Sights and sounds at the VOA

I’ve had a goal to do more short video on my blog. I don’t know if you’ve tried to use video, and maybe I’m missing the shortcuts, but it seems there are a lot of steps involved:
1. Take the video
2. Upload or download (I can never figure out which is what) the video to my computer.
3. Open iMovie and start a new “event.”
4. Import the movie.
5. Start a new “project.”
6. Edit the movie by selecting segments, or clipping off bad ends, or whatever I can do with iMovie (which at this point isn’t all that much.)
7. Finalize the movie.
8. Share the movie (there is an option to share it directly to YouTube, but that didn’t seem to work for me so I exported it to my computer.)
9. Go to YouTube and download or upload (still haven’t got it) the movie.
10.Copy the movie’s URL and paste it into the “text” page of the WordPress new post editor.

Am I missing something? I suspect if I didn’t want to edit the movie first this process could be significantly shortcut. But I’m going to have to get a whole lot better at planning and shooting videos for that to happen.

I know I talked about this before, but I’m trying again. It’s one of those things that I think if I just do it enough times it will become second nature to me. What do you think?

Also, I vaguely remember seeing a post from WordPress about a new way of adding video that works better. I can’t find it now. I know I saved the email for a while, but I suspect it went the way of the recycle bin on a recent purge in an attempt to get my inbox once again below 50 messages.

That was just the lengthy introduction. Here’s the post.

It was a beautiful breezy day at the VOA this morning. I walk by these little chiming spoons every time I go there. I think it would be lovely to have lots of silverware chimes such as these hanging from the limbs of my trees. Not sure Mark will go for it.

This group of ducks caught my eye. I think they are mallards, but they don’t look quite right, so I’m wondering if they are a group of juvenile mallards. I also don’t know what they’re doing.

Are they practicing their swimming? Having a party? Diving for coins? You tell me.

I was going to show you photos of wildflowers from Leo’s Garden, but in the interest of time, and a desire to have an easy post for another day, (you didn’t hear that from me), I’ll end it here.

It’s still a beautiful day here. I hope you have nice weather to enjoy where you are.

Two early spring mysteries and two quacking garden inspectors

Yesterday, March 20th – the first day of Spring

This morning the birds were singing in full chorus when I went out onto the deck to take my daily picture of the woods greening up that I hope to make into a slide show. But the process is  a little haphazard at the moment, so don’t hold your breath. I should have created some way to control the actual angle or perspective rather than just randomly walking out and taking a shot.

I also wanted to bring you the full scale version of the single blossom on this tree that appeared in my Early spring gardening post.

This is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Why is there only one flower? Do you know? My best working theory at the moment is that the squirrels ate all the buds but missed that one. What do you think?

While I was contemplating this important issue, a noise drew my attention back down to the creek where I saw a frisky fawn running along until it saw me.

There is a fawn in this picture. Look for the white edge of the tail.

Then it climbed the bank and went into the cover of the woods. It clearly was a fawn, but not a really early one, giving me a new question to ponder. Do does have fawns at different times of year? This fawn seemed too old to be a new-born like I’ve seen in past years. Yet, I’m sure it wasn’t the older ones that have traveled through our yard all year and that ate the apples I left for them.

Two early spring mysteries. Any ideas?

Later that day.

Two garden inspectors stopped by late in the day yesterday after a brief swim in the creek.

I hope my newly planted Columbine passes inspection.

Oh no. I knew I should have gotten those wildflower seeds distributed in the wooded area bordering the garden.

Shoot. I was hoping they wouldn’t notice that back corner where I didn’t get the leaves cleared from yet. These guys are tough.

They’re not going to find anything out of kilter up here. I just spent a lot of time cleaning and straightening things up here. There may be a few stray seeds around from the feeder, but that can only be good.

I think they seem satisfied with this.

Oh no. Where is she going to now? Please. Not the angel garden.

I wish I could hear what they are talking about.

I’m sure they’ve seen all the Chameleon ivy poking it’s head up. I’m never going to hear the end of it.

Early spring gardening

These are the best of days.

From the back deck of our house on top of the hill, I can see the woods are beginning to fill with an elusive green mist where fairies play.

Our duck couple has returned again. I saw the mother with babies trailing in a neighbor’s yard our first spring here, before I knew this fine pair liked to nest near the creek that flows behind our house.

Closer to the house, I can see the green mist is actually a delicate veil of early leaves on honeysuckle bushes that have infiltrated our woods.

This tree near my St. Francis garden outside my kitchen windows sports a single blossom, an early harbringer of spring too impatient to wait.

The early spring woods provides a beautiful backdrop from the emerging iris in my St. Francis garden.

The daffodils have opened to greet the day. Mark moves the black pole that supports the bird feeders and cleans up the remnants of the birds’ winter feast. We leave a feeder on the front port and back deck. I’m going to miss watching the birds from my kitchen table.

In the spot to the left of the daffodils and owl, I plant three hyacinths, not pictured here. They aren’t fully developed or in bloom yet.

Impatient for flowers, I plant this columbine in the lowest level of the St. Francis garden that receives nearly full shade.

It is the level below the rocks on the right. You can just barely see the little red flowers at the bottom edge of the photo. I’m going to have to talk to the photographer about this. First the hyacinths, now the columbine. . .

I fill our six deck flower boxes with pansies and make a fine mess doing it.  They’re a nice flower to have around in early spring and hopefully will survive any foul weather Mother Nature throws our way through March and April.

Out front this little tree blooms white. I see it from the desk where I work in my study. I think it is a Bradford pear. I don’t know if the previous owners planted it or it came out of the woods on its own. Mark and I have talked about planting other flowering trees in the strip of land we own across the private drive.

What do you think? Bradford pear? Truthfully, I don’t care much for the fragrance.

These hyacinths border one of our landscaped areas in our front yard. Most of the plants were here when we arrived a little over two years ago, as were these.

The tulip tree at the corner of our house sports many blossoms on its top limbs.

Most are not quite ready to open.

The little purple flowers on what I believe to be Vinca Minor or Creeping Myrtle create a magical look to the edge of woods across the drive.

And to the woodland garden. I’m waiting for something magical to happen here,

with gnomes, and fairies, and a walking path with bench.

We need more magic.

These barely budding oak leaf hydrangeas separate what I consider the woodland garden from the angel garden.

I call the hillside garden the angel garden because I put angel statues in it, one of which has taken a tumble and lies on its side in the yard.

The flat land at the top I call the woodland garden. When we first moved in, it was a dense tangle of overgrown gnarly honeysuckle, hawthorn trees, sticky bushes (probably wild roses), and poison ivy. We cleared most of that out, leaving as many trees as we could. I hope to create a nice little space to walk and/or sit up there someday. But we have more pressing matters for now, like the ivy.

Tell me it ain’t so. . .Chameleon ivy.

I had to dig out some of the ivy with its runners just to plant two daffodils. This flattering photo was taken by my daughter. Although it looks like my head is in the refuse container, it’s not. Even so, you can still see what hard work it is to extract the invasive ivy from the garden.

Arthur feels the same way.

But the work is worth it, when I see my garden blooming ivy-free. Although I’m not sure exactly how long it will take us to make the garden completely ivy-free, perhaps forever. The runners are under these beautiful and incredibly heavy landscaping boulders. I feel towards the ivy runners like Wile E Coyote felt towards the Roadrunner. And you know how far that always got him.

The birds always love it when I garden.

See more posts about gardening in my series.