All in landscape + nature

My Grandfather's Garden — The Zinnia Edition

Though it’s October (almost November) in the Pacific Northwest, my grandfather continues to cultivate the loveliest garden. Currently, his zinnias are in bloom and they’re splashed about the backyard like a wild watercoloring of summer. No rain or grey clouds can take away from their vibrant colored petals.

Just like him, my mother also has a touch of the gardening witchcraft in her veins. She attempted to pass these skills down to me, but let’s just say I work best with wildflowers (aka, minimum workload) species.

Summer Evening in the Garden

What's funny is that fifteen minutes before going outside, my brother was remarking about all the mosquito bites he had. Apparently I wanted half a dozen as well, and they were gifted to me when I headed outside to snap a few photos of the neighbor's tree and my mom's garden.

By the time the last of the evening sunlight had disappeared behind the eve of the house, I had about five bug bites and counting. But it was completely worth it to catch these delicate little blossoms before a strong gust whisked them away. Now the sun is just about gone and the clouds look like tie-dyed cotton candy stretched across the sky.

Pastel Blossoms

This afternoon was a perfect day for walking around the neighborhood and photographing the flowering trees. After weeks of snow and rain, it was lovely to finally see the sun and beautiful workings of spring.

I took Louie around, both for a good walk, and to snap pictures of the trees. We're about to start a seven-day rain stretch so I knew I wanted to get out quick. I'm absolutely in love with how fast everything has grown and greened and bloomed.

Spring has Finally Arrived!

Out here in the Midwest, we've been staring at the rest of the country with envious eyes. (Well, maybe not the entire country—looking at you Northeast.) As friends and family posted photos of their beautifully blooming trees and flowers, we continued to watch the snow fall, inch by inch. We took bets on whether or not we'd get a spring and prayed that Mother Nature wouldn't take a violent leap into summer. The weather gods were kind; we've had a blissful last few weeks with high 70s for temps. With a lightning storm earlier this week, it seems as if everything just exploded with life. Birds, trees, flowers... they're all here and ready to party.  

A Second Day in the Forest

After the beautiful sights I was privy to this weekend, I knew I had to go back to the trails before the last of the golden and worn leaves fell. The sun was out today, definitely a different view of the forest from the last time when it was much cooler and the clouds blanketed the sky.

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love - that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” — Letter to Miss Lewis, October 1, 1841

Autumn Textures

The most beautiful season, in my opinion, has finally hit the midwest full force. Though we're not at peak color yet, Southern Wisconsin is definitely feeling the autumn vibes. This afternoon, while clouds whipped past overhead and the sun flitted giddily behind them, I decided to wander out of the house for a little walk. I think Louie was super excited to run around as well.

While the overall look of this trail was stunning — beginning in emeralds and auburns and transitioning to ambers and rubies — what I found most beautiful was the small details in the plants and foliage. Plants that once might have been delicately petaled flowers now had turned hardy and burnt from the summer sun, seed pods and remnants leftover from the bygone season.

A (Sunflower) Field of Dreams

We've embarked on our summer road trip and as of today, have been through four states, about to hit our fifth. We started in Wisconsin; hit a bit of traffic in Chicago, Illinois; saw Lake Erie from Indiana; and finally settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Before we started I didn't hold very high standards for Ohio (I'm sorry Ohioans!!). I just kept picturing long stretches of corn fields like we have in Wisconsin; I wasn't ready for beautiful and wild forests and a skyline reaching to the sky. 

The first place we stayed was Avon, Ohio and I felt like this town was putting on a show to make us want to stay forever. We drove past our hotel to explore a little bit and were greeted with a gorgeous sunset over the lake complete with a family of deer strolling through the neighborhood.

We also spotted a gorgeous sunflower field which I vowed to come back at sunrise. Setting my alarm for 6:45 I came back and only a handful of us waited for the sun to rise. You could hear people gasp as the first light hit the fields. I'd like to take a quick moment to point out the amazing and heartbreaking story behind this field.