This blog is about my garden and the outdoors. I am new to photography but I am trying to show some of the pretty things that grow here in Michigan. I love the wild things who visit me and I dont mind if they eat a bit here and there. I like it more if they let me take their picture. As time goes on I think I will try to show you around the beautiful area that I live in as well as my garden. I try to use my own pictures as much as possible but will also use pictures from the web. If I inadvertently use your photo or work without permission please email me and I will remove it or give credit if you prefer. I will give credit when I know who the owner is. I would ask that anyone using my pictures do the same.
... I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.......Psalm23:6
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Monday, August 26, 2013

End of August.................

Its been hot hot today I could not stand it outside. So much needs to be done but no energy or enthusiasm to do it. I like cool weather. The worst thing is the humidity. Still I can't complain when you see the fires out west. At least we have had some rain now and then.
So what's going on in the garden. Not much. Today I did see a Grackle at the feeder. The birds are moulting and look so funny. The Cardinal doesn't even look like a Cardinal and the Blue Jay has a very small head right now. I wont show their pictures this time.
The Grackle is looking rather sharp though, beautiful birds. They look wicked though.
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He saw me at the window and was not about to leave, he found some good stuff in the feeder.
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You can see the scruffiness of him, feathers out of place and some missing.
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The other Grackle was sitting in the tree waiting for him to finish, it didn't work too well with both on the feeder. They are not small birds.
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Meanwhile I was watching a little black squirrel. He didn't seem to want to go up to the feeders because of the Grackels but to my amazement he went and picked some flowers. Then proceeded to eat them. Now, as they were sunflowers I was not too surprised but would have thought that he would have waited for them to turn to seed.
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He sat and enjoyed a couple of flowers, eating the whole thing
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you can see here he is eating the petals as well
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Then its gone.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Day out,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Yesterday we went out for the day. Dan (who lives with us) Laura (my daughter and Dan's ex wife) Reina and Tristen...........we set out quite early for us, about 9.30 and went and picked up Laura and Reina at their house. Robert (her hubby) stayed home and cleaned the basement. Well we set off on the scenic route to Crystal Gardens. That is a really nice garden center out in Benzie county. Check out the link.
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It's not just a garden center. Although it has a wonderful selection of just about any plants you need as well as plants that are natural to this area. There is a great gift shop, well garden shop with ornaments, globes and so on. I was very good. I did resist. One reason we like to take the kids there is because they have a Butterfly house. There is a garden with a pond and fish and turtles. Other animals that they show now and then, we have never been there at the right time for that but we enjoy looking around on our own. Finches fly free and so do white doves. There are toads and chipmunks and a display with Peacocks. They sell Peacocks. If I had acreage I would buy some.
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The finches just fly around but its a job to catch them sitting still.
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One of the turtles

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I will just post a few more pictures from Crystal Gardens. There is an Antique shop called The Barn Swallow. Its awesome but we dare not look too much this time because the kids were rowdy. You have to enter the bird house/butterfly place through there though so its tempting

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There were hardly any butterfly's as yet.........I certainly have seen none in my garden either. bummer
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They have even opened a Rock shop and so I got some sandpaper to buff Petoskey stones.
After that we walked around the garden area where they have a nice stream and ponds and displays of all kinds of flowers. Its fun to get ideas and see the plants growing in a garden setting.
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This frog was hiding in a bush but we saw him
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After that we went to lunch in Frankfort. Lunch was on Dan. The kids were wound up so after lunch we let them run at the park to get their ya ya's out.
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The next place to stop was the Alpaca farm. Oh how sweet they are. Unfortunatley it was so hot they all went in the barn. One cutie was the designated greeter though and was in the shade under a tree. How soft they are. The shop had some wonderful things in there. May go back before Christmas. Nice gifts,'
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Its was so hot we didnt stay long but we stopped up the road at Gwen Frostic's place and I did a post about her on Bluebell Woods blog

We did stop one more time at another garden center. Alas I broke down and bought some flowers. I also asked Dan next time he's out in the county to stop and get me some Queen Annes Lace and Golden Rod. Don't get caught though. We cant pick wild flowers. Shame as they get mowed down by the grass cutters along the road edges.
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Just had to show this picture. Got a good shot of a fly

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Well it is pretty close up.

Sharing with I should be Mopping the Floors, Inspiration Monday

Sharing with The Dedicated House,anything Blue Friday
Also with Bloomin Tuesday

Monday, August 19, 2013


What ya know, we hit national news. Well Cadillac did, just down the road aways. A young girl out jogging in the evening was attacked by a black bear, Very unusual around here. They come and go, they walk through the neighbourhoods and usually are not seen. Bear sightings have been up in recent years. In Traverse City where I live, the last few years have seen a lot of bears around here.
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DETROIT Free press - Conservation officers shot and killed a black bear over the weekend and plan tests to see whether it's the animal that chased and mauled a 12-year-old girl as she jogged on her grandfather's wooded land in northern Michigan, authorities say.

However, her grandfather doesn't think the animal killed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is the right one.

"It was a real large bear," said Dave Wetherell, 66, on Sunday. "But I don't believe it was the same bear. This one here was between 400-500 pound, the one they killed last night. They feel like the one who attacked Abby was 150 pounds."
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Another person shot a bear as well.He said because it attacked him. I doubt that very much,in any case, so far two bears are dead. Now I can understand the fear, I can understand that the girl was very very lucky to have not been badly injured bears do not normally attack people. Why did this one? No one knows the answer and we cant go killing every bear we see until we find the right one. That is just not fair. What normally happens when one takes a wrong turn and treks through the back yards around here is that they tree the bear, tranquilize it and take it away for a holiday out in the deep woods. This one is different. Why?......cant be hungry as we have loads of berries this year. So for some reason its not avoiding or afraid of people. Maybe it got used to eating from those bird feeders, maybe something about the girl got its attention, who knows. All I know is the killing must stop.

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There must be a better solution. Quit panicking people and calm down. Think.........we all go out in the woods and on the trails, it could happen to any one of us. So.....inform yourself what to do if you meet one. Carry a pepper spray, make sure its a good one and doesn't just piss it off. That would be bad. Don't run, the bear will run to see why you are running and the instinct to chase down prey will kick in. Make a LOT of noise if it sees you, otherwise back away carefully, dont get the heeby jeebies and turn and run until out of sight. Should you be in a situation where you have no choice belt it hard across the nose make a lot of noise and fight. If its going to win, as a last resort play dead. Do all the things you would do if it were a man, kick bite scream and gouge........then faint. this is just tongue in cheek and is really very serious. Those not in Michigan have other wild animals to contend with if you enjoy the outdoors. Educate yourself. While you are at it read a book on survival in the woods or desert if that's your scenario or if you are planning a trip. I did.
Trust me I am not making light of this, but the bears live here too. They have that right and an attack is very rare............don't over react. Please do not go by what I say here. Read up on how to protect yourself. I am NO expert.

Well we have another bear hanging around. I hope it stay safe. The DNR posted this.
From the DNR
Living with Bears

Never intentionally feed a bear! With the exception of baiting for hunting purposes in remote areas, placing food to attract bear near homes, cottages, parks, campgrounds and picnic areas may teach them to associate people with food. This may place them and people at risk of injury.

Black bear have enormous appetites and an excellent sense of smell, and are capable of remembering the locations of reliable food sources from year to year. They will travel great distances to find food. When natural foods such as tender vegetation, nuts, berries and insects are scarce, bear are likely to come into contact with people. Problems occur when bear attempt to feed or actually feed on human foods, garbage, pet foods or birdseeds.

Although most bear are secretive and shy by nature, they will tolerate contact with people when their natural food is scarce. Because they are large and powerful animals, they must be respected.

Black bear are generally fearful of humans and will leave if they are aware of your presence. In the rare circumstance that you encounter a bear that does not turn and leave, first try to scare it off by yelling while leaving a clear, unobstructed escape route for the bear. If the bear stands its ground, makes threatening sounds or bluff charges, you are too close. Take slow steps backward while continuing to talk to the bear in a stern tone. In the rare event of an attack, fight back with a backpack, stick or your bare hands. Black bears have retreated in similar situations.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Rainbow in my garden...............

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Well it was really the sprinkler but it was pretty wasn't it.? So are the flowers.
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Had a Robin visit us today.Not sure what she was up to but she was busy.
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The Day Lily's are thriving and they are still really pretty.
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I keep taking pictures of them because they is sooooooo pretty
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The yellow ones are beautiful
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The Black Eyed Susans are blooming
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They look lovely with the blue ball
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The Poodles were enjoying the sunshine and Tristen's absence haha
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Meanwhile next door, Bud planted some pretty flowers, I think from seed. So next year I am going to scatter some seeds in my flower beds and see what happens.
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This Day Lily is blooming and its in the back garden. I must get some more for next year. I think they do so well and are so showy that they really give the garden some colour
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This is a poodle obviously up to no good. Look at that face........guilty....don't know what of but it's something
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I can not believe this only has one flower on it. Must not be in a happy spot. I must see about moving it.
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Well thats it for today.................wish there was something exciting going on but nothing............ah well. All for now.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

On the deck.............

I rearranged the deck as the plants were rather blah...........
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I tried to revive them by putting in some extras but they soon died off. That would be in the middle planter. So I moved in my Cyclamen to either side to give it colour again. The Hosta that were there are going to be planted in the shade gardens along with some ivy I have sitting around. Time to move things around. I have got loads of Spider plants now as I planted a bunch of babies. So they will all come in for winter so next year I will have even more. Has anyone tried them in the ground?

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I am showing several views of the things on the deck. I have an old metal cooler and tool box under a glass table. All of those I got free. I use an old barrel as a side table to hold plants.
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My helpers
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The potted plants are useful because they can be moved where needed
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The stool is rather dilapidated now and I topped it with a slate so the top does not completely break apart
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I moved the old ice box to the back and like it better back there. That gave me another planter to use somewhere else. I love moving things around.

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Now I just need to dig the borders again and weed...............waiting for some cooler days.