Did I ever mention that HWNSNBP and Rachel went to Chrysanthemum School many years ago? Yes, when she was still in HS and would do those kind of things that her father asked of her, you know, the little-bit-wacky stuff. But then again, he did take her to the Ticker Tape parade when the Yankees won the World Series around the same time. So I guess it was kind of a wash.
Shortly after that HWNSNBP joined the Chrysanthemum Society. Actually, I think the two of us belong, but he is the participating member, even if his participation only includes purchasing cuttings from the club at a reduced rate once a year. Ah, but the end results are usually very enjoyable.
So a couple of weekends ago we needed to go to the Frelinghuysen Arboretum to pick up the cuttings. It was a spritzy kind of day so we didn't walk around too much to enjoy all that was in bloom, but I did bring my camera and managed to capture a few of the flowers. Above is a wild columbine which we are lucky to have a few of in our own yard. Below is a blue gentian. I love blue flowers and would love to have these in my garden too.
Our garden, or at least my portion of it, is being sadly neglected this spring. Between the air-conditioning project and now the flooring project, I just have not had the time - or energy - to get out there and tidy it up. But that hasn't stopped us from traveling up to the Great Swamp Nursery to buy our plants for the planting we do around the back of the house. Mostly impatiens, begonias, and some torenia - all shade lovers. HWNSNBP has diligently potted them up.
On the road to the GS we pass this old barn. I would have liked to get a better picture of it, but someone was coming up behind us and there's no place to pull over. See how the bottoms of the barn boards are somewhat curled. Since this is a swampy area, I'm thinking that the ground moisture has done that and has wicked up the boards giving them their weathered appearance also.
Further down the road and just over a little bridge I spotted this White Heron. Thankfully there was a place to pull over so HWNSNBP did and I got out of the car and quietly tiptoed towards the bridge. There was another photographer there with a bigger camera and lens and he was crouched down on the walkway with his camera slightly protruding through the architecture of the bridge. I would have taken a picture of him also, but after I snapped this one, my camera told me that the card was full. So I hoped it would have been good enough and tiptoed back to the car. I did manage to erase some nonsense pictures on our way home, but that was too little too late. Still, not a bad picture I think.
And then last weekend we were at the condo and out the back we spotted this goose family taking a walk. We had seen them a few weeks ago when the goslings were much smaller (and there were more of them then also). (click the picture to enlarge it) It was funny to see the goslings swim through some of the larger puddles as their parents walked through. I wondered if they were having swimming lessons.
The evening found us at our friends' house on LBI. We helped them pull some dune grass out of their flower beds and HWNSNBP helped them plant some of the chrysanthemum cuttings he had rooted for them to replace the ones that were lost after the "super storm" covered them with sand.
While they planted the flowers, some of the rest of us took the dune grass and replanted it on the dune behind the flower bed. I should have taken a picture of them - they have a tap root much like a dandelion, but it is very easy to dig around the root and slide your fingers down into the sand to pull the root out whole along with the grass. Can I say that planting the dune grass was some of the easiest planting I've ever done. First of all, you're down on your knees in sand (in pants covering your knees) and the sand is not as uncomfortable as dirt to kneel on. Secondly, you can dig a hole with your hands, slip the root in and gather the sand up around the root very quickly.
The day was cool and windy, but with sweatshirts, long pants, and shoes that covered your feet, we were quite comfortable there nestled between the dune and the house.
Stepping into the street and looking back toward the bay, this was the view at sunset.
We all brought contributions for the evening meal - and it was delicious and thoroughly enjoyable to be with such good friends.
This weekend we are tackling another big job. We're having wood floors installed in the first floor of our house and we need to empty/relocate all the contents by Monday. We've rented a POD and tomorrow Chris will come to help HWNSNBP take the furniture out. I have been and will continue to box up all the "STUFF" that we have accumulated. It's been a bit overwhelming, though I am purging a bit as I go along. Needless to say, there will be a lot more purging once we get back into the house.
I'll try to take pictures of the progress. Have a wonderful weekend.