5/25/18

MayFlowerSeries...Fenced In Flowers

Fencing in flowers has been part of landscaping for well...forever.  Great pains are taken to border flower beds whether it be with fences, pavers, rocks or sticks.  I might consider container pots as flower borders as well.  With that said, it was kind of surprising finding so many fenced flower photos while navigating and organizing my flower photo files.

As a contributor on Find A Grave, I take photos at cemeteries.  Along with filling headstone photo requests, I often take pictures of memorabilia, statues and flowers left on graves.  Funeral flowers are almost always presented in beautiful arrangements.  In the photo above the florists attention to detail and color contrasts the rugged almost desolate background landscape.  This photo has a special connection for me...my Dad built the fence.

Even fields of Texas Wildflowers are Fenced In.

Some flowers just can't be contained and seem to say...'Don't Fence Me In'!
  

5/22/18

MayFlowerSeries...Prolific Pink Flowers and Weeds

Pink flower is beautiful.  Always so much of anything.
Playfully and never dull.  As it is inside spring.
Tenderly moments to bring on to every summer night
Until its blossom is gone with beautiful pinkish bright. 
Pink flower is like you with all your loving touch.
So much to make and do if you are in love so much.
Nothing is all like this.  On to the blue light dark
With new spring dawn bliss and shades of the petal spark.
Fragrances in the air full of new summer high.
Touching blossom everywhere in the hours going by.
Just like a love to come when love touches heart.
Flowering passion blossom now in these days will start.
Peter S. Quinn
 
Now wasn't that a nice poem about pink flowers?  While navigating through my flower photo files, I found soooo many pink flowers.  I must be drawn to them for some reason...probably because they are found more often than let's say blue flowers.  Mother Nature is awesome in her color schemes and in the variety of shapes and sizes of flowers.  With that said, she also has a love for colorful WEEDS...as do I. 
If there is a Thistle to be photographed, I'm on it, and yes thistle is a weed.  I often wondered why I was attracted to the sticky, spikey, dull green plant...even to the point of painting them.  I found out while researching my ancestors.

5/18/18

MayFlowerSeries...Daisy Tablescape

Is Tablescaping still a thing in Blogland?  Back in 2012 I participated in several 'Tablescaping Memes' that gave me the opportunity to play with my collection of dishes and all things for setting a table.  Dishin' With Metlox On The Poppy Trail  is a post that featured one of my Floral Table Setting Collections.  About that same time, I did another setup featuring the vintage 'Daisy Tablecloth' with the idea it would be the next Tablescaping post.  Didn't happen then...so, now seems a good time during this month of May Flower Series posts. 
 
As a collector of 'All Things Table Setting'...it is rare to find a table cloth that is in mint condition.  The Daisy Cloth was such a find.  Made by Simtex probably from the 1950-60 era.  Somewhere in this blog there is a post about the company Simtex and several other tablecloths in my collection.  Maybe it will pop up in the 'Link Within' list since I have mentioned it in this post.  Not finding it is...as I mentioned in the beginning of this 'May Flower Series' post....due to my photo files being a 'Nightmare to Navigate.

Back to the Daisy Tablescape.  Putting together a table full of daisies was, I remember, a challenge...especially without a vase of live daisy flowers.  Nevertheless, the daisy theme continued with a Metlox Daisy Platter, Daisy Tea Glasses and a collection of yellow and dishes, pink napkins with green rings and crocheted trivets.
 I'm feeling a bit nostalgic.  How about you?

5/14/18

MayFlowerSeries...Royal Heiress Lily

The 'Flower of the Month' for May is the Lily, specifically, depending on the source, the 'Lily of The Valley'.  It is a small flower that blooms in clusters and is white.  When I think of lilies, ones like the Royal Heiress come to mind. 
There are hundreds of different true lilies, they are a perennial plants, and have numerous meanings...royalty and regal bearing, motherhood and fertility, purity and the beauty of youth, passion and drive, and renewal and rebirth.  This Royal Heiress blooms every year in a Lily Garden a few miles from where I live.
 
 The gardener invited me to photograph not only her lily beds, but any and all of her at least half acre yard of flowering plants, trees and shrubs.  Her name is Rose.  How perfect is that!

Yes, Rose, 'Friends are Forever', and so it seems so are Lilies!

5/10/18

MayFlowerSeries...Fresh Flower Arrangements

 Fresh Flower Arrangements have a long history throughout the world dating back to ancient Egypt.  As an art form flower arranging can be traced back to ancient China where it was based on the principle that life is sacred.  Knowing that certainly makes the meaning of giving and receiving flowers for one's birthday very special and meaningful...life is sacred.

 A favorite of mine is the Iris, and according to ancient Egypt flower history Irises were one of the sacred flowers found in depictions throughout ancient ruins.  Iris mythology dates back to Ancient Greece when the goddess Iris, who personified the rainbow (Greek word for iris), acted as the link between heaven and earth.  It is said that purple irises were planted over the graves of women to summon the goddess Iris to guide them in their journey to heaven. (Teleflora)
 
While I am at it, I may as well continue the history and significance of the flowers photographed at my Mom's 85th birthday celebration in February 2012.  Let's start with the Pink Carnation, a species of Dianthus Caryophyllus.  Dianthus comes from Greek and translates to 'heavenly flower or 'flower of love.' 
 
 In Christian legend, the first carnations bloomed on Earth when Jesus carried the Cross.  Witnessing Jesus' plight, Mother Mary started to shed tears and pink carnations sprang up where her tears fell.  Thus, the pink carnation became the symbol of a mother's undying love. (Floweraura)
 
I wish I knew then what I know now about the flowers in Mom's birthday arrangements.  She would have enjoyed knowing their history and how their symbolism made them the perfect flowers to celebrate her birthday. 
Here's one more for the symbolism/significance book....Carnations are my January Birth Month Flower and Purple Irises have been in our flower beds since I was a little girl.  The bulbs have been transplanted year after year, move after move from my Grandmother Minnie's Iowa flower beds and the house pictured above where I was born.

5/8/18

Hello Grasshoppers, Bees, Bugs, Beetles and Flying Flowers

It is that time of year in Texas for the cactus to bloom, and the best places to see them are along the roadsides, in fields, under mesquite trees and around rocks.  With that in mind, you can imagine the caution this photographer takes in order to get close enough to zoom in and capture the blooms and whatever is enjoying their nectar.  Thankfully, in this prickly pear photo shoot, it was a grasshopper and not a sunning on the rocks snake.  It's that time of year for them, too.
At least Bees give one fair warning as they buzz in and out of blooming flowers.  Once they land you have to be quick on the zoom, focus and click...then run.  Part of the thrill in macro shooting flowers is in the digitizing and discovering the visitors in their blooms....like the following photos.
One thing about Ants...they are busy running up and down the flower stems/stalks, so unless you are picking their food source...you are safe.  So glad I was not picking this sunflower...never saw the ants until I enlarged it on my computer. 
Yellow Jackets and other flying/stinging insects keep you on your toes, too. 
It's always exciting to see the results of a very quick zoom, focus, click and run.
Hello Beetle and Flying Flowers!

5/7/18

MayFlowerSeries...Buds-Butterflies-Birds and Pups

Going through the photo files has been like a trip down memory lane.  So many photos taken, digitized, filed and forgotten.  I began with the idea of this series being just about flowers.  Quickly I realized how often flowers played a part in photos of people, places and pups. 

The Bud, Butterfly and Bird photos are an example of a 'Place' visited a few years ago on a day trip to The San Antonio Botanical Gardens with my Sister.  I'm sure I ran out of juice in my camera with all the pictures I took that day.  If I remember correctly, I drained my phone camera as well. 

As I mentioned earlier...Here.. Sister has a Green Thumb.  Her patio not only has live flowers and plants, but flower d├ęcor from rugs to wind chimes.  Besides her love for plants and flowers, she has the kindest most loving heart for dogs. 

She is active in a Rescue and Adoption group and has been instrumental in finding loving, safe homes for many dogs. I adopted two of her rescue puppies...how could I not when she cares for many times more.
Here we are on the dog walk trail at a natural habitat park. 

5/6/18

MayFlowerSeries...Texas Lantana at LBJ Settlement

The Native Plant Society of Texas says Texas Lantana laughs at hazards that can wipe out lesser plants as it resists drought, heat, deer and salt.

From experience I know this to be true as a planter of Lantana in our family cemetery plot.  It thrives in full summer sun and heat, can be planted in poor soil and requires little water.

That exactly describes the conditions at Tamarisk Cemetery where my Texas ancestors, parents and other family members rest in peace. 

While driving through Johnson City, Texas, several years ago, I spotted the vibrant orange and yellow Texas Lantana at the Johnson Settlement Event Center. 

I had driven past it many times thinking someday I need to stop and go through the ranch like Settlement.  On that summer like day, the Lantana was calling my photographer name.

It turned out to be not only a flower photographers heaven, but also a history lesson for a Texas History buff.  My camera captured a plethora of photos I have used in my Tracks of My Texas Ancestors.  You see, LBJ's pioneer ancestors and mine were settlers in Texas in the late 1880's and 90's.  The Johnson's in Blanco County and my 2x Great Grandfather Pittman in the nearby hill country town of Mason in Mason County. 

Here is a collage I put together from photos taken at the LBJ Settlement Center.
I am so glad the Texas Lantana called my name that day.  I really enjoyed the LBJ's family history as well as all of the buildings and ranch setting displays that were once a part of the Johnson's home. 
Just look at Eliza...isn't she lovely.  Her kitchen was on display as well as her spinning wheel.  You know I was getting photos of them.

Oh, and there were more flowers...I mean after all, this is a Flower Series!
If ever you are passing through Johnson City, Texas, plan on walking the ranch of LBJ's ancestors.
HERE is the link to get you started.

5/4/18

May Flowers Series...Rose Revelations at The State Cemetery of Texas

I'm sure you have heard or read the famous quote Stop and Smell the Roses.  It's a reminder to take time to enjoy those little things about life, your family, spouse, friends and even your job. 

It also is an encouragement to forget about the thorns, the pains and problems they may cause. 

Do you think about that when stopping to smell roses?

I certainly did when I stopped to photograph these roses in the rose garden at The State Cemetery of Texas.

Although I had lived in Austin for a few years in the early 1970's, visiting Texas historical landmarks was not one of the things on my 'Places To See' list.  Had it not been for the research done on 'Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors' I would not have known about The State Cemetery of Texas.

After learning that my Great Great Grandfather was buried in the Confederate Soldiers Field, it became a mission to visit his grave site.  The Confederate Field plaque details the history: 

Confederate soldiers were buried in the Cemetery during the Civil War.  Most of the burials in Confederate Field, however, date from 1889 and are confederate veterans, their widows and other women who helped the confederate cause.

Texans fought on both sides of the Civil War.  While there were few battles on Texas soil or in Texas waters, the Battle of Palmito Ranch, near Brownsville, was the last land encounter of the four year war.

In the Confederate Field where my Great Great Grandfather is buried there are about 1,583 white marble headstones that mark Confederate Soldiers graves and 515 graves of family members/spouses.

The State Cemetery of Texas is the burial ground for the honored dead of Texas and contains the remains of Stephen F. Austin, the 'Father of Texas'.  Governors of Texas and Representatives of every period of State history and department of State government are interred there as well.

Since the early 1950's those eligible for burial on the grounds include designated State Officials, Confederate Veterans.  Others interred include prominent citizens...like the lady whose grave is marked with over a dozen fresh white roses almost daily.  I happened by shortly after they were placed...and yes, I Stopped to Smell the Roses.

If ever in Austin, Texas, Stop and Smell the Roses at The State Cemetery.  Not only is it beautiful, it is filled with amazing Texas History.  For a virtual tour and the history, HERE is the link.

5/3/18

May Flower Series...Cactus On The Porch

Have you noticed how many people begin a sentence with the word 'So' when asked to explain or give an opinion on which they may or may not be an expert?  In guides for 'Better Writing and Speaking'...using the word 'So' in that manner is as bad or worse than saying 'Uh, well yada yada yada'. 

I bring this up because I'm fixin' (a Texas shorting for 'about to')  switch subjects for the month of May and anticipate there will be questions. 

For instance, what happened to posting about Sewing, Crocheting, Knitting, Spinning, Jewelry, Studio 14 and all those topics of which most consider my field of expertise. 

So, here's my answer...I need a break...my studio's need de-cluttering...my shop inventory and space is flowing over...and my photo files are...well, uh, a nightmare to navigate.

Lastly and honestly...it's getting redundant.  I mean, how many ways can I show you how to knit and purl or sew and spin.  How many more times can I rearrange/de-clutter/de-stash my Home Studio and Shop Studio.  You know these are rhetorical questions, right?

So, the solution as I see it, is to use this month of May as a break from all the above crafting rhetoric/posting.  Let's begin by working through my 'Flower' photo files...like these shots of my sister's Porch and Pots of Cactus.
Her green thumb not only produces beautiful flower beds, house plants and a Yard of the Month, but also a variety of common and exotic cactus.  The flower beds are artfully decorated with ornamental iron works and lined with a collection of rocks.  And as you can see, pots not only hold plants, but unique pieces like the ceramic hand painted bird from Mexico. 

 My Green Thumb Sister in the Gardens at The Historical Sebastopol House in Sequin, Texas.

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