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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.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Nature Notes and Our World Tuesday: Second Week of April

We have had a fantastic April so far; not too hot, not too cold . . .

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Next week looks like it will be pretty too.

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Now that we're into pollen season I'm glad that in between the sunny days we are getting rain to wash away the yellow pollen coat.

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I hope we don't have a late April freeze which happens some years but the later we get into April the less likely it is.

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I don't mind cold weather in the spring but once the trees leaf out extreme drops in temperature do a lot of damage.

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One year my pecan tree didn't do well after losing it's first crop of leaves to an extreme temperature drop.

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I like the wisteria in the next shot climbing up the trees.

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It is amazing how fast the trees leaf out once the process starts.

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I like the shade of green on the new leaves.

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My red azaleas are always 2 weeks to a month earlier than my white and pink azaleas.

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Click for the home of Nature Notes and here for Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Our World Tuesday and Nature Notes: Happy Easter Happy Spring

The photographs in this post were taken from last Sunday to this Saturday.

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I'm going to set this up to auto post on Sunday because I will be focusing on feasting that day.

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As it is I'm early for both Our World and Nature Notes as usual but I find it easier to prepare these posts over the weekend.

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The first seven shots in this post are from last Sunday.

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Bill and I went to Lake Jordan in part to see if we could spot the bald eagles.

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No luck with eagle spotting but it was a nice drive as well as walk.

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It was a beautiful day but quite chilly. 

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The next batch of shots are from a lunchtime walk this week.

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It was a perfect day to take a break and get outside.

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There are a lot of spring flowers in bloom.

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Everyday something changes, a tree start with tiny leaves or flowers, a new bird call is heard . . .

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I love changing seasons.

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I wouldn't want to live somewhere that didn't have 4 seasons.

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Sometimes our seasons get mixed up but there are always changes which I like.

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The rest of the shots are from a neighborhood walk this Saturday.

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Sometimes I wonder what people in my neighborhood think if they see my camera pointing at their house.

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Actually a lot of my neigbors know what to think because we've discussed that I like to photograph birds and flowers, etc.

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I try to be careful not to photograph people unawares.

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I like how there are still some naked trees as well as ones clothed in flowers and new leaves.

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I like spotting flowers in the winter browns.

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This post is getting long but it's hard to narrow down the shots I want to use.

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The dogwoods are starting to bloom, both pink and white ones.

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The next shot shows how we are in a changing season phase.

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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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