198: An assemblage of orchids

Color is making its way back into the Bogs, slowly but surely.  However, it still isn’t nearly as colorful as the orchids were at the Cleveland Botanical Garden Orchid Mania exhibit.  As I slowly, but surely, make my way through the photos I took, I’ll keep sharing them from time to time.  It helps fill in the gaps on those days when I struggle with coming up with a post.

I haven’t written about my decluttering project in a while, mostly because the decluttering hasn’t been all that physical.  Some of it has involved going through photos, and some of it has involved decluttering my mind of the cobwebs that strung themselves all over the place during the winter months.  Old thought patterns, old habits, hanging around in the corners waiting to be swept away.

Yesterday I gave some thought to tackling the dining room of our home.  I have decided to completely clear off the hutch of plates, bowls, and other clutter, and start over.  Perhaps I’ll move family photos that are scattered about the house to that spot.  Or maybe I’ll come up with something else.  I’ll know what to do once I’ve got a clean surface to work with.

(Processed in Picnik)

Although there are so many other places in the house that could use the attention, I think the hutch is a good place to start.  I will have to tackle my biggest issue there — holding on to things for sentimental reasons.  This is an especially big problem when it comes to things my mother gave me or made for me.  Taking care of the plates and bowls she gave me will not be as difficult as some other things.  They are the remnants of a set, most of which were broken over the years as we used them.  What’s left is not enough for one place serving, much less something that should be (or needs to be) saved.  I might repurpose them in some way, perhaps in the garden.

Today’s Outdoor Fun

M and I worked outside for a while today, getting a start on the garden for this year.  I cleared away the ferns from last year’s asparagus crop and started the much-needed weed clean-up in the asparagus bed.  M is working on setting up some slightly raised garden areas so we can try square-foot (looks more like rectangle foot) gardening this year.  We have so much wood from the elm trees that were cut down a few years ago (due to Dutch Elm Disease) that we decided to go ahead and use it for the garden.  I know it will break down eventually, but that’s okay.  It will nourish the soil as it does, and I don’t have to worry about the wood being treated with chemicals I’d rather not have in my garden or food.

A robin stops by

The birds are loving today’s warmer weather.  A red-winged blackbird kept an eye on us while we were working in the garden.  He must have a nest nearby.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the robins descended on the garden after we left.  All the weed pulling and dirt moving stirred up plenty of worms and grubs and other bugs.

Glow of sunlight on the pond

It’s a gray day, with the occasional milky sunlight trying to burn its way through the clouds.  The temperature was close to 60 degrees while I was out and about.  It’s supposed to be near 80 tomorrow.  I may be wearing shorts for my 5K.  Woo-hoo!

When I finished in the garden, I took a stroll around the property to see if anything new had popped up.  This is such an exciting time of year.  New life, color, flowers blooming all over the place.

A Great Blue Heron came by for a visit.  I took some photos but they were pretty bad.  Hopefully I will have plenty of opportunities to do better throughout the spring and summer.



And look!  Some of the daffodils have finally opened.  If you step outside our front door, you can catch their scent wafting on the breeze.

28 Comments on “198: An assemblage of orchids”

  1. CMSmith says:

    Beautiful photos. I wonder if you have to spend a lot of time making them look so good. Have fun with unflattering and re-decorating your hutch.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Christine. 🙂

      Not really. Most of the time I do nothing more than resize them for the web. When I want to play, I’ve been using Picnik lately (the free version). It’s quick and easy. Much easier than Photoshop (which I do use to resize my images).

      My camera tends to give off weird effects at times, too, that will give the photos a painting-like look or an Orton-effect look. Or maybe it’s the way I use the settings on the camera. Whatever the case, I haven’t figured it out.

  2. Kel says:

    repurposed china in the garden sounds intriguing….perhaps a mosaic birdbath?

    your garden rectangle is inspiring, do you have many native animals to challenge it?

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Kel. 🙂

      We have the garden area fenced. So far that has kept the animals out. I’m surprised, to be honest. A deer could easily step over the fence, and I’m sure the rabbits and groundhogs would have little trouble digging under it (or just sliding under it in some spots).

  3. Team Oyeniyi says:

    I love the third one from the top. I love them all, but the colours of that one really appeal to me. Orchids are such lovely flowers.

  4. The glow of sunlight on the pond is intriguing! Your flower photos are beeYOUtiful!

    I can indentify with the sentimental things from your mother. My mother was very attached to ‘things’ that had been passed down through the generations. However, she lived to be 90 — and in her last years she realized life was more about relationships and memories and less about ‘stuff.’ She was able to let go of some prized possesions because of necessity, and I think it helped me to be able to do the same.

    Although I’m still sentimental about the things she left to us, I find it a little easier to part with some of them when I need to — and also have learned to recycle some into other uses than what they were meant to be. At least, if something gets broken, it’s in the process of enjoying USING it! I can picture her looking down from heaven and saying ‘Don’t fret over it; it’s just stuff!!”

    I also don’t want to pass down this ‘burden’ to our children. I want them to have the freedom to enjoy what they like, and give away the rest — AND not worry about things getting broken! =)

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, LittleThingsofLife. And thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

      I am the same way, hoping not to pass down the “burden” to my children. One of the reasons I’m so enthused about de-cluttering this year is so they won’t have to go through all of my stuff at some point and make a decision as to what to do with it.

  5. ladyfi says:

    What wonderfully delicious flowers! And I love the glow on the pond shot.

  6. Dawn says:

    Lovely. It might be warm enough today for that 5K in shorts. Maybe. I think I’m sticking to long pants though.

    I left a reply to your comment on my blog, about a crazy but not so crazy plan some of my friends and I have about how to get through our elder years together (as none of us have kids to take care of us later!)…of course it smacks of commune living…lol

    • Robin says:

      As it turns out, it was plenty warm enough for shorts yesterday, Dawn. I think I could have gone with a tank top instead of a t-shirt too. I can’t believe how hot it was!

      I love your communal living idea! It sounds wonderful to me.

  7. Pat Bean says:

    Love your flower and admire your gardening ethics.

    Pat Bean

  8. Pat Bean says:

    oops typo grelims got into my above comments. Nasty things.

    Pat Bean

  9. Marcie says:

    Stunning orchids! Beautiful!

  10. Bo Mackison says:

    Gardening, daffodils, robins? Wow, it sounds like spring has finally arrived! Maybe it’s time for me to head back east. (And in a wry bit of irony, there is frost on the grasses behind the place I’m renting near Tucson. Oh, ha ha! Mother Nature is such a trickster!)

    • Robin says:

      Right now it feel as though summer has arrived, Bo. But that won’t last. The high on Wednesday is supposed to be mid-40’s. That will be a 40 degree temperature drop. That’s Mother Nature’s way of saying “Ha!”

      Frost in Tucson? You’re right. Mother Nature is a trickster.

  11. Oohh, pure heaven, those orchids!
    Good luck with your garden! I like how the raised garden area is turning out.
    The two flowers after the pond picture are really pretty, any idea what they are?

    Have fun on your 5k walk, I can’t wait to read all about it!

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Michaela. I love them too (the orchids). I can see why people get obsessed with them.

      I have no idea what the little blue and white, and the little blue flowers are. I tried to find them in my flower book, but no luck.

  12. The orchids are lovely, no matter when you took them. They are still nice t look at.

  13. subha says:

    as always, the pictures are SO beautiful! what lens did you use for the last few flower pictures? they are so great! did you use HDR?

    the garden also looks like it is coming along well! i love that you used wood from your land to create the bed…that was the one part of my garden that i felt guilty about. i had to buy lumber to make my bed…oh well. we do the best we can, right?

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Subha. 🙂

      I have a point & shoot camera, with no extra lenses. I’m not sure I could switch lenses with this camera (never checked). To get decent macro shots with my camera, I’ve learned to use the zoom, with the camera set on action (so I don’t have to use a tripod). If I feel like dragging around the tripod, I shoot in manual mode, no zoom.

      I did not use HDR. I get some HDR-like effects straight out of the camera (might have something to do with using the zoom), and sometimes (as with the last daffodil shot), I get it through post-processing.

      • Robin says:

        One more thing — I wouldn’t feel guilty about having to buy lumber. As you said, we do the best we can. 🙂

        (Which, now that I think about it, is how I’ve been approaching photography with the camera I have. It’s the best I can do right now so I’ve been learning to be creative with it.)

  14. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Cheering you on as you tackle the dining room! I’m the same way, ideas take shape after I get started. I like your idea of using some of the pottery in the garden. Re-purposing… One item I inherited was a beautiful chamber pot – it puzzles me why they would go to the trouble of making something with such a lowly purpose so lovely. 🙂 It now holds lose change in the cupboard of my nightstand.

    Is the blue flower a chionodoxa bulb? Mine are up, but I can’t get close enough to them with my camera to get a shot like yours.

    I love the shot of the robin, the way his head follows the lines of the reeds!

  15. Robin says:

    Thank you, Barbara. I thought the dining room would be relatively easy, but it’s turning out to be on the slightly difficult side. My mother has been gone for about a year and a half now so I expected it would be simple to start cleaning out stuff. It’s not the stuff, it’s the memories and missing Mom. In the end, it will be a healthy thing for me to do. 😀

    I’m not sure what the blue flowers are. They were are ready here when we bought the property. I had to lie on the ground to get those shots. I was kind of muddy when I finished, but it was well worth it.

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