"Spring 2010"

At the Camps' Place

This year's abundance of rainy days in March, April, and May has undoubtedly made a big difference in our gardens here on Pine Drive, in Arnold, California. Thanks to the added rainfall, and of course Rosanne's dedicated gardening efforts, Spring 2010 has indeed been wonderful.

As a result, I've taken delight in going outside with a little digital camera and capturing a number of God's colorful creations. But because of the spring rains, my photo collection below does not, unfortunately, include any March or April photos of tulips, crocuses, lily of the valley, forsythia, and daffodils, nor shots of colorful blossoms of dogwoods, redbuds, and cherry trees.

Today's photo collection includes colorful irises, peonies, rhododendron, and poppies; a backyard waterfall; freshly mowed lawns; a momma duck with eight ducklings; a large fallen tree; Rosanne's planted corn, onions, and tomatoes; a few close-up photos of me as I hand-feed and hold Steller's Jays; and even more.

"God's provision is only one prayer away." — Anonymous

I begin my presentation with a welcoming collage that Rosanne created on her potting table at the side of the house.

Tucked between a pine cone and an arty stone that Rosanne painted is a hand-made birdhouse that our friend Don Strauss made for us.

It's now mid June. The month's first two weeks have added a tremendous display of color assortments.

At the front of the house is this red-leafed Japanese Maple tree. The red has deepened noticeably since I'd taken this shot.

Three weeks ago, Steller's Jays built a nest in it (shown on the next page). Today, the nest is empty; two baby Jays fly on their own.

To the right of the red-leafed Maple tree are two Quaking Aspen trees (center of photo) that have recovered from being snapped severely from heavy snowfall in January.

Leaves now fill the tree and quake (shake) continuously in the wind.

I took this shot while standing in the long driveway. The pair of recovered Aspen trees are on the right while a pair of native cedars are centered on the front lawn, which, although it hasn't yet turned "grassy green" in this early June photo, had survived the snowy winter quite well.

Here's the far side of the front lawn. Rosanne's "flower bed" (left) offsets three evergreen trees to the right that we'd planted three years ago; two Douglas Firs and one Blue Spruce (far right).

The Japanese Maple shows off its June color.

Walking from the front yard to the rear yard, I pass a hand-chiseled signpost that I made last year. The upper "left" arrow denotes that it's 6,711 miles, eastward, to Guangzhou, China (the hometown of Rosanne's family). Mileage is also shown for my hometown: Flushing, New York.

Hanging onto the post for dear life is a wooden bear cub.

Above the signpost are branches of a freshly leafed Oak tree. Beyond the post is the rear lawn that you'll see better in the next few shots.

While taking a close-up of the distance markers, one of my Steller's Jay buddies insisted on my taking a shot of him, patiently awaiting a peanut.

Standing in the middle of the rear lawn, I'm facing eastward toward the rear of the house.

The lawn had recently been mowed by Warren and his Husqui tractor mower.

Rosanne stands amid tall Irises (to her right), a Dogwood tree (far right; not yet in bloom), beds of lavender above both sides of the stairway, and Trumpet Vine growing on and over the stairway arbor.

Looking to the west, seven Redwood trees that I planted eight years ago stand near the property line to act as a privacy curtain. Each Redwood grew at least two feet since last June.

The lawn is bordered by a serpentine flow of river rock and concrete paving stones that Rosanne configured.

Aiming the camera toward a hidden corner of the lawn's west end, I photographed a golf flag that I'd promptly installed in its hole after the back lot had been sodded in 2005.

No. Neither I nor anyone else has touched the lawn with a golf club!

Shooting the same flag from the rear deck's stairway, I'm approximately 70 yards from the pin. Overall, the distance from tee to pin for this challenging par-3 hole is 107 yards from the men's tee and 91 yards from the women's tee.

Evergreens, Oaks, Cedars, and a Cherry tree flank the freshly sprouted rear lawn on Flag Day.

. . . One of the Pine trees (shown below) next to the rear stream became overloaded with heavy snow in January and fell. Thankfully, it dropped with splendor AWAY from our house and my hand-made bridge.

After the Pine's January fall, it snowed on it a few more times. I took this and the next few photographs in early March.

The Pine was approximately 115 feet tall; more than enough to reach the house (some 70 feet away) had it fallen toward it.

Fortunately, its fall also missed by a few feet the hand-built bridge that you can see to its left.

Shooting from the rear deck, over the vegetable garden's frame, the tree missed the bridge by about 9 feet.

Once again, one of the Steller's Jays whom I've befriended over the years keeps me company whenever I go outdoors.

Shot six weeks ago, the tree lies idle while the tree branches and lawn await Spring 2010's colors.

Shooting from the massive root ball, the top of the fallen tree seems to lie well into the woods.

The tree's edge-of-stream root ball is nearly 16 feet in diameter. I have no idea what to do with the root ball once the tree gets sliced and removed this fall (when the stream dries up).

On the fallen trunk a fastened owl house remains in place.

I took this shot after imagining the potential for the tree's impact with our house.

. . . Now, for the colorful flowers, vegetable garden, wishing well, waterfall, bird feeding, and more, click here.