy with the new lens so far!
      Yes, I think I will have to keep my eyes open for a pair of those gloves.

      Comment by Karma — November 27, 2010 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

  6. You are doing an impressive job of getting along with and learning your new lens. Great captures! I love the one of your OBG with the drop of water on his nose.

    Our plants are confused too. I posted a photo of the pussy willows not only budding but the furry things coming out. I haven’t checked where we have bulbs. I hope they haven’t been poking their noses out because it’s much too cold for them now.

    Comment by Robin — November 27, 2010 @ 5:40 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Robin. OBG does make for a photogenic subject.
      We’ve had a rollercoaster of temperatures around here for most of the month. It was still relatively mild even today – in the sunshine it felt close to 50 degrees.

      Comment by Karma — November 28, 2010 @ 3:28 pm | Reply

  7. Great backyard shots. I especially like the OBG…and the bittersweet! My backyard is confused too…forsythia bloomed again two weeks ago. I wonder if this means next spring we won’t have much blooming?

    Comment by Dawn — November 28, 2010 @ 1:34 pm | Reply

    • Wow, I haven’t seen any forsythia re-blooming around here. I hope we aren’t deprived this spring – that would be sad.

      Comment by Karma — November 28, 2010 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

  8. Such a sweet-looking dog! And looks incredibly patient, too! Did you know that you can plant those little mini-roses in the ground and they come back in the spring? I got one about 4 years ago and stuck it in my rose bed on a whim. Figured if it came back, great….if not, that’s OK, too. It grew back fabulously and still thrives! 🙂

    Comment by Cindy Lou — November 30, 2010 @ 11:41 am | Reply

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