Friday, February 26, 2016

First Flowers of Spring 2016!

Yellow spring flowers: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy floral Friday! It's exciting to see the first signs of spring, even though it's still winter here in Maryland. These pretty yellow flowers were popping up through fallen leaves in the woods. 
White and green spring flowers: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I think these are called snowdrops. I've only ever seen them facing downward (like the two on the left) so seeing one facing upward was an extra treat.  
Pale purple crocus: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
These pale lavendar crocuses were sprouting up in tiny bunches here and there too.
Honeybee on yellow spring flower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
It was great to see a honeybee feasting on the fresh flowers.

Yellow flowers peeping from leaves: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
These two yellow flowers haven't managed to throw off the top leaf yet but I thought it looked like a cozy flower cave. We've got more cold coming before it's truly spring but it's nice to see flowers already blooming in nature.

I hope, wherever you are, that you are safe and warm. Thank you for visiting! May God bless you!

Related posts:
First flowers of spring 2015:
Happy spring poem:
Daffodils and pansies:

Friday, February 19, 2016

Lily & Iris Bouquet for Floral Friday

White lily and blue iris bouquet: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy floral Friday! My dear husband gave me these beautiful flowers and I thought sharing them here would be a good way to preserve the memory and hopefully bring a smile to your face.
White lily macro: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 This super close up of a white lily was my favorite photo of the session.
Blue irises with yellow and white: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 But I love the yellow and white accents on the blue irises.
Pretty blue irises: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 From the angle above you can see more of the blue irises.
Iris and lily bouquet overview: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
And this is an overall shot of the bouquet. The flowers have passed but thanks to photography, they live on in images. Hearty thanks to my husband for the flowers and to you for visiting!

May God bless you this Friday and always!

Related posts:
Blue poppies:
Blue and yellow irises:
Red, white and blue flowers:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pretty Butterflies and Fuzzy Bee for Wild Wednesday

Monarch butterfly on giant zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy wild Wednesday! I hope these butterfly and bee photos from last summer in my Maryland garden brighten your day.
Fuzzy bee on giant zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The giant zinnias were the star of the garden last summer. Bees, butterflies and small birds flocked to them and made me very happy.
Butterfly on butterfly bush: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The butterfly bushes also attracted a lot of insect wildlife.
Butterfly on giant red zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
It was great to be able to see butterflies almost every time I walked in the garden and I'm already looking forward to next summer's adventures in gardening and wildlife.

May God bless you this winter and always!

Related posts:
Butterflies & bees on purple coneflowers:
Brian Dering's Aruba wildlife photos:
Wild raccoon photos: 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Blue Ribbon Winning Flowers

Blue ribbon small red dahlia Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
Happy Floral Friday! I found this post in my draft folder (it was supposed to have automatically posted in 2014 but obviously something went wrong) and figured today was as good day to share it. I hope these blue ribbon winning flowers brighten your day!

"I'm blessed by my county fair awarding at least 12 of my flowers blue ribbons this year! The red dahlia above is one of my actual flowers entered in the fair, photographed two days after the judging occurred. In the interest of sharing good photos of pretty flowers the rest of the photos below are representative of what I entered but not the actual blooms entered.
Mixed dahlia bouquet: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
If you've been following my blog you know I love dahlias. The dahlias received the most blue ribbons (they have different categories for different size and color dahlias). I have only been growing them for a few years but I get a lot of joy from their vigorous flower output and variety of blooms.
Bee on tithonia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
 The tithonia I grew from seed also won a blue ribbon. The bees, butterflies and moths love them.
Mr. Lincoln rose: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
This is actually a Mr. Lincoln rose, which I didn't enter as it wasn't opened yet at fair entry time but the pink hybrid tea rose I did enter won a blue ribbon. You can see a similar rose at the bottom of this post (it's the last photo).
White cosmos flower: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2014
The white cosmos I entered looked better than this one currently blooming in my garden but this is currently the only bloom on the plant.

What a fun blessing to have my Maryland garden recognized in such a way. If you're local the fair runs through Sunday and in addition to the flowers there are a lot of neat exhibits (bee keeping displays, chain saw carving, photography, 4H, animals, crafts, herbs, an 88 pound watermelon and more). May God bless all the fair volunteers and may He bless you too!

What is your favorite part of a county or state fair? Do you have a favorite fair memory to share? I'd love to hear it!"

Related posts:
Flowers, freeloaders and funkiness:
Raindrop flowers:
Vibrant spring flowers:
2013 County Fair results:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Black Squirrel Photos & Haiku Poem

Black squirrel on fence: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy wild Wednesday! I was on my walk today, wondering what to share for today's post when I spied this pretty black squirrel foraging in a suburban Maryland yard. She even inspired me to write a little poem in her honor when I got home:

 Black Squirrel Haiku Poem:
Skittish black squirrel
entertained me with jumping
running, and hiding
Open mouthed black squirrel:  Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
This was the last shot I got before she hid behind the solid fence and scampered off (I could her her rustling the leaves).
Peeping black squirrel: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 This was one of the first shots I got of her. She definitely noticed me taking my camera out.
Foraging black squirrel: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
And here's an overview of where I first spotted her foraging. It's fun to photograph local wildlife. I have a family member who wishes to remain anonymous but loves black squirrels. This post is in his honor. I love you!

There's a white squirrel in this neighborhood too but it's always been to fast for me to photograph. Perhaps 2016 is the year I'll catch him.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you in every way!

Related posts:
Brave little deer:
Halloween squirrel:
Quiet Waters Park deer:

Friday, February 5, 2016

Rare Blue Poppies for Floral Friday

Himalayan Blue Poppy: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy floral Friday! Last year my husband and I made a special trip to see Longwood Gardens' rare Himalayan blue poppies.
Raindrops on blue poppy: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
They were spectacular and I loved them wet or dry.
Blue poppy overview: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The photo above shows the blue poppies on the right as you step into the exhibit.
Blue poppies and other flowers: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Here are some of the rare Himalayan blue poppies planted near a pretty pot of orchids and among anthurium blooms.
Open Himalayan "lingholm" blue poppy: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The blue poppies are a floral delight and I hope they make you smile. I also hope to be able to see them again this year (I haven't yet seen an annoucement as to when to expect this but think last year it was in March). 

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you!

Related posts:
Orchid extravaganza:
Orchids in glass houses: 
Philadelphia Dahlia Show:

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Golden Finch & Hummingbird for Wild Wednesday

Open beaked hummingbird: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy wild Wednesday! It's a rainy winter day here in Maryland so I thought it'd be nice to brighten things up with some summer bird photos. Hummingbirds often rested (and one year, even nested!) in our rose of Sharon bushes so we put the feeder right in front of them for easy access.
Yellow finch on giant zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Last summer was my first year planting giant zinnias and they were a big hit with the butterflies and small birds, particularly the golden finches. God willing, I'll plant more giant zinnias this summer to continue the fun.

But for now, planting is just a dream. The snow from the blizzard is melting and it feels like spring but winter is definitely still here.

Thank you for visiting. I hope that you are safe and warm. May God bless you!

Related posts:
Beautiful birds in snow:
Anna Horner's hummingbirds:
Hummingbird nest photos: