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A Mystery is Solved

Woo hoo!! Bruce made me a new window box on Saturday! I've yet to paint it because the lumber was still wet, in carpenter's terms, but I did plant it immediately!
Years ago we had one, but for the life of me I can't remember what happened to it. Fast forward some years and the azaleas covered the supports. Then, just last summer I dug most of them up and the supports were high and dry, looking sort of stupid. At first I thought I might paint the box the same color I used on Maureen's door, but after further thought, I've decided to go with the shutter color. Keeping it classy. As well I bought some new front porch chairs after seeing them at HomeGoods.
Bonus points for them being on sale. The former chairs were purchased maybe ten years ago at Restoration Hardware, back when they had things I wanted to buy. These days, not so much. Anyway, they were still cute, however, mud daubers liked to nest in the upper back of them making them pretty much worthless, unless you wanted to risk a sting that is. So now we are super spiffy on the front side.

Not that anyone actually goes to the front side much, rather they use our side door. As such the garden on the side yard is the main attraction and if I do say so myself, it is looking mighty good this Spring. Because they mostly open only when it is sunny it is hard to photograph the purslane that is going mad. Not that it stops me from trying though..
Please note the red salvia blooms in the forefront because they are an integral part of the next story. So, I was looking out the window and I saw a house finch, a little red headed guy dangling on those flimsy stems, eating to his heart's content. Because both the stem and the bird move at will, it is hard to photograph but here's my attempt.
Commenting on how remarkable it was, Bruce calmly replied that he'd been seeing it for days through his office window. And why did he not show me before? You'll have to ask him. Well, yesterday afternoon here's what those stems look like.
Pretty much bare! Watching again yesterday afternoon it was amazing to see how clever he was at extracting the seeds. Earlier in the day I spotted the acrobatics of a dragonfly on the non blooming oleander. Sadly non blooming.
Moving around to the back yard, Saturday, after mowing the lawn, I began the arduous task of trimming back the palm tree that once was a house plant. Now about thirty feet tall, it is taking over one corner of the back yard. If I could use a chain saw I'd cut most of it down in a heartbeat, however, I can't use a chain saw, and B refuses to teach me because he's afraid I would go trimming crazy. He likes the jungle look more than I. Anyway, I spotted an orchid blooming against the runaway ferns.
Another plant that has gone mad...ferns from the side yard put out runners to the back and there is no telling where they will end up!

Before I began mowing I noticed a sure sign of Spring. Yup, a toad swimming in the pool.
Actually taking a slight break in the shot above, but you get my drift. Anyway, all of a sudden I did not see said toad. Opening the skimmer lid I was sure that is where I would find it. Find it I did, plus a SECOND one!! Acting every bit the chicken I am, I ran to get Bruce, afraid they would head down the pipes to the pump. To make a long story short, he did find them both, scooping them into the safety of our bushes. Whew!

To celebrate Irene's upcoming move, and that she found such a neat house, with terrazzo floors no less, I made a layer cake. I can't tell you how long it has been since I'd done so, and probably with good reason. I labored over this cake from Ina Garten,and still it was not completely level!!
Pictured with the Kitchen Aid, given to me by Matt and Tom, without which it would have been even more work! That said, the cake was mighty tasty and that is what counts, right?

While over at Pam's I was treated to the sight of this phenomenal iris, the name of which I can't recall except that I think Elvis and red velvet are somehow connected.
The truth is, it is far prettier in person; the photograph does not do it justice.

A flower that the camera did do justice to, however, is this darling zinnia I spotted at Leu Gardens yesterday during a short and sweltering visit.
The center almost looks like a layer cake doesn't it? There were loads of gorgeous zinnias along with loads of butterflies as well. I'm aware of your time limits so only showing this one.
If this fountain were larger I am sure people would have at least put their heads in because it was so darn hot!
Through the years I have taken hundreds, maybe even thousands of photos at Leu Gardens, but somehow I always find something new to interest me.
There are caladiums galore gracing every part of the gardens, and I love them all, but oh my, this stand of white ones really was something else!
So, after about an hour I was so ridiculously hot that I left. Because I was so close I decided to have another look at that gorgeous blooming tree, that is if I could find it again. After driving multiple streets in search of said tree, there it was! Should you have missed this blog post, this will mean nothing to you. In that post I asked for help identifying the tree, and although I got a few suggestions, none were correct. In what I think is such a crazy coincidence, while at Leu I saw a green tree with a sign reading, Pink Shower tree, a native of Thailand. Hmmm....
Once I was home and checked Google, the mystery was solved!! The fancier name is Cassia Javanica, which does not roll of my tongue nearly as easily as Pink Shower tree!

Whew--that was a lot of photographs wasn't it? Too many?

During a long FaceTime chat with Matthew yesterday morning I heard all about their two week trip to Japan during which he took 1,200 photos, which seems like a piddling number to me. Not even a hundred a day! Giving credit where credit is due, he taught me everything I know about photography. :)

Time for a bike ride, still looking for the elusive owlets,

Gail

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