• Highland Park

    This year the Lilac Festival seemed to come before the lilacs peaked, and was a little rainy, but that’s good for me, as I visited the park a full week after the closing day, and the flowers and lilacs were just past peak bloom. It was pretty nice, as everything seemed to be blooming on Saturday June 24th this year. Lilacs, Azaleas, Peonies, Dogwoods, and even a few Magnolias were still blooming. About all that wasn’t blooming was the lilies, and ours bloomed a day or two later at home. I walked around the park for a few hours and spotted a few of my favorite lilacs that made it through another year, including the yellowish primrose. It was a nice day, the park is really nice and well thought out. The giant sycamore trees that surround the reservoir are really huge, and way cool. Here’s a few photos.

    Newer Pergola Area

    Newer Pergola Area

    Magnolia

    Magnolia

    Highland Infrared

    Highland Infrared

    Deep Purple

    Deep Purple

    Highland Reservoir

    Highland Reservoir

    Sycamore Trees

    Sycamore Trees

  • Beautiful Spring

    Spring turned out really well here in Rochester. It was a little cool, but mostly sunny. I think this was perfect lilac season, as our lilacs started blooming around the 16th of June, and they are still blooming 2 weeks later. We got a lot of really nice blooms this year, and our one lilac (the primrose) that got hit with the pesticide last year is growing bigger than ever. Looks like a full recovery. Our cherry trees and dogwood we planted last summer survived the winter and are doing great. Everything is blooming and still looks nice. Our blueberry plants made it through the winter too, and this year we planted some pepper plants and a watermelon too. Here’s a few photos.

    Sensation Lilac

    Sensation Lilac

    Cherokee Chief Dogwood

    Cherokee Chief Dogwood

    Katherine Havemeyer lavender pink

    Katherine Havemeyer lavender pink

    Primrose Growing

    Primrose Growing

    Violet Glory

    Violet Glory

    Beauty of Moscow

    Beauty of Moscow

  • Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies

    Tracy’s mom has some huge butterfly bushes this year, and they were just covered with tiger swallowtails this year. I brought along my flaky Infrared Digital camera to try and take some shots to see how they look in IR. It was pretty tough, those butterflies would not stay still, and it was difficult to get really close because they just fly away. I was persistent though, and got a few neat shots.

    Swallowtail Butterfly

    Swallowtail Butterfly

    Swallowtail Butterfly

    Swallowtail Butterfly and Bee

    Dark Swallowtail Butterfly

    Dark Swallowtail Butterfly

    Swallowtail Butterfly

    Swallowtail Butterfly

  • Weekend Landscaping

    This past weekend Tracy and I landscaped the area where we planted two dogwood trees a few years ago. We wanted to let them grow and settle in a little bit before we did the mulching. Now we have a cherry tree added in and a hydrangea plus bee balm for the humming birds and a daisy too. Tracy did a really good job with the edging and mulching. Me? I did the digging.

    Landscaping

    Landscaping

    Landscaping

    Landscaping

  • Lilacs in Bloom

    Spring got here almost a full month early, and the plants and flowers are all blooming way early because of it. I took a chance to get out of work early on a beautiful day to head to Highland Park to look at the lilacs. They are in peak bloom despite the fact that the Rochester Lilac Festival isn’t until May 14-23rd. These photos were taken May 3rd, 2010. In 2008 I visited Highland Park on May 24th, and the Lilacs were in peak bloom, so there is quite a wide range of time for the flowers to bloom depending on the spring weather. Learn more about the lilacs at the the Lilac Festival Home Page.

    This year we had a really early spring, and the majority of the plants and trees are at least 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule for blooming. I took this early opportunity to drive to Highland Park in Rochester, NY to look at all the varieties of lilacs while they are in peak bloom. The Lilac Festival itself isn’t until May 14-23. I am not sure there will be many left blooming at those times. The park is really amazing, and boasts one of the largest collections in the world.

    “Today, over 500 varieties of lilacs cover 22 of Highland Park’s 155 acres. Rochester’s famous Lilac Festival is a lavish array of flowers, attractions, and special events that signal the arrival of spring. The 1,200-plus lilac bushes in Highland Park create a floral rainbow ranging from the deepest of purples to the purest of whites.” – About Highland Park Lilacs

    View my lilac gallery here.

    Lilacs in Highland Park

    Lilacs in Highland Park

    Lilacs in Highland Park

    Lilacs in Highland Park

    Lilacs in Highland Park

    Lilacs in Highland Park

    Purples and Blues

    Purples and Blues

    Moskvy Lilac

    Moskvy Lilac

    Lilacs in Highland Park

    Lilacs in Highland Park

    Sensation Lilac

    Sensation Lilac

    Primrose Lilac

    Primrose Lilac

    Lilacs in Highland Park

    Lilacs in Highland Park

    American Flag Pansy Bed

    American Flag Pansy Bed

    Another Moskvy

    Another Moskvy

    Bright Pink Azalea

    Bright Pink Azalea

    Highland Park Reservoir

    Highland Park Reservoir

    Lilacs in Highland Park

    Lilacs in Highland Park

    Bumble Bee on a Lilac

    Bumble Bee on a Lilac

    Lilacs in Infrared

    Lilacs in Infrared

    Lilacs in Infrared

    Lilacs in Infrared

    Lilacs in Infrared

    Lilacs in Infrared

  • Spring is Here

    Well Spring is here, and home improvements too. Tracy’s Bonsai seem to have made it through the winter mostly intact. Her Cherry Tree is in full bloom. Thanks in part to the record temperatures the last 2 days of 86 and 87 degrees.

    Cherry Bonsai

    Cherry Bonsai

    And with the holiday season over it was time for more home improvements to the house. This time we upgraded the kitchen. Some new lights, kitchen counters, faucet, and plumbing (still fixing those leaks actually). It came out really nice, and Tracy did a terrific job with the painting. Before and after pictures…

    Kitchen Before

    Kitchen Before

    Kitchen After

    Kitchen After

    A little less noticeable is that the breakfast bar area has been lowered about 4 inches, and there is some lighting put in over it. We also have replaced a light that would be over the head of the photographer, with a sweet blue glowing light. New sinks too.

  • Gardens and Beach

    Sunday 11/15/2009 Day 3: Florida Institute of Technology and Cocoa Beach

    On Sunday we took a break from our traveling to relax before the shuttle launch. We did go south to Melbourne and the Florida Institute of Technology to walk through their botanical gardens which was nice. There were lots of varieties of palms, bamboo, and lizards too. A lot of the trees had giant pathos plants growing all over them, but the leaves were huge compared to how large they get indoors in Rochester.

    Butterfly

    Butterfly

    Brown Lizard

    Brown Lizard

    Green Lizard

    Green Lizard

    Trees and Vines

    Trees and Vines

    For me, it was fun to see lizards everywhere, but I have a hunch they are like squirrels down there to Floridians. I took the opportunity to take some infrared photos while we walked through the gardens, as the palm plants make really stunning pictures.

    IR Gardens

    IR Gardens

    IR Gardens

    IR Gardens

    IR Gardens

    IR Gardens

    IR Gardens

    IR Gardens

    After we walked through the gardens, we went back to the hotel to spend the day at the beach. There were strong rip tides because of the remnants of Hurricane Ida that went up the coast, but we still did some wading. It was a very rough surf, and you really got pushed around by the waves and currents. But you gotta go in the ocean when you go on vacation, so we did.

    Beach North

    Beach North

    Beach South

    Beach South

    As always, larger pictures of our full trip to Florida are available from my Flickr photo gallery. Day 4 includes our photos of the shuttle launch.

  • A Wonderful Day at Winterthur

    We went to Winterthur Gardens and Mansion this Spring as part of the Celebration of Life for Jay Powell. It was a beautiful day, and the gardens were spectacular. The Azaleas were in full bloom, and the grounds around the estate were beautiful. It was a wonderful day, a fitting way to remember Jay, and a day I hope not to forget.

    Pink Azaleas

    Pink Azaleas

    White Azalea

    White Azalea

    Purple Azalea

    Purple Azalea

    More Azaleas

    More Azaleas

    Salmon Azaleas and Mansion

    Salmon Azaleas and Mansion

    Brick Work at Winterthur

    Brick Work at Winterthur

    Chipmunk

    Chipmunk

    More Azaleas

    More Azaleas

    Row of Azaleas

    Row of Azaleas

    Stairs and Azaleas

    Stairs and Azaleas

    Tons of Azaleas

    Tons of Azaleas

    Walking Path

    Walking Path

    Koi Pond

    Koi Pond

    Anne looking for a prince

    Anne looking for a prince

    Sundial

    Sundial

    Winterthur Mansion and Sunroom

    Winterthur Mansion and Sunroom

    The Mansion

    The Mansion

    Azaleas Everywhere

    Azaleas Everywhere