Snow is not something we see very often in Southeast Texas. Being from the Midwest, the first snowfall was always greeted with some enthusiasm especially if school was canceled.
With temperatures in the high nineties, heat warnings on the news every half hour and most of us–if we are lucky–hanging out in our nice air conditioned homes—I spend a lot of time looking out my windows. It is startling to see tiny objects floating past my window—and I think snow—
But it is purple and pink.
The hundred year old crepe myrtle trees are in full bloom around my house—and littering the grass and pavement with their blooms.
and around the crinum lilies:
If that was truly snow, I would be running around outside trying to catch a snowflake or two on my tongue.
Now I know you wanted to see those trees in bloom;
And here is a view of the elephant garlic blossom;
We have been watering the front pots, the Meyers lemon we planted, the gardenia we started during the February 21 deep freeze—we hope they survive–but rain is not forecast until next week—a repeating promise by the weatherman—but just that.
Turmeric or curcurmin is touted as one of those natural occurring substances imbued with certain healing properties. Several years ago while dealing with the effects of Plaquenil, I discovered it seemed to be helpful in alleviating some of my visual changes—but perhaps it was due to time.
However, it is always fun to see exactly WHERE the stuff comes from.
In the McGovern Garden in Houston, I photographed these lovely purple flowers.
Here is a closeup;
While on family reunion last month, my husband became acquainted with a phone app–that identifies flowers from photos—–a fun activity for science/botanical/wildlife interested persons.
Rhubarb was always the very first fresh fruit to be had in the days before imported fruits from southern climes. It was sometimes paired with strawberries, the next fresh fruit to arrive.
The rhubarb on the farm is a green stalk–not the Ruby Red Jubliee which is sweeter and has thicker stalks. No-one harvested the rhubarb this year and it went to seed–huge tall stalks. Several years ago, I had commented to my dad, I missed rhubarb–it doesn’t seem to grow in this part of Texas. He told me to put a sign up at the bank and by noon, the bed of my truck would be filled to capacity with it.
Below the rhubarb—I may have to ask someone to mow that rhubarb down….is the raspberry patch. It is in part of the garden—usually where we planted the carrots and radishes. Three non-productive grapevines are there, trying hard to smother the raspberries.
Each time I go to Wisconsin–only during the growing season–I clean out the raspberry patch and try to mulch it with cornlage or oat chaff. Gnats interfere with the process—until one year, I put on a bee veil.
The raspberries are mostly on the periphery of the patch–I missed one year cleanout due to Covid—but maybe they will be back.
There were two lilac bushes between the house and the barn—their fragrance filled the air in late May each year. I don’t think I will see them this year—
But I have lavender blooming in the chimney flue in the front yard. I thought it might not survive our cold freeze this past February—but it is in full bloom. The fragrance is not as pronounced as the gardenia next to it—but still—a lovely scent–every time I brush up against it–while weeding—
One of the things I miss about Wisconsin is the ability to grow apples; there are a few varieties that can thrive on the Gulf coast–but it seems apples need that freezing weather and dormancy to do well.
However, I do have amaryllis blooming. Starting from one bulb many years ago, we now have three—not my doing—husband has nurtured them along.
Several years ago we planted three citrus trees in addition to the previously planted Meyer’s Lemon. One was a kumquat and the other two were oranges. The kumquat has produced fruit fairly regularly although we have never seen it flower.
the other two died back to their base root stock–some sort of citrus but of the inedible variety.
My mother-in-law had planted something she called Harry Lauder—a very ugly jointed shrub of some sort–I never knew what kind it was–just that it’s variety name was Harry Lauder.
It has huge thorns on it and is covered with blooms. The fruit is green, knobby and with very little flesh–certainly not edible. There isn’t much scent to the flowers—and so it’s only attribute are the flowers.
Citrus provides nectar for our bees but there didn’t seem to be any on Harry.
It is always great to see bees on the hives flying in and out with that front entrance resembling an airport.
Last fall I bought two jars of Door County Cherry Pie Filling.
Our house is not heated evenly throughout and I do not do well in the cold. Although you would think being in the kitchen would be warm enough with all the cooking going on, the floor is still cold and the ceilings are high–walking around with my hands in the air just does not lend itself to lengthy cooking projects.
The weather has been much more conducive to both outdoor activities and our house is now warm enough for me to spend some time in the kitchen.
Here is the empty jar to prove I opened up the jar:
And here is the pie:
looks great doesn’t it?
The filling was good, the raw sugar on top good, the crust—awful! Not a crust I made–it came from the freezer section in the grocery store with the top one a rolled out one and the bottom one pre-formed.
But then we had this to precede the pie:
picked from our garden!
When I first started gardening here, I planted things as I remembered doing them in Wisconsin. Locals informed me of the proper schedule for planting–peas are planted in January–not end of May! And I can have year round garden produce.
Azaleas were not a flower I grew up with; my mother preferred peonies—pronounced ‘pineys’. Nearly every garden had a row of zinnias and marigolds with peonies along the sides of the lawns.
In Augusta Georgia–called the Garden City–there were dozens of azaleas and dogwoods–all blooming the first or second week of April just in time for the Augusta Nationals. That golf course is as beautiful as you see on television; with everything controlled except the sun!.
Here in southeast Texas. we have a bit warmer weather due to the proximity of the coast. In February we had another cold snap—not nearly as dramatic as the one the previous year, but still it set back the blooms of the daffodils, snow-drops and the azaleas. A few buds have opened up especially on the lower branches making the bushes look rather spare.
Many people do not like spiders—and I admit to enjoying the fact that Dora fetches the newspaper each morning—meaning I no longer have to walk down our sidewalk waving my hands frantically over my head in an effort to not get spider web on my face and hair.
But there is just something magical about seeing those webs glisten in the early morning sun—and how strong those spider webs are.
They spin them new each night….so much work for their breakfast/lunch/dinner.
Sometimes Grandpas have the best ideas. Popsicles all around for grandsons, son, and grandpa—grandma was in charge of taking photos for the day.
Because this was the project—a Sears tractor built in 1967 with a pull-behind mower—to replace the electric mower waiting for a new charger—charger probably on one of those ships stuck outside California waiting to port.
We have an acre to mow—and a small electric push mower needing to be recharged after twenty minutes makes this a daily task.
The grandsons did help me weed my garden in preparation for winter season crops; played tag–thus the need for those popsicles.
Blogging is a natural progression for someone who enjoys the written word and beautiful imagery. My photographs are hosted at sylviaweir.smugmug.com. I am slowly transitioning all my photographs to this site and will hopefully edit them to a manageable number. In the meantime, I have organized my blog photos by year and so you may wish to merely sample the blog photos
Feel free to contact me for any questions. My website here has not been fully populated but as I work on my smugmug site, I will update these pages.
My work begins with a word, a thought, an idea, or a bit of a poem. I search through my library of images mostly on Smugmug or sometimes I go out and photograph new images. A pieced quilt pattern is sometimes chosen, sometimes I use a piece of fabric I have altered in the past. The imagery is added on using hand applique and then thread is used to add details.
Each piece is meant to draw the viewer inward providing them with ample opportunities to add their own story to the piece. If the piece evokes the emotion or thought I wished conveyed, then I consider the piece successful.
Sometimes I play 'what if' with fabric and paint and imagery. These might be considered equivalent to scale work in music--something I always enjoyed.