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rainbow

Double Rainbow

pixie parasol

Pixie Parasol

Daylily season peaks towards the end of July, but the first blooms are beginning to open. Every day brings a new face. Here are the flowers that have been kicking off the bloom season over the last few days.

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Suzy Wong

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Brookwood Lee Causey

Starman's Quest

Starman’s Quest

Broken Heart

Broken Heart

Willow Wind

Willow Wind

Lavendar Blue Baby

Lavender Blue Baby

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Coyote Moon

Mati Hari

Mata Hari

Hold your Horses

Hold Your Horses

Tangerine Horses

Tangerine Horses

Fencing Master

Fencing Master

Country Wedding

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Last weekend, we celebrated a very special event as Ponygirl, our middle daughter, was married. The wedding took place at Ecotay, near Perth, Ontario, a rural venue featuring several barns in a pastoral setting. We were blessed with a beautiful day, and after months of planning and work, everything came together with nary a hitch.

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Many hands helped to prepare the site on Friday.

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Here’s the dining room, with chargers laid out to protect plates for the night.

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Seven-month-old flowergirl Coralie made a practice run in the rehearsal.

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The bride-to-be posed with her older and younger sisters, and niece Coralie.

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Finally, the big day arrived. Fiddlegirl provides the musical accompaniment.

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Ringbearer Remy smiled as he watched his ‘mom’ walk down the aisle…

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…accompanied by her parents.

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The ceremony was lovely.

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Here I am with the bride during the dinner hour.

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Dinner was followed by dancing. The bride and groom danced to ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ by The Maccabees.

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Father and daughter danced to ‘Turn Around’ by the Kingston Trio. Afterwards, a live band took the stage and the guests danced the evening away. Congratulations and best wishes to Gaelan and Kris.

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Milbert’s Tortoiseshell on Knautia macedonica

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Some of the nicest moments in the garden occur in the first hours of the day, when the morning light throws long shadows and dapples the garden in slanting rays. Well, not very early, but around 8 o’clock. It was an especially pleasant morning today, so I am sharing a dozen photographs from my stroll around the yard.

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Any walk through the garden is sure to include the sight and sound of bumblebees making their rounds as they busily buzz from flower to flower, pollinating as they go. The bumblebee above (Bombus sp.) is visiting a bloom of a false indigo hybrid, Baptisia ‘Decadence Dutch Chocolate’.

Recently, I noticed a bumblebee settled on a hosta leaf, apparently munching on a rose chafer (Macrodactylus subspinosus). Hmmm. Something wrong there. Not a flower in sight! What gives?

This bumblebee isn’t a bumblebee at all. It’s a robber fly, a swift predator and member of the genus Laphria, which includes amazing bumblebee mimics. There are at least 63 Laphria species in North America. The bee disguise at once protects them from predators while aiding in their own predatory tactics by disguising them as flower visitors. Laphria prey on other flying insects, often ones as big or bigger than themselves. Victims are injected with a paralyzing neurotoxin and digestive enzymes that allow the robber fly to suck out the prey’s liquified insides. Ooooooo. Here’s my not-a-bumblebee robber fly, below.

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Bright Eyes

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Here is Splash, our favorite adopted ex-stray cat, wearing his hoodie a few weeks ago. While he was living rough, Splash suffered from chronic eye infections that had left his eyelids swollen. As a result, his lashes curled under and scratched his eyes, causing a constant weeping discharge. The vet said that the only cure was an operation to lift the lashes away from his eyes. Splash underwent the surgery at the end of May and had to wear a collar to protect his eyes from his scratching until the stitches had a chance to heal. He was not happy about this.

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Here he is after the stitches were removed, 11 days after the surgery. It took another little while for the incisions to totally disappear, but it was obvious that the surgery had been a success. His eyes looked clear and bright. Once the collar was removed, Splash set to work diligently cleaning himself, now that he could once again reach his tongue.

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Now he looks like a new cat. No more weeping eyes! And he is as much of a sweetheart as ever.

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