Milestones, and the Dreaded Personal Pronouns

Milestones and the Dreaded Personal Pronouns

This blog post is going to be a lot about * me, and I.* (**dreaded personal pronouns)  I am not entirely comfortable with that, but it is a personal blog, after all. Plus, I have had some little victories lately and I want to celebrate them.

2016 single-2
this year’s syrup label

WordPress notified me the other day of my second blogging anniversary!   I began blogging in 2014 with the onset of maple sap season. It’s that time of year again and we have thus far gathered about 30 gallons of sap.  In 2014 we managed to make quite a bit of syrup. Not so much in 2015, and despite our best efforts we had some crystallization of the syrup after we decanted. We’re curious about what this year’s kooky weather patterns will do to us, but so far so good. The temperatures over the weekend were well above average, day and night. The week before that we were way below average and very snowy. Now we are settling into a more typical pattern for this time of year: above freezing during the day and below freezing at night. This is most conducive to sap flow.

I have worked these past two years to improve my photography and better understand my camera. When I look at my photo of sap from 2014,

Sap flowing from the maple tree into a collection bucket
2014

and the one from this year,

Spile
2016

I am encouraged. I have done a lot of reading and experimentation, taken some tutorials and a class, and think it has all helped.   It’s far easier these days for me to get the shot I want. I still have to take a lot of exposures, and there are still times when I goof and forget stuff, but I’ve graduated to full manual mode and the histogram is my friend. When I forget to properly set my ISO and white balance, I can usually “fix it in post” which is Adobe Lightroom.

Last year one of my “promises” was that I would knit a sweater. I did not get to that sweater in 2015. This was mostly due to needing to complete a huge cable knit throw that I started way back in 2013.

cableknit-1
huge throw

I often struggle with following through on personal projects so it was kind of thrilling to be able to finally give the throw to my mom as a gift.

❤

The sweater is proving to be a challenge, but I’m enjoying learning how to shape a garment while knitting in the round. Again, I had to do a lot of research to familiarize myself with various terms and techniques, but it’s going OK. It’s got a head-hole and armholes and they are in more or less the right spots, so I’m pleased.20160124_195911_resized

 

 

 

Another milestone: I was recently very honored and excited to be contacted by the Granville Garden Club about some photos I took for my post Day of the Daffodil. They asked permission to use some of them on their web page and very kindly offered to link to my blog. P&P has gotten several referrals from their site, which is great because gardeners are generally really nice folks.

previously unpublished photo of dog and daffodils <3
previously unpublished photo of dog and daffodils ❤

 

Finally, here are a few photos from a class I took during which we hiked in local parks and just shot pictures of whatever.

walking at sunset
walking at sunset at Lobed Reserve
the Japanese Garden at Dawes Arboretum
the Japanese Garden at Dawes Arboretum
grasses backlit at Dawes Arboretum
grasses backlit at Dawes Arboretum
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Day of the Daffodil

My and my mother’s weekend adventure was strolling once again through the beautiful Bryn Du Mansion at the 70th Annual Daffodil Show and Sale, held by the Granville (Ohio) Garden Club.  Creativity and dedication to gardening and especially the cultivation of daffodils were in evidence throughout the rooms.  The theme of the show this year was “Daffodil Show 1945: Back to Our Future.”

Nineteen forty-five was the year of the very first daffodil show, and even with the austerity of the Second World War, daffodils were gracing yards and gardens in our little town.  The show celebrated the presence of “daffs” in our lives then and now by staging household vignettes that might have been seen at the end of WWII.  These included a kitchen, a victory garden, a living room and a floor radio.  I had to smile a little as a young mother tried to explain what radio was to her little boy and girl.  I was touched by lovely photos on display of servicemen and women from our area.

Daffodils in a 1940s kitchen vignette
Daffodils in a 1940s kitchen vignette
a 1940s floor radio with Roosevelt portrait and daffodils
a 1940s floor radio with Roosevelt portrait and daffodils
the 1940s living room with photos displayed
the 1940s living room with photos displayed
daffodils in a traditional vase
daffodils in a traditional vase

A large part of the show was dedicated to tables of daffodil creations by Granville residents from their own gardens.   The arrangements ran the gamut from very elaborate to super simple single stems and were inspired by literature, movies and fashions from the 1940s.  I loved them all but my favorites are here. It was a marvelous photo opportunity.  Flowers are seldom awkward or camera-shy.

daffodils and baby's breath in a lady-head vase
daffodils and baby’s breath in a lady-head vase
daffodils and strawberries
daffodils and strawberries
stems in an Arts and Crafts vase
stems in an Arts and Crafts vase

The show also had several large rooms devoted to judging daffodil specimens.  I never knew there were so many in the world!

so many specimens!
so many specimens!
and even more specimens.
and even more specimens.

Most fascinating to me are the miniature varieties.  They are perfectly formed, much tinier versions of the larger flowers.

miniature daffodils in a salt cellar
miniature daffodils in a salt cellar
table setting with miniature daffodils
table setting with miniature daffodils
tiny daffodils in crystal baskets, on a windowsill
tiny daffodils in crystal baskets, on a windowsill
diminutive display
diminutive display

In addition to all the inspiration from the gardeners, there were some shopping opportunities for a good cause.  I bought a nice poster, and bulbs are for sale for autumn delivery and planting.  Proceeds benefit the Garden Club.  My mom was able to select a small bouquet of 8-10 blooms for free.  (But we did give a little donation.)  We were told by a garden club member that when re-cutting daffodils to fit a vase you should never use scissors because it can crush their hollow stems.  Instead use a serrated knife.  More daffodil fun facts:

  • Squirrels, rodents and deer do not eat daffodils or their bulbs
  • Daffodil bulbs are long-lasting–perhaps several generations
  • Daffodils will grow under shallow-rooted ground covers like vinca

I hope you have enjoyed the images and info.  Does your local garden club hold any interesting events?  Have you participated?

for education and beautification
for education and beautification

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