Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summer Memories - Symphony in Yellow

For 11 months of the year I live with the memories of my lilies.

Then, in one glorious month's worth of time, they bloom.

The show is just beginning.  From my yard to yours, the first movement of a symphony.

First, these lilies come out.  I don't know exactly what type they are, but I suspect they are Asiatic lilies.   (I am famous for losing track of what I plant, and sometimes I buy plants on clearance that aren't labeled, and are inexpensive as a result.)

Then, as these bloom, my day lilies start to come out.
Each daylily flower lasts - yes, just one day.  This flower is just opening.

Fully open.

This lily, opening up, looks like a triangle.

Are they angry at each other?  No.

Lily season in upstate New York.  Soon, other colors will come along.  Come back next week for more.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Flood and A Dream

Imagine this:

You own a successful bar.  But that is not your dream.

Your dream is to work with animals.  It has been your passion since you can remember.  But there is that matter of earning a living.

Then one day, there is a massive flood.  Your business is flooded, as is your home.

Now what?

Do you rebuild?  Or do you close your bar and follow your dream?

A man by the name of Jordan Patch decided to follow his dream.  He purchased land about 30 minutes from where I live in upstate New York.  He opened a private zoo called Animal Adventure Park.  He hoped that people would come.  They did, little by little.

Then one day, he trained a webcam on a pregnant giraffe named April and...the rest is history.

Dreams really can come true.  Just consider the story of Jordan Patch and the giraffe now beloved by literally millions.

As someone who was impacted by that same flood, in September of 2011, I am so inspired by the story of Jordan Patch.

I've written several posts about April the Giraffe, who had her baby on April 15, 2017.  But there is still one more piece to this story - the story about Jordan's little girl, Ava.

I will continue to follow the stories of April, Jordan and Ava.

Do you have a dream?  Don't wait for a flood.

Make it happen today.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Music Moves Me - The Governor's Playlist

Do you have a playlist on a music device?  Believe it, or not, I don't.  I tend to be somewhat old school with my music listening.  I have an iPhone, but I don't use it for music.  Ditto for an old MP3 player, which I only listen to on trips.  I don't subscribe to any streaming service, although I used to listen to Amazon Prime when it was free to Prime subscribers.  (When they started to charge - well, adios.)

So this from several months ago caught my eye.

In honor of the streaming music service Spotify relocating to the rebuilt World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, the Governor of New York released his Spotify playlist earlier this year.

What kind of songs did the Governor include in his playlist?  Here's a small selection.  Hint:  not all of them are by New York artists or about New York.

Billy Joel - The Downeaster "Alexa".  A New York artist singing a song about the New York fishing industry, I just love this video. 

Bruce Springsteen - Erie Canal.  Bruce is from New Jersey, but the Erie Canal is 100% New York.

Simon and Garfunkel - America.

Art Garfunkel is a native of Queens and Paul Simon is from New Jersey, and they've come to look for America.  This song is a fond memory of my high school years, as I dreamed of walking off to look for America one day.  I loved Simon and Garfunkel.  I would listen to their albums in my room, over and over.

Two New Yorkers (Tony Bennett is from Queens and Lady Gaga from Manhattan) performing the standard "Cheek to Cheek" live.

And finally - I didn't research the New York connection, but I spent many happy hours listening to this album (on vinyl!) back in 1971.   I so love the keyboard playing on this.

Here's the entire playlist, if you are interested.

Connecting today with Music Moves Me, a blog hop and Music Train run by Marie at X-Mas Dolly.  The other Conductors  Callie of JAmerican Spice, and Stacy Uncorked♥  and Cathy from Curious as a Cathy .  Come hop to other blogs now and see what music they are playing on this Freebie Monday!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Roses 2017

This is a tradition on my blog, a cherished visit to a local botanical garden and their old fashioned roses.  Actually, not all of them are heirlooms, but this free jewel of Binghamton, New York is well worth a visit for its roses and for all of their flowers.  In fact, the daylilies are starting to bloom.

But back to the roses.  If only there was smell-o-blog, where I could transmit the fragrance to you, but there isn't, and I can't.

This year, I start with Rosa gallica 'Tuscany Superb', from around 1837.

This rose is supposed to darken into a purple but I love the color I did see.

 Raubritter, a "ground cover" rose introduced in 1936.
One of my favorites, Mme. Hardy, a damask first introduced in 1832.  So beautiful and white.

Ishpahan damask, also introduced in 1832.

Moving into red territory, how about Dortmund?  This is a climber, introduced around 1955.

Finally (this is a ramblin' blog after all), Albertine, a rambling rose from 1921.

I don't grow roses.  I used to, years ago, but had too many insect issues.  Yet, I love them, and hope you love today's post, too.

In today's world, I hope this blog can be a place to rest for a few minutes, so you can go forth with renewed strength. 

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Local Saturday - The Beauty of Food

Some photos from today's farmer's market in Binghamton, New York.

Kohlrabi.  This is a member of the brassica family and these are not roots but are a cultivar of cabbage.  The word comes from the German for "cabbage turnip".
Not quite mature onions. 

Beets.  Red beets aren't my favorite, but, aren't these pretty?

Strawberries.  What is finer (for those not allergic to them) but a freshly picked strawberry?  Alas, due to local weather conditions, the quality has not been the best.  But one day I will try a "strawberry healthycake".

And a surprise.  I suspect these spears of asparagus aren't local due to the time of year, but we bought some, anyway, as they looked so good. (Alas, our market is no longer a 100% produced locally market). They were under a tent, and its color tinted the picture purplish.

Do you have a favorite thing to buy at a farmer's market?  Or, would you visit one just for the atmosphere?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Storm Clouds - #SkywatchFriday

Last Sunday, just after sundown, a storm blew up in my neighborhood near Binghamton, New York.

Standing on my porch, I saw frightening looking clouds,  But, my spouse, who has been interested in the weather all of his life, told me there would be wind, but nothing else to worry about.

Here are some of the other pictures I took.

My spouse was right.  We never were put under a tornado watch.

The power of nature fills us with awe, as we are powerless to hold the storm back.  We are at its mercy.

Join other bloggers from all over the world at #SkywatchFriday,  where our focus is the sky.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

#ThursdayTreeLove - Catalpa

You don't have to go far to find beauty.

Sometimes, it's just around the corner.  Or, it's next door.  Look around you, and you may be surprised what you find.
In my neighborhood in upstate New York are some catalpa trees. These are native to our area.
Here's a close up.
A lovely cluster of somewhat fragrant flowers. 

Besides these late spring flowers, "beans" will grow later in the summer.  It's a beautiful shade tree - a bit messy, but it can be forgiven for that.
Join other bloggers for #ThursdayTreeLove, hosted by Parul Thakar at the blog Happiness and Food.

Love a tree today.