All posts tagged: bush tree vine

Springtime Blooms – Arizona and Alberta

My Place in the World is in the Garden with my camera! The best part about living part time in Arizona is that I get to experience spring twice! In April, when Alberta might still be experiencing snow storms, our Arizona home is at the height of spring blooming! We have a large old Ironwood tree on our property. It is estimated that these trees can live for hundreds and hundreds of years. It sheds its leaves annually just before it blooms. The flowers are pea like (because it is a member of that family) and the entire tree becomes a dusky pink colour during full bloom. The Ironwood often serves as a backdrop to the giant Saguaro cactus. The Saguaro can live for 150 to 200 years and it can grow 40 to 60 ft tall (12 to 18 meters). It is very slow growing and can be decades old before it sprouts arms or blooms. The Prickly Pear cactus is the ‘rat’ of the neighbourhood for the simple reason that the resident rodents …

A Line Up of Sunrises

We have a roof top patio in Arizona – a perfect place for watching sunrises, sunsets, and star gazing. The science behind contrails is fascinating. Contrails should never be a cause for alarm; after all, folks don’t flip out on chilly days when their breath forms a cloud. If it’s cold enough and the air is still, you might even notice a cloud hanging behind you for several meters. – What really comes out of an airplane? Contrails, not chemtrails, The Washington Post – Are you on a flight path? Are the planes loud and noisy, or so high you don’t even notice them? This week’s photo Challenge is Lines.


If you have a Crabapple Tree in your yard, you know there can be such a thing as too many crabapples. If you offer your crabapples to the local wildlife –  deer, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, bears, raccoons or coyotes for instance –  you won’t ever have to deal with too many crabapples. You might end up with wild life problems, however… I planted six Purple Spire Columnar Crabapple trees a few years ago. This year we harvested the three crabapples you see in this photo. Too many crabapples might not be a problem for some time. Plant Profile Common Name: Purple Spire Columnar Crabapple Scientific Name: Malus x ‘Jefspire’ Hardiness: to Zone 3 Growth: Purple foliage; full sun; 10 to 20 feet tall (8 meters); 5-10 feet wide (2.5 meters); columnar form; slow growing Blooms: Sparse pink flowers in spring. Fruit: Flavorful but often very tart Origin: A seedling from the controlled cross ‘Thunderchild’ and ‘Wijcik made by Dr. David Lane of the Summerland Research Station in British Columbia If you plant crabapples, don’t count …

Mountain Ash Berries

The Mountain Ash tree is a member of the Sorbus genus. The fruit is not only safe for humans to eat, it is a favorite of many types of birds. Mountain ash berries hang on the tree well into the winter, making it a good source of cold-weather bird nutrition. In Celtic and Norse folklore, the Mountain Ash was called a Rowan or Witchwood tree because it was believed they had magical properties. If you have read the Harry Potter books, you might remember that Rowan Wood was prized for making wands. It is commonly stated that no dark witch or wizard ever owned a rowan wand, and I cannot recall a single instance where one of my own rowan wands has gone on to do evil in the world. – Mr. Ollivander, Harry Potter books – This site about Wand Woods was of particular interest to me because the Red House woods not only have a Mountain Ash tree, they have numerous other trees that are good for making wands: several apple trees, many …

In the Woods

Everything in the country, animate and inanimate, seems to whisper, be serene, be kind, be happy. We grow tolerant there unconsciously. – Fanny Fern – The only people I am aware of who don’t have troubles are gathered in peaceful, little neighborhoods. There is never a care, never a moment of stress and never an obstacle to ruin a day. All is calm. All is serene. Most towns have at least one such worry-free zone. We call them cemeteries. – Steve Goodier – This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Serene.

Leaves in the Fall – Encased in Ice

It’s fall here in Alberta. Sunny days, temperatures well above freezing – until a few days ago. We woke that morning and greeted our first snow day. Over the next few days we had more snow, some melting, a misty rain that was almost snow and another freezing night.  The next morning it was sunny – perfect weather for exploring a garden full of ice sculptures! I’m assuming it was slightly windy when the freezing was taking place, because the majority of ice was on one side of these upright grass stems. The freezing pattern was the same on these leaves. Another ice leaf. A frozen water drop on a fall leaf. The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? – J.B. Priestley – Do you have sudden changes of weather where you live? This week’s WordPress Photo …

Spruce Needles Snow

Macro Photos – Vaguely Familiar Abstracts

Can you guess what these ‘abstract photos’ are – from the hints in the quotations below the photo? There was a rough stone age and a smooth stone age and a bronze age, and many years afterward a cut-glass age. In the cut-glass age, when young ladies had persuaded young men with long, curly mustaches to marry them, they sat down several months afterward and wrote thank-you notes for all sorts of cut-glass presents… – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Cut-Glass Bowl – …we live on the edge of the abstract all the time. Look at something solid in the known world: an automobile. Separate the fender, the hood, the roof, lie them on the garage floor, walk around them. Let go of the urge to reassemble the car or to pronounce fender, hood, roof. Look at them as curve, line, form. ― Natalie Goldberg, Living Color: Painting, Writing, and the Bones of Seeing – The pine stays green in winter… wisdom in hardship. – Norman Douglas – Deciding whether or not to trust a person …

Roses that are Survivors

Each spring (for about six years), my father-in-law gave me a rose bush for my garden. He would remind me how to protect it so it would survive our Alberta winters. I was, should we say, less than successful as a rose gardener.  I did everything by the book, and usually the rose plant would be dead by spring. Eventually I decided that every plant in my yard had to be able to make it through the winter with no extra help from me – even the roses. As a result, only three rose bushes survived last winter. The deep pink one below barely escaped the compost heap by offering up a few feeble leaves to indicate it was still alive. The yellow-orange one gave a good leafy show throughout the summer, but only a couple flowers. The third rose bush is a good ‘leafer’, but has yet to produce a flower. Then, while the rest of the garden was starting to put on coats of fall color, two of my roses decided to become …

Fairy Duster Flowers – Intricate

The Baja Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica) is an evergreen, drought tolerant bush that grows at the Big River House in Arizona. The intricate flowers attract hummingbirds. This photo challenge was particularly ‘challenging’ because our internet service provider is having problems with the tower that services our area (it got damaged in a wind storm). They are building a new tower, but in the meantime, internet here is about as speedy as dial-up… Click these links to see other intricate photos: WordPress Photo Challenge: Intricate

Cotoneaster Leaves

One of the most colourful bushes in our yard in the fall is the Cotoneaster. The shiny green leaves of summer turn into blazes of orange and red in the fall. Birds are by far the biggest propagator of Cotoneasters as they spread the seeds of the berries they’ve eaten. Plant Profile Common Name: Cotoneasters (pronounced ‘co_TONY-aster’) Scientific Name: Cotoneaster; family Rosaceae Growth: Full sun to partial shade; very adaptable to both dry and moist locations; hardy to zone 2A Blooms: Clusters of shell pink flowers along the branches in mid spring

Foliage Throughout the Seasons in Alberta

I got an invitation from Ailsa at Where’s my backpack? to take part in a Photo Challenge called Travel Theme: Foliage. In my part of the world, foliage is plentiful in three of the four seasons. Canadian Seasons have been described as: Six months of winter, and six months of poor sledding. These can be broken down into: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction season. To be more specific, the four seasons are: June, July, August and Winter. In the spring, the patch of Ferns start out in tight rolls. In the summer, our forest is home to the Cotoneaster bush. In the fall, the poplars at the cabin are beautiful, especially when they prepare for their winter sleep. In the winter, our forest of spruce trees are often covered with snow. This week’s WordPress photo challenge is Changing Seasons.