Friday, January 6, 2012

Summer Photos

Here we are at the final batch of photos from 2011.  These shots start in mid-summer and carry through to fall, starting with this pink MeadowSweet.  I actually like this stage of bloom the best with the tight pink balls, right before the small buds pop open into a frizzy mess of cotton candy petals.

Lettuce can be so pretty.  I love the rows of coloured greens.  In the photo below the green leaves touched with red blush in the foreground are drunken woman leaf lettuce.  This is followed by bright green Simpson Elite and a red oak leaf lettuce.  The dark green plato romaine is perfect contrast in the farthest row. 

Chamomile attracted loads of insects and my camera throughout the summer with it's simple blooms.

Hot pink zinnias showed up well against a yellow and green background of dill.

I planted Polka Dot Bachelor Buttons this spring and enjoyed blooms from early summer straight through till frost.

A major difference I noted in the garden this year was sound.  In late summer every time I stepped out the door I heard the chirping of grasshoppers.  Last year the former lawn was just beginning to grow out into a meadow and not a grasshopper was seen or heard.  This year they were so abundant they stopped and posed for photographs.

Other critters are starting to make themselves at home too.  One evening I was shocked to here a 'PLOP' on the window in front of my computer and see this tree frog grab a moth for his dinner.

There's no water source on our property so I'm not sure how exactly he ended up here but it made me start thinking about creating a small pond for these wonderful frogs.

Another new resident are the foxes.  I'm not sure if it's the same one every time but this face is becoming a regular fixture, hunting for mice, around our house.

I'm very excited to see wildlife returning to this property.  It makes me feel like I'm doing something right.

The last days of summer wouldn't be complete without the dark yellow tones of Rubbeckia in the garden.

The sun begins to change direction as the days wear on.  This photo shows it setting from within the apple orchard.

Finally fall began to set in, changing the birch leaves to yellow.

And oak leaves to red


  1. So many neat things to see! Don't you love the little frogs? They and anoles are my greenhouse pest control squad: no chemicals, just critters. I screech when I pull a pot out of a cache pot and one jumps on me, though because it's unexpected.

  2. I wish we had frogs I love the peeper sounds. Whats crazy though, even in the heart of a city if you put in a little pond they will come. Occassionally I'll be walking at dusk around the neighborhood and pass by a property that must have a fountain or natural pool in the back, because you can hear one or two frogs peeping away.

  3. I wish I had frogs ... and foxes!! I could probably attract frogs if I did the right things but foxes? Not here. How fortunate you are to have them take care of mice! And how gorgeous your fox is!!

    Love the photo of the Chamomile!

  4. What a great shot of the fox! I've seen one run across our property on a very few occasions, but to have one take up residence near you is amazing. Funny, but I was just thinking that this year I would finally plant some chamomile. Your picture of it has me convinced.

  5. Frogs, and foxes, you certainly are doing something right, and what a incredible pay off for that.

    Amazing how nature can return...

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  6. Nell Jean - I was utterly delighted to see that frog. There is a stream down the road from us and we can sometimes hear the frogs in summer but I never suspected we would have any ourselves.

    Jess - I don't think it takes much water to attract frogs. I read a post at Casa Mariposa blog this summer about creating a small 'puddle' type pond and thought, that's just the ticket! Not a lot of work but enough for a frog to make itself at home.

    Christine - being in a rural location there's plenty of wildlife around but when our yard was just lawn they had no interest in us. Now that the meadow is full of voles we seem to be getting some interest from the foxes.

    Rose - I love herbs of all kinds, their flowers aren't usually that spectacular but they have such wonderful scents. Chamomile is a smell I remember from childhood and I always plant it in my garden.

    Jen - it just needed someone to not mow the lawn! LOL. Amazing how something so simple has created such a difference.

  7. Hi Marguerite! How blessed you are with the wildlife that visit your property. It's so much a part of the reason why we left city life for the slower and simpler country life. We are rich in that regard; however, it tends to end there, doesn't it?

    When we had to make our emergency trip to PEI University pet hospital with our dog, Mikey, we were amazed at all the sliver foxes that were wandering about. I'm sure the students are taking good care to feed them. They were so beautiful.

    I'd like to know your secret to gowing lettuce. We grew a few varieties the first full summer we had here and it didn't do well. Perhaps too much afternoon sun? We have a clay based soil as well but our garden is much richer now than when we first came here. After our initial failure, we didn't bother again.

  8. Beautiful! I'm really hoping some frogs find my frog pond. The creek in our neighborhood is so full of nitrogen, the lack of oxygen has killed off the peepers that were here when we moved in 8 yrs ago. I love your pink zinnia and chamomile. I've added pink zinnias to my Must Have List for this summer. :o)

  9. How wonderful to reclaim a space and begin to see the wildlife return to it. I love that handsome fox, what a face!

  10. You really did get the wildlife visiting! A fox??? Wow. It is a beautiful picture too. I like the photo of the lettuce too, such an overlooked garden dweller I think. We eat it and forget how pretty it is in the garden.

  11. Wonderful!
    The frog shot ... oh my. That is a rare photo op, that one!
    And foxy, too. The foxes don't stick around long enough to pose here, what with Ruby on patrol!
    Sigh, can't wait for summer again. Your gardens are lovely!

  12. Marguerite these are just beautiful girl !
    I get a real sense of your garden with them. I too love my meadowsweet in the early stages , the buds are like pink jewels !
    An odd thing was that we had a couple of frogs/toads visit us and we have no source of water other than the bird bath .. maybe the fountain .. the sound of water attracted them ? .. the bunny completed my wildlife : ) we have birds all the time but those chickadees really made me smile when they actually used a decorative birdhouse .. I want to put up more birdhouses now!
    This was so nice to see and read on a cold dark morning here !
    Thank you !
    Joy : )

  13. Pretty pictures! I laughed at the name of drunken woman lettuce! And I'm sorry to hear you've got grasshoppers, too. I hate them! I would be scared if I had a fox so close to me! But, he sure is pretty.

  14. Great pictures especially the tree frog and fox. You are right lettuces are colourful never thought about that when in the ground only when in the salad bowl.

  15. Beautiful shots as always.
    That fox will eats it's weight in rodents every day and even more in the Spring if it has little fox pups. The sounds of them at night are so wonderful and eerie as they call out in the next month or so.
    Open your window early (5:00) and you will hear the sounds and what will follow in the coming month's.
    May will be your most happy month as the pups arrive ready to hunt around your property guided by Mom close at hand.
    So wonderful to see.

  16. Love the photo of the fox. We have a lot of foxes, and I surprised two of them curled up at the bottom of a tree this late fall. It was touch and go as to who was going to run, but they took off first.

  17. Wow for the frog. That was very cool :)and the fox as well.
    Winter so far hasn't been to bad but I do miss summer and can't wait for the warmer weather.

  18. Wonderful post, makes me crave for the summer months again. I love your pictures they tell a story in themselves. I would have said daisy until I read Chamomile. You have captured the tail end of Summer and the beautify it has to offer.

    My favourite in the garden this year were zinnias, I planted a gazillion of them, the colours were magnificent.

    Ya, your little grasshopper looks like he is posing for this picture.

    That must have been a surprise to have this tree frog jump onto the window like that. You can send foxes my way anytime I think we have too many mice out around our garden. Thanks for reminding me the ground needs a freeze to bring back what we miss.

  19. How exciting that your garden supports such a diverse group of wildlife. I love the photo of the fox. Every once in a while I see one in my garden but I never manage to snap a picture. How luckytyou are to have captured that photo.

  20. Wow, great year in review. I hope those grasshoppers didn't eat too much. They are big eaters!
    What an incredible picture of a fox...I love it!!!

  21. Great year in review photos. I love the name of- drunken women lettuce. And how wonderful to have so many critters coming back to your garden.

  22. hello Marguerite, just caught up with your last 3 posts, I like the B&W photos, you had lots of lovely flowers last year nice to look forward to many more this year, I like the wildlife in your garden too, Frances

  23. Michelle - silver foxes are really something to see aren't they! I've seen a couple since moving here but they never fail to stop me in my tracks. Not sure what the trick is to lettuce, it's something I've always managed to grow (unlike spinach which continues to elude me). This year I made sure to keep the plants well spaced out since last year they got very yucky being scrunched together. They do prefer slightly
    cooler conditions but I've been growing mine in full sun here without any trouble and my soil is pretty lean. Don't give up yet because fresh salads really are a lovely summer treat.

    Tammy - I still haven't forgotten your small pond and although it's not on the agenda just yet I have that idea tucked away for future reference. I think it would be perfect for attracting more of these lovely little frogs.

    Laurrie - I loved the face too. Very curious to see who was trying to sneak up and take a photo.

    Donna - I second that thought, we don't see enough lettuce photos out there and some of them are really so pretty.

  24. Kim - I knew the frog photo wouldn't exactly be great by photography standards but as you say, what a rare opportunity to get a photo. It was just such a shock to see that guy jump up on the windowsill.

    Joy - I wonder if frogs don't necessarily need water at certain stages of their lives? Perhaps that's why we got visited, it was just a time of year? I wondered if the excessively rainy summer we had was also part of the reason. It sure wasn't hard to find some wet plants to hang out in this summer.

    Holley - I must confess I do have some worries about foxes. They're rather small so not a concern for humans but we have had to intervene in a cat/fox showdown. Thus far everyone's still in one piece but the feral kitties are always at risk. Better a fox than a coyote though - the cat will never win that battle.

    Kentish - I like all the mixed colours in a salad bowl too and it's one reason I planted so many kinds of lettuce. But when I saw all the varieties in the garden I just loved the way they complemented each other as plants.

  25. Witch - I wondered if we might get pups next year. I know there are dens in our area and we've been fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of little ones before but it's new to see them frequenting our yard like this. How lucky we would be if they decided to set up home here.

    Carolyn - this photo was actually caught because the fox was sleeping under that spruce. The snooze allowed enough time to sneak up (with a super long lens). Those big ears heard us though and this was the resulting photo before it decided to move on.

    Johanna - looking at these photos makes me long for spring too. I can't complain about winter thus far, no major storms and driving has been good but I've had some time away from the garden and can't wait to get back.

    Cindy - When you do close up photos it can really obscure what you're looking at. This close up of the chamomile really doesn't indicate the size of the flower so I can see how it would be confused as daisies. Zinnias are one of my favourite flowers for adding some quick colour to the garden. So easy to grow and lovely to look at.

  26. Debbie - considering how many times we've seen foxes here I'm amazed we haven't gotten more photos but they are always on the run whenever they spot us watching them.

    Janet - I know some people loathe grasshoppers but I haven't noticed any destruction at all. Perhaps they're too busy eating the weeds in the meadow to bother my garden?

    Melanie - I confess I purchased the seeds simply because of the great name. Heritage varieties always seem to have more fanciful names don't they?

    Frances - I was just planning the changes to the entrance flower bed today and I'm really excited about all the new flowers I'll see in the new year. Always something to look forward to isn't there?

  27. You have a FOX! How wonderful when the wildlife endorses your gardening style.

  28. I really enjoyed looking at these photos! It makes me feel warm inside when it's snowy outside. :-)