Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Water water everywhere . . .

The past two days have been beautiful. Yesterday, we decided to go to Council Bluffs to visit the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, and to see if the Missouri River had dried up yet - - no such luck. This was our first visit to the bridge, and it won't be our last. It is a nice way to get a little walk in on such a pleasant day.

It is a beautiful bridge ~

We walked from Iowa to Nebraska ~

The men in this statue are not supposed to be neck high in the Missouri ~

There is a nice water park for the kids to enjoy. I'm pretty sure the water doesn't come from the Missouri . . . if it did, it would look more like Old Faithful ~

An interesting mural on the side of a building in downtown Omaha and tents for the College World Series ~

Since this was our first visit and we don't have a reference point I'm not sure, but I don't think the trees are supposed to be this deep into water. Wouldn't it be nice if there were wildflowers sown here ~

Water water everywhere. The homes on the other side of this levee had sump pumps gushing water into the street ~

A couple of years ago, my grandson and I made a rain barrel. What better way to have Mother Nature's water for my potted plants. Of course, every garden grows with love ~

He taught me how to make thumbprint butterflies . . . something I had never heard of ~

How cool is that!

And I had the ticklish job of painting his hands so he could make a shining sun ~

Not a lot of work, but a great way to create memories and spend some time with the special guy in our lives and save some water too ~

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Goodbye Pansies . . .

I'm not really crazy about Pansies, but I received some as a gift this year and they remind me why I should have them every year. One pot is getting really leggy, so I think they are pretty much fed up with the heat.

Their sweet little faces ~

The Rudbeckia are showing their faces throughout the yard ~

And the lilies continue to bloom and feed the Eastern Yellow Swallowtail ~

Sometimes the buds are almost as interesting as the flowers ~

Monarda ~
The is a new Coneflower. Pink Double Delight. The centers are supposed to look like a double bloom, instead of having the orange in the center . . . the jury's still out on this one. Maybe when the bloom gets larger - I don't know ~

The Daylilies are starting to bloom, but I think the weather has had an effect on everything. While there has been more than enough rain, we need more sun. The edge of my large flower bed was lined with Threadleaf Coreopsis and hardly any of it has come up. I don't know if that is due to the strange weather we've had - or the rabbits. The rain does make for easy weed pulling though.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bountiful butterflies . . . bountiful water

Yesterday, we went for a picnic in our favorite State park - Indian Cave State Park. We have camped there for 20 years and it has provided us with many memories. We like it because it is a beautiful and quiet park - not always quiet, when families are enjoying themselves, but always beautiful. We often went for a week or more in May and again in September, when it was more quiet. Indian Cave Park is popular because of the migrating birds that come through in May, mushroom hunters, a variety of wildlife, the fun family activities, and it's location along the historical Missouri River. While we were excited to visit 'our' park, it drew a lump in my throat and tears to my eyes when I saw the extent of the overflowing Missouri River into the park. It will be a long time before the park is as we remember it. We have seen it through mud slides from abundant rains, and high water before - but never anything this bad.

Yesterday, the butterflies were as thick as the mosquitoes are. We had to shoo them off before we could get into the car.

Here are some of the beauties ~

I don't know the names of them, but I have never seen so many different butterflies at one time outside of a butterfly pavilion at a zoo. This photo is on an access road to the boat dock to the Missouri River . . . that is now about 1/2 mile from this spot due to flooding ~

There are always many turkeys in the park. We also saw Indigo Buntings, Brown Thrushes, Wood Thrushes, Kingfishers, various woodpeckers, Eastern Pewee, Eastern Phoebe . . . just to name a few ~

The park is abundant with deer ~

Teeny tiny frogs ~

Big green frogs ~
Many many wildflowers. Some under water now ~

Butterflies enjoying the butterfly milkweed ~

Wild berries ~

Obviously, we couldn't do any hiking yesterday. Many of the trails are under water. Our son has participated in bicycle races through the lush trails in the park ~

Our grandson's favorite part of the park when he was younger was the play areas ~

As he grew, he learned the joys of smores ~

And looking far away towards Missouri ~

Exploring the Caves, that date back thousands of years etched with ancient Indian picture writings. These access walkways are now under water ~

The road to the right leads to the Cave, the road to the left is a special use area used for horses and day activities. I never dreamed I'd see ducks swimming on the road to the Cave . . . yesterday I did ~

Outhouses are not supposed to be up to their roofs in the Missouri River ~

This is the Missouri River as it looked yesterday. It was a hazy day, and instead of being able to look across fields to I-29 in Missouri, we saw water up to the interstate.

This is the River in 2002 ~

While we felt the loss of a park we love as it was, it is nothing compared to the families and businesses that are scurrying to fight the Missouri River. We drove over the bridge to Iowa at Nebraska City. It was sad to see the businesses sandbagged to their roofs, hoping to survive the next few months. One gas station was still open, but everyone will probably be leaving the area in the next day or so when the road is closed - it was down to one lane in areas yesterday. Our hearts go out to those that are threatened to losing their homes, businesses and jobs.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

New blooms . . . garden art

This bloom is from my favorite plant in my yard. It is a Hydrangea plant that is a start from one that my Great Grandma had in Juniata, NE. I have pass alongs from family and friends which only makes them more special to me.

I love this plant ~

This is a close up of the blooms from my Valerian that is against the fence in my header photo - such a light and airy flower ~

I have a lot of what some people would call junk in my yard . . . I call it garden art. Some of it I have bought, and some have been given to me as gifts or tokens of love or friendship ~

Some of my lilies are beginning to bloom . . . I normally have more - but the rabbits were hungry this Spring ~

My Oxeye daisies are finishing their show ~

Yard art - this sign was made for me by my longest and dearest cyber friend. We've never met, but have shared so much in the past years that I feel like she is my next door neighbor. It's almost scary how many interests we share ~

This Sedum is Black Jack. The deepness of the dark color is determined by the amount of sun light it gets ~

White Yarrow ~

We've had more than our share of ants finding their way into the house. Hopefully this one won't find it's way in ~

And finally, my helpers. They supervise from the deck, and prune plants that they think need a little more attention.

Lucy - aka Lucille ~

and Joey - aka Joseph Stanley ~

"The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies." - Gertrude Jekyll