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Sunday, May 10, 2015

A week ago Sunday

This weekend has been rainy which I haven't minded.

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Bill took me out for a delicious mother's day brunch and after I got home I thought I'd take a look at last weekend's photos for a post.

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My last post had photos from a walk a week ago Saturday.

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This post has photos for a week ago Sunday.

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The great blue heron kept going in and out of my view by ducking into the flowers.

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I haven't seen as many heron as usual this year so was glad to spot one.

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The geese were grazing at the bottom of the dam.

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I almost didn't spot the turtle.

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

The second day of May

Whenever I see buttercups I'm transported back to a time when I would string them together for necklaces, headbands and bracelets.

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The first day of May was chilly and raining but the second day of May has made up for May Day.

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Nice to have a beautiful weekend.

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Last weekend was overcast and raining so this weekend is a treat.

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It's amazing how fast my world turns green once the new growth starts.

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The advantage to how wet it has been over the past six or seven years is how lush my world has been in spring and summer.

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I still remember our last bad drought between 2007 and 2008.

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I'll never take rain for granted again. That said, it has been wet for so many years now that I can enjoy sunny days like I didn't when we had a number of drought years.

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There is something about the light this time of the year that I like in particular.

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Today, May 2, is the only day I took any photographs all week.

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I made up for it on my Saturday walk.

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I took a ton of shots and since Sunday is supposed to be pretty, I'm sure I'll take a ton tomorrow.

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There weren't many ducks or geese at the lake.

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I notice in the spring that I hear them but don't see as many.

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I know the herons stay near their young in protected nests and even geese and ducks stay in the more hidden places by the streams until the young start waddling out with them.

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I hear them make a lot of racket but except for a few geeese, ducks and male mallards, I didn't see many water birds today.

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Happy May!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A walk on the wild side

In spite of living in a subdivision with a yard I turned into a garden over the years, I have finally let it all go to the point that walking around my yard is a walk on the wild side.

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The kolkwitizia ambilis I planted decades ago to grow on my deck wall still grows over the deck wall but it also takes a bow over my back yard.

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I like the pattern in the kolwitizia blossoms.

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The azaleas on the driveway side of my yard form a flower wall in april on both sides of the fence.

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Some of my azaleas think they are trees.

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They don't bloom that long but they make me smile when they are at peak blossom time.

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We've had overcast rainy days for the most part but I did get a blue sky briefly.

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The large azaleas at the bottom of my driveway are past peak bloom.

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On the opposite side of my house from the driveway I have more of the large azaleas in bloom.

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I used to joke about how the plants would eventually hold up my house and I think it is coming to pass.

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The gates on both side of my house are so loaded with blossoms I have to duck down to get into my backyard.

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Every year when the blooms end I cut them back from the gates but by blooming season they are something of an obstruction. My city has an ordinance about how tall grass can grow so I've eliminated all but ornamental grass to avoid mowing. I do sometimes wonder if letting my yard go totally wild is against an ordinance I don't know about. 

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I'm taking a little time off from the photographic themes I enjoy participating in. I'm feeling somewhat stale so I thought I'd try posting less often and keep my posts free form.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Nature Notes: Our World Tuesday

I took the first shot from the car as we cut through NCSU to get to the WRAL Azalea Garden.

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The morning was overcast but the storms weren't forecast until early afternoon so we took a chance on a garden walk.

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We have had a spectacular spring.

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In some ways having a relatively cold winter without many intermittent warmer days like we have some winters, helped with spring.

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One problem we can have is when flowers get going too early and are zapped by cold snaps.

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This year most of the early flowers waited until spring to start blooming and so far April has had moderate temperatures.

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We've had very few days where it has started to be hot and some nights have been chilly but it has been a while since we've had a hard freeze.

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At this point we are almost past the average last frost date for central NC and I'm optimistic that we will not have any periods cold enough to damage flowers.

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Capitol Broadcasting Company founder A.J. Fletcher created the WRAL Gardens as a service to the community. The WRAL Gardens opened to the public in 1959, three years after WRAL-TV went on the air as the first VHF station in Raleigh. The WRAL Gardens surround WRAL-TV’s studios on Western Boulevard in Raleigh , NC.*

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“I did it because I knew it would be beautiful,” said Fletcher of his beloved gardens. “It was simply my way of paying a tribute to beauty for beauty’s sake.”*

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Fletcher loved azaleas and enjoyed finding new varieties to enjoy. He decided to share that passion with the general public, personally overseeing the installation of a thousand azaleas to create the gardens.*

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The 5-acre property containing WRAL-TV’s studios, the corporate offices of Capitol Broadcasting Company and the WRAL Gardens sits on the corner of Western Blvd and Avent Ferry Road , only a few miles from downtown Raleigh. The gardens now sit adjacent to the new Centennial Parkway as well.*

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* The information about the azalea garden above was taken from the WRAL garden history site located here.

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Last year when we visited the garden many of the azaleas were past their peak bloom period.

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This year we hit it at a great time to see the blooms.

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It must be nice for the people who work at the studio to be able to take breaks in the garden.

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I know that I like having a garden close to where I work.

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Click here for nature notes and here for Our World Tuesday.

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I like to take photographs and I use blogging as a way to share my photography. I started blogging for other reasons but no longer feel the need or have the desire to write beyond a narrative for my photography.

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