May Blooms: Lilac, Dogwood, Azalea

lilac in bloom in Highland Park, New Jersey
It’s a lovely time of year in Highland Park, New Jersey. Lots of trees, bushes and flowers are in bloom, such as this lavender lilac. Did you grow up smelling lilacs in May? I remember them as a child growing up in Newton, Massachusetts; I would walk down the street and smell this lovely scent.

pink dogwood in Highland Park, New Jersey
This elegant dogwood is in my neighbor’s backyard. Several years back I painted a watercolor of this dogwood in bloom. My dogwood photo from 2008 seems to get a lot of pins on Pinterest.

azalea in Highland Park, New Jersey backyard
Azalea bushes are quite popular in Highland Park. This one is in my backyard. Give a few weeks and the blooms will be full and red. Others are pink or white. Azaleas like acidic soil – Highland Park, New Jersey soil cooperates. Tomatoes also do well. I’ve planted marigolds in my front yard – those have germinated. I’ve also seen the nasturtium seeds germinate (I planted those, too; the seeds look like shriveled chickpeas). My chamomile seeds were started in a little box – I’ve got those germinating as well. My hydrangea is still alive – it started to grow green leaves. Will it get munched right down by a deer like what happened last year? Or will I be rewarded with hydrangea blooms?

dogwood in front of lilac
Here are dogwood blooms in front of lilac blooms.

What’s in your backyard?

For more nature notes:
Nature Notes

Azalea, Andromeda and Dogwood Blossoms

azalea and andromeda bushes
I call this photo “Azalea, meet Andromeda.”

dogwood flowers
My neighbor’s dogwood tree is once again flowering. My dogwood photos from 2008 are one of the most popular posts on this blog.

dogwood blossoms
Dogwood blossoms are a pleasure, but one needs to be fast with the camera or the dogwood blossom season will be done.

One downside of the abundant blossoms in our area is my stuffed nose. Any of you allergy sufferers? A friend of my daughter’s hates spring because of allergies. Sigh.

For more Nature Notes:
Nature Notes

Review with Pink Azalea

pink azalea bush
Azalea season has come to Highland Park

On My Blog

two wet tulips rhododendron taken May 2, 2011 pink magnolia bud
maitake mushrooms white bloom two forsythia blooms
daffodil macro pink petals dogwood north eighth blooms

Elsewhere in the Blogosphere

Pink Azalea with Red Spots

Happy Mother’s Day. Our azaleas have already faded (this shot is from last week), but the rhododendron is starting to show color, and the roses have tiny buds. We have a bit of a chilly day here… lots of unusual winds yesterday.

For more flowers, visit:
today's flowers

Azalea Season – SOOC

azaleas looking down the street
Azaleas are in bloom all over the place. I brought in some red ones and put them in a vase; my husband said, what are those called again? He said they are in bloom around his work building.

For more shots straight out of the camera:
Straight Out of the Camera Sunday

Favorite Images of 2009

strawberry and red juice sycamore trunk Jill Caporlingua and my daughter carnations bouquet on black background Girl with Tulip in Watercolor pink umbrella against gray wall
Highland Park in Sepia  daughter in sepia with teal doing ballet

girls in pink doing ballet  
orange and yellow tulip in my garden, April 2009 Pink Azalea Bud Opening in April 2009 pottery
Sunset over the bay at Sandy Hook, New Jersey  

Yellow Tulip on Red Azaleas, May 2009  pink snapdragon
parsley beets noodles orange purple iris
flags U.S. Israel peaches at Highland Park Farmer's Market 

butterfly bouquet at Highland Park Farmer's Market Witch of Rapunzel in Metuchen
  pointing up a tree in autumn
ghoul gull Jacob Ladder
hamantaschen watercolor beach watercolor ink pumpkin watercolor sledding  lighting an oil wick on Chanukah

I would greatly enjoying reading which of these images strikes your fancy. Thank you!

Upcoming on Thursday: A Selection of Nature Notes Posts from around the Nature-Loving
Blogosphere. Nature Notes is a meme brought to us by Rambling Woods. Here are some of her favorite images of 2009.

Nature Notes: Stalwart Flowers, Foliage

Is this azalea confused? Doesn’t it know it’s fall, not spring?

Just in time for cold autumn weather, we have one vibrant nasturtium flower. Our groundhogs ate our nasturtium in July, so we did not have the pleasure of nasturtium in salad this past summer. But we caught two ground hogs mid-summer and set in them loose in Johnson Park; we also installed two molar pest repellers, which seem to have discouraged more nasturtium-eaters from our garden. So by late August the flowers grew back, but not in time for a bountiful summer crop.

Happy are the sedum in my garden!

Here is information from Michelle, our Nature Notes host, about fall foliage:

The major factor influencing autumn leaf color change is the lack of water. Not a lack of water to the entire tree, but a purposeful weaning of water from each leaf. Lack of water to each leaf causes a very important chemical reaction to stop.

Photosynthesis, or the food-producing combination of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide, is eliminated. Chlorophyll must be renewed (by photosynthesis) or be taken in by the tree along with photosynthetic sugar. Thus chlorophyll disappears from the leaves.

The variation in foliage — the shades of red, purple, bronze, yellow and orange — is all about pigment and what type each tree carries.

Carotene (the pigment found in carrots and corn) causes maples, birches, and poplars to turn yellow.

The brilliant reds and oranges in this fall landscape are due to anthocyanins.

Tannins give the oak a distinctively brown color.

The best colors show up when we have cool nights, bright sunny days and low humidity.

My neighbor’s burning bush: I get such a kick out of the name of this plant.

For more nature notes, visit:

nature-note or Nature Notes

Week in Review with Azalea Blooms

Azalea bushes in bloom, May 2009
Azalea bushes in bloom, May 2009

On My Blog

A Riddle in Prose

Watery Dianthus

Nature Notes: Birds

The Rabbi, The Mayor and A Blue and White Parade in Edison, NJ

Today’s Flowers: Today’s Flowers: Chives, Columbine and Bleeding Heart

Sweet, Bittersweet and Painful

Upcoming in Highland Park: library book sale and the annual street fair (see my post from last year of the street fair)

Elsewhere in the Blogosphere

Robin of Around the Island is starting a new photo meme called Summer Stock Sunday. First edition will be Sunday, May 31. Get those summer pics ready!

I want to wish my friends recovering from surgery the strength and patience to heal. Ilana-Davita wrote a bit about her experience with recovery in this post. For another friend, who is here in Highland Park, I wish recovery and healing and growth and renewed energy.

A useful link that came up because we were talking passwords: How To Create a Tough Password That Cannot Be Cracked By Anyone

Here’s Something You Can Do for Gilad Shalit