Saturday, June 11, 2011

Outside: irises (part 2)

So, this is the second installment of the irises. The first two photos are "honky tonk blues," the third pic is a "batik," and the fourth - well, I think it's an "above the clouds."









As for those light purple colored irises that smell like grape - those are Iris pallida 'Variegata'
We have some growing on the side of our house, I always just kind of thought they smelled like grape — although probably because we never had grape soda. There's a fairly famous beverage company in Michigan: Faygo. Anyway Faygo Rock & Rye was a family staple, because otherwise it was Coke or Pepsi. Rock & Rye is one of those pop flavors like Dr. Pepper - I'll be damned if I can explain what exactly it tastes like, and I suspect it has nothing to do with the alcoholic beverage of the same name. But then, what exactly does Coke taste like — you know, besides Coke?

Anyway, the pallida variegata grow by the side of the house. But unfortunately, they grow to be about 3-4 feet tall. And the stems are so loaded with blossoms that they literally fall over. I have to go out and prop them up with pruned tree branches every year. They're pretty though, and I love the way they smell.

On a completely unrelated note, my 'Artfire collection' was the collection of the day for 10 June 2011 - check it out here. Very cool : )

The bluebirds had 5 babies this year. I neglected to mention this while they were in the nest, because last year's first attempt at a nest ended in tragedy — due to English house sparrows who went into the nest and killed all 4 babies. I hate english house sparrows. When I can: I kill these birds. I live in Michigan — they are an alien invasive species.
European House sparrows are an invasive species in North America

Anyhow, the bluebirds had five babies. They fledged, without incident. I actually saw the last fledge out of the nest. It was adorable, mostly because it was literally just standing there on the back porch looking up at me. Anyway, that was like 2 weeks ago. Last night I happened to look out in the back yard and wonder what the strange little birds were sitting on the old rabbit hutch. I got the binoculars, and low and behold — they were the baby bluebirds. Well, I guess now they're technically "juveniles." Juvenile bluebirds are pretty much gray on the head, back, and wings, their belly is white with spots of gray, and they are identifiable by their blue tails. (see this photo from a google image search) What a bunch of cuties. This is actually their Dad. And this is their Mom.

You can find my many homages to eastern bluebirds here and here.

As I type this I am waiting for paint to dry. I've had this idea floating around in my imagination about combining photos and watercolors and probably salt and then the other day I saw this technique with alcohol. So, yeah, photos had to be selected, and then formatted... and there was some gnashing of the teeth at my printer which apparently does not understand the meaning of the term "borderless." But anyway, I'm waiting for the paint and salt and alcohol to dry now...

Surely, if I ever have an autobiography, there will be a chapter entitled "Waiting for Paint to Dry." And it will somehow be a very long book with many pictures...

Have a lovely weekend!

11 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

I like that you have the grape scented. There is a yellow with a lemon scent but compared with new varieties small blossoned.

I have been looking at barn quilts and talked to a lady who makes them.It would add another chapter to"Waiting for paint to dry". It takes her close to two weeks start to finish.

Nancy said...

I have a few batik iris and they are some of my favorites.

Beautiful photos, Sarah.

Bob Bushell said...

They sound like a "hippy" version, honky tonk, clouds and batik, um, were you one of them, so beautiful.
The brilliance of the flowers, irises, is brought in your photos.

Dave said...

Your iris flowers look nice Sarah. I specially liked the purple and white one. Please don't kill the sparrows. I read that they are becoming extinct in Europe. I like them here and feed them every day. They keep our streets clean by eating food scraps. - Dave

Sarah Knight said...

Regarding the sparrows:
European House sparrows were idiotically introduced in North America in 1851 and 1852 — these birds are an alien invasive species — they compete with our natural species of song birds and sparrows — which causes the decline of our NATURAL species.

In other words — in America the European House sparrow is the equivalent of the Cane Toad in Australia. It doesn't belong here and its presence harms our natural species.

When I say "kill these birds" I mean the European House Sparrows exclusively. Although if we could get rid of the starlings — that'd be great as well.

There are 20 some odd species of sparrows that are actually natural to North America. When I'm talking about sparrows - I am not referring to them.

I have bluebird boxes in my back yard. Realistically, the only birds that ever take an interest in those boxes for nesting are bluebirds, tree swallows, chickadees, and wrens. When the sparrows go in those boxes - it is to destroy the nests of bluebirds, tree swallows, chickadees, and wrens. *Although wrens are crazy birds who build nests out of sticks - so it's really phenomenally hard for sparrows to get into the box after they've nested there...

The point is bluebirds, chickadees, and tree swallows will not destroy a nest of another bird in a nestbox; European House sparrows will.

I have buried too many dead baby bluebirds, who died at the hands of European House sparrows. I will NOT accommodate European House sparrows, and when I can I will kill them. They are simply predatory and destructive and generally a nuisance.

If you do live in New Zealand, you may understand that your country is very strict about what non-native species (plants, animals, trees, flowers, foods) are allowed and not allowed to be imported — situations like the Cane Toad in Australia or European House Sparrows here in North America are partially why those restrictions are enforced.

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

Your irises are beautiful! I particularly like the one called batik; it is gorgeous! Thank you for visiting my blog and for the comment you left.

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful images! Your irises are just gorgeous. I also love the bluebirds, they are so pretty.

S. Etole said...

those little bluebirds sound like real cuties!!!

Catherine said...

Your flowers are beautiful. :)

Shayla said...

THESE ARE GORGEOUS!!!

troutbirder said...

Blue blue my world is blue. And I love the Iris version. House sparrows not so much....