HDR Sunset

January 12, 2011 - A few nights ago, the sunset in our neighborhood was just gorgeous.  I stopped and took a few bracketed shots for HDR practice. The sky was so clear, and the clouds very fluffy.  I liked the patterns that they made, and how they varied from gray to pink in the setting sun. Of course I […]

Paper Whites

December 2, 2010 - Mum-mum gave me three Paper White bulbs as a birthday present. I planted them a few weeks ago and they are already blooming! I couldn’t resist pulling out the extension tubes and taking some close-up pictures of the first flowers. Someone was asking me the other day about why you should pay attention to the […]


November 11, 2010 - Squirt hasn’t quite forgiven me…I planted a bunch of pansies outside instead of giving them to him! I sure have a lot of nerve. Lowes has some fun multi-colored pansies, where each plant produces varying flower colors. I seem to remember mono-color plants in previous seasons. Too bad, Squirt!

Hummingbird Moth

August 19, 2010 - I was outside at dusk tonight and saw this hummingbird moth fluttering around my torenia plant.  Too bad it wasn’t a real hummingbird!

White Coneflower

August 16, 2010 - For three subsequent trips to Lowes, this white coneflower plant called my name.  After seeing it still alive after almost a month of neglect at Lowes, I figured that maybe it had a chance of surviving in my yard!  So I planted it next to the purple coneflower that is blooming so well.  Hopefully they […]

Purple Coneflower

August 11, 2010 - My purple coneflower hasn’t died yet!  (still!)  Isn’t it pretty covered in blooms? (But the butterflies prefer the Mexican Sunflower that is right next to it.  I haven’t seen a single butterfly on the coneflower.)

Purple Coneflowers

July 28, 2010 - I haven’t managed to kill this year’s purple coneflower yet!  (knock on wood…) Last year I tried to plant several, and they all turned black and died on me.  This year I got a bigger one, hopefully better established, and gave it plenty of water for the first couple of weeks.  It’s rewarding me with […]

Butterfly Garden

July 23, 2010 - I love how tall my Mexican Sunflower plant has gotten this year!  It’s covered in bright orange flowers that make the yard so cheerful and seem to be pretty appealing to our butterfly visitors.

Rain Lilies

June 3, 2010 - With all the rain we’ve been getting lately (and the hail today), the rain lilies have all started to bloom. Several bulbs tagged along with the crape myrtle that Mum-mum and Dyeyo gave us, and the pale flowers underneath the purple bush that is also starting to bloom is really pretty. I also have a […]

Hydrangeas in bloom

June 2, 2010 - My hydrangeas are covered in blooms and they are just gorgeous. The mix of pinks, purples, and blues is fun. It’s a shame that hydrangeas only bloom for a couple of weeks out of the year. They are so pretty. Each year I go crazy taking close-up pictures of the blooms. Here is today’s favorite:

Daylilies in bloom

May 30, 2010 - It’s fun to be surprised each morning by the smell of the gardenias and the sight of daylilies. My ‘Butterscotch Ruffles’ daylily usually has three or four blooms, as does ‘Yangtze.’ ‘Rambo’ and ‘Swirling Spider’ are much bigger flowers, and usually just have one a day. Today’s picture is a dew-covered ‘Rambo’.

First Hydrangea Bloom

May 24, 2010 - Happy Birthday, Dyeyo D! This time of the year is so exciting in the backyard because of all the spring blooms on the flowers.  Today I noticed that my hydrangeas are starting to bloom and they are blue again this year!  Actually I have a pretty mix of blues, purples, and pinks.  I need to […]

‘Swirling Spider’ daylily

May 23, 2010 - My ‘Swirling Spider’ daylily put out its first bloom today.  I remember being slightly hesitant about adding a spider to my daylily mix, and I’m so glad I did.  It’s my favorite one to photograph.

First gardenia bloom

May 18, 2010 - The gardenia has finally decided that it’s spring. (Like everything else this year, the blooms are late.) A bunch of the buds fell off, but even more are starting to open. It smells great!

New fountain

May 10, 2010 - I promised Mum-mum that I would put up a picture of my new fountain.  I’m hoping the birds enjoy the extra source of water.  The neighborhood squirrel already does!  Rich got a great picture of him the other day drinking out of the fountain. The fountain is on the side of the house, surrounded by […]

Daylight Savings Begins / Happy Pi Day!

March 14, 2010 - Finally! Daylight Savings Time begins! This sunflower bloomed to celebrate. Today is also Pi Day. Do something irrational! (Like CMU students, who write PI out to a crazy number of digits on all the campus sidewalks, or Rich, who got himself on TV by waving his Terrible Towel at a Penguins game!)

Bushy Tail Contest

March 13, 2010 - The squirrel was back! He seems to be making his home around here…we keep seeing him around the feeders. So Squirt and the Squirrel had a bushy-tail contest. Who do you think won?

Spring is coming…

March 3, 2010 - Squirt got his last pansies of the year (don’t tell him, but we can’t find them at Lowes anymore. Now he has to wait until next November for more.) We saw about 8 robins digging for worms under a tree at work this morning. They surprised us, since Rich’s parents said the robins are already […]

Flower close-up

December 25, 2009 - Close-up of Dyeyo’s flowers taken with my new lens! Thanks, Santa Rich! We gave Dyeyo his new camera, too, and spent a fun half hour taking pictures of the Double-Crested Cormorants flying over Lake Florence. Take a peek at Missy’s Diner.

First pansies of the year

October 30, 2009 - Oh happy day! Despite the record heat, Lowes began stocking pansies, so Squirt got his first pansy fix of the year. Then he got to spend the whole afternoon out on the porch…what more could a little kitty cat want?

Pete’s poor banana tree

September 27, 2009 - Peter and Carla went chopping-crazy this weekend! First they pulled down the oleander bushes in between our yards, then they took the chainsaw to their banana tree as well. Some advice to their new podocarpus plants: if you want to live long in the Smith yard, keep your leaves to yourself and don’t drip sap […]

Bloomin’ backyard

July 19, 2009 - Despite the thrips that are determined to eat the roses before they open properly, the backyard is still pretty colorful these days. I can’t wait till the crape myrtles are all as big as Q!

Summer zinnias

July 17, 2009 - Zinnias are some of my favorite summer flowers. I think the butterflies agree. We’ve seen monarchs, swallowtails, zebra longwings, and skippers around the yard in the past few weeks. There’s a new batch of monarch caterpillars feasting away on my milkweed, too. Hopefully I’ll be able to find the chrysalides again.

Cacti blooms

June 22, 2009 - Peter’s cacti are covered in blooms. It’s too bad they only bloom at night, so we can only enjoy them first thing in the morning. Click on the picture to see a close-up of a bloom. Who would have thought when Peter pulled some little pieces of cactus out of the dumpster that they would […]

Crape Myrtles in full bloom

June 17, 2009 - My crape myrtles “Susie” and “Q” are blooming and their color is so cheerful in this heat. I really like the purple of Q next to the purple ‘Melody Parfumee’ rose and the light orange ‘Tahitian Sunset’ rose.

‘Swirling Spider’ daylily

May 4, 2009 - Wendy would be happy to see my ‘Swirling Spider’ daylily finally blooming again. I had a ‘Rambo’ bloom the other day as well, and there are scapes on ‘Alabama Jubilee.’ We saw Zorro again tonight! I really hope he and his wife stick around. :)