Drawing Sunflowers

I had a great idea last spring to try to better my drawing skills. Or perhaps, to find any form of drawing skill !! I am really good at drawing the extremely, symmetrical 2D shapes that are necessary in drawing landscape plans, however, throw in that last dimension and I’m lost. I figured I wanted to try drawing from a photo first, as it is already in 2D. Not sure if that helped or hurt, but these are my first few attempts.

image

These were actually water-color pencils. I’ve never worked with them before. I felt like a little kid again, as I remember that newspapers sometimes used to include paint-by-numbers with ‘paint’ included on the paper. Just use a wet brush on the paint which activated it and you were able to paint your picture. These pencils work in the same manner, as you use a wet brush on them after you’ve drawn. I think it makes the drawing look smoother & I can hide all my gorilla strokes with the pencil.

image

Messin’ with camera setting….

image

Here’s the funny part… My husband is a double art major that attended college at an art institute… I don’t know if I really want to ask for advice. Has anyone had success in having their spouse teach them something without anyone loosing any limbs? =-D

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Autumn Blooming Flowers 10-21-2014

Happy Tuesday to you all!!

Click HERE to see what was blooming last year!!

image

If you can figure out what I was taking a picture of here, I will send you the booby-prize!!

image

Cool thistle heads.

image

Helenium autumnale – Sneezeweed… Achooooo!

image

Helenium autumnale – Sneezeweed

image

Milkweed seeds – Blowing n the wind!

image

Gentainella quinquefolia – Stiff Gentian

image

I know it is an aster – never seen one with a purple center, tho.

image

Solidago nemoralis – Gray goldenrod

image

I loved the fall color of this, however can’t ID it. =-(

image

More asters I can’t ID.

wpid-20141011_122535_richtonehdr.jpg

Monarda didyma – A bit of a late riser!

image

image

Autumn Blooming Flowers 10-20-2014

Happy Monday Again.
Does it ever become any easier to wake-up and get out of the house on a Monday??

Click HERE to see what was blooming last year.

image

Autumn pot annuals

image

Grass seedheads!

image

Parthenocissus quinquefolia – Virginia creeper

image

Aster ericoides – Heath aster

image

Catmint and daylily

image

Cool annual grass!

image

Chasmanthium latifolium – Northern Sea oaks

image

 Anemone × hybrida ‘September Charm’

image

Oxalis triangularis – False Shamrock

image

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata var. maximowiczii ‘Elegans’ - Porcelain Vine

image

Tricyrtis formosana – Toad Lily

I love this one, so beautiful!

How Leaves Cha-Cha-Cha-Change Colors For Autumn

Autumn is when every tree is in bloom ~ Ilex Farrell

leavesTo be able to explain why tree leaves change their color in the fall, you must understand the basic physiology of the leaf itself.

Leaves are green because of chlorophylls that function by capturing the sun’s energy and to manufacture food for the plant or photosynthesis. All of this takes place in the plastids (specialized cells). During the growing season, the green color of these chlorophylls masks out all the other colors that may be present. So all you see is green.

As the growing season slows in autumn, chlorophyll production slows and the green-color dominance lowers to reveal the other colors of the leaf. Many influences such as amount of water, sunlight, temperature, and microclimate can manipulate the timing of the color changes.  A couple of weeks of bright sunny days mixed with clear, cool nights seem to bring out the best fall colors.

There are two pigments responsible for fall color:

Carotenoids – provide the yellow, orange, and brown colors.
This one provides the coloring for carrots, corn, and daffodils. Just like chlorophyll, these carotenoids are found in the plastids of the leaf. Some trees that turn hues of yellow or orange are: hickory, beech, black maple, aspen, and birch.

Anthocyanins – responsible for the red and purple hues.
This pigment develops in late summer in the sap of the cells of the leaf. They are created by a response to bright light and too much plant sugars left in leaf cells. Anthocyanins also tint young leaves in spring and allow for the bright colors of red apples, blueberries, cherries, and strawberries. Trees that tend to be colored red to purple are: oaks, dogwoods, red maple, sourwood, and black tupelo.

Both pigments can vary due to many degrees in a leaf, along with outside influences, that cause color ranges that are endless.

Circumhorizontal Arc – Rainbow Halos!!

These rainbows aren’t made from raindrops…
For a Circumhorizontal arc (CA) to be visible, the Sun must be at least 58 degrees high in the sky and where cirrus clouds are present. Additionally, the copious, flat, hexagonal ice-crystals that compose the cirrus cloud must be aligned horizontally to properly refract sunlight in a collectively similar manner. In principle, a CA is a type of halo. These happen a few times a year here in the Midwest. Other lower latitudes don’t get to see these at all.

wpid-20130914_133917.jpg wpid-20130914_133913.jpg wpid-20130914_133923.jpg

Cabbage White – Pieris rapae

These are cute, however I don’t appreciate biting into a larvae that has hidden in my cabbage! Eeeeaw!
Girls have two spots, boys have one. So, this little boy was enjoying sipping nectar from my knautia.
image

Larvae feed widely on plants in the family Cruciferae, however occasionally on a few other plant families that contain mustard oils.
Commonly attacked vegetable crops:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Nasturtium
  • Sweet alyssum

Adults sip nectar from flowers, and are commonly seen feeding at a number of plants.

image

image

Sadly, within a quarter century of its appearance in this country, rapid and widespread colonization of P. rapae had resulted in massive crop losses, mainly to cabbage. Attempts to control or eradicate the Cabbage White have led to a series of biological debacles. The disastrous consequences are well documented of the widespread use of chlorinated hydrocarbons including D.D.T., during the period following World War II. Of late, a more “progressive” approach has employed the use of biological controls using other organisms, often exotic, introduced species, to parasitize or otherwise prey on the pest organism.
image
This is how you do it to it!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Autumn Blooming Flowers 10-15-2014

Happy Wednesday.
Click HERE to see what was blooming last year!

image

Rodgersia aesculifolia – Rodgers flower

image

Same pot from summer – at the train station

image

Cool unidentified seedhead – Solidago – Goldenrod

image

Liatris spicata – Blazing star

image

Grass seed

image

Echinacea – Coneflower

image

Verbena

image

Calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

image

Malus – Crabapple

image

Solidago speciosa – Showy Goldenrod

Autumn Blooming Flowers 10-14-2014

Happy Tuesday!

Click HERE to see what was blooming last year!

image

Asparagus seeds

image

Helianthus tuberosus – Jerusalem artichoke also called sunroot, sunchoke

image

Parthenocissus quinquefolia – Virginia creeper growing on Picea abies – Norway Spruce

image

Picea Abies – Norway Spruce cones

image
Solanum dulcamara – Bittersweet Nightshade

image

Euonymus fortunei ‘Colorata’ – Wintercreeper – Beautiful fall color

image

Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ – Burning Bush 

image

Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’

image

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ – These don’t normally turn this pink tinge. Very cool tho!!

image

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’

Dog in the Storage Shelf

Happy Native American Day!!
Mr. Christopher Columbus was a very bad man. Read about his true story and how he treated the people around him.

We had some nasty, autumn storms come through last weekend. I’ll be cutting down (storing) the magical, miracle sunflower soon so I can bring it out this winter for the furries and featheries to snack upon it.

image

image

So?

Where does my Breck go for safety? Our storage shelves work for him!!

image

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants