Summer here in Northern Minnesota has come and gone.
Early stages of Fall are now upon us.
The winds have changed, the temperatures dropped, and leaves on the trees are glowing daily stronger in multi shades of yellow, orange, vibrant red, and crimson.
This past summer still lives however in the images I had captured.
This was the year of the insect.
Clouds of butterflies visited flowers during the day,
and an amazing flutter of Polyphemus moths were visible during the evening ( a moth rarely sighted in a season here ).
~ Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly in the Siberian Iris Beds ~
~ Polyphemus Moth Under the Evening House Light ~
~ Beautiful Green Damselfly ~
~ Golden Green Dragonfly on Siberian Iris Bud ~
The above image of the dragonfly on the iris bud was an amazing capture, one I had longed to get for years! Dragonflies love to light on leafless branches and bare plant stems. Rarely have I seen them land on a flower, and just as rare to see an image captured of the dragonfly and flower combination!
This was a good day!
~ I hope your summer contained some amazing and beautiful sights! ~
I am so excited to finally offer some of my designs in metal!
"Bunny Rabbit" the little rabbit from my ACEO art "First Apple" is the first of 7 designs I have been working on that will be available as silhouettes in heavy durable plate steel. More designs that will follow are
"Black Cat and Pumpkin" from my ACEO "You and I"
"Little Pegasus" "Little Unicorn" and "Little Foal" from an ACEO of the Man in the Moon and baby Pegasus
"Whimsical Butterfly" from my ACEO "Golden Palomino"
"The Raven" from the ACEO "The Watcher"
To view more information on the newly released 8 1/4" x 10 1/4" "Bunny Rabbit" just click on the word here.
railroads hanging in the air where the ground washed out from beneath it,
the zoo flooded and lost much loved animals,
docks disappearing under swollen lakes,
large sections of roads under water or completely washed out,
stranding many including some of my family.
~ Sideroad leading to Duluth's major shopping area. That is not a lake at the bottom of the hill. It should be lawns, road, and parking lots only. ~
~ Duluth, Minnesota car dealership with flooded vehicles. Parking lots and road should be where water is seen. ~
~ What normally is a well traveled section of road between some of Duluth's major shopping stores and restaurants. Where you see water should only be road and parking lots. ~
~ A frontage road leading to Duluth's major shopping mall. ~
~ Kayakers heading to the flooded parking lot of Duluth's Target store. ~
~ Kayakers paddling to the mall. ~
~ Many sections of road had large bodies of water on them such as the one above... ~
~ ...and this country road outside of Duluth heading towards our home. ~
~ This country driveway was completely under water, leading to a home on the edge of a dangerously high and flooding Cloquet River. ~
It is going to take many days for this amount of water to recede.
Thankfully our home is high enough so we have seen only slight water damage from the amazing amount of water that has fallen from the sky. Some of my gardens however have seen too much water, and rescuing of plants may be needed!
Of all the four seasons, Spring is my favorite! It contains the holiday I love best...Easter...a holiday of flowers, baby birds and animals, and life renewed! After a winter of sleeping trees, ground covered in white, and frozen lakes, Spring is most welcome!
As the earth awakens I love watching for fuzzy pussy willows that emerge, the honk and trumpet of Canadian Geese and white Trumpeter Swans, the air rushing through wings, as their great flocks fly northward.
I love the patter of raindrops on the roof and the smell of the earth as it thaws, the first croaks of awakening frogs, and delight once again at the sight of a flitting butterfly, crawling fuzzy caterpillar, and the tiniest buds as they swell in the trees.
How wonderful to see green coat the ground once again as little blades of grass and flowers stretch toward the warming sunshine, to hear the most beautiful music as songbirds return and sing songs of Spring and love, and to watch as lakes and rivers turn from white, to grey, and finally blue again, reflecting colors of the sky on its waters.
The post of Iris in the Whimsy gardens I had promised oh so long ago!
To look below at the amount of images I placed in this post you probably can tell I really love Iris! All images are of the actual flowers growing in the Whimsy gardens. Many will be potted up to share with other gardeners at market this spring.
~ Siberian Iris~
* Ego *
~ Siberian Iris ~
*Chilled Wine *
~ Siberian Iris~
* Ruffled Velvet *
~ Siberian Iris ~
* Butter & Sugar *
~ Standard Siberian Iris ~
~ Siberian Iris ~
*Snow Queen *
~ Siberian Iris~
* Mares Tails *
Mares Tails is a Siberian Iris cross pollination of Snow Queen and the standard blue Siberian Iris. The plant appeared on its own from dropped seed one summer, and surprised me with the beautiful snow white flowers lightly touched with the palest of blue.
~ German Bearded Iris ~
* variety unkown *
~ Bearded Iris ~
* Heirloom variety unkown *
The above Iris was the beginning of my Iris collection and was planted in my grandmother's garden during the 1950's.
~ Bearded Iris ~
* Heirloom Wabash 1940 *
This beautiful blue and white iris was one of two heirloom varieties that were "rescued" by a gardening friend from an old abandoned lot some years ago.
~ Bearded Iris ~
* Heirloom Flavescens 1813 *
~ Bearded Iris ~
* Lady Friend *
These are approximately half of the Iris varieties now growing in the Whimsy gardens. And as I just can't resist the beauty of these plants, I'm sure more will appear in the gardens this year!
The weather over the weekend was warm and sunny, prompting sounds and sights signaling the change of seasons. Snow was melting quickly becoming very slushy underfoot, and miniature rivulats of water streamed off of roofs, then meandered this way and that, traveling towards unknown destinations.
Songbirds were chirping joys of the warm sunshine, larger birds like the eagle and crow were abundant in the air, and the first of the pussywillows have appeared!
All this brought thoughts of warm days of spring and summer past, and wild things that visit the Whimsy gardens.
~ Spring Robin ~
I had longed to photograph closeup images of robins, but being they are very shy birds this had not been possible, as I lacked a zoom lens for my camera. Wishes do come true however...and...as I am learning through the years...they come true sometimes in the most unexpected ways!
One morning last Spring as I was having my breakfast I heard the strangest tap...tap...tap. I stopped to listen closely. The sound came again...tap...tap...tap. Slowly and cautiously I rose to find the source. It appeared someone was tapping on a window. Who, I wondered, could it be? Tap...tap...tap...it came again. Downstairs I went, following the noise...tap...tap...tap.
Downstairs is a dark mahogany cabinet which is situated against an outside wall that contains a small window. This cabinet seemed to be where the strange tapping noise came from. But what...how...who?
Again came the tap...tap...tap.
Ever so slowly I opened the creeking cabinet door...and there to my utter amazement stood a bright red breasted Mr. Robin! He was bobbing up and down in an overgrown cedar bush which happened to be in front of the small window. As I watched not more than four feet away, Mr. Robin hopped up to the window and with his beak tap...tap...tapped.
And again tap...tap...tapped.
I slowly backed from his view, then dashed for the camera hoping I hadn't scared him away, and that he would remain long enough for me to snap a few quick images. When would I have this opportunity to be so close again, I wondered!
No fear you see... for the back of the mahogony cabinet had a large rectangular hole cut into it when it was made. This hole I assume is to allow for access to the back of electrical equipment when placed inside. Mr. Robin, looking through the window, thought this to be an ideal nesting spot...a perfect bush in front to hop into and cover the view of said nesting area...a lovely roof overhead...and a beautiful large opening to place said nest into...as long as the cabinet door remainded closed that is! His only issue was...how to get through the window into that perfect nesting area!
He was a very insistant Mr. Robin! After a full hour of clicking images, I believed I had all of the angles I could want...for now...closed the cabinet door, and went to continue about my day.
Poor Mr. Robin!
He wanted that spot very, very much! And for two solid weeks continued to tap on the window. I feared that he would waste too many days trying to nest somewhere he could not.
And below was why he desired this nesting spot!
~ Little Red Squirrel ~
Little Red Squirrel is very, very cute...but quite naughty. Scampering here and there, from tree to tree, chattering away if he happens to catch anyone looking his way. Little Red Squirrel and friend litter the ground with pinecones, chewed off pine branches, and in the spring, little eggshells (sometimes Mr. Robin's little blue eggs) and tipped over nests.
But what a cute face on Little Red Squirrel!
~ Miss Chippy Chipmunk ~
Miss Chippy Chipmunk is another wild Whimsy critter...and she too is quite smart. She has an amazing way of training humans! You see, in the Whimsy gardens there grow blueberry bushes. These blueberry bushes grow fat, delicious blueberries! Each summer I watch and wait as the little green blueberries grow larger and larger...then turn pink, light purple, darker purple, and one more day until...HEY, where did those ripe blueberries go!
Not until last year did Miss Chippy Chipmunk confess she and Mr. Chippy had been enjoying ripe blueberries for breakfast! I had always wondered who was leaving little tooth and tongue marks in the not quite ripe blueberries growing next to the missing ripe berries! Yes, Miss Chippy Chipmunk told me it was her as she scampered excitedly in front of me to reach the bushes, dashed nimbly into them and sat looking at me as if to say..."My blueberries?"
I guess this human took a little longer to train than some. After that day, peanuts appeared morning and evening for Mr. and Miss Chippy...and blueberries were found on the bushes, ripe and unsampled!
Many other wild critters visit the Whimsy gardens, some only once, others more often. What stories will they tell this year?
Mr. Robin did eventually decide that it was past time to move on and find another nesting area. Where? I am not quite sure, but I hope it was quite safe from Little Red Squirrel.
I look forward to more adventures of the wild critters of Whimsy gardens!
I wish to thank everyone for all of your wonderful
The day which has now come and gone was spent with grandchildren, grown children, and Mr. Whimsy. After I received a bundle of wonderful handmade cards from the grandchildren, the evening was spent feasting on delicious pizza, brownies baked by granddaughter, and board game playing! Truly a fun day!
Time past, the day finally arrived to pick a winner...and on that day the 3rd snowstorm of the week hit!
Shoveling, snowblowing, shoveling, snowblowing...
...when evening fell and the Whimsy clock struck 9:00 PM, Mr Whimsy was fast asleep!
We're late! We're late!
the grand plumed hat has now been filled with folded name strips on blue parchment of those that entered...
names were stirred, bounced, and stirred again. As I held the hat well above mine and Mr. Whimsy's head to allow for no peeking, Mr. Whimsy slowly drew a name as I held my breath and closed my eyes. Asking if he should read the name to me, I quietly nodded yes.
I had a wish that each one that had entered would be a winner!
and Gulf Coast Laser Graphics
I would love to send you a mini version of Peek A Boo,
a 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" ACEO print (which really is the size of the original it was created from)!
If you would love to find this little print in your mailbox, please email me the address you wish it shipped to at firstname.lastname@example.org
Again thank you all!!!
But wait you say?
What about the woodpeckers?
Today the giant 17" Pileated Woodpeckers are calling! A true sign of the beginning of Spring!
~ Pileated Nest ~
These parents were very smart birds! If you look carefully you will notice the nesting hole of last year was created perfectly under the tree growing fungus, providing a natural awning to help shed rain.
~ Pileated Woodpecker Chick Calling for Lunch ~
Last year these amazing birds decided to nest in a tree at the edge of Whimsy lawn. Such a racket these little fledglings created as they waited for the parents to return again and again with tasty morsels. And what a joy it was for quiet to return to the neighborhood once they flew out in search of their own meals!
Where will the parents create their nest this year? Despite the noise from hungy chicks, these large prehistoric looking birds are a delight to watch!
Thank you for popping into the Chronicles of Whimsy!
For everyone else that had entered, something special awaits you! Please check the next post above!
Thank you so very much everyone!!!
It's that time of year again!
~ Birthday time!!! ~
Even though I do enjoy receiving, I LOVE to give!
~ Peek A Boo ~
...this year I'm giving away a 5"x7" print of "Peek A Boo"!
I would love for you to come celebrate with me!!!
To participate in my Birthday Giveaway just leave a comment below this post from now through Sunday, March 4th when the Chronicles of Whimsy clock strikes 9 P.M. Please be sure to include your email address or link so that I can contact you should you be my Birthday Giveaway 2012 winner!
This giveaway is open to all young or old, near or far!
The winner will be drawn from the plumed hat Sunday evening by Mr. Whimsy, and announced on the Chronicles of Whimsy blog Monday, March 5th.
~ Good luck everyone, I wish you all a most wonderful, whimsical week ahead! ~
Last year on a sunny, warm March afternoon this little French Alpine goatling was born. From the beginning I knew he was different from the rest of the kids.
Even though he was born the second of twins, he was large. While his jet black brother, born minutes before him, lay in the fresh hay exercising his young lungs to take in the fresh country air that was new to him, Bold shook his little head, wiggled onto his baby knees, and within three short minutes of having entered the world, was wobbling about on stout hooves still wet and soft.
I sat watching in amazement as he wobbled this way and weaved that, touching with his soft whisker covered nose each wall of his mother's stall. In just a few short minutes he had found his mother's side, and eagerly began to suckle for his first meal of warm milk. With tummy satisfied and not wishing to lay for a rest, Bold stood quite still, eyes half closed as if in light slumber. Every now and then his little pink tongue would pop out as if he were savoring the flavor of that delicious milk.
His first nap didn't last long, for just when his older brother decided it was finally time to test out his new wobbling legs to explore the world and find some milk, Bold sprang with renewed energy, bouncing about as if on springs. First quite unsure, but within minutes, to his brother's exasperation Bold's leaps became bounds, bumping into and off of his brother and mother in the pure joy of movement.
Yes, Bold was different. And who knew that the smooth headed baby buckling would within 6 months grow such a crown of hair on his young head! With such a zest for life and his amazing hairdo, what will this young buck mature to.
Tigger loves basking in any bit of sunshine she can find through out the house. This is the pose I found her in during one of her sunbathing sessions, and just couldn't resist capturing it with the camera!
All artwork, photos, and writeups displayed here are copyrighted material of Dale Ann Widen unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced in any manner on the internet/computer, nor paper or any other material or means of reproduction without the express written and signed permission by the artist Dale Ann Widen, this includes all reproductions and originals. All rights are retained by the artist Dale Ann Widen.