May Day

Family traditions are big in my family. I’m still mourning all of the traditions we lost when my grandma died, but there are a few we’ve managed to keep intact with some modifications.

Every year when I was growing up, my grandma, mom, and I would go to a local greenhouse that opens on May 1st and closes whenever they run out of plants. I missed the trip on the years when May 1st fell on a weekday. But once I was done with school I took the day off work to go. Now that grandma is gone, mom and I go. Sometimes we invite my dad.

This year was one of the cooler days for the greenhouse trip. As someone who hates hot weather, I was very happy. When it’s already 75 degrees out, it becomes unbearable inside the greenhouse.

We actually visited three different greenhouses and a couple of markets. It was a long but really enjoyable day and a great way to celebrate May Day!

This year I decided to take some photos of the plants that caught my eye. I didn’t bring my big digitals SLR and lenses, but I am quite pleased with the photos I took with my Nexus 5 and I think it did quite well for a phone camera.

You can click on each photo to make it larger and see more detail.

My parents got some flowers to give as gifts, other to keep, and some vegetables for the garden. I helped pick out some herbs. I already used some of the herbs to make lamb patties with a cucumber salad and mint sauce (SO GOOD). And I am looking forward to making mojitos this summer.

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I also picked up a succulent for myself. They’re trendy right now, but I’m not complaining. I’ve always found them interesting and it’s nice to see a bigger selection available. This one is a bit of a mystery. It was in with the jade plants and looks very similar to them. Unlike a jade, it is fuzzy. I checked with the people at the greenhouse and they didn’t have an exact variety name for me. It’s in the Crassula family (Jades are too) but there are over 1400 varieties of Crassula so I’ll probably never figure out exactly what type it is. I’m going to treat it like a jade and hope for the best!

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Personal Photography – Zoo Trip

In early July I visited the Potter Park Zoo with one of my closest friends.  With as busy as we both are these days, we don’t get to spend much time together.  But we’re both trying to make an effort so when she said she was going to be in Lansing on one of my Fridays off, I shuffled my plans around and made it happen.  She had been planning to bring her two boys to the zoo and Potter Park is great for smaller kids.  The Detroit Zoo is amazing, but it’s the kind of place you need to spend a whole day at to do it justice.  And for two kids who aren’t yet in kindergarten, it’s just too much to tackle.  You can spend a couple of hours at Potter Park and feel like you’ve seen most of it, and the boys had a blast.  I took a ton of pictures of them too, but here are some of the ones I took for myself.  Along with all of the animals, there are some pretty flowers and plants.

 

The animals were gorgeous too and I had fun playing with my zoom lens to get interesting texture shots of the peacocks that roamed the zoo and of the tigers.  There were porcupines, a grey wolf, rhinos, a bald eagle, and otter.  FYI, otter are VERY difficult to photograph.  Sometime I am going to have to go back and take some pictures of them when I’m not helping wrangle two little boys who are at least as slippery as an otter!

Personal Photography – Easter

Well, I’m only two weeks behind with the Easter pics, so that’s an improvement, right?

Because it was such a late spring, there wasn’t much in the way of plants and flowers outside, except for the daffodil bed, so I took advantage of what my parents grow inside.

Oh, and that wooden carved egg?  My dad made it for me.  He’s made one for me almost every year since I was a kid so I have dozens of them.  Hmm, maybe when I (eventually) set up an office for myself that’s a little less makeshift, I’ll hang a shelf just for them, because they’re much to pretty to hide in a box and only bring out at Easter.  This year the wood was from a cedar tree that grew on my grandma’s property, so that makes it extra special.