Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Finding The Joy In C&L Mudville*


I've finally gotten to see the bluebird in the bluebird house! But, there won't be any exciting photos...Mr. and Ms. Bluebird have conspired with all the bees and butterflies in my garden to make it nearly impossible for me to photograph any of them as they go about their day!

Maybe, they are too excited by the new offerings that seem to appear hourly in a spring garden and rush about oblivious to my "wanting to capture them". They pause on this flower and that and by the time I grab my camera, turn it on, set up the shot, they are gone!

But, even if the bees and butterflies cooperated...the weather has not.
It's too wet.

I see birds flitting here and there, but not much bee activity and certainly no butterfly activity.

Rain is not good for butterfly wings! Last year, I posted Where Do Butterflies Spend The Night and discovered that they must shelter from the pouring rain under logs and crevices in rocks and trees. Those poor beautiful creatures must be hungry and tired of hiding.

Here is the only butterfly shot I've been able to capture this season.
She was beautiful.
I was so excited to see her flitting about. Thank you for posing so nicely.


I wonder each day, as the forecast calls for more rain, how gardens in the NW can be so beautiful, when they seem to have rain quite frequently.
Our plants look like mush and are beaten down.
We have had pounding rains followed by constant sprinkling.


I think, I am the saddest that it is
mushing the PPPP, which had been looking its best!
I agreed with Beckie, when she said that in a comment to me last week.
I am sighing for dramatic effect my dear friends!

The reality is that it's a garden, a place I feel passionate about...a mostly joyful experience. It's not my livelihood! I am not a farmer waiting to plant a crop, watching my fields flood or my crops get pounded.

In a garden, there is always next year.
At this time of year, there is always next week,
and certainly, there is

tomorrow!

Gail

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” Dolly Parton

46 comments:

  1. your photos are wonderful. I have lots of bluebirds in my yard on some days. its strange to see the numbers of them in the spring. They tried to nest in my yard but the nuthatchs battled for the box and won. The nuthatchs babies just flew off earlier this week.

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  2. I'm living in mudville too! I almost got stuck in the mud when I was checking the garden. The plants, at least, seem happy. Love the iris and daisy combination and of course the peonies are always so charming.

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  3. It IS alot of rain-even a bit too much for me. But hey, come this summer we'll most likely be begging for it. As soon as that sun comes out everything will perk up really nicely-this year!

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  4. Tina, I wish we had the budget for a cistern...imagine all the rain we could collect! Mr I and I talked about were we could put it...this was after watching a really cool episode of Renovation Nation! I hope the sun shines soon. gail

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  5. I enjoyed looking at your photos and reading your post, even though it's on the melanchoIy side. I hope you get some good gardening weather, and maybe even some critter shots soon.

    We are finally getting some sun, but there are more chances for rain. I just had lunch while reading a couple blogs, and now, I'm going out to thin salad crops and see about getting some plants in and weeds out.

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  6. Dear Gail....Do not be down, things can change in the blink of an eye.

    Last year our summer consisted of rain, rain and more rain. My garden suffered and so did wildlife. This year, so far, has been sunny and warm.....growth on trees and shrubs is lush and green. Perennials look healthy and they are growing fast. My garden is full of birds bees and butterflies. What I am trying to say is.....we never know what weather we will get but wildlife and our beloved gardens seem to cope........

    Love your photographs....the plants in their sadness look beautiful.......

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  7. That top photo is just lovely! I love the blue iris and white daisies against the green background. One of my favorite combinations!

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  8. I really am tired of the rain. I'm sure that in the summer I'll wish that we had it, but after a week it gets old ;)

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  9. I know what you mean! Been chasing butterflies and bees myself, and they're everywhere – except staying in the viewfinder! Great Parton quote, by the way.

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  10. Hi Gail, we are surely getting our share of rain, four inches in the gauge and still raining. And I love that you quoted Dolly, she is truly a very wise woman. Your garden does look truly beautiful, no wonder the flying creatures won't sit still for you. Neither will ours. I still have hope for a decent shot of each of the azaleas to put on their page, but am worried about getting them all in. The growth is lush, but the flowers are mush. :-)
    Frances

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  11. Gail, surely the rain will end soon. We have had weeks of it too, but the last 2 days have been glorious. Sunny, no wind and nice temps. So time spent in the gardens was wonderful. I hope you soon will have a chance to enjoy yours. (PPPPP, pitifull PPPP!)

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  12. You still manage to get some amazing shots of blooms in spite of the soggy conditions! We have had rain too, but with the drought we have had, I cannot complain about the rain.

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  13. I know what you mean. We usually don't have enough rain, but one year it rained all of April. And many plants died, or got close, suffocating in the wet clay. Made me realize that you can add water, but you can't remove it...
    Then May came, and many of the plants recovered. As did the butterflies....

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  14. Having been thoroughly pounded this last week, I feel for you. I hope the plants AND the gardener catch a break soon! Re the Pacific Northwest, I think their rains are usually of a more gentle variety. If they really get them ... having visited a friend on Bainbridge Island during what was supposed to be their rainy time, only to have perfect weather, I suspect the residents of concocting tall tales to keep the area from getting too crowded!

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  15. It has been very wet. Your flowers look wonderful... some of the ones in my neighborhood are starting to wilt from excess rain. I miss the butterflies too. All I've seen recently are hornets and bees and lots of them!

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  16. I'm with you girl. I have some irises that look just like the one you pictured. UGH... We will be begging for rain in a couple of months which is the sad thing.

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  17. Love the quote from Dolly! So appropriate. I have been lamenting all the rain we have had, too, but yesterday it stopped, and today the sun was actually shining! It's still Mudville here, too, but at least I can do some other gardening chores, like pruning and mulching.

    How lucky you are to have bluebirds in your garden, even if they're camera-shy! I'm sure the butterflies and bees will come out, too, as soon as it stops raining. Wishing you sunshine!

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  18. Maybe I'm misremembering, but wasn't last year too dry for you? It's feast or famine, isn't it?

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  19. Yup, I saw the radar and thought of you and Frances. You guys are getting deluged.

    The rain isn't reaching to NC; it's breaking up over the mountains, as systems moving from the west are wont to do.

    I know, rain is good for the rain, but there can be too much of a good thing and it can be frustrating to be cooped up.

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  20. I wondered too how the gardens with so much rain...like England--how do they have such beautiful gardens? My peony is at the same stage as yours. Isn't it exciting. We had a tornado tonight but all is well here. Can't say the same for just east of us.

    Sorry your phlox is so sad. Dave's looked really good ;0 I haven't been to see if Mother Nature had some of yours--does she?

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  21. Kathy, Two years ago we had a terrible drought, and last year we were pretty dry. This is a shocking amount of rain! Some parts of the county have had 3 to 4 inches in a few hours...and a county over had up to 8 inches. We have had about 5 inches in two days! Oh to have a cistern! gail

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  22. Anna, The weather is so odd! I think I gave some to Donna, too! It's all over the country now! I am thrilled about the peonies...now if the rain would go away so they can bloom their darn gorgeous heads off! gail

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  23. Sweetbay...we are getting the heck beat out of us...Now is the time we all wish we had a collection system, because we will want this water this summer. Yep, I have cabin fever....big time! Also I have a few plants that I wished i had gotten in the ground before this rain arrived...well, I hadn't gotten them yet!

    gail

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  24. Rose, Did you say pruning! Not me I am a big coward! I will not cut trees! I will gladly mulch! I feel so lucky to have a bluebird...honored even...there must be bugs aplenty! gail

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  25. Lisa, yep we will...making some folks think we gardeners are never happy! But we are we really are happy people who need to get out in the garden! gail

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  26. Cindy, I knew you would totally get it! Speaking of getting it...please tell me you weren't in that line of bad storms that hit Texas! Gail

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  27. Town Mouse...as soon as the sun comes up and dries up this mess we will be back to normal...What ever that means anymore! Strange weather patterns are the norm these days! Btw, I am totally loving your california wildflowers and natives. gail

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  28. flowergardengirl..Some birds are very aggressive! I was so sure you were going to say the chicadees! They are pushy little cutie pies! Can you hear the bluebirds singing in the trees? It's a nice sound...gail

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  29. Lyzjo, I love the Ox-Eye daisy and Iris combo, too...that was a happy accident! Maybe this rain will stop...there is a 100% chance of ran tonight...sighing again! Be careful out there! gail

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  30. I do hope it dries out for you soon! We've had alternating days of rain and sun, maybe that helps out here in the PNW. Yesterday it just poured and we had a lot wind, it about blew all the petals off the apple tree. I think we just don't get so much all at once as it seems other places do. It's mostly just this drizzley rain that sometimes feels like it'll never let up.
    Your flowers are still looking very pretty and great picture of the butterfly!

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  31. Yay for rain. I know it messes with the flowers but I love it!! Nothing better then going outside and taking a big deep breath of fresh rain filled air(-:
    My flowers are loving it too(-:
    Your flowers look great!!!!
    CiNdEeS' GaRdEn

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  32. Now I know where all the rain went that I usually get at this time of year. Had a bit of rain yesterday morning but that was just very refreshing, not a deluge like we normally have and which lasts for days.

    Your garden still looks good, regardless of all the downpours you've been experiencing; the only one looking slightly sorry for itself is your beloved PPPP, but that will perk up as soon as the sun comes out again. And it will, never fear.

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  33. Good morning Gail, we've been deluged in the Chicago area too. The swale has been full all spring. The ducks are loving it! We've had near-record precipitation the first four months of this year. Only one other year since they started tracking rainfall has had more.

    Your garden looks lovely in spite of the slightly bedraggled blooms.

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  34. Hi Gail, I've not lived n the Northweat but I suspect the rain there is more gentle and constant as opposed to stormy and heavy--but I'm sure someone will correct me! I didn't know that about butterflies, thanks for sharing!

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  35. Our Bees and Butterflies seem to be on speed too! Waiting for the summer heat to slow them down a bit. We wouldn't mind a "little" rain around here...

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  36. I saw a monarch butterfly last week sometime but he must have been passing though, or maybe he is hiding because of the rain! I know I have been. Things are a mess. Dry tomorrow maybe?

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  37. In the spring it's the storms and in the summer the droughts. Sometimes it seems Mother Nature is the enemy but then she will give us a few glorious weeks.
    Marnie

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  38. Gail, I don't know if anyone has answered this, but much of the rain the NW folks get (those who live coastal) is in the form of a fine mist. It just fluffs the plants I think. Now, as to Seattle, I just don't know. My friend, Wanda, moved to Anacortes, and when I visited her, I discovered this about the rain. Your garden still looks lovely. We've had lots of downpours here too.~~Dee

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  39. It's feast or famine with the rain isn't it? It seems like it comes all at once for us then we'll go way too long without any. At least it keeps the drought conditions at bay. and how exciting that you have bluebirds! I hope they'll forget their conspiracy long enough to let you sneak in one photo. I haven't seen eastern bluebirds in a very long time. Your garden will be even more incredible when the rain stops Gail. I hope it's soon so you can get back out there and enjoy.

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  40. Gorgeous pics! We've had lots of rain in New England the past few days too. I love the pic of the beautiful! --Jackie

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  41. Good old Dolly! We're scheduled for 4 days of rain following a blissful weekend of perfect weather. Oh well, haven't taken any shots with my umbrella yet this spring - looks like tomorrow might be the day. Sending rays of sunshine your way.

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  42. Thanks, Barbara...we need it! This is the oddest spring we've had in years...I was out today with the umbrella! Not so easy to shoot one handed with an slr digital! gail

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  43. Yep Nature isn't always gracious. I'm sure you garden will be happy it got this much rain before the heat of summer arrives. :)

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  44. dear gail,

    loved your quote from dolly p. smart girl. we got a little time today without rain but the air was filled with moisture...i sure hope this all helps when we are so dry during the summer.

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  45. Oh my. I think you've been getting the rain that we've been getting. Five inches the other night! And a real lightning and thunder rumbler last night. The yard is so wet I need galoshes to get around. But think of it this way, once that rain goes away and the sun comes out, those plants will be leaping ahead!

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  46. Gail, take heart. You've captured one more butterfly shot than I have this season, and it's a lovely one at that. And I'd give an awful lot to have your rainfall in my very thirsty garden.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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