Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Backyard Entertainment

I read a story in the New York Times today that really interested me. It’s a long and fairly detailed piece about a two scientists who have documented interesting and usual forms of life -- insects, plants, animals -- teeming in their own backyard. They took photographs, researched what they found and the woman has written a very interesting story.

“Our unimpressive lawn became a kaleidoscope of mysteries, just one square foot of it boasting multiple species of grasses, one species of dandelion, countless other unknown plants that quickly came and went, and no end of insects, algae, mosses, worms, bacteria and fungi.”

This got me to thinking how much fun it would be to go outside, camera in hand, and try it myself. I didn’t have much time this afternoon, and I gave up pretty soon of finding insects (a good thing, no? but summer isn’t in full swing yet!). I was rather afraid to get too close in on the dove sitting on her nest about five feet from our head as we walk out the back door, as I didn’t want to startle her. The rabbits, chipmunks and squirrels move too fast, so that left me with the plants.

So here is my little slide show of interesting textures and colors in some very close-up shots I captured with the camera today.
White Pansy
Hydrangea bud
Lettuce in the deck planters. I thought at first the leaves were damaged with those brown spots, but I read the seed packet and found out it's supposed to look this way; it's a mottled variety!
I cannot remember the name of this ground cover! But I like it!
The little cherub that overlooks some of my plants

Five-leaf Akebia, or "Chocolate Vine"

Yellow Pansy

I hope to continue this little project and find insects and other things beside plants as the season progresses. I need also to practice with my camera to get great close up shots.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and as always, I love to read your comments!


  1. You found lovely small things!
    Somehow, your post reminded me of the small- Mette. When I was young, I remember finding and S E E I N G all sorts of exciting things on the grounds, near our house, when I was playing, or on my way to the lake for a swim.
    Now, as a grown-up, I can´t S E E those things anymore. Maybe I´m too adult, too busy. Have I lost the small me of myself?
    It really makes me sad, having lost that curiosity of the small wonders to be found, as soon as one steps outdoors.
    Maybe I should do something about it.

    1. I know exactly what you mean, Mette, about missing a great number of things as adults. I wrote a post some weeks back on "mindfulness," and being aware of what's going on each moment and of each activity we perform. I'm practicing! I think it's because we are always hurrying from one task to another. I'm hoping this little exercise I'm undertaking will help! As always, your comment is engaging and interesting.

  2. Will await more photos on insects (ladybirds etc)

    Maybe this Summer we should try and find our inner child again.

    We could find an orchard or field take a rug, and spend time lying there listening,looking and just 'being' Ida

    1. Yes, Ida, I totally agree! I want to practice and that orchard on a rug sounds like an excellent idea. I want to "be" more, not "do" more!

  3. Thanks for the pictures of your yard. I love Dianthus flowers, but didn't know that was what they were called until your picture. I am always taking pictures of the Oklahoma insects, but don't share some of the scary ones. They are just so big! I actually fell asleep last night before finishing, but I should have my newest amazing bug pictures up today.

    1. I have found your Oklahoma insects very interesting! Go ahead! Share the scary ones. The dianthus smell delicious, don't they?

  4. Very interesting and seems like your closeup photos are already great. I especially love the hydrangea one as I am totally obsessed with hydrangea of all varieties. I need you to get a picture and identify this critter that is chewing on my hosta.

    1. Beryl is the insect expert. Lets send to her!

  5. Sanda,

    Thanks for sharing your Blog site info...wonderful memories, and I will visit often for your updates! Also, congratulations on your “latest retirement!” Since I am the oldest guy at the PTA meeting with kids in college, I must continue. My erstwhile friend Bob O’Donnell said it best…GT retired from the USAR, now from AMCOM, and is entering into his third mediocre career!”

    BTW, I never had Ms. Owens, but her daughter attended school in our class for a couple of years, I think. Ms. Cleo was again our teacher in sixth grade, and I think we moved from the old wooden school for “Junior High” as sixth graders…switched classes and the rest...we were so cool then.

    I remember the upper floor in the old school well, but cannot remember whether we had 5th grade classes up there or not. I do recall the old auditorium area a bit, and Gary Howard comes to mind…not sure why but mischief had to be in play! I also remember the floor treatments we would spread and sweep…think it was oil based sawdust? OSHA would “not approve” today, and no wonder the fire burned quickly when the building was destroyed. No a/c, of course, but I do not recall minding…we had one room a/c at home at best in those days.
    I also remember the walks to the separate lunch room…fun break in the day, and the outside rest rooms…I think Frank Cagle picked a fight his first day at our school with Larry Bullard near those “out houses.” Frank had moved school to school a couple of times with EF, of course, and has said since he always picked a fight day one to “get it over with.” Also, Frances Conn arrived a new student that year…she was and still is a cutie! It is unusual that I would remember cute girls since I was pretty shy, of course.

    The “playground” at the old Elementary School was huge and kickball was king…neat when the world was a bit smaller, I think. All my best, Sanda, and for helping me recall simpler times! I think my crush on you was much later when I was older…7th grade, I think! Your coat I wore home was green corduroy, I think, and you and I absolutely shined in “White Gypsy.” Wish we had film at 11:00! GT

    1. Gerald, thanks for visiting and for loved reading your memories. So much more we could have said. Such good times We should write a book about our memories of Anderson Elementary!!


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