Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Walk by the transfer station and train tracks

Photos have captions that tell the about what we saw on our walk today to find some flowers for a formal bouquet Keith is designing. It uses pink and orange flowers which  all comes from our garden and the roadside. Keep an eye on his blog Keith Stanley.com for a finished bouquet in coming days. We enjoyed our steamy walk along the railroad tracks on the trash transfer access road looking at all the cool "weeds" that flower and bloom along the road side. They all get mowed down about twice a year so today we were collecting a few flowers he needed, while I was photographing even more.
Keith picks a few wild ever blooming pea flowers

Trash is transferred here from collection trucks to huge transport trucks  behind the fence

in the long grass I noticed something pink...

Not sure what it is but it was pretty.
My friend from DC Modern Quilting Guild Aubrey says that the pink flowers are called Evening Primrose or oenothera. I was hoping someone would help us with that name it was buried deep in my fading memories from some other time but just didn't come to me while writing this post. Thank you for your helpful comment Aubrey! I looked it up and found this great description of it on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center native plant database. Pink evening primrose  check the hot link for more : Oenothera speciosa

so we closed in on it and brought home a picture

trucks go in transfer the load and go back for more waste 

The hill of green lush trees is the forest of Fort Totten park 

Blue Chicory and white Queen Ann's lace common road side flowers 

Rare white flowering chicory 

white cotton like fluff from a cotton ball tree was all mixed in one area of crown vetch flowering vine 

Metro and CSX railway tracks run right along the roadside 

Keith approaches with his bouquet 

pink every blooming pea and queen Ann's lace 

Native milk weed flowering smells very sweet and attracts bumble bees this time of year. 

It's the kind of milk weed that Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on as they migrate south to Mexico each year. 

These milk weed will be mowed down in a few weeks 

the back drop to the edge of Catholic Univ. playing field is a jungle of invasive vines and bushes mixed with some natives. 

Teasel flowering. We saw it yesterday and it hadn't bloomed but today it looks half gone! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

summer begins

with a picnic by the tidal basin.
 Decadent fried chicken and potato salad with some French pink sparkling lemonade. Then off for an after dinner walk around the whole tidal basin. Perfect weather and a slowly setting sun made the walk fun and different from the usual mid-day walks we normally take. All around the basin were the usually lovely cherry trees but this time of year they are covered in dark green leaves.

along the route we noticed a vine covered wall across the roadway leading to 14th St. Bridges.

upon closer inspection we realized the entire wall was covered by one single vine which I believe turns red in fall for an amazing display. 

decorative rails on one of the bridges caught my eye.

Canada geese were nibbling grass at the edge of a flooded area. 

in the distance Washington Monument has a new skin of scaffolding built to repair earthquake damage from 2011

here you see the Jefferson & Washington memorials and the flooded edge. Seas levels are rising right here in the capitol.

Waxing moon is high in the sky

 We made it home before sun was all the way down to see a pretty pink purple sunset reflected on the few clouds along the horizon. Then I set to work and finished up the sewing of a binding on my big orange quilt project. Now it will be turned under and blind stitched over the next few evenings and an embroidery label is on the way.
I worked during late afternoon to make my chocolate brown binding for the nearly completed Orange improvisational quilt inspired by Gee's Bend quilters. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Quilting by hand...

While visiting my mom last week Keith took these funny video photos with his iPad using a new application called Vine 

If only the quilting went as fast as this stop motion animation does! I would have been done with it by now but really it won't be much longer. With the hoop helps hold it for the center sections and as I get to the edges I don't need to use the hoop as much as for the beginning.

Rain = green....

This past few weeks seem to be punctuated with a lot of rain. It has been wetter and cooler than usual and we have enjoyed some nice green grass and trees and flowering plants in return for dealing with those less than perfect days. I continue to take a walk each day when we are home and we discovered the most lovely walking paths hidden in the woods at Fort Totten, a dirt fort built during the civil war to ring the city, is just over the tracks and up the hill to the north of our home. Once we were in the woods the most delightful surprise popped up at my feet a wild flower I recognize from previous woodland walks in the Appalachian mountains.
Chimaphila maculata otherwise known as spotted wintergreen. The stands we found were in the oak leaf litter scattered over the forest floor between oak tree seedlings. I went back yesterday with Keith to see if we could find some that were open because the first time they were all in bud but none were open yet. A few were flowering and they face the ground so not so easy to photograph. The leaves are green all year round and this native flowering evergreen is endangered in the Canadian provinces far north of DC.
I expect if the English ivy got hold of this forest floor they would be rare here too.

Keith walks a deer path into the woods towards bigger paths made by walkers and maybe bicyclists

spotted wintergreen named for those white lines on the leaves

it has a little waxy white flower 

sun shine breaking into the dappled forest where the trees have fallen 

They come up in groups some places and singles in others 

Height is from four to ten inches tall 

Keith shows us the underside of a flower and some hand for scale

those whorls of dark green leaves in triple sets always stand out to me on the forest floor. 

Looking out into the field from under the cool shade of the tall oaks 
 Just one of the many interesting things growing near by are the raspberries along the roads and paths where forest ends and fields begin. It's amazing to see all this so close to our home but the national park service doesn't do much to maintain the trails. We had to step over fallen trees on the police access road now both times we went hiking.
raspberries in the shady boarders of the forest 

raspberries in the full sun 

close up you can see why they are called raspberries!