In the Garden – Good morning reptiles!

I went out to check the bird feeder early this morning and was rewarded by a visit from a couple of my garden residents.

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This river cooter is a regular because I’m lucky to have a nice natural bog and pond in the woods behind my house and although it’s a turtle “Disneyland” back there they do enjoy getting out and about and catching some sun. This gal is about football sized as a point of reference.

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One of the hundreds, yes hundreds of lizards in my yard. This one normally hangs out on the fence but almost always catches the first rays of sun on these rocks.

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The dogwood is finally getting its leaves – it’s always a late “bloomer” but this year it was particularly slow. This one was started from a tiny tiny seedling sent to me by the Arbor Day Foundation – it’s taken about 8 years just to get to be about 5 feet tall and has yet to bloom.

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Portulaca – aka “moss rose”

Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Have a beautiful day y’all! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

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some early morning zen in the garden

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Cameras: Fujifilm X-A10 and Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful Saturday! – Chris

Stop by the camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com for some classic photo gear.

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Earth Day 2019 Walkabout – NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat

Carol and I have had our backyard certified by the NWF for many years now – it’s a fun way to get your kids interested in the environment (even if it’s only their own yard) and to foster a respect for our plant in the big picture. All great things start small.

Here’s some images from this morning’s walkabout (4.22.2019) – our little part of the Earth right here in northeast Florida.

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There are over 15 bald cypress trees mixed in with river maples, some oaks, bay trees, and of course, plenty of maidenhair ferns for protective groundcover. There’s a small natural bog and some wetlands too. I’m proud to say that I’ve planted all but 6 trees out of the nearly 60 trees in the yard. Since we moved here in the autumn of 1991 we’ve lived long enough to enjoy the fruits of our labor as most of the cypress trees have grown to be about 40 feet tall.

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One of the many bald cypress trees that inhabit the yard. This one is a “baby” from the first tree that we planted nearly 30 years ago. (see below)

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This bald cypress we brought home from the nursery in the back of our SUV when it was maybe 5 feet tall. It’s now the “daddy or mommy” to most of the other cypress trees in the yard.

We live in a somewhat typical suburban neighborhood with the exception of the backyard has not one blade of grass. No mowing, no lawn maintenance – no chemicals.

Other trees that we’ve planted – Leyland cypress, Japanese black pine, and river birch. All of these do extremely well in the semi-wet environment of our yard and all are native to Florida.

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A young bay tree starting its life amongst the ferns.

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We recently added a wren birdhouse (a gift from our daughter Lindsay) and a family of Carolina wrens have taken up residence. Yeah!

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The sun sculpture on the fence is a favorite of the local anole lizards – they like poking their heads out from the mouth and the sun holds on to some late afternoon sunlight and warmth. Here in the early morning hours, it catches enough sunlight to make it a cozy home.

As the summer wears on, these garden ornaments make a perfect landing spot for dragonflies while patrolling their territory.

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Our crepe myrtle which we purchased through the Arbor Day Foundation (it came as a stick 10 years ago) has grown quite nicely over the years and provides a nice display of dramatic color and texture throughout the year right outside our garden window. The local cardinals and squirrels love the seeds it produces too.

The crepe myrtle in this part of Florida does well without much fuss – it gets all of its water from rainfall and I’ve never fertilized it or use chemicals on insects. The birds and lizards do an excellent job at keeping the bugs in check.

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Marsh rabbit – aka, “Bun-Buns” as Lindsay used to call them.

Other dwellers of the yard – otters (rarely now do we see them), hawks, cardinals, bluebirds, wrens, crows, vultures, marsh rabbits, squirrels, snakes (all types except pythons), lizards, frogs, river cooters (turtles), gopher tortoise, bats, owls, racoon, opossum, armadillo, bobcat (rarely but they do show up), coyotes (only recently), and there was a report of a black bear a few years back. No deer as the yard is way too wet and the woods are a bit dense.

It’s super easy to convert your backyard into a wildlife habitat – just get rid of the grass, plant native trees (a bunch of them), provide some groundcover and water, plant native bushes and flowers and then sit back and enjoy the show. It sure beats mowing and the birds and the bees will thank you each and every day!

Certify your yard with the NWF (go online, it’s easy to do), buy your trees through the National Arbor Day Foundation, shop for native trees and shrubs through local nurseries, add plenty of environmentally friendly rocks (if you’re not blessed with them naturally), mulch to discourage weeds, and share your knowledge with others.

Happy Earth Day y’all! Peace!

Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

My rock garden takes shape… or how to make my part of the Sunshine State a bit less like Florida

It’s not easy creating a rock garden in Florida and it’s certainly not easy maintaining a rock garden when you basically live in a forest. The rewards, in this case after some late afternoon thundershowers, is my little moment of Zen. ^.^

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Nearby the jasmine soaks up the rain – the blossoms are about to show.

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Have a beautiful day y’all! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Happy SUNday! – Disney Memories

For us, the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World will always be our special place. There are just certain things you see when you first arrive that gets us going!

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Where’s your happy place?

Have a beautiful day y’all! – Chris & Carol ^.^

BTW, lots of new items will be arriving in our shop shortly… check it out at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Sakura in Naka-ku – Yokohama’s little jewel

From the Spring of 1979 – one of the rare times I was home during the Sakura Season in Japan.

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Sankei-en in Yokohama

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Along Avenue D – Honmoku, Naka-ku, Yokohama

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Beautiful Sankei-en (Gardens)

We were very fortunate to live just a short bicycle ride from Sankei-en and although I was seldom home during the Spring we would always find time to spend the day there.

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Camera: Canon F-1 with Canon FD lenses on Kodak Kodachrome film.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

I’m running some nice specials in my shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com and I’ll be adding some new cameras shortly!

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Azalea Explosion!

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Two azaleas in a remote part of our side garden – the absolute best place for them and the perfect time for these two plants to bloom. They’re essentially wild azaleas native to North Florida and have much smaller blossoms than our front garden plants. No fertilizer just a good dose of sunshine, water, and plenty of oak leaves to make the soil acidic.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Gardening! – Chris

Camera: Samsung Galaxy S8+

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Eye poppin’ color!

The azaleas in my backyard have bloomed and although I don’t recall exactly what color these are, they sure are colorful!

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Camera: Samsung Galaxy S8+ / with and without fill-in flash / overcast day / no post production (well just a smidge)

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Tending to the Buzzness at hand

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Getting the most from the rapidly fading azaleas.

Camera: Samsung Galaxy S8+

Thanks for taking a peek! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

The power of trees

On December 30th of last year, our river maples in the front yard were in full-color bloom –

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December 30, 2018

On March 5th the leaves are starting anew –

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March 5, 2019

You see leaves but what you’re really witnessing is the raw power of a tree. In less than sixty days the old leaves fell and new leaves established themselves.

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These two river maples were started from seeds from other maples in our backyard – we transplanted them at about the two-year point in their lives. They should add some significant height this year as we’ve had a super wet Winter so far.

Camera: Samsung Galaxy S8+

Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to check out some new additions in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.