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Baltimore Neighborhoods

I was enjoying getting carried away with Photoshop and some photos I took a couple of years ago. For those of you who like excess:

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Sometimes, I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenges. This week’s challenge was ‘street life’ and I’ve put a related post up over on my other blog where I put most of the photography. I use the challenges as creative inspiration to make new photographs and only occasionally put up old ones. So, after seeing this week’s challenge, it was a bit disappointing that we had a rainy weekend. However, yesterday was beautiful, and I was able to get out and take pictures. Since street photography is usually about people, it was a little bit of a challenge for me because I’m always so afraid of being intrusive. However, it gave me the opportunity to have small conversations with people, which was nice.

As always, if anyone ever appears in a photograph and doesn’t like it, just let me know and I’ll be glad to take it down.

There were a few pictures that didn’t fit in my little collection, so I’ll post them here instead.

crocuses

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The huge snowstorm we were told to expect turned out not to be so big. Still, I went outside hoping to get some nice seasonal shots.

The huge snowstorm we were told to expect turned out not to be so big. Still, I went outside hoping to get some nice seasonal shots.

I walked around the corner to a street of pretty townhouses hoping that there would be some nice decorations.

I walked around the corner to a street of pretty townhouses hoping that there would be some nice decorations.

A surprisingly large number of people still had pumpkins out. I missed a shot of a squirrel eating one.

A surprisingly large number of people still had pumpkins out. I missed a shot of a squirrel eating one.

The temperature was supposed to drop all day, but instead it rose and the snow quickly disappeared.

The temperature was supposed to drop all day, but instead it rose and the snow quickly disappeared.

Then I spied one of my favorite little birds, a Northern Mockingbird, in a sapling.

Then I spied one of my favorite little birds, a Northern Mockingbird, in a sapling.

He waited patiently while I circled the tree trying to get a better shot.

He waited patiently while I circled the tree trying to get a better shot.

It's good that they're not timid birds because I had to take my time and focus manually.

It’s good that they’re not timid birds because I had to take my time and focus manually.

Finally, he flew into a tree and was quickly joined by two others.

Finally, he flew into a tree and was quickly joined by two others.

Here's the third bird.

Here’s the third bird.

Last year, we had almost no flowers in our garden. The squirrels are bad enough. They dig up everything. I planted some Assarum canadense because I’m trying to find a more ecologically sound ground cover to replace the english ivy I’ve been tearing up. As it happens, squirrels think wild ginger root is a tasty snack. Of course, I’m replacing the invasive plants with native plants specifically because they provide food and shelter. The problem lies in getting this stuff established in the first place. The loose soil around a new planting makes the new plant especially easy pickings. One of the things that makes invasives so invasive to begin with is that few things eat them.*

As bad as the squirrels are, they prefer a varied diet with a strong emphasis on nuts and berries. The bunnies on the other hand, are little eating machines. Who needs a lawn mower. Worse yet, I found that the bunnies have a special taste for flower buds. Last year, we had a blueberry bush that we were going to plant in a butterfly garden on the other side of town. After a few days, the bush started to look like a topiary. I said to my sister, can it be deer? The next day, I looked out the window and there was the world’s biggest bunny was up on his hind legs nipping off the last little flower bud clinging to the sad looking blueberry stick. I realized that while the rabbits sit around and eat the clover and the grass all day, they have some special love for flower buds.

So, I run outside. Rabbits are supposed to be scared of people, right?Bunny among ferns.

“I’ll cook you with capers, you bud munching beast.”

Bunny among weeds.

Is that a face that says, “I know you’re bluffing bitch?”

Last year we found a Chimaphila maculata growing in the yard. I felt so lucky. I watched and watched hoping to get some good photos when it was blooming. Just when there was a little bud looking like it was a couple days away from opening, the bunny got it.

Fortunately, it’s a perennial and it spreads by rhizomes. The patch is bigger this year. Maybe one day I can show you a photo of something other than leaves and this.

A tint flower bud of a chimaphila maculata hanging down.

The neighbor told us the she saw the rabbit’s babies earlier this year. I’m open to rabbit recipes.

* Whenever I’ve mentioned invasives on a forum on the internet I’ve gotten into some weird discussions. So, my definition of an invasive species comes from our state’s invasive species list. North America is a big place with very different ecological niches. What’s invasive here might not be invasive by you even if we’re on the same continent. I’m removing things in stages because, if I don’t have something to replace it with, I’ll just get erosion and another bunch weeds, perhaps the same ones, will appear in their place. Right now, my particular bêtes noires are English ivy, daylilies and garlic mustard. As I said, it’s not ideological. We have primroses, foxglove and others that are staying.

Not having an iPhone, I was disappointed that there was no Weekly Photo Challenge this week and instead they substituted a promo for the WordPress mobile app. However, I’ve been using the themes to help me go out and take new pictures and I liked the idea of showing my neighborhood. Since my neighborhood has a wide variety of different buildings, one photo won’t do. To be kind to those with slow connections or old computers, I’m putting all but one photo below the fold.

(My apologies to the visually impaired. I’m pressed for time today, and I’ll come back and add alternate descriptions, which I always try to include, on the photos later.)

DSC_0141

I live in a neighborhood that is called Tuscany/Canterbury after two fancifully named coop developments.

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