"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Lovelies

One of the things I love about Summer is Dollyhocks. A friend of mine, who lived just over the bridge and down the road from us while our children were growing up, taught me how to make these graceful dancing ladies in their colorful dresses and pale green wraps.
As you can see, they are made from one Hollyhock blossom (fully bloomed) with the connecting stem snipped with your finger nail to just a quarter of an inch long. You then take an unopened hollyhock bud and peel back (and off) the green outer coverings. Be sure to pull them all the way back, exposing the white bottom of the blossom encircled by small holes. Now gently work the short stem of the larger blossom into one of these holes. Be careful not to muss their hats during this step, they are extremely fragile.
There you have it! It looks like a little pink fairy dressed in her Ball gown, with a fancy hat to match. We like to float these tiny girls in the fountain and watch them twirl in the soft movement of the water. Brendan and I made these two the last time he was out to the farm for a visit.

Here is B, exploring the things that live in the fountain and in the tall grasses that grow at its edges. He loves to wander around the yard, looking for ladybugs and soaking up the life that is so abundant in the gardens, as he soaks up the summer sunshine. Since the flowers and grasses vary, from garden to garden, so do the critters that live there. We have even seen our friends the Collared Lizards once or twice this year. (If you are not familiar with these feisty little guys they are the state reptile of Oklahoma. Here we call them Mountain Boomer Lizards.) There are many of these lizards living in my gardens and, to give them some added protection from their predators (cats and birds), I have placed stacks of rocks and bits of broken flower pots here and there throughout the gardens. These 'safe houses' also serve as cool resting places for them when the weather becomes unbearably hot. I love their tropical colors which change, depending on where they are hiding. They are usually more sand colored than the one pictured here, but will always have some of the turquoise and pink on their bellies, legs and tails.

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