summer break…

the past few weeks i’ve been in michigan for a summer sojourn, primarily to spend time with my parents.  i had intentions of posting a blog or two while there, but the speed of the local internet connection made working in the garden much more fulfilling.  so i missed posting for 1.) august’s garden blogger’s bloom day, 2.) the finding of a kitty nest in the old compost pile, 3.) a dear friend’s baby shower, 4.) gwen frostic, 5.) my sister’s birthday and 6.) the untimely death of my trusty nikon camera.

1.) august’s garden blogger’s bloom day was exciting, as i was able to see one of my all-time favorite plantings, eight to nine years since it’s original planting date (how can that be…)

Echinacea, Sedum and Perovskia cushion grandma's garden bench
Echinacea, Sedum, Perovskia and Miscanthus cushion grandma's garden bench

the Echinacea (coneflower, probably Magnus species) have done very well for themselves, pushing out the Perovskia, Miscanthus, Sedum and Carex to the periphery.  elsewhere in the garden, the Rudbeckia (black-eyed susan) have taken center stage:

Rudbeckia's closeup
Rudbeckia's closeup

if you look closely in the image above, you can see one of the many critters that have made mom’s garden home.  here he is again, for his closeup:

frog in the garden
green frog (Rana clamitans melanota) in the garden

i’m guessing that s/he is a green frog, but i’m no herpetologist, best leave that to the state experts.

2.) speaking of critters, my mom and i had a surprise find in the old compost bin… a nest of kitties, from a visiting barn cat who thought it’d be a great place to rear her young:

a nest of kitties - two gray and white, one brown and black
a nest of kitties - two gray and white, one brown and black

i checked on them often, and found the momma cat feeding them on several occasions.  but one day there was only one gray and white kitty left, who had crawled out of the nest and was laying in the hot sun.  a friend of mine and i thought it was dead, but when we prodded it, oh how it cried!  great, now what?  a call into the local vet suggested we return him to the nest, as the mom was just moving her kittens elsewhere, and would most likely return to get him that evening.  well, she didn’t, as i found him the next morning nestled into a corner of the compost bin’s upright pallet wall.  good thing we have friends with experience in these matters… friends who are willing to travel all the way out to the farm to help the kitty, with lunch in hand (formula for the kitty and sandwiches for us)!

sarah works her magic on little mister blue eyes
sarah works her magic on little mister blue eyes

sarah has already rescued five kitties, and was willing to try again, in the hopes of giving him to her father-in-law who recently lost his cat of 21 years.  i can’t wait to see how he grows… thanks sarah, you are the best!

3.) a dear friend of mine is expecting her first baby, and i was able to attend her baby shower up north with lots of her friends and family.  here’s what i made for baby mac:

hooded baby blanket, knit in blue sky alpaca's cotton yarn
hooded baby blanket, knit in blue sky alpaca's cotton yarn

this blanket should grow with the little boy as he gets older, as it is generously sized (modeled below by my 15 year-old cousin):

zander models the hooded blanket
zander models the hooded blanket

4.) while up north i had the privilege of going to gwen frostic, a well known michigan artist and stationer.  while gwen is no longer with us, her artwork continues to be printed on heidelberg presses using the original wood and metal blocks she created.  sadly, the property looks like it could use a serious restoration effort, both on the shop and surrounding landscape.  i hope the value of this michigan jewel is recognized by an entity that can continue to share her simply beautiful work.

5.) my sister’s birthday occurred while i was up north, so here is my belated birthday picture post for you, dear sister:

a feat full of birthday greetings from lake michigan
a feat full of birthday greetings from lake michigan

over the years your feet have been to shores and mountain tops all over the world… but never forget that you will always have lake in you…

6.) i took the last image on my cell phone, as my trusty nikon coolpix 4500 met an untimely death on this trip.  yup, the sneaky cam has gone onto higher megapixel pastures, as its leap from a four foot tall bathroom dresser onto a tile floor (while concealed in my lop-sided purse) rendered it in a systemic error of crunching internal noises… oh sneaky cam, you’ve been such a great camera for so long, how will i ever replace your rotating lens?  here’s to many captured memories…

the sneaky cam at rest
the sneaky cam at rest

without a decent camera to share images with you here, it may take a while for me to post again.  be sure to check back often – i’m not a huge twitter user, but if interesting things are going on, i’ll be sure to mention them there, as they’ll also appear at the upper left hand corner of my blog.  thanks so much for reading and looking at my work.  here’s to a beautiful autumn ahead…


10 thoughts on “summer break…

  1. oh how i’ve missed you! thanks for the post-athon- plants and kitties and knitties and art and lakes- oh my! hope you can find a new camera soon- sneaky-cam will be missed!

    • post-athon is right! my apologies if it came across as totally random, but hey, that’s the beauty of a summer vacation…

  2. Looks like you had a great visit with lots of family and friends. Nice job on the baby gift (and excellent modeling!). Too bad about your camera; it’s tough to have to start over when you’ve had the perfect tool for so long.

    • thanks linda. based on our conversation on what to include/not include on a blog, i’m going to try and incorporate more of my knitting/sewing/etc. projects here. it’s all design related, as your post on greenery textures so proves!

  3. RIP sneaky-cam. It’s so hard to lose a good friend like that. Hope it’s replaced soon so we can keep enjoying your lovely blog!

    • hey kylie, thanks for stopping by. what gardening/knitting are you doing these days? the crafty infidel has been much too quiet… do tell!

  4. as a survivor of camera-leaping-to-its-death-from-purse syndrome, i can say only that it gets easier with time.

    mainly, i’m glad you’re back at blog central!

    • thanks maggie! if nothing else, i can now honestly upgrade to a camera with more than 4.0 mega pixels… but really, how many does one need…?

    • hi iris, thanks for stopping by. yes, i heard about the new owner/s and was relieved to hear about the restoration efforts at gwen frostic. i’m not sure why the videos are labeled private – it doesn’t appear that way on my computer… are you able to view them? i found them on youtube, so they should be available to all. hmm.

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