Beautiful Things {Part 2}

I’m really excited to show you guys this edition of “Beautiful Things”!” 🙂 Today I have a bunch of pictures of little beauties, like spring flowers and grass. Little things are probably my favorite photography subjects.

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Yes, I know henbit is a weed, but I still think it’s pretty when it’s all crowded together in a sea of purple!
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Side note: we were studying weeds today for Nature Study, and we found and identified eighteen different kinds on our short walk! O.o

 

 

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OOH I LOVE THIS ONE! I like how dark and dramatic it is. The manual settings on my camera were a bit off, but it turned out neat that way.
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I found a lot of these next flowers at the arboretum.
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I love these purple flowers! Purple is a wonderful color, don’t you agree? 😀
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Sooo pretty!
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I always like seeing bees up close in photographs like this.

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Such a lovely sunny picture!

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One of our friends found this extremely odd-looking dandelion when we were on our Nature Walk today. Yes, all of those dandelion heads are on that one huge stem! (Although the stem got kind of split and smushed…)
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Warning: I may hyperventilate about these next few photos just a bit…
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AHH I LOVE DEW DROPS!
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AHH THEY MAKE ME SO HAPPY!
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I DON’T KNOW WHY BUT THEY REALLY DO!
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Ohhh this one might be my favorite. I took these pictures just after a rain when we were walking down to our pond to try to find the muskrat that lives there. (Unfortunately, we only caught a glimpse of him. 😦 )
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The phlox in our flowerbed and everyone else’s is simply breathtaking! They’re so brilliant and colorful!

 

 

 That’s all for now, folks! At least I’ve made a dent in my pictures… but only a dent. It’s spring, so of course I can’t keep up! Whenever I post 10 pictures I take 20 more. XD

What do you think of my “Beautiful Things” series so far? Which was your favorite picture? DO YOU LOVE DEW DROPS TOO?! (*Ahem,* sorry.)

***Allison***

Let’s Play a Little Game Answers + News

Ahem. This post is scheduled because I am getting my wisdom teeth out on Monday morning! *Sniff* It’s kind of exciting, but… yeah. 😦 I would appreciate prayer for a quick recovery. ♥

Also, I have exciting news that is way happier and not as painful. XD My blog and I are going to be featured on Discover today! (This post was featured before, but this time they’re featuring my whole blog.) I’M SO EXCITED OH MY GOODNESS YAY! Check it out here on the Discover page. It’s not up yet, but it should be sometime today. 🙂

Okay. Now that the news part is done, we can move on to the game answers.

I simply matched up the vegetables with the correct number of flower. (Heh heh, that’s more confusing than simple I guess – just look at the pictures instead. XD )

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And the extra flower is…

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A nasturtium which incidentally can be eaten too. XD

I think garden flowers are neat because some (like the okra flower) look like real flowers, and others (like the lettuce flower and asparagus berries) I was surprised to see at all! You don’t really think of lettuce having a flower (at least I don’t).

And the winner is…

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

CutePolarBear! You officially get the Green Thumb Award. XD

This was a pretty hard game, but you did a great job guessing, CutePolarBear! 😀

Thus ends your before-school nature lesson. XD

***Allison***

P. S. One last piece of news. We got our entries and ribbons back from the fair! My sister and I were pretty successful this year. 😀 I always love entering things in the fair!

AAWC #5, CWWC #1, and BIBPC #5!

As you can see by the monstrous title, this post will be a conglomeration of contest entries. I combined the AAWC and CWWC prompts into one story, which I think turned out really well! (If you wonder what all of these acronyms stand for, click on their linked names to find out. 😀 )

First, the story. Misty, I used the word prompt (“Fade”) and my team mascot (“Swan”) in this story. Loren, I used all three prompts. (Click here to see the prompts for CWWC #1.) I had a lot of fun writing this, and incorporating some poem-ish things into the prose.

Duh-duh dun! I present…

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Beyond the Looking Glass

Tonight rain and moonlight are tap-dancing together on the roof. Mademoiselle Trumente hates the rain because it will not obey her rule of absolute quiet. I slip out of bed in bare feet and steal silently over to the mirror. I have had much practice in being silent, for if I make a noise, Mademoiselle Trumente will be up the stairs in a moment, a silent apparition of doom. She will stand there in her threadbare slippers, strands of her greasy hair trembling and quaking about her thick red face as if they too, are afraid of her wrath. Her anger is a fierce fury, hotter than any fire, sharper than any sword, and deathly quiet. Everything in this house is deathly quiet. Even her punishments are quiet.

Down to the cellar for a day and a night;

No food; stale water; darkness; silence.

But tonight Mademoiselle does not appear at my door. I carefully avoid the third floorboard which always heaves a long groan of sorrow if I so much as touch it with a toe. I snatch up the lit candle and hold it in front of me as I gaze into the mirror. A girl’s face stares back at me from the gilded frame on the wall.

Long tangles of wavy, red-brown hair.

Pale face; drawn and thin and colorless.

Chocolate brown eyes with flecks of gold.

Small nose. Thin lips. Sharp chin. Black dress.

Me.

The mirror is unforgiving, but I want it to forgive. It will not show me what I need it to show. I have to know who I am.

I gaze far down into the depths of the dark eyes, pulling with all my might, willing secrets to come to the surface. There! Far down in my eyes, something moves. I concentrate, grasping the thought with my mind until the picture fills the eyes of my reflection, then my face, then the whole mirror. It is a beautiful scene. Torrents of water tumble over boulders, crashing into milky froth where they leap into the lake below. Pearly swans glide on the lake by the dozens, preening, eating, swimming. Graceful willow ladies and strong, ancient gentlemen trees stand shoulder to shoulder by the river. And… there it is. The familiar picture of two silhouettes sitting on a log-bridge. One of the figures is a young girl reading a book. The other figure is strange and fantastical: a cross between a dragon and an enormous bird crested with swirling plumes. The dragon-bird is listening intently to the girl as she reads aloud.

My mirror is a window to another world, a world guarded by strange dragon-birds called Ferrymen. How do I know what the dragon-birds are called? How can I see this land behind the looking glass? I do not know. I only know that I belong there. The girl swinging her legs on the log-bridge is me, I just know it. And the dragon-bird… I strain my mind, rifling through memory files that stretch back 16 years. As always, I come so close to solving the mystery. My mind clenches the memory, but cannot rip it open.

Why, why, why am I here?

Why do I live in this dark, old house?

Why must I always be quiet?

Who is Mademoiselle Trumente,

And why must I obey her?

What is the spell hanging over this house,

And how do I shatter it forever?

But mind is too weak. It lets go of the memory, and the picture in the mirror begins to fade. But this time I will not let it go. I cannot live like this, with my life shrouded in heavy clouds of mystery and loneliness and silence. I squint my eyes hard and force my mind to keep the picture before me. But it is no use. My legs are weak, and my mind is weaker. I cannot hold the picture. Wait! I need you to give me the answers! Don’t go…

Suddenly, I am angry. Angrier even than Mademoiselle is when I drop something and it clashes to the floor. I will not let the picture go until it answers my question. I will not let my mind give up until it finds the memory.

I.

Will.

Find.

The.

Answer.

The picture comes nearer and nearer. I can hear the faint roar of the waterfall reaching me through the glass. I can hear the murmur of the girl as she reads to the Ferryman. What is she saying? Will it solve the mystery? Why, why, why am I here? My brain is churning. The picture is fading again. No!

If my mirror is a window to another world, I will break the window-panes and crawl over the windowsill. In desperation I pick up the wooden chest on my dresser and hurl it at the mirror. The glass shatters with a tremendous explosion. All I can think is Mademoiselle Trumente will be up the stairs now. How long will I stay in the cellar this time? Three days? A week? The rest of my life? I close my eyes and crumple to the ground. I give up. I wait wearily for Mademoiselle to glide over to me, outraged. I don’t care what she does. I give up. I have never been so tired in my life. Still Mademoiselle’s shadow does not fall on my face. With an effort, I open my eyes.

Broken shards lay scattered on the ground beside me, but I pay no attention to them. My eyes are fixed on something much more interesting.

What happened?

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CLIFF HANGER! 😀 I’m probably going to continue this story later. Somehow I tend to write in the first-person point of view for contest entries. What do you think – which POV is your favorite to read?

Okay, now for my BIBPC entry:

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Story behind the picture: These strange flowers are called Dutchman’s Breeches. Don’t they look like puffy pairs of pants hanging on a clothesline? 😀 I took this picture when we made a trip to the Arboretum. There were SO MANY pretty flowers there! (See my flower overload posts here and here.) Did you know Dutchman’s Breeches are related to bleeding hearts? (I mean the flower bleeding hearts, not literal bleeding hearts. XD That would be funny if the flower names were literal: pants are related to bleeding hearts. XD XD )

Phew! I hope you enjoyed that super long post! It’s really, really fun to do these contests, but next time I might not do so many at a time. 😉

***Allison***

P. S. And before you go, you absotutely posolutely MUST check out Hayley’s amazing ATC trade if you like art! (And maybe even if you don’t. 😀 ) Basically, it’s a way to trade mini works of art with bloggers and people all across the country. I’m so excited to be a part of it!

Flower Overload, Part 2

(See part 1 here.) I’m ready to unload some more of my gazillions of flower pictures! (And I took even more today. *Sniff* Oh wait! That’s not sad, that’s good! XD )

First I’ll show you a photo I took today. We went hiking with my aunt who kindly offered to show us where some lady’s slippers were growing. (No, we didn’t take pictures of shoes growing out of the ground. XD Lady’s slippers are unusual, pretty, and rare flowers that grow in the woods. 😉 😀 ) We had lots of fun! I’ll devote a whole post to it later, but for now…

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Lady’s slipper – or maybe a fairy slipper! 🙂

And an edited version:

edited lady's slipper

One day I just sat down and took lots of dandelion pictures. I just love the petal-design of the mature dandelion when all of the seeds have flown away.

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Which one of those was your favorite?

For some reason a few of our tulips bloomed like this. Weird, but neat!

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Tulip

The next several pictures aren’t exactly flowers I suppose… But they’re so pretty I couldn’t leave them out!

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Willow tree. I love this picture! It’s so sunny and springy!
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Willow tree at a strange angle XD
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Soft, new little pinecones on evergreen tree
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New needle growth on evergreen tree. Okay guys, I REALLY LOVE this picture! I just think the spiraling pattern is so neat. God made even such small things beautiful!
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New growth on evergreen tree – from the side.

And all the rest of these pictures were taken at the Arboretum.

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Beautiful tree blossom of unknown name

 

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Albino grape hyacinth?? XD
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I have no clue
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Bloodroot
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Snowdrops I think?
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Snowdrops again
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I don’t know what this flower is, but I like the picture!
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Dunno.
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Azalea
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Dutchman’s Breeches. They really look like upside-down pants, don’t they? XD They’re so unique and pretty.

 

And that’s about it! Whew, I hope you’re not flowered out. XD What is your favorite kind of flower? Which of these pictures was your favorite?

Have a gorgeous spring day!

***Allison***

P. S. I made up a riddle: What word contains all five vowels? Hints: This isn’t a trick-riddle, it’s just a knowledge-riddle. It’s not even a long word or anything. But I’ll bet it will take a while for you to figure out! (Unless, like my sister, I’ve already told you. No telling, Megan! XD ) I shall tell you the answer… eh, sometime in the future. XD

Flower Overload, Part 1

Guys, I have SO MANY flower pictures I want to show you. I’ve been taking pictures by the hundreds, and I can’t keep up with posting them! If spring goes on much longer, I’m seriously going to wear out my camera or something. XD But I can’t help it. I LOVE SPRING! 😀

Since I don’t want to bore you to sleep, I decided to divide my boatload of pictures into bite-sized servings. (Well more like large-mouthful-sized servings. XD )

Now, onwards! 😀

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Star of Bethlehem
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Another Star of Bethlehem

 

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Isn’t it neat how some redbud trees have big puffs of blossoms on their trunks?
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Redbud tree blossoms
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The same. 🙂
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Dogwood
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Does anyone know what this flower is? *Update* Bella says it’s a wild geranium. Thanks, Bella!
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Phlox
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Virginia Bluebells
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A sea of Virginia Bluebells
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A peony of some sort – probably a Tree Peony
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Same

 

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And again
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Still the Tree Peony. Isn’t it gorgeous?
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Center of the Tree Peony

 

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Apple tree blossom
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More apple tree blossoms
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Bleeding Hearts (Not literally. I mean the flower bleeding hearts. XD)
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My grandparents have this huge flower in their flowerbed, and it does NOT smell good, let me tell you. XD It smells like a dead animal. O.o I’m not sure what it’s called though. *Update* Clara says that this is a carrion flower. Thanks, Clara!

 

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A fly on the carrion flower
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Weeping Cherry

 

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Wintercress (It should be spring cress! This stuff is all over the place here.)

*Gasp, puff, wheeze* Okay good, you’re still alive. In that case, look for the next part soon! XD 😉

***Allison***

P. S. And now a word from our sponsors. XD Not really. But I do have some reminders/updates/announcement thingies. Ahem.

  • If you’re almost out of photo space for your Blogger or WordPress blog, don’t fear, my friend. Check out Clara’s tutorial to get yourself unlimited photo space for free!
  • Wohoo! Lots of people have already signed up for WordCrafters, which makes me SO happy. Thank you guys! To learn more about WordCrafters and/or sign up, see my WordCrafters 2 post.
  • Today is the last day to solve the mystery! I’ll post the answer to these mystery pictures tomorrow the 26th. And guess what? You have soundly beaten my previous record for how many people guessed on a mystery picture post. THANK YOU! I just love reading your guesses. 🙂