Quiet morning in Yellowstone

It's taking me longer to get together the more interesting Yellowstone photos than I thought.  (A word of advice: before taking hundreds of irreproducible photos, make sure your lenses and sensor are as clean as possible or you'll be retouching dust specks for hours.)

So I thought I'd give you a quick look at our first Yellowstone campsite: Canyon campground.


Roadtrip: leaving TRNP

Summarizing our trip so far, we left home Monday evening, arrived at Theodore Roosevelt National Park Wednesday early evening, had the bison hike on Thursday, and today's post is about Friday.

This was the morning we left TRNP and headed out to our next destination. Since we had a fairly long day of driving ahead of us, we left as early in the morning as we could without causing stress -- which was around 7:00 (or maybe 8:00? Stupid time zones!)


Theodore Roosevelt National Park: up close

So after the encounter with the buffalo, we got back to camp, cooled off, cleaned up, and just hung out for a while. Had to decompress for a while, rehydrate.

When afternoon started to fade into early evening, I knew the angle of the sun would be perfect for some shots of the plants I had seen on the Little Mo Trail. So I grabbed the camera bag, jumped on the bike, and pedaled over to the now entirely-deserted trail.


Roadtrip: Theodore Roosevelt National Park day 1

Our roadtrip vacation has just gotten started. After leaving home Monday night, we arrived at Theodore Roosevelt National Park Wednesday evening, maybe 6:00 or 7:00 PM. Or maybe it was 8:00 PM. The thing is, we never really knew what time it was, since the border between the Central and Mountain time zones zigzags through this area and our two phones could not agree on what hour it was.

We didn't really care though, as the vacation had essentially just started and we were eager to see what TRNP had to show us.


Let's ignore the garden for 2 weeks!

In other words, let's go on vacation! It's been years since we've had a proper break/vacation/holiday... in fact, 2005 was our last real one. Ouch. So we decided this year to get adventurous and take a road trip out west!

The problem is, any trip that starts in the midwest (St. Louis in our case) involves a day and a half of "boring" before you start seeing anything interesting. So here's how our trip started.


Another travel teaser

As I get settled back in from 2 weeks on the road, please allow me one more teaser post.

I've barely thought about my garden since I left, and it's been so nice!


Travel teaser

So although I'm not quite back home, I will be very soon.

There are so many things I have to share with you, but it may take me a couple of days to get a coherent post together -- so here are a few teaser photos.


A view from above, 2010

No Internet access, so no new posts. Back in 2010 I put a camera on a long pole to get a different look at my garden.

This worked so well, I really need to do it again!


Kittens, 2010

Without Internet access, I'm doing a few posts from back in the early days of this blog, some of my favorites.

It's impossible not to include one of the kitten posts, as every garden needs a little bit of fuzzy to complement the greenery, rocks, and wood, right?


Storms, 2010

Remember I don't have Internet access right now, so here's a look at one of my favorite posts from a few years ago.

I haven't been able to photograph stormclouds like this for a while. I don't know if that's a bad thing...



You'll have to excuse me for the next few days, as I'll be traveling and won't be able to post anything brand new for you.

No, I'm not going anywhere tropical or beachy as these photos might indicate, but it will be an adventure and I'll have lots of wonderful images to share with you when I'm back. But let's take a quick look at a few photos from a recent business trip I took to exotic Anaheim, California.


White, Bee, Determined

You know about the Datura inoxia that I let grow in my driveway cracks every year, right? I've posted about them several times before, as their big white blooms are wonderful, and the spiky seed pods are so interesting (until they burst open).

As much as I like this plant though, there are bees that like it even more than I do.


My favorite seeds

These are probably my favorite seeds, those of the native-to-Missouri grass Chasmanthium latifolium. It has several common names like "northern sea oats", "wood oats", "Indian wood oats", and variations, but I've come to just call it "Chasmanthium".

It's especially wonderful backlit by the morning sun, isn't it?


Rudbeckia Art

A little bit of Rudbeckia triloba today, looked at in a more artsy way.

Brightening up almost every bed in my garden except, surprisingly, the prairie beds.


Agastache, trouble?

Agastache may be my favorite genus of flowering plants: fragrant leaves, tubular flowers all summer that keep the hummingbirds happy, and pretty much carefree. The only problem I've ever had with Agastache is they sometimes won't make it through our wet winters -- other than that, just ignore them!

Until I got Agastache 'Bolero' this year.


Squirrel revenge

This summer after getting tired of chasing squirrels off my bird feeders several times a day, I got smart and switched my birdseed. I stopped using sunflower seeds and changed to safflower seed which is supposed to be unpalatable to both squirrels and grackles -- the two champs of feeder emptiers in my yard.

Well, at least one squirrel had the last laugh -- or at least a really good meal or two.


A hot walk to observe bamboo

Last week Wednesday was the last free concert of the summer at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Whitaker Music Festival is held there every year, and these concerts are one of the highlights of the week for us. Great music, free admission to the garden -- a don't-miss series (next year) if you live in the St. Louis area!

Since I had been to the garden several times this summer already so wasn't sure when I'd be back again, I had to take a walk to see one of the bamboo plantings in the Japanese Garden.


Finally, clouds worth watching!

It's been a long time since I've had a sunrise worth watching or photographing.

Maybe I'm just sleeping later than I used to, or not paying attention to the skies. This was a nice one though.


Lemon Cucumber

This heirloom lemon cucumber is such a pretty thing!

Too bad it didn't grow in my garden -- it was given to me by Jack at this month's meet-up at the Schlafly Gardenworks.


Thanks, neighbor!

I spend a lot of time focusing on the views of my own garden, but I can see my neighbor's yards through my windows too. What do they have to offer?

Fortunately, quite a bit. None of my neighbors have extensive ornamental gardens or exceptional landscaping, but they do have things that greatly enhance my views. Take for instance this rocking chair, newly placed this year beneath a huge maple.


Something to see?

I know it's my goal to create a backyard garden that is worth looking at, that gives everybody who visits so much to see.

It's just nice when the non-human visitors feel the same way too!


Sad Cat

We had another unfortunate incident in the garden yesterday, something that made not only me sad but upset one of my cats too.

Do you remember Kumo (formerly known as "Super-Whitey" while she still lived in our yard)? Well, she had a front-row seat to an incident.



Another one of those "just relax and enjoy what's in the garden" posts.

Hope you like this sort of thing. I know I sometimes appreciate not having to read anything.



Did you notice the survey on the right side of this page? Please vote!  ----->

I'm really curious to know how often you're reading my posts. Please be honest -- you won't hurt my feelings!



After my walkway project this weekend I was a bit tired -- those concrete blocks aren't as heavy as stones of the same size would be, but they're certainly not light! So I spent a little time observing and enjoying, and at this specific time I noticed... crinkles!

Lots of wavy, wrinkled foliage in my garden. Starting with this Pelargonium crispum, 'Cy's Sunburst'. Not doing well for me, but smells so wonderful and it doesn't get crinklier than this!


Walkway extension

I've spent the last few days showing you some of the wonderful things in my garden: bees, light, birds. It's been quite a while since I've done a post about a real project -- although looking at and enjoying the garden is essential, there's work to do, right?

So today I get to cross one of the things off my project list for 2013 as I show you how I extended the walkway!


Morning Bees



With almost any endeavor you need a certain intensity in order to be successful. Gardening is included in this -- successful gardeners need that drive, that single-mindedness. It's all about the plants, and it's difficult to "get it right" without some level of obsession.

You don't have to go far to see how this intensity works in the garden itself, in nature. Just take a look at the creatures around you!


The right light

I'm often complimented on the photographs I take for this blog (thank you!). Well, here's the secret...

...with the right lighting and the right plants, it's really easy to take beautiful shots!


Another walkway update

I look at it all day long through the window, so I don't really get a good sense of how the walkway garden is doing. Sure I see blooms come and go, but I don't notice if specific plants are doing well or not. Are they growing?

So let's take a look at it today!


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