Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - Dad and Elsie

Dear God:

Today I am thankful for Dad and Elsie.

Sad. That's how I feel today.

I'm remembering two accomplished gardeners: Dad, who died two years ago today and my friend, Elsie, who died one year ago today.

Raindrops on roses -
Angel tears that match my own.

I miss you, Dad. I miss you, Elsie. 

For these blessings, I am grateful.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012 - Sunny yellow roses

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for sunny yellow roses.

The Rosa hugonis (Father Hugo Rose or Golden Rose of China) on the north side of my garden is in full bloom. Witness its loveliness.


For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012 - Columbines

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for columbines.

The blue columbine is the state flower of Colorado. Alas, I don't think blue ones ever graced my gardens. Nevertheless, I don't miss the official  variety - the ones that emerge every spring in my backyard garden are as lovely as any I have seen in the high mountain meadows.

I shot the first two columbine portraits first thing in the morning after the night's gentle rainfall and the others later in the afternoon.

Although my mother dreams of spring lilacs, I think she'd love a bouquet of my columbines.

These are for you, Mom. Happy Mother's Day!


 For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

T turns 15

Dear God:

Today, I am so thankful for T as we celebrate his 15th birthday.

 Yes, T is still with us.

After T's leg surgery in June, S and I weren't optimistic that he would make it to age 15. But he did.

At age 15, T can't hear very well and has lost his once very keen sense of smell. An arthritic right hip keeps him from exploring the neighborhood along favorite dirt trails, yet he is perfectly content to walk around the park twice a day with S. He still eats well, poops regularly and, to our delight, occasionally acts like "young" T.

Happy birthday to our most precious fellow. Despite what others may claim, you are the indisputable best doggie in the whole Universe, the best dog that ever lived. We love you so much.

T - still as handsome as ever at 15

No longer able to join us on hikes or our climbing adventures, T is quite content to be an indoor dog.
This lovely winter afternoon, despite sunny skies and warm temperatures,  he prefers to do what he does best.

A final walk along the mountain road with S - Thanksgiving 2011.

For this most extraordinary blessing, I am very grateful.


Saturday, August 06, 2011

Summer colors

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for summer colors.

The summer blooming season is in full swing. Like a color-happy artist, my garden paints my miniscule corner of the Earth with hues that reflect many moods: cool and warm, muted and intense.

Please don't ask me to name my favorite.

For this blessing, I am thankful.


Morning light

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for morning light.

On workdays, T usually rouses me around 4:30 AM when he gets up to reposition himself on his sleeping blanket. My clock is set for a 5:05 AM wake-up call, so for the next half-hour, I lie in bed anticipating the alarm's "ding-ding-ding". In other words, T goes back to sleep while I hover in a half-asleep/half-awake state.

Occasionally, I give in and just get up. An early start never hurts even though I've slept for less than 6 hours.

Last Thursday morning was such an occasion. I arose earlier than normal and happily spent some of the extra time in my backyard garden.

The sun's rays barely cleared the fence top. The soft light fell gently across different plants, creating interesting flower portraits. Fortunately, I had my camera with me. Here are three of my favorite photos from that morning's shoot.

This sunflower faces east, catching a few rays of early morning sunlight.

The early morning light illuminates this Cleome. Blodgett Peak towers in the background

Cleome stand tall in front of the old cedar fence. The string bean-like structures are seed pods

 For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

T's Healed Leg

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for T's healed leg.

S and I removed the bandage from T's right foreleg. Except for a few small red spots along the incision scar, the site is healed.

T, sans bandage, does what he does best - taking a long, quiet nap on a hot summer afternoon in Colorado.
For this blessing, I am very grateful.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My dad and my gardens

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for my dad and my gardens.

If he had lived, Dad would be celebrating his 86th birthday today. Instead, over year after his death, I am honoring him in my own, very private way, in my garden.

I spent the weekend tidying my backyard garden - just in case Dad was curious and checked in to see what's blooming. Despite the 90 degree-plus temperatures, I spent several hours weeding, pruning, thinning, deadheading, mulching and watering.

Just in case, of course.

I hope Dad was happy that at least one of his five daughters (me) inherited his gardening genes and became a rather accomplished gardener. He never said a thing to me about my endeavors. Still, I'm sure he was proud of me, especially since I garden in a very challenging environment - the arid, high plains of the Colorado Front Range.

So, in celebration of Dad's 86th birthday, I'm inviting you to take a short walk in my gardens. Warning: the plants are not as green and lush as the ones he grew in Southern California.

Most of mine are xeric: drought-resistant or drought-tolerant. Many are Colorado natives. Lots are deer- and rabbit-resistant. Some are edible. All are lovely.

Backyard garden - looking west

Backyard garden - along the north fence

Backyard garden - another view looking west

Backyard garden - looking towards the northeast corner

Backyard garden - another view looking towards the northeast corner
Backyard garden - north fence

Backyard garden - north fence, close-in view

Backyard garden - shadier section along the house
Front Yard
A daisy for your thoughts, Dad ... Happy Birthday ... we miss you.
For these blessings, I am very grateful.