Friday, April 29, 2011

Flower Power Friday! Featuring the Azalea

Yellow Azalea

Instead of just showing a photo of the flower, I also wanted to provide some information about the flower, and my experience with the flower.  Most of the flowers I photograph are from my own gardens.

Azalea are one of Spring's early blooms.  They are similar to Rhodendrons, but are smaller.  Azaleas come in a variety of colors.  They will brighten up any shady location.  They prefer shade over sun.  They like their soil slightly acidic.  Pruning should be done once the shrub has stopped blooming.  Once established they are very hardy shrubs.  I have my azaleas in a border along my driveway.  You can also group them or if you want just one plant.  You can get more information about Azaleas at Azalea Society of America and The United States National Arboretum

This has been a week of errands and cleaning.  I will be heading out to the garage over the weekend to get my tractor cleaned an ready for mowing which will probably be Monday or Tuesday.  I will also be out cleaning up the garden and putting up 2 birdhouses.  It will be a busy, busy weekend and it is suppose to be very nice weather.  I have noticed alot of new growth coming up.  Peonies, iris, poppies, columbine, lupine.  I can't wait to start photographing my flowers.  I have to get all my gardening done before those pesky blackflies come out.  They are mean little bloodsucking flies!  Here in Maine you see people wearing netting over their heads to protect their face and neck and wearing long sleeves and long pants keeps you from getting bit.

Enjoy the Azalea photograph and have a great weekend!

I just wanted to include a special note:  Next weekend is Mother's Day and I have a sale on my website.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Flower Power Friday! Featuring the Yellow Bearded Iris

FLOWER POWER FRIDAY!  This is the start to a new blog project!  Every Friday I will post a new flower photo.
This weeks featured flower is a Yellow Bearded Iris from my garden.  This abstract version of this flower has a unique image within the flower.  Look and see what it is.

Yellow Bearded Iris

Monday, April 18, 2011

Workin' on the Railroad

I have always been intrigued with trains and the railroad.  I don't know why, but it is very fascinating to me.  So this past weekend I decided to go shooting since I had to go out anyway to bring some cookies to the Forgotten Felines bake sale, and with gas prices continuing to go up I really have to think about where I am going and what I can photograph along the way.  So fortunately the railroad actually was on the way almost all the way.  So I experimented some and got a few shots which you see here, but I will be going back to do more.  I used flypaper textures on 2 of the photos which I like.  As I was working on the photos I kept singing "I've been workin on the railroad".  Some of you might remember this song.  I thought it might be fun to post the lyrics.  Then you all can be singing it all day.

I've been workin' on the railroad,
All the live long day.
I've been workin' on the railroad,
Just to pass the time away.
Don't you hear the whistle blowing?
Rise up so early in the morn.
Don't you hear the captain shouting
"Dinah, blow your horn?"

Dinah, won't you blow,
Dinah, won't you blow,
Dinah, won't you blow your horn?
Dinah, won't you blow,
Dinah, won't you blow,
Dinah, won't you blow your horn?

Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah.
Someone's in the kitchen, I know.
Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah
Strumming on the old banjo.

Fee, fie, fiddle-e-i-o.
Fee, fie, fiddle-e-i-o-o-o-o.
Fee, fie, fiddle-e-i-o.
Strumming on the old banjo.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Welcome Our Newest Family Member Dexter!

Just ate my first fly!  Yum!

This is Dexter.  Our newest family member.  He came to our home yesterday and we spent the rest of the day getting to know him and protecting him from the dogs.  Dexter is just over a year old and is full of lovin. He is super affectionate and he has the most beautiful eyes!  As he gets more comfortable with his surroundings I will be photographing him more.  I have found he doesn't like the flash, but otherwise he seems to like the camera. He was neuter Friday and that wonderful (stinky) urine odor was everywhere.  Males tend to have that strong odor about them until they are neuter and it eventually goes away.  In fact the odor isn't so bad today.  After dinner I got him out of hiding to explore some and get to know the dogs a little better.  He slept through the night without any issues which was great! 
Today he is wandering a little more and learning oh so quickly scratching the furniture is out of the question and the squirt bottle is his enemy.  He seems to be a fast learner which is awesome.  We only seem to have one small problem.  My dog Ben who is a black golden mix (handsome boy) has an unusual play toy.  He loves cat toys!  With my previous cats we would start playing with the cats and Ben would jump right in and play.  The cats walked away disappointed and Ben was a happy as a clam!  He never broke or damaged any of the toys except for a little slim.



These are my dogs. They are Dexter's new friends and family.  Blu is 13 years old, and unfortunately for her she got too close and Dexter gave her a good swat (no claws) on the face.  Sami is 12 years old and uses extreme caution when approaching Dexter, but is persistence enough to keep sniffing and getting closer and closer.  Then there is Ben, he is 10 years old and had the unfortunate double swat from Dexter!  Yeah he got a Double!  No claws.  But that doesn't deter Ben when Dexter starts to play Ben is right there hovering over Dexter wagging his tail as they both anticipate the next move.  I think they will get along okay.
Dexter is a bug catcher he has already had his first fly.  Although he found out the hard way that ladybugs don't taste good.  Now when he sniffs on he gags!  Live and learn.
After 7 months without a cat and the invasion of a mouse who has had the nerve to enter from somewhere into the house.  We finally decided to get another cat, and I think Dexter is going to be a great addition to our family and I am looking forward to many years of fun and happiness with him. 

Special note:  Dexter was adopted from the Bangor Humane Society.  Thanks for our Dexter!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Whoopee For Whoopie Pies!

Whoopie Pies

The Whoopie Pie is one of the new additions to The BlackHorse Cookie Company cookie menu this year.  This is my Grandma's recipe.  There are many variations of the whoopie pie recipe, but my Grandma's recipe is the best!  A little prejudice perhaps, I have tried many, but I still love Grandmas.  Ok are you ready now.......taste it.... a rich chocolate moist cake like cookie filled with a delicate creme filling made with Marshmallow Fluff (not marshmallow creme, fluff is light and airy, the creme is thicker). YUM!!!  Do you want one yet?  Anyway alot of Whoopie Pie recipes use confectioners sugar which I find too sweet and takes away from the overall favor of the Whoopie Pie.  When you eat that pie you want to taste all of it and not to be overwhelmed by one favor.  Now I'm sorry if I offended any Whoopie Pie bakers out there, but it is just my opinion and everyone has their favorite Whoopie Pie.

Now Mainers love their Whoopie Pies.  Every June there is a Whoopie Festival which attracts alot of people.  Mainers even wants to make this their State Cookie.  Which I think is a good thing.  Now folks in Pennsylvania will tell you the Whoopie Pie originated there, but Mainers will tell you it originated here in Maine.  Frankly it is a darn good cookie and doesn't matter where it came from.  Although my Grandma is from Maine.