December 8, 2008

Spectacular winter sunset.

Posted in blogging, photography tagged , , , , at 8:14 pm by czygyny

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Most people love sunsets. There is just something awe inspiring about watching the procession of colors, contrasts and textures as the day slowly fades. When everything comes together, cloud, sky and sun, the results can be dramatic. Thus it was so Sunday, December 7,  2008.

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I love a good show of altostratus undulatus any time of day. Fall and spring seem to bring the best displays. Now, most of you wouldn’t know your altostratus from cirrus uncius, and most of you probably don’t try to categorize the colors into a painter’s pallet, or stalk around your property with a bulky camera in hand, but I bet you do stand in awe as the show begins its crescendo, exploding across the skies like a giant fireworks, then darken and pale. The cool blues and greys and tans flowed into hot, firey orange in sharply stippled patterns, then muted to a darkening red-coal smolder and on into a frosty, star-glittered night.

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May this holiday season be a comfort inasmuch as we are in an uncomfortable time and uncertain future. This is always a tough time of year-cold, dark winter. Be thankful for your modern blessings; lights in abundance, heat at the touch of a switch, fresh healthful foods,  ease of communication. Having read  of how folks lived generations ago I have come to the realization that winter used to be a very difficult time to endure. We have blunted its scouring force with many wonderful things. Being the ever-anxious conspiracy nut, I wonder if this winter might be one to be very thankful for, the one to measure against in the times ahead, one in which to reminisce.  Maybe it is just the darkness and cold creeping into the mind and aging bones.

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August 9, 2008

Potpourri pix

Posted in blogging, photography tagged , , , , , , , at 3:35 pm by czygyny

This is just a small mixed-salad of photos I have taken lately, life through the eye of my camera.

Water drop on an Aquilegia or Columbine leaf.

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A curve of light and shadow on Shasta Dam

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Solanum rostratum, Buffalo Bur. Just one of those odd volunteers that come up in my garden. It has fascinating prickly seedpods. This is a wildflower that hails from the south, so I haven’t a clue how it came to me.

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I LOVE rusty stuff! This is the door of my 45 Chevy dually flatbed, a rare model. It needs a new home. (hint, hint)

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Howz about that for a pretty sunset! Look at those cloud shadows!

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I can’t pass up a good dry mudpuddle, and this one had great geometric shapes created in the drying film of mud.

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This enterprising bumblebee on a nigella flower has her pollen sacks crammed full of sustanance.

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Botroyidal formations of sulfer and salts forming on the sand of E. Stillwater Creek.

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This last image is from a series I did exploring the bleached roots of a grand old white oak. The porthole led on to more textures and patterns of grey, like dusty hills.

May 15, 2008

Will the weather please make up its mind!?

Posted in blogging, garden, photography tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:59 pm by czygyny

Wow, it has been a while since I last posted an entry in my blog! My time has been filled with fire-suppression spring cleaning, garden planting, weed pulling, and taking photos. This first photo is an Echinopsis hybrid ‘peanut cactus’ in my most favorite of ‘found’ pots, an old rusty hibachi barbecue! It’s cultivar name is ‘Fire Chief’ and it does seem on fire. I thought the container appropriate for the flaming flowers.

The weather has gone from record cold, to record heat, where I go from scrambling to cover everything tender at night, to providing afternoon shade and adequate water to newly planted vegetable plants.

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These California poppies look really ‘hot’, too. These wild flowers bloom on the gravelly banks of East Stillwater Creek.

The care of the property has been left largely up to me, this last couple of weeks. My helper’s life seems to be in a state of flux. While he is struggling to come to terms with adulthood and the pull of friends and fun, I am left to mow, spray, dig and clean alone.  It is a sad time for me, because we have been the best of friends, and we’ve gone through a lot together. At 16 his mom died, and in the next few years many more members of his family died, so he came into our lives at 20, with an unfinished place in his heart which I hope I have helped to furnish with good thoughts, memories, laughter, admonitions and direction, things that a mom and friend would be there to create. I knew that there would come a time for him to test out his wings and fly. I knew it from the start that it would be a very bittersweet time.

Our friendship will always be a treasure to me.

His wanderlust leaves me with a whole lot of chores to complete in a short amount of time, because one cannot let the clearing of the property go too far into summer-time, it has a fairly narrow time-frame to be completed. But, after a lot of long 10-12 hour days, line-trimmers, rakes, shovels, and lots of nasty stickers in my socks, I am nearly done! I am on the home-stretch!

My vegetable garden is in, its irrigation system is installed. Most of the seeds are sprouting. We’ve managed to clear and plant the whole 40′ x’70’ section, a first! Augh! Moles everywhere! Tiny grasshoppers, earwigs and aphids already at work. Good thing we have so many different types of birds about. I’ll even forgo a stolen strawberry if they will just eat the bugs.

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The last few days have been wonderful for sunsets! These three images were taken Wednesday.

The colors were so sublime and delightful, a grand show!

 Even Bear Mountain was dressed up in finery. 

 

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I’ve had some lovely visitors to my garden in the last couple of weeks. This tiger swallowtail butterfly loves my Firewitch dianthus. I sometimes get pale swallowtails, Lorquin’s admirals, pipevine swallowtails and monarchs for a visit, as well. I’ve had old-world swallowtails come by briefly, but they are always tattered and careworn.

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Here is my front yard as of Monday. The annual boxes are finished being planted, spent big bucks on the flowers this year. When am I going to start them all from seeds and save a bundle? The valerian is blooming white in the foreground, to the right is chrome yellow coreopsis and behind it are my Leptospermum bushes blooming pink and magenta. My trees are just now coming out of the big freeze a couple of weeks ago.

I have been invited to write a gardening column for our Shasta County’s answer to ‘Martha Stewart’, Doni Greenberg’s website! I have done two articles so far and have introduced my cartoon character ‘Stikrz’ with her very own gardening tips.

http://donigreenberg.com/2008/04/23/get-growingby-mitsy-krzywicki/

http://donigreenberg.com/2008/05/14/lets-plant/

http://donigreenberg.com/2008/05/14/stikrz-gardening-tips/

What fun!

Ah. The sweetest of springs continues…