Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gone Fishin'


My sister is visiting me for a few days, and while I do not want to be vain by telling you my comings and goings, dear reader, I do want to give you a heads-up, as I don't like visiting blogs only to find the blogger is on a hiatus. Because I want to give my full attention to my sister's visit, I will be taking a break from blogging and I will be back to my "regularly scheduled programing" — a schedule that I laid out in a previous post which you may refer to by clicking here — on Tuesday morning, August 9th 2011. Meanwhile, I credit the above image with this link.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Smiling Faces

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Some folks say as opposed to tending a garden, if it came down to a choice, they'd rather have a cat or dog, whose cute face would be there to greet them when they came home. 

All I can say to those folks is this: Who says herbs, vines, plants, flowers, shrubs and trees don't greet you with a cute face? 

For example, just look at the face of the first flower produced by the new-comer to my garden, the Cardinal Climber vine (shown in the photograph posted above.)

This vine, as you may recall, dear reader was planted by Juan V —  just a week ago — which was discussed in blog entries that you may refer to by clicking here and here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Good Saint Anne, July's Rain IS your Dowry!


Today, July 26th in the Western Calendar is the feast day of Saint Anne (her feast day is July 27th in the Eastern Calendar), a feast day that she shares with her husband Joachim. 

The image posted above today's blog entry is a screen shot of a pencil sketch of the beloved saint, titled Saint Anne after Leonardo Da Vinici , by an artist who calls herself Trish(For information on this image or to view other works by the artist, please click here).

Saint Anne is the mother of the Virgin Mary, and grandmother of Jesus Christ, according to Christian religions; however, her name is not mentioned in the canonical gospels. 

Among other things, Saint Anne is the patron saint of "childless couples", giving them "special aid in obtaining children", and, perhaps, she was instrumental in my sister and her husband's successful adoption of two Russian children, whose voices I "showcased" in a blog entry that I made about the use of "voice cards", which I made this past January (that you may hear by clicking on this link). Their adoption came through after much bureaucracy and heartbreak, which were both preceded by several futile years of unsuccessful in-vitro fertilization treatments.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Perfect love sometimes does not come until after the first grandchild." (Welsh Proverb)


According to a Welsh proverb, "perfect love sometimes does not come until after the first grandchild". Does this mean that perfect love comes immediately — or soon after — the birth of the first grandchild? Or, does this mean that after the first grandchild is born, perfect love does not come until after another grandchild is born?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Follow-Up


The radio announcer says it's 108 degrees at Newark Airport and 104 degrees in Central Park (which is less than a block from where I live and have a terrace garden in New York City) this afternoon, and since the thermometer in my terrace garden only registers 101 degrees, I am extremely thankful to report that the things that I grow in my terrace garden including herbs, plants, flowers, vines, shrubs, and trees — over sixty in total — are faring well with my hand watering (an activity that I have discussed in blog postings, including ones which you may refer to by clicking here and here). 

Today I am mainly following up on the planting of my "newcomer vine", the Cardinal Climber (Ipomea sloteri), as I promised I would in yesterday's blog entry.

Juan V and I did our work fairly early in the morning in an effort to beat the heat, however, we were not finished until a little before 9:00 A.M. An overview of what my terrace garden looked like after the work was finished can be seen in an aerial photograph which Juan V took for me and that I have posted below.



If you zoom in on the photograph, or squint enough, you will be able to see two of the three clay pots (below the bamboo trellis) that are now filled with the Cardinal Climber, the third is off camera (and has its own trellis) but is indeed standing in the most southwest corner of my terrace garden.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back! Another Cardinal Climber (aka Ipomoea sloteri) Has Returned!


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

The newcomer to my urban (NYC) terrace garden today is a vine which is currently "divided" into nine small planters that are sitting in a Mixed Nuts carton (given to me by the grower) on top of the marble table that I have in my terrace garden, as seen in the photograph posted above today's blog entry. 

They are waiting for Juan V to help me plant them into their new home. It is only 7:43:10 in the morning,  and already the temperature indicated on my little garden thermometer (a thermometer that I wrote about this past Tuesday) is quickly moving past the 80 degree mark , as seen in the photograph posted below.


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

The temperatures, in New York City, where I live and have my terrace garden, are predicted to pass the 100 degree mark, with a "real feel " of at least 105 degrees; and so at this point, in the summer of 2011, New York City officially joins the number of states in America, that are being plagued by prolonged periods of heat and humidity.

I realize my blog is not an NYC-Accu-Weather blog, nor am I a meteorologist, and instead I am a photo-artist, writer, as well as an urban gardener, but, the "connect" is this: gardening and weather conditions, as you are undoubtedly aware dear reader, are very much interrelated. If I didn't love the things which I grow in my terrace garden so much, I might spend a hot and humid day, like today, on the boardwalk at the Jersey shore standing under the watering can (such as the one pictured below)


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

and enjoy being watered; instead of hand watering my sixty plus beloved herbs, plants, flowers, vines, shrubs, and trees. For now, to cool off, instead of going to the beach, I will have to bring the beach to me, and picture myself being under the boardwalk's watering can's cool spray.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby, it's HOT outside . . .

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

On the southern wall of my urban terrace garden, I keep a thermometer (seen in the photographs posted above, taken over two consecutive days respectively, before seven o'clock in the morning). I initially got this outdoor thermometer to keep in a cold-frame which was built specifically to use in the winterizing of my garden. Winter and its freezing temperatures prompting songs like Baby, It's Cold Outside, seem a distant memory. For at 6:41:23 AM, EDT, this Tuesday morning, the thermometer registered a little over 80 degrees as it did yesterday, giving me a good indication that by late morning or very early afternoon New York City, where I live and have my lovely garden, will officially meet the heat wave criteria for the tri-state area on this summer day, July 19th 2011.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tree of Heaven ??????????????


Juan V took the photograph posted above (which features a partial view of my urban terrace garden) this past Thursday (July 14th 2011), when he was at my place to help me take down my short-lived Honeysuckle Vine. 

The lovely vine had produced beautiful flowers which I featured in a few blog entries, including one which you may refer to by clicking here

My Honeysuckle Vine enjoyed climbing up the bamboo trellis (the bamboo trellis sans my Honeysuckle Vine can be seen in the top right hand portio of the photograph) which Juan V had built for me this past May, by using bamboo stakes that I had accumulated from my gardening endeavors in by-gone years. This is a fact, dear reader, which you may recall from a previous post, and that you may refer to by clicking here.  

In any event, my lovely Honeysuckle Vine is now gone — a victim of mildewy powder — which we think was caused by the exhaust from a newly installed fan in the window of the building directly west of me, as I stated in my blog entry this past Thursday, and if you'd like, you may refer to it by clicking here

An advantage of container gardens, such as mine, is that while it is sad to lose anything that I grow, things can be pulled out fairly easily, and another advantage of a container garden is that the things that grow in them can be moved around to meet their changing needs (in terms of sunlight as the sun shifts throughout the season). However, the problem of man-made things, such as the neighboring buildings's exhaust fan, always makes the herbs, plants, flowers, vines, shrubs , and trees which grow in an urban garden vulnerable.

Friday, July 15, 2011

"It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information."

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11


According to Oscar Wilde, "It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information," and, with that in mind, my blog post today is designed to right that wrong, and to provide you, dear reader, with what might be some useless information, as I may have done in some of my previous posts, in the guise of having you think you could apply it to your own endeavors. For example, both this past April 2011 and December 2010, in blog entries which you may refer to by clicking here and here respectively, I shared with you some thoughts and images on how I enhanced my indoor succulent garden.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

ek-in-AY-see-uh's the name . . .

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

"Ek-in- AY-see-uh", my lovely and playful coneflowers (shown above), said, after the herbs, vines, plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees which I grow in my urban terrace garden wondered how the new arrivals pronounced their name. These new-comers to my terrace garden snuggled easily into their new home; however, their entrance was bittersweet. 

The Echinacea plants were a gift from a dear friend, who gave them to me as a form of consolation, because my Honeysuckle Vine, a vine which I havdiscussed in a number of posts, including ones which you may refer to by clicking here as well as here  and here, was attacked by mildew; possibly caused by an exhaust fan that was put in the window of someone who lives in the building directly west of me. 

There is no space in between the buildings, so it is likely that the recently installed fan blew fumes onto my Honeysuckle Vine, which was vulnerable to such an appliance. Hence, there was no way to protect my sweet Honeysuckle Vine —  such is one of the tribulations of maintaining an urban garden, where things grow in containers, making them very susceptible to the consequences of man-made things. 

In any event, the Honeysuckle Vine had to be pulled down immediately because, as any gardener knows, mildew, such as the variety that attacked my vine, would spread quickly and destroy other things that I grow in my garden

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Fishing just doesn't seem quite the same since they started free WI-FI at the lake."


In this past weekends' comic strip, Blondie, I have posted above, Dagwood tells Herb that "Fishing just doesn't seem quite the same since they started free WI-FI at the lake." 


I could not agree with Dagwood more on that score, in fact, nothing seems quite the same since the influx of a need to be on the computer at any given moment, or to be texting, or to be on a cell phone —  no matter where one is at a given moment. For me, the latter is the most invasive. I have even been at church — in line to receive Holy Communion – and have experienced people receiving, and taking incoming phone calls on their cell phone. While I am not a big fan of the use of the "collective We" pronoun (as I find it can be presumptuous), I believe I am correct in assuming that we are all weary of over-hearing the numerous inane "I centered" cell-phone conversations that we encounter as we go about our daily routines. No matter where one turns in a grocery store, a book shop, a quiet café, a bus or train ride; or during a walk in the park, or in the midst of reflection time at the riverside; invariably someone is always on a cell phone. The volume at which one speaks on a cell phone is so loud that it causes me to wonder why anyone was ever worried about wire tapping being an invasion of privacy. Folks talk so loud on their cells; they eliminate any "need" to wire-tap.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Hens And Chicks Give A Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation)

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

The beautiful, sweet flowers seen in the images posted above are from my wonderful succulent known as Hens and Chicks. I have spoken about succulents in prior posts discussing how folks use them in indoor gardens which you may read by clicking here as well as here to read about them. 

As for my Hens and Chicks, they live outside (although they make fine houseplants too), and they are a plant whose leaves "form around each other forming a rosette and propagate by offsets".

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Helichrysum bracteatum's (Strawflower's) Sensibility

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

The image posted above is of me, a lone strawflower, with a pesky ant making itself at home on one of my petals now that he has no flowers from Youngquist's Paeonia suffruiticosa (Tree Peony) to bother. You may recall Youngquist blogged about these pesky ants in a previous blog entry which you may refer to by clicking here.

Now, dear reader (as I've heard Youngquist call you), if you have been following this blog you know that, on occasion, the things that grow in Youngquist's urban terrace garden take it upon themselves to weigh in by posting on this blog including her Paeonia suffruiticosa (Tree Peony), Tulips, and her Physocarpus opulifolius (Coppertina Tree).

With the knowledge that the things that grow in Youngquist's terrace garden have been posting on this blog, my comrades (my fellow strawflowers who live in a clay pot — which means we need to be watered often —  with me as you can see from the image posted below) took turns, and we drew straws (if you will excuse the pun) to see which one of us would get to write today's blog entry, and I picked the winning straw! (And its not because I look like E.T. in this picture either!)

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

We strawflower are members of the daisy family (but please don't hold that against us), and our Latin name is Helichrysum bracteatum. The flowers that we produce have a papery, straw-like texture, which is why you humans refer to us as strawflowers.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The 5th of July: Morning After Thoughts



The images above were taken less than ten minutes apart by yours truly as I stood by the Hudson River , last evening, awaiting the fireworks. You may notice, dear reader, the pinkish-red colored line (where the  black arrow is pointing towards) in the top photograph, but you may not recognize it to be a fishing line, which indeed it is. It belongs to a fishing pole that was leaning against a railing that separates the Hudson River (on the west side of New York City), and what has become to be known as "the westside greenway" (as it is a well worn path for joggers, cyclists and plain ol' walkers along the river).

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thoughts On The Summer Solstice PLUS Announcing New Digs For My 'Tamukeyama' AND For My Acer shirasawanum (Autumn Moon)

It has been one week and four days since this year’s summer solstice, and when Juan V, came over to help me work in my rooftop garden this past Thursday, he remarked that the summer solstice was a sad time for him because, while it is the time of the most sunlight, it is also the time that, from the day of the summer solstice going forward, every day will be getting darker a little earlier; whereas with the winter solstice, which is the longest and darkest day of the year, every day going forward gets a little brighter. He is right about these respective solstices, and the effect of sunlight is not lost on either one of us, mostly due to our love for tending gardens.