Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Bunch of Old Pictures

I've been combing my photos for things that I've never posted, for one reason or another. Some of these are really old -- pre-blog, in fact pre-Washington.

It may come as a surprise to some of you that I love snakes. Fortunately, I've never lived where I had to worry about finding a poisonous one while out in the garden weeding. I might feel differently if I lived in Texas.

This beautiful black rat snake appeared  in my garden in Massachusetts one day.

My garden back then was not fenced, and bordered on protected wetlands.

What a beauty!

I used to see harmless garter snakes all the time in my garden in Massachusetts.

It didn't take the snakes long to find the goldfish in my little pond. I once ran out there in a flimsy nightgown one early morning to grab a fish out of the jaws of a garter snake. Fortunately, both the snake and the goldfish lived.

My little pond

Two water lilies in the pond

 My current garden is fenced, and I'm sure that's one reason why I never see snakes here.

Sarah Bernhardt peony from my Massachusetts garden

New Dawn rose


Dicentra spectabilis

A flock of wild turkeys on my front lawn in Massachusetts

The wetlands, or in this case, the snowlands

Magnolia flower in the Washington Arboretum's Japanese Garden

Duck butt in the Japanese Garden

The first bed I put together at the house we rented our first year here, in North Seattle

The enormous pomegranate at Little and Lewis on Bainbridge

Annual poppy


Primula viallii

Cascade foothills

I hope you enjoyed this random look back at the past. I'd show more photos of my Massachusetts garden, but back then my camera was pretty basic, and I barely knew which buttons to press or where to point it.


  1. Not many snakes in my garden, unfortunately. I have some bugs they could eat. Love the pomegranate.

  2. Love the Astrantia! Do you know what variety it is?

    1. Sorry Scott, I don't know. That shot was taken on a garden tour a couple of years ago.

  3. It's fun to see your previous garden! I love that pond! I grew up a few streets from where we live now and there used to be garter snakes and newts in the yards. Now it's all been cleared for houses. We used to love catching them (and releasing :) )

  4. Hi Alison, I've been away far too long. My apologies. I love the random photos. So lovely. Cute duck butt. And that pink poppy...ooh la la. The Astrantias look like little fireworks. It's fun to look back and see how far you've come.

  5. Love the B.L. retrospective! Were you able to leave your goldfish outside all winter in Massachusetts? We used to see garter snakes and newts in our yard when we lived in Graham. Here in town it's only coyotes, deer, possums, and racoons. I've tried bringing tadpoles and frogs into my pond many times. They sometimes last a year or two but then are gone.

    1. We did leave our goldfish out in the pond all winter, but only because we used floating heaters that would keep a couple of holes open in the ice. The pond was over 3 feet deep, and the ice didn't reach all the way to the bottom, so the fish had enough room to hunker down and hibernate. I was always amazed every spring when the little buggers would come back to the surface looking for food.

  6. I enjoyed the random pics from past gardens, esp. the duck butt -- ha! -- and pretty snakes.

  7. I'm surprised to hear Mass. doesn't have poisonous snakes, we don't have them here either, or Black Widow Spiders. I put a tarp in my weed area one time and pulled it up to find 16 garter snakes curled up underneath. Then my daughter got a couple of cats and I didn't see them much. I also used to have 3 kinds of lizards. I started using lots of newspaper to kill weeds and put in piles of brush for shelter, now I see garter snakes again, and last year found an Alligator lizard in a stump. I also have salamanders.

    Nice pond, it's so hard to protect fish. I have an offspring of New Dawn, Awakening, it has been very slow to grow bigger, I think New Dawn is supposed to be more of a house eater.

  8. Wait! You what? You saved a fish from the jaws of a snake? OMG. You are a brave woman. There is no way I would even consider such a thing. I'd like to think it's because I did grow up with poisonous snakes in eastern Washington but really I think it's just because I am a whimp.

  9. I need that Little & Lewis pomegranate!

  10. I love this look at your old pics. I, too, am impressed that you saved a fish from a snake. I'm embarrassed to say that my fish would have been a goner. I don't mind looking at snakes through a glass window or taking pics of my kids holding the garter snakes they love to find, but I would never call them beautiful or hold one myself.

    And, what a cute little pond. At our old house we had good sized, pretty water lilies. But, in my current pond the water lilies are these scrawny, tiny things. I'm going to have to fix that.

  11. I don't mind snakes, and we have a few poisonous ones in our area. Love the Peony -- love Sarah Bernhardt. What fun to have all those turkeys in your former front yard. We have them in the woods, but they are scared of people.

  12. I enjoyed seeing your old pictures. Lovely!

  13. I enjoyed the photos, too. I love snakes, and am happy when I see others' appreciation of them, too.


Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.