Sunday, April 17, 2011

spring = nature on steroids

 This weekend was pretty great even without the car. I went for a walk on Friday in the sunshine and found amazing floral displays in Brookland gardens and in the wild woodland Fort Bunker Hill park. Saturday I watched as the heavy rains dumped buckets of rain on the 60 volunteers who showed up across the street to plant 18 new trees on the Turkey Thicket Playground. Then today I learned there was a talk by the national park service rangers at Ft. Bunker Hill park so I went up for the talk again in a perfectly sunny Sunday. Hope that the car will get it's new throttle position sensor installed tomorrow and come home.  Here are just a few of my photos from the weekend in the hood.
late cherry blossoms

white violets 

monastery tulips 

monastery tulips

monastery tulips and sanctuary 

woodland lichen on a fallen log

may apples 

 a patch of trout or dog tooth lily in Ft. Bunker Hill Park

trout lilies blooming 

Norway maple flowers 

red azaleas 

pink and white dogwood blossoms

neighbors in the rain planting new trees near the sand box

more volunteers planting trees in the rain

new service berry trees at Turkey Thicket  Playground 

majestic white dogwood tree 

 native dogwood tree 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

walk home

red dogwood flowering on 10th and Perry place NE 

under the dogwood are all sorts of spring flowers

woodland wildflower Bloodroot in our garden

my favorite, narcissus poeticus 
red leaves of the simpervivum are best in spring

angel's wings narcissus 

Today while on my way to Manassas I had a unexpected engine failure in our 1997 Jetta. I came around a corner on Lincoln Road by the cemetery and suddenly out of the blue the gas pedal no longer worked. It was a strange experience. Lucky I was heading down hill and as soon as the way was clear I turned off the two lane road to park a safe distance from frantic passing traffic. I called for help, then called home to tell everyone my plans had changed and waited on the tow truck. No sense going out on the highway with a faulty engine. AAA tow truck came quickly and towed the car back the two miles to our neighborhood garage where I left the old Jetta to be tested and evaluated tomorrow for an answer to why the engine cut out suddenly. Keith met me and we walked home with my luggage. Along the way home we passed the neighbor's beautiful red dogwood tree that I saw as I was leaving and wished I could photograph. Naturally I took this as a sign I should stop pull out my camera and take a few photos. I also added a few of my favorites from our garden over the past few days. Spring is really here now. Now I am just waiting and wondering what happened to my little green car.

Friday, April 8, 2011

flowering trees, perhaps overlooked

We had a nice day in the city yesterday. The trees are beginning to flower fully and that means lots of pollen but do you ever get up close to see what they look like. Kind of interesting when you look closely at the tree flowers. I mean the ones that are not usually mentioned like maples and native sweet gum trees. Everyone knows what a cherry blossoms look like in DC we have tons of them. I noticed a few and took some photos here are a couple images of the bright yellow green flowers of the Norway maple tree that grows at the curb by our building. They make very deep shade and thousands of little "whirl-i-gigs" that fly in the summer's thunder storms.

Today it is raining but I wanted to see the buds on the sweet gum and went out anyway to capture a few shots of the buds on our new tree across the street. I will try to catch a few photos of them once they open their puff balls of pollen in the coming days.
sweet gum's flower buds and new leaves 

I have also been watching the maple tree that turns great colors in the fall at Turkey Thicket turn a bright spring yellow-green. I think these below look more willowy than the others maples flowers. 
Turkey Thicket play ground maple 

double click this one to see the details against the wet black bark

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

a visitor and some new flowers

I woke up the other day to rainy skies and drops falling on my window from the blowing wind. It was cold and gray but my purple tulips still looked pretty good. I got my journal and sketch book ready to use and set my coffee to brew. Then when I came back there was a surprise on the wing. This single morning dove was perched in the cedar tree near the window. I watched as it took a little hop over to my window sill and checked out the place between two bricks that support the summer window air conditioner. It happens to be where sparrows nest during the summer so there is always a little debris settled in between the two bricks. She didn't see me on the inside and I grabbed my camera to take a couple portraits of my visitor.

Once she had a good look around and turned a few times she got nervous and flew out into the tree. It is a sign of the season when birds show up looking for a place to lay their nesting materials. I cleaned and rehung my wren house on the old choke cherry tree the day before and added a new cedar bird house on a shepherds hook in a part of the garden that has no trees near a bird bath. I enjoy watching them and hope that our yard has plenty of bugs they like to eat and feed their young. We also have some new flowers blooming in the yard. This camellia Keith planted last fall has really shown off and looks very happy in it's new home. We had trouble in the past getting them to live so this is a positive sign.

Finally the little pink bleeding hearts are a new plant for our DC garden's shady section. I missed the big bleeding heart that used to grow next to the back door in Manassas so now we have our own.