Category Archives: Flowers

You & Me, Little Flower

What a rough week! Too many things that are absolutely infuriating and totally out of our control. Frustration, anger, rage, hopelessness. Now, just a Friday afternoon quest to retrieve the trash barrels from the curb before they get hit or stolen or otherwise manage to turn the routine into yet another crisis.

But wait! Do you see it?

The lawn’s already turning brown because of water restrictions, but there! All by itself!

Did no one tell this seed (probably from over on the other side of the yard) that growing and blooming here was stupid and futile? That it’s going to die and probably quickly?

The hard, cruel driveway is right there, the car wheels can roll right over this little dude, the grass is dry and dying. You’ve made a horrible mistake!

Yet there it is, a tiny bit of beauty and grace, as glorious as a dozen roses in its own way, defying the odds with no fucks left to give, trying to grow anyway.

No – no one told that seed that the world’s a horrible, hard, deadly place where it’s almost impossible to even survive, let alone thrive. Not knowing better, it’s putting down roots and doing its absolute best every day. Maybe it doesn’t even survive the night, given the rabbits that roam and prowl the front yard, eating the young, naive, succulent flowers. Maybe the drought will claim it in a few days. Maybe I’ll forget it’s there and roll that right front tire straight over it on Sunday.


You’ll only know if you try. And if you’re going to try, why not give it 100% of your being with every effort, the better to improve your odds of actually succeeding.

You and me, little flower. Just doing the best we can.

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Surprise Flowers

I was taking the recycling bin out to the back yard today and was surprised to see this one big plant covered in these bright, fuscia flowers.

We’ve been in this house for four years, but this is the first time I remember ever seeing this plant flowering.

The flowers all have this tiny little five-part center, which is amazing to look at up close.

I’m thinking if I had seen this previously I would have remembered. But maybe not. Cue that old joke about the advantage to “senioritis” being that you could hide Easter eggs and then find them yourself the next day!

Either way, they were a joy today, and probably tomorrow and the next few days as well. I’ll take it!

Never look a gift pistil in the mouth!

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Japanese Maple With Issues

Spring is well on its way here with the trees, flowers, birds, and other critters all in their blooming, flitting, mating, and reproducing modes. Except for the little Japanese maple tree out there.

I do remember from previous years that it can be a late bloomer, but this is ridiculous!

It’s the last week in April and this stubborn dude has nary a single bud on it, or even a hint of a bud to come. It’s a collection of sticks!

It’s a not-so-fine line between “stubborn” and “kindling.” If there’s sap flowing, the leaves need to be popping soon or the gardner’s going to take it out!

C’mon, Red! Let’s pop some of those red leaves and get some photosynthesis going! You’re going to have to do it on your own, I don’t know how to do CPR on a deciduous beastie!

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Filed under Castle Willett, Flowers, Photography

Sneezes & Beezes

These plants & bushes are all over the place here, in this case along the fence line between us and our neighbors.

It’s the time of year when they go from nothing to pollen superfactories in a flash. Very pretty, despite the side effects.

Two things come with their spring explosions – sneezes and beezus. It’s good to see the bees. The sneezes, not so much.

The bees were having no paparazzi today, so while they were buzzing all over the place they would bug out to another plant every time I tried to get close with the phone. It’s not like they didn’t have other options.

So huzzah for the buzzing bees, as well as the Cooper’s hawk that I was originally trying to photograph. It was making quite the racket out there, but it nests down in the canyon so it never got up above the trees where I could take its picture, although I could see it thorough the trees.

Tomorrow’s another day.

Best wishes for those of you celebrating various holidays this weekend.

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Sultry Red Roses

These are smaller, not the huge, softball sized blooms like the others, more like exploded ping-pong sized balls of red.

They’re not clean or pristine, more tattered and battered. But they have that deep, purplish red color in spades.

Worn on the edges, but pollenating like no one’s business.

Come and get some of THIS, bees!

And while the thorns are quite sharp, frequent guests in the stems and leaves are the elusive little wrens that are so loud, so tiny, flittering madly, equally oblivious to the needle-sharp points and the dusky red beauty all around them.

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Polychromatic Rose

Some roses out there along the driveway are pink, light red, dark red, yellow, white, orange – and then there’s this one.

Mostly pink around the edges, yellow in the middle, bits of red and white… It’s not a “mutt,” it’s a living symbol of the beauty that lies in diversity.

I’m no biologist, I don’t know the mechanics and methods of cross breeding roses, but this one might come from a few generations being out in the middle of all of the rest of them.

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Pretty Pink Rose

Unlike its neighbor, this pink rose has a deep, vibrant color, and is still just opening, so it’s not full of dirt, debris, and “bee stuff.”

This picture is off-center, but I really liked it that way. The pink contrasts well with the greens.

The wind was blowing a ton when I took these, and especially on these macro shots, focus and composition are a crap shoot.

The photographer’s greatest friend these days is the digital camera! Memory storage is dirt cheap, where film was expensive as hell. If it’s windy, shoot 50-60 pictures, find the two or three that are in focus.

Why rely on skill when you can use statistics?

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Dirty Pink Roses

These are very open, the better to let in the bees!

I also love the tiniest bit of yellow tinge, and the gradation of the pink color near the edges, fading to white.

Deep inside, the iPhone 13 camera grabs details of the rose’s sex organs. Pistils FTW!


Filed under Flowers, Photography

Blood Red Rose

I fortunately rarely see blood in any quantities other than a finger prick for a blood test, so I’m not 100% that descriptor is accurate, but it just rolls off the tongue so well.

Come to think of it, I do see blood in larger quantities, but only in a bag, usually connected to a tube running to a needle in my arm. Not the same shade when seen through that plastic.

At least it’s not, as the 1st grade joke goes, a “brose,” i.e., a rose with a “b” in it!

OF COURSE I’m making “dad” jokes. I’m a dad! It’s right there in the job description!

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Another Way To Piss Off Hummingbirds

First of all, with our extremely territorial male Anna’s Hummingbird, that bar isn’t set real high. He’ll chase off any other hummingbird that comes near the two feeders he can see, and he’ll almost always buzz my head if I go out and stand near one of them.

Today I was out in the back for over six hours, working on what I had hoped would be a half-hour job (don’t ask, I feel like I’ve been beaten with a stick) and during the course of that ordeal I ended up noticing that these flowers on the vines there (morning glories of some sort? I think I looked it up once, but I’m too damn tired to go find it right now) were in bloom, so I took pictures.


Right by my ear, then off to one of the feeders. “I wan’t threatening you, no, honest! I was just going to the feeder and didn’t notice you there!”

Yeah, right. Mark my words, one of these days I’m going to end up in the ER with a live, trapped, pissed off hummingbird in my ear and I’m going to have to explain it to some poor, beleaguered nurse who won’t believe a word I say.

(Okay, I went and looked it up. They’re Lavendar Trumpet Vine flowers.)

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