SPIDERWORT – Marilyn Armstrong

Flower of the Day

They are true blue, but for some reason no matter what camera I use, show up as purple. Something about the way the light hits it. I finally got them back to their natural color, which is a rich, cornflower blue.

 

ARCHES, DOMES, AND HALF CIRCLES – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Arch, Dome or Half Circle

I included a couple of pictures from a good friend in Arizona because they fit perfectly into this montage!

NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Gold

I live in the land of gold, at least for somewhere around a month every year. Autumn is golden time here in the northeast unless we are rudely interrupted by a hurricane or a very early snow. Sometimes, the gold lasts right through November and finally vanishes in December.

Lackey Dam, ducks and a swan
Mallards on the Mumford

Followed about one week later by a major blizzard. I’m not sure why, but that’s the way it seems to work.

FLAG DAY, JUST A LITTLE EARLY – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Flags or Banners

Actually, June 14th is Flag Day this year. Most people forget about the day. It was a big deal when I was in school and we remember it because it was Garry’s mom’s birthday. Otherwise, it has mostly been forgotten. Another lost holiday.

Nice to have it back, even as one-time “thing.”

THE CHANGING SEASONS: FLOWERS ARE BLOOMING – Marilyn Armstrong

SPRING TURNS INTO SUMMER IN A WEEK IN NEW ENGLAND

We had snow at the beginning of the month and it will be full summer tomorrow. But that’s the way it goes up here. Something about the ways the winds blow down from Canada, across from the midwest, and up from the south … and of course, in from the Atlantic Ocean.

Macros – Hanging pots on the deck

It gives us an amazingly busy weather system, I should add. If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute — or less!

Mumford River Dam
Long view of the Mumford River dam

The reason we have Memorial Day (previously Decoration Day) at the end of May is because in this part of the world, all the flowers are blooming. Actually, for our region, mid June would probably be better, but this will do.

Uxbridge Police Station
A working gardener
Flag by Police Station
Lawn mower man
Clouds over Walmart
More lawn mower man

And then, stuff has been happening at home. Repairs are getting made. The house looks better but we are so poor!

I like it so much, I feel i should get them ALL replaced. How I wish I could.
Our newly mown lawn!

The Dawgz

And just a little more in the way of flowers because they are gone far too soon.

Hanging geraniums
More geraniums
Basket of begonias
Our woods in May

And finally, as Garry gets ready for his cochlear implant, lots of visits to UMass Memorial hospital …

Entry
Coming and going

 

Going and coming


About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge, originally hosted by Max at Cardinal Guzman. 

SU LESLIE has taken over hosting duties this year, and if you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

* Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
* Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
* Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

1 – Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month

2 – Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

3 – Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Sue Leslie’s post, she can update it with links to all of yours.


  1. Colloquial term for those living in the South Island of New Zealand.

GARRY’S BROTHERS – Garry Armstrong

A PHOTO A WEEK – SIBLINGS

I am the eldest of three brother and the only one who married. My two younger brothers live in Minnesota. Dr. Anton Armstrong, conductor of the St. Olaf choir, is still working. Billy is retired. And of course we are here, in New England. Travel is difficult these days, so the telephone is especially important.

Geographical distance now minimizes the time I see my Brothers.  Billy moved to Northfield after we closed down our old family home on Long Island last summer. I used to drive down to see Billy a couple or 3 times a year. It was always nice to see the old neighborhood and spend a couple of days with Billy.  We shared family memories,  watched baseball and old movies, and exchanged commiseration about the aches of our golden years.  It was low-key and fulfilling. Something we never did when we were younger. I always felt closer to Billy after these visits.

The reunion of the three Armstrong “Boys” is difficult now.  Anton has a crazy, busy work schedule.  He is almost always on the road, usually overseas on tour, fulfilling his commitments as Director of the acclaimed St. Olaf’s Choir.

Our get-togethers are usually brief.  I’m usually burned out from my New England commute.  The 4 hour drive became more and more daunting in recent years.  Anton is even more fried from jet lag and minimal sleep with more work piled up on his lap top. Still,  we treasured the time we had together. Time and distance have not diminished our bond.  We actually verbalize our feelings,  something we never did as kids.  We made a pact after Dad and Mom passed away — to stay connected,  regardless of geography and different life paths.

That pact is more difficult now.  Long Island is now history after almost 60 years.  These days we stay in touch via e-mail and phone calls. Minnesota is a difficult visit for me financially and because I can’t leave Marilyn alone with our 3 dogs.  Marilyn is game but she’s too fragile and vulnerable to fend for herself alone.

The loss of family and friends is a constant reminder of life’s fragility. It’s comforting to know my two brothers are close to each other and I’m just a phone call or email away.

The Brothers Armstrong — a formidable trio.

MAYLOWERS OF MASSACHUSETTS – Marilyn Armstrong

MAYFLOWER – Flower of the Day

One of the great things about using the internet is learning stuff. Cee mentioned that Columbine is Colorado’s state flower … which made me wonder what our Massachusetts’ state flower might be.

Mayflowers

Turns out to be the Mayflower. Yes, just like the name of the boat that landed in Plymouth. Though I’m pretty sure it didn’t land on the rock or it would have crashed, so I’m assuming they anchored and went ashore in a more normal way.

Mayflowers – in May!

Meanwhile, though, I have tons of Mayflowers in our yard. They are wild, so they cover the grass, usually together with our first flock of dandelions. It makes a very pretty purple and yellow carpet in the early part of spring.

More Mayflowers
I was told that this is another kind of Mayflower

Late April typically, though it was May this year because of the cold weather that wouldn’t leave. Not to mention the wind, rain, sleet, and snow. Or, what we like to call “our miserable weather.”

Mayflowers
Mayflowers and pink-eyed grass

Nothing stops those wildflowers, though. We didn’t get the usually thatch of dandelions and Mayflower, but we got them. This time, fewer dandelions and more Mayflowers.