Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wild Deer in Quiet Waters Park

Baby deer foraging in woods: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy wild Wednesday! I was blessed with the sighting of a beautiful deer family while walking in Quiet Waters Park this week. The deer kept an eye on me but didn't seem bothered; just watchful. 
Two baby deer: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The family, as far as I could see, consisted of an adult female (doe) and two fawns (babies). I love the spots on the young deer.
Mama deer: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
 When some other walkers approached the deer's ears went straight up but they didn't run away.
Mother and baby deer: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
 I've only been to Quiet Waters Park a few times but I might start going more often.
Alert baby deer: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Because baby deer are adorable.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you!

Related posts:
Brave baby deer: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/08/brave-little-deer-photos.html

Baby bull and goofy goats: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/10/baby-bull-and-goofy-goats-for-wild.html
Deer family video: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2011/12/endearing-deer-family.html

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sugar Free September! Day 1

Image by Pippalou of http://pippalunacy.com/
Almost five years ago I went sugar free (among other things) and lost 35 lbs. After a few years I started to be more "flexible" with my eating and bit by bit I allowed sugar back into my life and the pounds crept back on. Granted, I had some serious illnesses and injuries during this time too (and they definitely contributed to the weight gain) but I've decided go to back to my sugar free way of eating. Starting today.

I like the sound of "sugar free" but I am not truly going 100% sugar free. I'm allowing whole fruits, a small amount of juice in my morning kale smoothie (a tradition I've kept up since about 2011 although I didn't add juice at first... someone who occasionally makes my smoothies for me added juice and I started adding it too after a while), and on days when I feel I need it, a treat with 5g or less of added natural sugar/maple syrup etc. I'm aiming to reduce the amount of juice in my morning smoothie slowly so I don't miss it and eventually eliminate it, just using whole fruit instead. Really, this is a low sugar diet. But low sugar September isn't as nice sounding as sugar free September, which I already find motivating. "Sugar free September" is more of a mantra for me than an accurate description of my eating plan. My eating plan is a personalized cross between Dr. Fuhrman's "Eat to Live" diet and the Peer Trainer flexitarian plan.

Today I stuck to my plan and feel good about it. I only had one big bout of sugar cravings today and managed to pray my way through them without caving. God is good!

I am ready to return to a healthy weight and hope this experiment brings me closer. I'd love to hear any supportive comments you want to share and if you have successfully lost and kept off a meaningful amount of weight I'd love to hear your success story.

If you want to join me on your own version of a sugar free diet I'd love to hear about your journey.

Thank you in advance for your support and encouragement! May God bless you!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dahlia, Marigolds, Zinnia, Butterfly Bush and Friend

Skipper on red dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" It's been really hot but the flowers are still going strong, and I'm thankful.
Two bicolor marigolds: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
I love these bicolor French marigolds that I grew from seed. They are getting so large I might have to stake some of them.
Two pink zinnias: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
I've already had to stake a bunch of the giant zinnias (also grown from seed) and some of the plants are so tall they reach my shoulders. In the photo above you can see a giant bright pink zinnia just opening up and, in the background, a light pink that is fully open. I often see golden finches, butterflies, moths and bees enjoying the giant zinnias.
Bicolor butterfly bush flowers & buds: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
This is another potted butterfly bush (I featured a white one last week).  I love the bright orange centers and the lilac colored petals. We do plan to put them in the ground once things start cooling down so they have time to establish deeper roots before winter.
Large yellow marigold: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Some of the African marigolds (also grown from seed) have grown nearly as tall as the giant zinnias. It's really exciting to see so many pretty flowers on plants I grew from seed. I love all flowers but the ones grown from seed are extra special.

Thank you for joining me on this week's mini garden tour! May God bless you!

Which photo(s) did you like best from today's post? Someone mentioned that she'd like to see the results posted and I thought it was a great idea. So I'm going to start listing the vote totals in the comments of the floral Friday posts and will count votes shared here, in Facebook and other forums. I'll aim to give the vote totals for the previous week on the same day I do the new week's post (for example, today I'll post the vote totals for last week's post in that post's comment section) so that gives you about a week to vote. I'd love to hear from you anytime though! Feel free to share! 

Related posts:
Raindrops on flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/10/raindrops-on-roses-azalea-camellia.html
Marigolds and more: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/06/shasta-daisies-coreopsis-sweet-peas.html
Mystery flowers and more: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/06/sunflower-day-lilies-vinca-and-mystery.html

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lantana, Zinnia, Dahlias, and Butterfly Bush Flowers

Bicolor Lantana: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" The lantanas are great drought-tolerant butterfly-attracting plants. I like this white with yellow center one but the bright multicolored and straight yellow flowers are nice too.
Apricot and pink zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
I think the zinnias are the stars of our garden this year and love that I grew most of them (including the one pictured above) from seed.  The birds and butterflies love them too.
Vibrant dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Dahlia blooms are still trickling in here and there. 
White buddelia (butterfly bush): Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The butterfly bushes are doing great; even the ones in pots. We didn't intend to grow any in pots but the soil where we planned to put them this spring turned out to be riddled with tree roots so four bushes are in pots until my hard working husband can get to clear out spots for them.
Yellow and red bicolor dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The "sights of summer" dahlia is currently the most prolific of the larger dahlias. It's nice to have a few big blooms. Next year I think we'll go back to the dinnerplate dahlias though. We seemed to get a whole lot more flowers from them. But we appreciate all flowers as they bloom.

Thank you for joining me on this week's mini garden tour! May God bless you!

Which photo(s) did you like best? Do you have any tips for keeping dahlias happy all summer? I'd love to hear them!

Related posts:
Cute critters on flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/06/cute-critters-on-flowers.html
Raindrops on butterfly bush and more: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/10/raindrops-on-roses-azalea-camellia.html
Colorful lantana: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/06/zinnia-vinca-coreopsis-geranium-and.html

Friday, August 14, 2015

Rose, Zinnia, Dahlia, Salvia and Obedient Plant Flowers

Rose with sparkly dewdrops: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" The roses look especially nice with dew or raindrops on their velvety petals.
Multicolored zinnias: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The zinnias are doing great and I think this little pink one with light green petals around the center is especially cute.
Artistic Sights of Summer dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Dahlia production has slowed so they probably need fertilizer but this pretty yellow and red bicolor dahlia still has a few blooms.
Blue salvia with raindrops: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
This week our blue hummingbird-attracting salvia started blooming. I haven't seen a hummingbird on it yet but we have a few that visit our feeders and I hope they notice these flowers too.
Obedient plants: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The obedient plants are blooming nicely and often are covered in bees and a scattering of butterflies.

It's a pretty time of the year for Maryland flower gardening and I do love our flowers. Hope you enjoy this week's photos! May God bless you!

Related posts:
Fun flowers and insects: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/09/flowers-freeloaders-and-funkiness-for.html
Dahlias and butterfly flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/07/dahlias-day-lilies-butterfly-weed-and.html
Raindrops and flowers: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/08/chrysanthemum-obedient-plant-tithonia.html

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Brookside Gardens' Wings of Fancy Butterfly Exhibit

Butterfly resting with open wings: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy wild Wednesday! My dear husband took me to Brookside Gardens' Wings of Fancy butterfly exhibit and we had a great time watching these beautiful creatures dance all around us. 
Bright green butterfly Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
They have a great variety of butterflies and many were active but some rested too.
Butterfly feeding on lantana: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Some, like the one above, fed on the many beautiful flowers in the exhibit.
Open-winged butterfly: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
It was like a giant indoor butterfly garden with local and exotic butterflies.
Artistic butterfly on leaf: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
This is one I've seen in my own garden but never on such a big, pretty leaf before.
Human-butterfly bonding: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Of course, the best part is if one of these beautiful butterflies lands on you. This kind man let me take his photo with the butterfly on his shoulder. The big butterfly stayed on his shoulder for at least 5 minutes too.

Usually at least one lands on me but I'd used some strongly scented peppermint hand sanitizer and I guess that serves as butterfly repellent and I didn't notice any this visit. I'll be sure to be peppermint free if we go next year.

Hearty thanks to my husband for taking me, to my new friend for allowing his photo to be taken and to the volunteers who staff the butterfly exhibit! May God bless them and may He bless you too!

Related posts:
Dragonfly & butterflies: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/08/dragonfly-and-butterflies-on-flowers-at.html
Butterfly blessings: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/01/happy-new-year-blessings-butterflies.html
Butterfly art: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/10/butterfly-art-by-denise-arvaneh.html

Friday, August 7, 2015

Summer Roses, Golden Sundrops, Dahlia, Joe Pye Weed and Day Lily

Hot pink rose over echinacea: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" Happy August too! The weeds are having a field day but thankfully the flowers are still more noticeable.  I think this is one of our "Senior Prom" roses, the first group of rose bushes we planted after we moved here.
Heliopsis Summer Sun: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Our golden sundrops (also known as heliopsis summer sun) are still going strong and when I'm behind in deadheading them the golden finches feed on them. By God's grace, in late September/early October I plan to stop deadheading them and let them set plenty of seeds for the birds over the winter.
"Magic Sunrise" dahlia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The magic sunrise dahlia is still my favorite this year but all of the dahlias are beautiful.
Bee on "Little Joe Pye Weed": Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
Two weeks ago I posted a photo of our little Joe pye weed at the budding stage and now it's in full bloom and the bees are enjoying it. 
Stella d'Oro reblooming day lily: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2015
The pretty yellow Stella d'Oro reblooming day lilies are usually our first to flower in the spring and now that most of the big ones are done they've started blooming again, which I definitely appreciate. If we are blessed, they will bloom on and off through first frost. One of my super kind neighbors was getting rid of a clump of them this week so we have a new one to add to our collection (thank you!).

Thank you for joining me. May God bless you this August and always!

Related posts:
Joe pye weed buds: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/07/sunrise-zinnia-pink-rose-sunrise-dahlia.html
Sunflower, day lilies and more: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2015/06/sunflower-day-lilies-vinca-and-mystery.html
Raindrops on dahlias and more: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/09/sparkling-chrysanthemums-dahlias-zinnia.html