Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 29, 2013

State of My Year

WordPress’s Daily Prompt today says to “Write up a mid-year “State of My Year” post.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us NOW.”

I’ve been receiving the Daily Prompt in my email for quite a long time now and often thought the idea presented sounded interesting to blog about, but I’ve rarely participated for no good reason other than being busy with other things or just being distracted by daily life. I was thinking I’d like to write a blog post today but wasn’t sure how to collect my thoughts. The prompt arrived in my email and seemed like an interesting “take stock” idea. The prompt calls it “mid-year” – it is the end of July, that’s really a bit past mid-year, isn’t it? It is also just a little past the mid-point of summer vacation from school too, so here’s where things are at for me.

Anticipation for Meghan’s move to campus has begun. We’ve been out shopping for dorm supplies.
dorm supplies
Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Christmas Tree Shops have all provided us with some great deals and bargains to get her set up in the place she will live for 9 months starting on August 22nd. It is exciting and scary and happy and sad all at once. My stomach does flip-flops whenever I think about it.

My garden seems to be doing nicely. I’m pretty much keeping up with the weeding this year.
garden mid-summer
Those piles to the right of center are weeds I’ve pulled and hoed and raked, but I just haven’t removed from the garden yet. I’ve harvested some of nearly everything I’ve planted this year, including tomatoes.
garden harvest
I’m not used to having tomatoes until mid-August, so those early girls were a nice treat.

The butterfly bushes are in full bloom and the swallowtails and hummingbird moths have returned to drink their fill of nectar.
tiger swallowtail

hummingbird moth

Other plants surrounding my deck, I’m ashamed to admit, have not fared so well. During the intense heat wave most of the country endured a little over a week ago, I spent little time outside and forgot about my poor little potted plants needing water!
oops forgot to water them
Oops! I’ve never been so neglectful. I killed every one of my potted annuals, except for this mini-rose the girls gave me for Mother’s Day.
mini-rose
It was lucky enough to be planted in a “self-watering” container with a little reservoir in the bottom of the pot, so it survived. Maybe I should look for a few more of those containers, huh?

looks ok
Ah, the pool. It has been both a blessing and a thorn in my side this summer. I told you in this post about the liner tearing and needing replacing. Then, I explained here what happened when we did replace it. Since then, hoses have sprung leaks and needed replacing and parts have come loose, unbeknownst to me at the time, and drained a couple hundred gallons of water from the pool. Then last night, as I was cleaning up from dinner, I noticed the lights in the house were flickering. I looked around trying to figure out if there was a brown-out going on, when smoke billowing up from my backyard caught my eye! At that moment, a small burst of flame appeared in the area of the pool’s filter. I ran outside, unplugged the filter and turned on the hose. The flame was gone, but this was discovered:
yikes
I have no idea why but the power cord to the filter shorted out and fried. Goody, yet another pool part that needs replacing this year. I do feel lucky, however, that the flame didn’t go anywhere and cause any other damage.

Before the smoking adventure with my pool, we had just returned home from our annual camping trip. This is a tradition 20+ years in the making which you can read about here if you are interested. I didn’t take any pictures this year on our trip to Tolland State Forest in Otis, Ma, except for this pretty great one of our whole group of campers, couples and families who have been friends since we were teenagers/young adults:
da gang
We were all pretty happy we made it through the weekend without a drop of rain. That isn’t usually the case for our camping trips! In fact, this past weekend had to be one of the nicest we’ve ever experienced while camping: sunny skies, pleasant temperatures and no humidity.

I am looking forward to the rest of what summer holds. My younger daughter turns 16 this week! Party and learner’s permit coming soon. Our annual vacation to Maine is less than two weeks away.

That’s the “now” of my life at this little-more-than-mid-point of the year. How is your “now”?

June 27, 2012

Buddleja and a Peninsula

I’m here with a little announcement this morning: feel free to take an extra day or two to finish up your photo hunt this month if need be.  Reason?  I have a last minute trip to Cape Cod planned for tomorrow through Saturday.  Saturday was the date the photo hunt was due, but now since I won’t be home until Saturday night, it is unlikely I will post my own hunt before Sunday since I’m not done taking my photos yet.

I didn’t want to head off to the Cape without leaving you with a few new pictures though.

I haven’t seen many butterflies yet this summer – but some lovely photos over at Robin’s place have me hoping I will see them soon.  My butterfly bushes are just beginning to bloom..
butterfly bush budding

and the milkweed is out too.  I’ve left some stalks here and there around the yard especially to entice the monarchs.

milkweed

I thought butterflies, and maybe the hummingbirds too, would find these lantana attractive but so far they don’t seem to be of much interest.

lantana

I’ve been enjoying watching the color-changing that the blooms go through as they mature.

fresh raspberries

The raspberries are ripening regularly now, and I’ve been enjoying eating a daily handful.  I suspect we will have quite a few to pick when we get back.

Our weather forecast for the Cape over the next few days couldn’t be nicer: upper 70’s to low 80’s with mostly sunny skies.  My mom tells me the summer kick-off sand sculpture event in her town is happening over the next few days, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing that.  Last year I saw what was left of the sculptures after a couple weeks had passed.
sand sculpture

It looks like we have a nice few days to look forward to – I hope you have something nice to look forward to too. I’ll be back in the blogosphere on Sunday, and also looking forward to seeing your photo hunts. (Gee, that’s a lot of looking forward! 😉 )

Are you wondering at all about my blog post title?  I was having trouble coming up with a title for this post even though I knew what I was going to write about, so I decided to wait until I was finished writing to title it.  I thought of “Down the Cape” or “Capeward Bound” as possible titles but they seemed blah to me.  I googled “butterfly bush” for possible inspiration and that’s where I found “Buddleja.”  According to Wikipedia (and I know you have to take information found on Wikipedia with a grain of salt), Buddleja is :

commonly known as the Butterfly Bush,[4] is a genus of flowering plants. The generic name bestowed by Linnaeus posthumously honoured the Reverend Adam Buddle (1662–1715), a botanist and rector in Essex, England, at the suggestion of Dr William Houstoun. Houstoun sent the first plants to become known to science as buddleja (B. americana) to England from the Caribbean about 15 years after Buddle’s death.[1]

The peninsula, of course, is Cape Cod.  Buddleja, peninsula – they kind of rhyme, no?   If that title doesn’t get me noticed by WordPress, I’ll never be “Freshly Pressed,” lol!

October 9, 2010

What Remains – Picture Fall, day 9

Filed under: Photo assignments,What's Blooming — Karma @ 6:36 pm
Tags: , , ,

I couldn’t decide today which picture I liked better for today’s photo prompt – so I submitted both to the class’s photo gallery.  Will you tell me which one you would have picked?  We were instructed to find something that just isn’t willing to let go.  Kinda like me and my feelings about summer!  I had two pretty hangers-on left in my yard:

Picture Fall - day 9

A tiny bit of butterfly bush (surrounded by faded bloom bokeh) and…

Picture Fall - day 9

… a zinnia bud, still waiting to bloom.

Of course this prompt got me thinking a bit deeper than just the flowers in my backyard.  However, I couldn’t decide how I’d picture how not ready I will be in less than 3 years to let my older daughter go off to college!

July 1, 2010

Butterflies are Free to Fly

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:42 pm
Tags: , ,

While spending a sunny morning puttering around my yard recently, I was happily suprised by a visitor to my butterfly bushes.  I have two quite large bushes on one side of my deck starting to bedeck themselves in lovely pink and purple blossoms.   I’m hoping to feature a nice wide shot of the butterfly bushes when they are both in full bloom, which should be any day now.  In the meantime, after a couple days of photo frustration, I was rewarded with this beauty:
P6292558

That’s the first shot I took.  I realize its underexposed, but with all the disappointment I’d had recently in getting any  interesting pictures, I wanted to be quick to get something.  Despite the underexposing, I kind of like the play of shadows in this one.

P6292559

I kept clicking and clicking away, just trying to get as many shots as I could before the subject flew away.  I don’t remember how many I ended up taking.  This one has a good view of the top of the wings and the tongue unfurling to taste those little blossoms.

P6292563

Here’s a side view with a good look at the underside of the wing.  When I first saw orange and black flittering by, my first thought was, “Ooh, monarch!” but as I got close enough to take these pictures, I realized that was not the case.  I’m sure one of you faithful readers will be able to help me in the identification of my subject.  Tracy?  Gerry?

P6292569

Here’s our friend’s face.  Kinda has a big shnozz for a delicate little creature, doesn’t it?

butterflycrop

So what do you think everyone?  What kind is it?  And I hope you enjoyed my happiness with getting some photos of a subject that did not evade my efforts!