Thursday, September 25, 2014

September: Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

A few years ago I remember reading an article that stated that you will have very beautiful fall colors when there is a lot of rain in the summer. I wish I could give you the source so I thought I would Google that information. Here is an article that I found on what determines how beautiful a fall display will be in Fall Color Displays.

We certainly can claim that in Central and Northern New York we had plenty of rain. At least once a week we had a significant rainfall. So even though it's still at the beginning of our Autumn season expect to see glorious fall colors.

Lots of reds, yellow goldenrod, and purple asters in this area across the field on our road.

I can't believe how fast the changes are taking place here in the northeast. Just last week everything was bright yellows from the golden rods, and bright green leaves on the trees, but now the golden rods are more of a muted gold and lost their bright yellow hues, and the green leaves on the trees are drying out and changing to reds, yellows and copper-colors. I've also seen a lot of bright red vines and other bright red bushes as well.

For this blog post I am linking in with Carol at May Dream Gardens for hosting a popular event in the blogger community. If you are a garden blogger you can add a link to your page on her site. You write your blog post on what's blooming at this time in your garden. Anyone is welcome to check it out and look over other bloggers sites to see what's blooming in other parts of the world. Here is the link to Carol's post: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day September 2014.

Here some blooms that I thought I'd share with you because each week there are fewer and fewer blooms around the area.

This photo at left was a surprise flower this year. About four years ago I planted some "Magic Lily" bulbs. And I purchased red ones. Well, they never came up so I thought that maybe I planted them too deep, or possibly it was too cold here for them. Well, I guess it was magic because they finally appeared! I only had one bulb that came up though. What they do is send foliage up in the spring (like the Autumn Crocuses), and then the foliage dies back. In late summer/early fall it sends up a shoot and then the flowers appear on it. The Latin name is Lycoris squamigera. It is in the Amaryllis family. They are also referred to as "Naked Ladies" so you can imagine how popular that name is with some people.

And here are the Autumn Crocuses that popped up. 

Last fall I had an article in my blog on Autumn Crocuses: Autumn Crocuses Information

Photo at right: Close up of Autumn crocus.

My Pinky Winky hydrangea finally started turning pink in September. I've only had it a few years now and it's still pretty small. I think if it got a little more sun it would perform better. You can see how shady our yard is with all the shadows from the trees.

The 3-leaved plants at left looks to me like it could be poison ivy. But upon further inspection I noticed it wasn't too far from a Jack-in-the-Pulpit that was a volunteer (probably from a bird) and had produced a beautiful red seed head last year. So I'm hoping that these are probably Jack-in-the-Pulpit seedlings. The seedlings can take up to three years to germinate.

As pictured in the photo at right, these are the tall sedums Autumn Joy. I love this shade of pink on them at this time of year. In a week or so they will be quite a bit darker in color.

When I was weeding (occasionally I do that) I noticed this primrose starting to bloom again. Once the weather cools off they might re-bloom for you.

Some of the tall phlox flowers are still hanging in there.

 The wildflowers in the fields around the countryside were very bright and striking this year. I have pictured here (at right and below) some of the wild asters, and the goldenrod.

Another wildflower growing along the side of the road. Chickory.

Time for apple picking!

Dragonfly: It looks like he has unusually long legs, but that's an upside down pine needle he's resting on.

This photo shows pine needles that have fallen from a tree above this bush.

Full moon rising on September 8, 2014

And I leave you with a photo of sunrise and our first frost that my husband took on the morning of September 19,  2014 (three days before the start of Fall).

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me, 
fluttering from the autumn tree."
~Emily Bronte 

Thanks for stopping by, 
and feel free to leave a comment. 
Hope you enjoyed your visit.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Up Close and Personal - Niagara Falls!

Well, if you know me or have been reading my blog posts, you probably know that I'm from Niagara Falls, New York. Grew up in Western New York, graduated from LaSalle High School (which is no longer there), and moved to Central New York 44+ years ago.

I still have family that live in the Niagara area so we go back there to visit, attend the graduations parties, weddings, and of course our family get-togethers for the Buffalo Bills football games (they won their first game this season in overtime against the Chicago Bears- Yay!).

It was time to take on the tourist role again so my husband and I looked like the typical tourists with our cameras in hand. (I still don't know what I'm doing, but I'm playing around with some settings on it now.)

Our first venture out was around the Falls on our side of the border in New York. The day was hot, humid, and windy so between the mist from the falls, the humidity, and the wind blowing my hair in my face some of the photos came out hazy and blurred, but I think we managed to get some pretty good photos, too.

View from Niagara Falls, Ontario

To tour Niagara Falls, New York, you get there through Goat Island. Goat Island is a good size Island and this is where the parking areas are to walk to the Falls and the Three Sisters Islands and the Niagara River. The Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest State Park in the United States. Here is a link to the park: Niagara Falls State Park. It was first established as the Niagara Reservation in 1885. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York City.

Years ago, when my husband and I were in elementary (middle school). there used to be a yearly festival held on Goat Island celebrating the Maid of the Mist Festival.  As Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts we would learn various Indian crafts and then would display them at this festival. I can remember one year where our Girl Scout Troop learned Indian Bead work. We made headbands out of seed beads on a loom. We also made Indian tunics and long skirts out of white flannel that we trimmed using bugle beads and seed beads.

Maid of the Mist (photo taken from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada)

For a close up look at the Falls there is a Maid of the Mist boat that you can tour the American and Bridal Veil Falls. You can also go through the Cave of the Winds in which you take an elevator to the base of the Falls to the Niagara River. Through a series of decks, walkways, and platforms visitors can walk right up to the Bridal Veil Falls and have the water flow beneath the decking they are walking on. You are provided with a rain-poncho. The decking is removed each fall to prevent winter damage from ice build-up. These two tours are great, but you need to have a waterproof camera. From the Canadian side of Niagara Falls you can take the Hornblower Niagara Cruises for a tour of the Falls.

Rainbow Bridge in background (named because of the many rainbows that surrounds the falls?). You can walk across this bridge to Canada, but you still need a valid passport, Passport Card or enhanced drivers license to return to the U.S.

Bridal Veil Falls with people viewing it from the Cave of the Winds.
(Photo taken from Niagara Falls, Ontario)

To see the "Falls" in its entirety, it is best viewed from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Growing up on the Canadian border was fun. As kids, we could walk across the Rainbow Bridge for 10 Cents. You felt quite grown-up walking into another Country without your parents. It was a good hike, and we found it entertaining to walk around the tourist areas. One of the things I loved the best over there was all the beautiful landscaping. I guess at an early age I was always attracted to flowers and landscaping. The flower gardens were beautiful, and are still well maintained. There was a little hidden/secret garden very close to the Rainbow Bridge and it was always beautiful. It's still there, but a little more "travel-worn" and not quite as I remembered it. And it doesn't look the same with the big buildings in the background like the Casino and Hard Rock Cafe. hahaha

Horseshoe Falls with Hornblower boat. (Photo taken from Niagara Falls, Ontario).

Sometimes we would ride our bikes across the bridge into Canada and head to a swimming area called Dufferin Islands. And we would not usually return home without purchasing a bar of Mackintosh Toffee in the plaid wrapper. Oh, soooo good and not available in the U.S.

At the time you did not need a Passport, but now to get into Canada you need a photo ID; and to return to the United States you need a valid Passport, Passport Card or an Enhanced Driver's License. Here is some information on obtaining one of the above documents: U.S. Passport Card and Enhanced Driver License. NOTE: THE PASSPORT CARD IS NOT APPROVED FOR AIR TRAVEL. It is valid for land and sea crossings only.

If/when you do travel to Niagara Falls, Ontario- be sure to cross the street from the Falls and take the walkways through the gardens. The views and flowers are amazing!

More photos from Niagara Falls, Ontario.

For other areas to visit while in the Niagara Falls region here is my blog post on Lewiston/Youngstown, NY: Lewiston & Youngstown, New York

If you missed my two posts from last year on Niagara-On-The-Lake you can click on these two links:
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Niagara-On-The-Lake Part II; Niagara Parks Botanical Garden

Hope you liked your visit! 
Feel free to leave a comment. 
I would love to hear from you!

Friday, September 5, 2014

The 2014 Fall Migration Begins/Continues

Why is it that when we see cattails we think of fall?

Well, as summer is near it's end, and fall is approaching faster than I care to think, thought I would share with you some current (and some older) photos.

I am linking in this post with my friend, Donna Donabella, who is hosting Seasonal Celebrations-Autumn's Blessings blog post. Donna writes a beautiful blog called Garden's Eye View. Her photos are excellent and she is very knowledgeable on gardening and native plants. Click on the link to check out her blog.

Signs that fall is approaching in Northern New York. The geese are practicing their V-formations,
the fields are golden, the corn needs to be harvested., and a touch of red in the leaves of trees.

Cedar Waxwings. Filling up on berries for their trip south.

Cedar Waxwing (this photo would have looked better if he wasn't sitting on a telephone wire).

The Turkey Vulture. While this is not a very attractive bird it is actually very helpful in nature. This bird is a scavenger and cleans up dead carcasses in the wild (like deer, raccoons, etc. that have been hit by cars), and dead fish that wash up on shorelines. I learned to identify them in flight because they soar in large circles, and quite often you will see more than one of them. Right now they are getting ready to migrate so you might find them catching thermals on a windy day. They are a very large bird and when you are identifying them you might think you are seeing an eagle or osprey. The tips of their wings spread out and look like fingers. They have a featherless red head. Sometimes you might find them roosting on fence posts.

This photo was taken a few years ago one
morning when a turkey vulture was drying his wings after a rain.

This is a large group of turkey vultures catching the thermals on the eastern end of Lake Ontario.
I'm guessing they are practicing for their flight south for the winter.

I wouldn't be surprised if there were some dead fish washed up on this shoreline.

My husband, Ted, was filling up the suet feeders with a purchased suet block and this little woodpecker did not fly away and was taking the leftover suet out of the container.

Ted Link, the Bird Whisper

What's better than one turtle on a log?

Came back later and saw three turtles on the same log.

Great Blue Heron

Double-crested Cormorant


 Orange Sulphers otherwise known as Alfalfa Butterflies drinking in water and minerals from seaweed.
The Orange Sulphers' habitat is in open fields especially alfalfa, clover, mowed sites, vacant land, meadows and sides of roads. One of the most common butterflies in  North America. In some cases it can be very damaging to alfalfa fields. If you have goldenrod near your home look for them on those plants.

Here are a couple photos of seagulls.  I was practicing trying to get birds in flight. Wow! Is that ever a challenge. After quite a few photos and a little photo cropping, I got two photos that were worth sharing with you.

"[T]hat old September feeling... of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air.... Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes and failures had been wiped clean by summer."

Thanks for stopping by. 
Enjoy the last few days of summer. 
Feel free to leave a comment.