Friday, August 29, 2014

Dew Drops, Bees and Pretty Flowers

Dewdrop covered hot pink rose: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" Today's post includes flower photos from two different sessions. One in the cool of the morning while the flowers were still drenched in dew and one in the heat of the afternoon with bright sun and buzzing bees.
Dewdrop covered evening primrose: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
It amazes me that the evening primroses do so well because my husband's always pulling them out but I'm glad they are tough because I enjoy their delicate pink and white flowers.
Bee on red coreopsis: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
I loved how the bee tipped up the petal of this red coreopsis flower so we can see the pretty underside, which is more of a creamy yellow with red striping.
Bee on purple coneflower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
 And this bee enjoyed buzzing from coneflower to coneflower.
Artistic rose: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
I thought this was my most artistic flower photo of the week but I'm not sure whether I like this super close up rose photo or the dewdrop rose photo better. Which do you prefer?

Praise the Lord for creating such beautiful flowers and creatures! May He bless and keep you!

Related posts:
Raindrops and roses:
Raindrops and flowers:
Shiny wet flowers:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hummingbird Photos By Anna Horner for Wild Wednesday

Hummingbird macro: Copyright © Anna Horner, 2014, used with permission
My dear cousin and friend Anna Horner kindly let me share her amazing hummingbird close up photos with you all. I find hummingbirds to be cute, adorable and encouraging. Thank you, Anna! 
Hummingbird feeding: Copyright © Anna Horner, 2014, used with permission
I love the little tiny hummingbird feet and the wing detail in this photo.
Hummingbird spread: Copyright © Anna Horner, 2014, used with permission
 This artistic shot gives a unique view of the hummingbird's fighting posture.
Hummingbird battle: Copyright © Anna Horner, 2014, used with permission
Here to hummingbirds prepare for battle. Anna's feeders are very popular. I hope you enjoyed Anna's beautiful photos. She's doing this out of the kindness of her heart so if you did like her photos please comment with an encouraging word and I'll be sure to pass it on to her.

Anna also gave me permission to share a little series on the hummingbird's nest with eggs and freshly hatched hummingbirds so be sure to check in for future wild Wednesday posts if you'd like to see them. Hearty thanks to Anna for sharing her photos and praise to the Lord for creating such beautiful little creatures! May God bless Anna, her family, and may He bless you too!

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Wet and wild birds:
Cardinal feeds baby bird:

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Simplifying Home Journey: Week 8, Day 7 (Wrap up)

Obedient plants abound: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Praise the Lord! I made it through Beginner Beans' eight-week Simplifying Home challenge. While I didn't get as much of the checklist done as I would have liked, by the grace of God, I did see some pleasant improvement in my home (despite weathering a series of health challenges).  I did a lot of clutter clearing and organizing and my targeted spaces are more functional and enjoyable.

One wonderful mental change is taking more time to appreciate my surroundings. This is a lovely time of the year in our Maryland garden. The obedient plants are in full bloom along the fence and bees, butterflies and hummingbirds all love their flowers. This week I was so filled with joy upon seeing a hummingbird flit from one flower to another I clapped my hands together like a little child. I stayed as still as I could (so as not to scare it) end enjoyed the beautiful hummingbird show.

Thank you for joining me and thank you to Trina of Beginner Beans for making her Simplifying Home challenge a free resource. May God bless you and Trina too! 

What makes your place feel like home? What one thing could you do this week to make your home more enjoyable, safe or friendly?

Related posts:
Week 1, day 1:
Week 2, day 7:
Week 3, day 3:

Week 3, day 7:   

Week 4, day 3:  

Week 4, day 7:

Week 5, day 7:

Week 6, day 7: 

Week 7, day 7:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Four Dahlias and a Dianthus for Floral Friday

Classic dahlia: Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" Even though I crammed nine large dahlia plants into a four foot square space, they're producing an abundance of flowers (although I think five dinner plate dahlia plants in this area would be wiser in the future).
Cheerful dahlia: Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
I think this dahlia is my favorite flower of the week. I love the curly multicolored petals with cheerful pink and yellow petals.
Bright pink dianthus: Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
This dianthus survived the winter, almost died from lack of water a few weeks ago and then bounced back to life this week. It's in a window box but I might transfer it to a perennial bed in hopes of it coming back next year. It's grown so much it needs more room to spread.
Bright red dahlia: Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
All of the dahlias in today's post are growing in the same raised bed.  The red and purple are the only single color plants out of the nine in that bed.
Bicolor dahlia: Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Even with my not getting to deadhead them in the past couple weeks the dahlias are producing an abundance of flowers. I think they're the most prolific bloomers when you consider the entire growing season. Every year I want to grow more and more dahlias. Maybe someday we'll have a dahlia farm.

Thank you for joining me on this week's floral photo tour of my Maryland garden! May God bless and encourage you!

Related posts:
Cat smelling dahlia:
Dahlia macros:
Spring dahlias:
Dahlias and day lilies:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lion Cubs Stretch, Play and Nurse

Cute lion cubs playing: Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Happy wild Wednesday! A few weeks ago I promised the big cat lovers some more cute lion cub photos and here they are. The baby lions are from two litters and their moms are sisters. I believe the first litter was born two months earlier than the second and those two cubs are much bigger than their four cousins. Can you pick out which lion cubs are from which litter?
Cute lion cub swats mom: Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
They love to play on their giant log structures in their habitat. This brave cub is about to swat his mom's head.
Cute lion cub stretches: Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
And when they take a play break they sometimes rub their faces or chew on the ends of the logs.
Cute lion cubs: Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
 They run around and enjoy the grassy areas too.
Lion cubs nurse and lounge: Copyright © by Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
And once in a great while, they stop and nurse from their mom. Here one cub is nursing and the others are resting. They grow up fast so if you live near the National Zoo it's worth going to see them while they're still small.

May God bless this precious lion family, their keepers and may He bless you too!

Related posts:
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Clouded leopard photos:
Little lion cubs:
Lion cub train: 
Six lion cubs:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Smile for Love

Image by Skysthelimit
"Smile at each other; smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, 
smile at each other – it doesn’t matter who it is – and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other." ~ Mother Teresa

Smile for love! Some of my favorite quotes are by Mother Teresa and this was a new one for me so I had to share it with you. Smiling is something easy to do and it communicates love, acceptance, happiness and so much more. You can increase love in our world simply by smiling. I encourage you to smile at everyone you see today!

Monday, August 18, 2014

My Simplifying Home Journey: Week 7, Day 7

Yellow zinnia about to open: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Seven weeks seem to have flown by. This was my least productive week so far in the simplifying home challenge. I'm embarrassed to say, unless you count keeping the area from getting worse, I made no progress in the office/computer room, this week's designated area. Because I have nothing to show you in that area I'll share some before and after pictures from a different space that I didn't get to cover in last week's post (because I try to keep it to five photos or less per post so the posts load quickly for you).
Hamper nook "before": Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
This is what I think of as my hamper nook. In the "before" picture above, the hamper is the wicker thing on the left. Then, going clockwise, there's a pile of clutter, a tote filled with old clothes that I need to try on, a pretty box filled with accessories, and two baskets.

The tote has been there for quite a while. So long that I threw a pillow on top of it and turned it into a cat bed (they love it because they can see down the hallway into the kitchen from that spot). One basket is supposed to be for new clothes that need to be washed before I wear them (I'm allergic to a lot of chemicals) and the other for a beautiful afghan hand made for me by a dear friend (the cats had been happy pawing it to death so I am giving it a breather but still want it handy).  
Hamper nook "after": Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
The first step was moving everything out of the area. Next was clutter clearing. This included trying on all those clothes that were in the tote (most are going to charity) and moving the afghan closer to where I use it. It also involved getting rid of the empty shoe box and two loose boards that had been to the left of the tote. They'd been there for a long time too... so long I'd stopped noticing them.

After clearing the clutter and vacuuming I decided that I like having a cat bed under the window but don't like the plastic look of the tub. So I went to Goodwill, found a brown sheet, washed it and draped it over the tote. The tote now holds useful extra blankets and throw pillows.

When walking into the room and facing it straight on, the tote/cat bed looks decent; however, it doesn't look nice from the sides. Eventually I plan to sew a cover for the tote (or get a proper little storage bench) so the area looks better. This is the first thing I notice when walking into the master bedroom so I might sew a big red heart in the front center of the tote cover.

Baby cat ignoring the camera: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
I love my "Baby" cat. She's not much into being photographed but she brings me a lot of joy. She's feral born so tends to hide from anyone but me but she follows me around like a dog, greets me at the door and sleeps either on my lap or at my feet when I settle down to read for a while. She's definitely part of what makes our abode a home.

Thank you for joining me and thank you to Trina of Beginner Beans for making her Simplifying Home challenge a free resource. May God bless you and Trina too!

What makes your place feel like home? How do you organize your dirty laundry?

Related posts:
Week 1, day 1:
Week 2, day 7:
Week 3, day 3:

Week 3, day 7:   

Week 4, day 3:  

Week 4, day 7:

Week 5, day 7:

Week 6, day 7: