Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bring the Funk

I have been in a bit of a funk lately...writers block and the photo blahs. Does this ever happen to you? I started writing three different posts and haven't finished any of them. I'm not happy with the quality of the photos I've taken the last few times I've been in my garden. So what's up? Is it a lack of inspiration? Frustration in my skill level? Are my expectations too high? Feeling overwhelmed? Or all of the above?


As I was staring at a blank screen this morning trying to work out these questions the power went out and it was almost as if time stood still. No Internet, no coffee, no photos and so in an attempt to snap myself out of this mood and find some inspiration I grabbed my camera, called the dogs and took a walk around the garden.


The swamp sunflowers are beginning to bloom. They are a good 12 feet tall and just look stunning against the blue skies. The bees love them and I spent some time watching them from down below.


I stood on the fence post to get this shot of one of the lower blooms still covered with a little morning dew.

Vernonia gigantea

Ironweed just glows in the fall sunlight, especially as the sun creeps over the slope. It is another pollinator favorite, especially for bees and skipper butterflies.


The hummingbird migration is in full swing and The Southern Meadows speedway is in full operation. Races are held from dawn to dusk. There are several circuits going on simultaneously. Race track officials are perched in branches around the track monitoring the feeders and making sure that everyone flies fair.


I found this little guy hanging out in the grasses. He was trying to be very inconspicuous.


The upland sea oats are one of my favorite grasses and really shine in the fall.


I wish I knew the name of this grass. It is gorgeous. We picked it up last year at our Master Gardener Plant Expo. It was the last one and didn't have a tag. I would love to get more. The blooms are iridescent but I find their dazzle very difficult to capture on camera (back to that frustration factor).


In the woodland garden the native beautyberry shrub is glowing. I love the big, round white berries. I am sure the birds love them even more.


Well, the dogs had a great run around the garden. Can you tell? Muddy paws and a big grin!


And, the power is back on and maybe I'll go put on some Parliament Funkadelic "Bring The Funk". How can George Clinton not put one in a better mood?


32 comments:

  1. Your pictures, as always, are wonderful! We are very lucky that you choose to share them with us.

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  2. That white beautyberry is gorgeous. Does it grow in zone 5? I've only seen purple berry varieties at garden centers, and even the on-line retailers I use. I think I'm still too new to the garden blog to have trouble coming up with things to write, instead I have to discipline myself not to put too much in every post. On the other hand, I rely on Judy for almost all the photographs, so sometimes I have to do a lot wheedling before I can write a post I want.

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    1. I don't think it is hardy in zone 5 :( I have been blogging for almost 3 years and there is still lots to cover but I always struggle if it interesting for my readers or is it a topic that has been covered already?

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  3. I always love your photos, Karin. However, I'm aware that would mean more coming from a real photographer. As for a funk, it had been quite a while between my last 2 posts. I think it happens.

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    1. Karen, your comments are always appreciated! And, I think you are a great photographer! But, I beg to differ on your comment. I have a lot to learn from professional photographers and appreciate their input but comments from amateurs or anyone viewing my photos is the most meaningful to me.

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  4. I get in a funk every summer it seems, when it's too hot to go outside and the garden is neglected. But, once I get back out in the garden in the autumn, my passion comes back. Your photos are wonderful, and I think a walk outside with no pressure would be a wonderful way to get the juices flowing again.

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    1. I can see how the summer funk would set in. Logic would say that I should be very inspired with this time. In my view fall is the most inspiring time in nature.

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  5. I'm so sorry you've been in a funk--I think it's something in the air. I've also been feeling a little blah and uninspired, but after looking at your gorgeous photos--I want to go plant shopping! I love the white beautyberry. My friend, who owns a wonderful nursery, first showed the white variety to me a few years ago. He had one suddenly start growing in one of his greenhouses--he had no idea where it came from. Isn't that a lucky accident? He left it to grow into a gorgeous, huge specimen. It's lovely. Your photos of the swamp sunflower are so vibrant and cheerful--I swear, I'm in a better mood just looking at them! Sometimes, just an expected thing like the loss of electricity for a bit can shake the funk away. I hope your walk around the garden helped--my tour of your garden made me feel much happier! (And if that didn't work, some chocolate and a glass of red wine might do the trick!) ;-) Hope you have a lovely week!

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    1. Thanks Julie for your enthusiasm! What luck that your friend got a white, volunteer beautyberry. I picked mine up at a Native Plant sale and I love it! I think a glass of red wine with chocolate is just the ticket~!

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  6. Hi Karin, I am feeling the same funk. I think it is the end of the gardening season blues. Still you rallied and have put a nice group of photos together. I love that white beauty berry. I am wondering if your mystery grass is muhly grass?

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    1. Fall is a big planting season in the Southeast. My Master Gardener groups plant expo is this weekend and I will be doing some plant shopping and that always puts me in a better mood! I have muhly grass and the mystery grass is not the same. The blooms are thicker on this grass and the colors really shine with pinks and golds. It is so gorgeous!

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  7. I have the funk, too. I haven't been able to get motivated to put a post together. Maybe, you will inspire me. It's sort of an end of summer early fall apathy. Thanks for the p-funk video. It livened up my evening. :)

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    1. The video helped pick up my mood too! It is so funky! Glad that it helped you too!

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  8. mos definetlyyyy....I need the funk. Love the song.

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  9. A funk, a pause, a question, a lack of motivation--we all face it in one form or another. I don't seem to have trouble coming up with topics or ideas for posts, but I often question my photography skills or whether anyone really wants to read my posts. But that's what ultimately spurs me on to keep trying to improve. I love, love, love all the photos you posted here! And hearing about the hummingbirds brightened my day, since they've left us here in the north. :( It's good to hear they're safely on their migration path!

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    1. I am glad you appreciated the photos. The hummers really provide such energy to the garden it will be so sad to see them go! I think I have so much room to grow and improve too. I feel that my technical skills really hold me back.

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  10. So glad to see the funk is slipping away...I think we all find ourselves in that same funk and even with different circumstances and issues, I think my fast remedy is nature and walking slowly just observing the moment...wish I had more time to do it...just love the swamp sunflowers and that mystery grass

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    1. Thanks Donna! Getting outside definitely puts me in a better mood every time! Sometimes the transition from summer to winter is a little slow in my garden. The fall blooms are really just now starting. We won't see our leaf color peak until November.

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  11. Your description of the hummingbirds is spot on. They left southeast Michigan a few weeks ago. I love watching them dart in and out and all around. I've been a funk too. There seems to be lots of bad energy out there nowadays. Like Donna, I try to get outside and experience what is going on around me. It is usually pretty good.

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    1. I am surprised how many others are feeling the funk too! I think you are spot on when you say there is lots of bad energy out there. I am looking forward to getting to the mountains and absorbing all the scenery and nature!

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  12. Hi Karin, hope you are less funky than when you wrote this post. I haven't written anything for over a week....missed doing a tree post. Have been conflicted on a couple tree IDs. Oh well.
    Love the white beautyberries, I have lots of the purple ones. Your mystery grass is Ruby Grass, Melinis nerviglumis Savannah. I have some that wintered over luckily!
    As for your funk band, good one. We took our kids to a concert last year---pure funk. Yo Momma's Big Fat Booty Band. Pretty funny, great people watching.

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    1. Thank you Janet for the ID! Our overwintered fine but it was mild last year. I think it will be colder this winter but we moved from zone 7 to 8 with the changes :O)
      Love the bands name...sounds like it was a blast! I hope you get your tree IDs. Trees and turf are not my forte, seriously hopeless. I took a winter tree ID class as part of the Native Plant certificate and it was not my cup of tea but I was really trying to broaden my knowledge. I'll just have to keep working on it and reading your post makes learning about trees much more interesting!

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    2. Glad I could help. :-)
      I thought I had two different trees IDed and now I don't think my photos are correct...Black Willow/White Willow and Honey Locust or Black Locust. aughhhhh. stay tuned.

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  13. Oh yes, I was in a blogging funk over the summer. Now I'm in an even bigger funk after being forced to deal with the new blogger interface.

    Your photos are lovely, you must have been inspired by the golden autumn light.

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  14. I deal with writer's funk every so often and sometimes just have to power through it. I must say, I've gotten quite lazy lately and been doing other things with my time. Sometimes it's good just to get away a little bit! I have a whole list of blog posts I want to write, though, that haven't been written. Oh well, sometimes it's just more important to go outside, smell the fresh air, and do something that refreshes the spirit.

    I hope you find some refreshment and some writing spark! Your swamp sunflowers are beautiful.

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  15. Karin, I know what you are going through with your photography and writing, I sometimes feel the same way. But I think it's a normal cycle. When you feel inspired, you're at your peak, but the cycle must come to a full circle, so it's only normal to be less inspired at times. I think we need to let our brain rest before we can find new ideas and inspiration. And we have access and see soooo many photos on the internet, it's very difficult not to compare our work with others,and sometimes, by doing this, we inevitably become unsatisfied with our photos. But I am telling you : Your photos are wonderful and very beautiful. In this series, my favourites are the sunflower from below and the grasses. Keep pressing this shutter, and I'm sure your inspiration will return !

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  16. I welcome you very warmly.
    Charmed me your fantastic pictures.
    Your blog and great posts here were led to stop.
    I admire your wonderful blog.
    Lucia

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  17. Yes I am in some major funk but your photos helped me to feel as though I was outside...thank you..Michelle

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  18. Wow! I am so glad you pushed yourself to go out and take some photographs because these are spectacular, Karin. Many of them are magical! I particularly like the hummingbird and the light behind those sea oats. I suffer from this affliction now and then. For me, taking a few days or a week off, away from photographing or writing, helps. Beautiful post!

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  19. Sometimes when I feel like I have nothing to write about, I try to look at my garden with a different perspective. It usually works. I really love how much your blog captures all the wildlife in your area. A picture of a hummingbird is a bit of an elusive goal for me. However, I did take an excellent video of nothing the other day with my cell phone. :o)

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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