June 16, 2013

Twin Fawns at Linda's House (6-15-13)

Here in Port Townsend we have a love/hate relationship with the Giant Spotted Sumatran Rats otherwise known as White-tailed Deer.

Our herd is protected, so there is no Bambi blasting within city limits. I have no doubt that, were this community to suddenly experience

a natural disaster of some sort, the herd would instantly become fair game. And deservedly so.

This privledged class of herbivore acts like the worst of the royals.

They are arrogant, aloof, and fearless in their quest to decimate every garden they can gain access to. They will devour just about anything green and juicy.

Even plants that are listed as “deer proof”. Last year they attacked my euphorbia; A plant that produces a highly toxic white sap. It didn’t phase them.

If it’s a plant you prize that will be the first item on their menu.

I don’t eat red meat but, after dealing with these ravenous pests, venison steaks sound incredibly appetizing.

Deer on 30th (6-15-13)

Photographs Copyright 2103 by G. W. German

All Rights Reserved



I may not appreciate the prospect of large Rhododendrons in my own small garden, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the beauty and splendor of their spring blossoms.

This past weekend I visited the Washington State Rhododendron Garden which, conveniently, is a very short drive from my house. The garden is immediately after the entrance to Fort Worden State Park. Right here in beautiful Port Townsend. Sunday was a “free day” for the state park system and, with my limited budget, I try to take advantage of such things as often as possible. As far as peak rhody bloom is concerned it would have been better to visit the garden in mid-May, but one does what one can. There is no free admittance to Fort Worden then.

I took almost a hundred photographs of about thirty different plants ranging in color from bright white to deep red, pale lavender and rich golds. It was an overcast day with a slight breeze that proved perfect for taking pictures of flowers.

If you ever get the chance to visit PT in Spring I highly recommend spending time at the State Rhododendron Garden.

Early Rhodie Dazzle

April 9, 2013

Pink PJM Rhododendron April '13


One of the most ubiquitous plants in Pacific Northwest gardens is the rhododendron. The native rhododendron is the Washington State flower.

As a fan of lengthy periods of bloom standard large-blossomed rhododendrons leave a lot to be desired by me. 50 weeks of green leaves and 2 weeks of spectacular bloom is almost too little finery for the work involved. But as a foundation shrub they make an outstanding dense evergreen backdrop for other plants such as Japanese maples that produce outstanding leaf color.

However, dwarf and species rhododendrons can offer more than just gorgeous flowers. With a little study you can find plants that have foliage that is every bit as exciting as their bloom. In autumn, some types produce leaf color so striking it is hard to believe they are related to the dull green behemoths that occupy so much space in the gardens of old houses and public parks. Still others have flowers that are scented like lilies and there are varieties that will bloom at Christmas, while some will color the yard on the 4th of July.

The rhododendron pictured above, a PJM hybrid, produces buds in March and is in its full magenta glory right now. But the thing that makes this plant an outstanding specimen is its bold after-bloom leaf color of deep mahogany. Later this summer it will provide a striking contrast to the watermelon and gold colored day lilies planted directly in front of it.

If you are interested in rhododendrons, please take the time to learn about lesser-used varieties, as well as their cousins the azaleas that can make valuable specimens for any gardener’s four or three season garden. Rhodies have much more to offer when you explore the large selection of smaller plants now available at nurseries and online.


Photograph copyright 2013 by G. W. German. All Rights Reserved.

April 9, 2013

Ah, winter has passed and spring is upon us. Which means flowers are making the natural world explode with color.

IMHO, there is nothing more enticing than the brilliant display of plant’s sexual organs.

Let’s hear it for colorful sex!

Black Primroses


No, these aren’t real black primroses. I adjusted the photo’s color with Photoshop.

But it’s only a matter of time before we’ll see real flowers with exotic colors that have never been available before.

In just the last few years Primula hybrids have been introduced with larger flowers and brighter colors. Anything is almost possible.


Photograph copyright 2013 by G. W. German. All Rights Reserved.

Horses In Hawai’i

November 30, 2012

In April and May of 2008 I was fortunate, due to the grace of a very fine friend, to visit the Big Island of Hawai’i for a month. While there I was able to experience some of the most incredible events of my life. I was able to go snorkeling frequently and the first time in the water I found myself swimming with a sea turtle. Unfortunately, I do not own any underwater camera equipment. So the memories of my wonderful time snorkeling have to suffice. Though that doesn’t help you see what I saw, does it?

I do, however, have many shots of my above water adventures. Including these images taken on a day devoted entirely to using our cameras. As I’ve said before, horses are among my favorite subjects. By chance my friend had an association with a young woman who worked at a ranch where visitors rented horses for day excursions across the lush green hills and valleys near Waimea. The animals were about as tame and friendly as any horses I’d ever been around and, it was obvious, the young women who tended them loved them.

This hour period of my journey has to place among the high points of my visit to Hawai’i despite the fact I can walk about 5 minutes from my home here in PT and interact with my doctor’s horses and donkeys. Perhaps the difference was all in the locale or maybe it was just being around so many friendly horses. I have no idea why, exactly, but I’ve been around abused horses and watched way too many videos of cruelty done to these fine beings. It was lovely being around working horses who were cared for with love and appreciation. In so many instances world wide that is not the case.

Full-Sized Jpegs-1500

This puppy, less than six months old at the time, was rescued from a dump where he had been abandoned. From the instant he met the horses his herding instincts went into gear. For an untrained herder, he was quite the little master.

B & W 4 X 4  4-14-08



Tender Mercies 4-14-08

In Between Rides






Snowflaked 4-14-08



Backsides In Motion 4-14-12

Autumn Ends

November 11, 2012












All Images Copyright 2012 by G. W. German

All Rights Reserved.

Autumn In PT: Part Three

November 3, 2012







All Images Copyright 2012 by G. W. German

All Rights Reserved.