Kudos to Saxon Holt for reviving the Picture This photo competition at Gardening Gone Wild. I hesitate to call it a competition. I think of it more like a challenge to improve my own garden photography skills. And I've missed it dearly. It was great motivation to get out in the garden with a camera. I hope others join in so that the feature enjoys a long life. And I had the privilege to judge one of the early contests when Nan Ondra had the courage to challenge participants to try out scanning plant material, a technique that I've been known to fiddle around with. I'll admit that my photography and scanning has been pretty paltry this year. I've been busy with a new granddaughter, weddings and work blogging at Cornell Horticulture and this fall a big push on the Cornell Titan Arum blog. Much of my creative efforts -- photography, video, time-lapse -- have been tied up in those efforts. But I vow that during the 2015 growing season, I'll do a better job documenting what goes on here in Ellis Hollow. Especially if I have a challenge from Picture This. So I don't have a lot to choose from image-wise from 2014. But I did grab a decent shot of a new Turk's cap lily (Lily leichtlinii), though I'm having a hard time deciding which view is the most pleasing. The portrait? Or the landscape? Or maybe the blue bottle shot. Venture over to find out which.

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The intensity and smarts of her border collie heritage. The heart of her Lab side. My best friend for 17 years. What more can I say. She loved laying on fresh mulch in the sun on a cool day. Jade Or when it was hot, hanging out under Rosie the Airstream while Elly worked on her remodel. stay-cation pix Running through the snow. dogs in snow Chasing the deer back on their side of the 'invisible fence'. deer taunting Jade Always with a ball or -- more often -- a Norway spruce cone -- in her mouth begging for me to play fetch. jade She knew pretty well when the bag on the lawn mower would be full and would meet me at that spot to get in a throw before I went back to work. (She's going on 13 in these last two.) jade During winter when the spruce cones were buried, she'd jump up and pull them off the low-hanging branches. jade pulling spruce cones She was never a mother, but she would have been a good one. Late in life, she was great with Corey and Noah's Charlie ...   Jade is over 10 years old in most of the pictures I have. But I do have a few from the early days that we shot with our first Casio digital camera, which we thought miraculous what with those 320-pixel-wide images ... I only wish I had some pictures of her doing agility or chasing down the frisbee across Suggett Park to the cheers of families eating supper in the distance. And of course she had a great buddy Fred.   She always managed to sneak in to some of my favorite garden photos. (Guess that's why she's been in my banner image from the start.) jade in the morning Farewell old friend. The yard isn't the same without you. Jade rolling in the grass under a double rainbow. jade and double rainbow

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New granddaughter, life, work etc. has kept me away from the blogosphere. (Major triage in garden management this year.) But I did manage to take a few pix this weekend.

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Lows tonight are supposed to be around zero. But despite some stormy weather this last week, there have been signs of spring. Images below are reposted from the Cornell Horticulture blog which has been sucking up a lot of my blogging energy these days. Flower bulb research intern Rose de Wit collects data at Kenneth Post Lab greenhouses. Currently in the banner rotation at the Cornell University homepage. rose in greenhouse Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) bloom in Minns Garden on Tower Road. Students in the course Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (HORT/LA 4910/4920) took advantage of a sunny Tuesday afternoon to prune trees and shrubs, clean up debris and mulch gardens around the Plant Science Building.

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94 Reasons Pete Seeger Matters - Gawker tribute.

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Made with the Semiologic themeLight, Silver skin by Denis de Bernardy (Adapted by EJC)