Sunday, July 15, 2018

Surviving the Winter

My daughter-in-law has the mistaken idea that I am a bit of a gardener. I am not. I just have a lot more time on my hands and more money than she does. She was helping me move something on my back patio the other day and she said: "Gosh, even your weeds are pretty."


These are coleus seeds from a tropical plant that I had in a pot and that amazingly wintered over!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Into the Light

While others are balancing their coffee cups and backing out of their driveways heading to work, while others are adjusting that slanty morning blast of sun by pulling down their sun visors so they can see the road ahead, I am out seeking the very few minutes that morning sun will enhance any photos I take in my yard. I am barefoot crossing the cool wet grass, collecting the grass clippings on my feet and still in my pajamas, startling the resident rabbit, and with camera in hand, stalking the light. Of course, there are sacrifices when shooting in low light, with a telephoto, and without a tripod. #lazyphotographer

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Almost Extinct

Shortly after my return home, this show-off started blooming in abundance in my flower beds. If you accidentally move a tiny bulb when you are transferring dirt it will bloom wherever it lands. Hard to believe that the Turkscap Lily, Lilium superbum, was once almost extinct. It is a native to my area and it seems that many years ago chefs became intrigued with eating the tasty bulbs in stews and such, which meant that it soon became endangered. Fortunately, that trend has waned and the bulbs can be easily purchased.

The name is exotic and suits the exotic shape of the flower.  It grows up to 9 feet tall if there is not enough sun!  Mine grow just over three feet.

The looks as though they would only grow in the tropics, but like many lilies they are very hardy.

Requiring rich soil with good drainage and average sun they will reward a gardener with many blossoms.  They may need staking, though.  Mine seem to be hybridized for giant and abundant blooms.

Those black seeds that rest in the crook of the stem and leaf are actually able to produce plants if you are patient for a few years.  It is faster to dig up the bulbs and use the bulblets, though.

The contrast of the dark purple anthers at the ends add just the right touch and some of the swallowtail butterflies visit.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Winging In

Summer visitors are late this year. Those that come are fewer than normal. The air is stifling and the nectar is so necessary. I am careful to water the nectar-producing factories as often as possible. Will my great-grandchildren even see a winged insect?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Newness of You

They have taken quite some time to show up, but at last, they are here in all their exotic glory.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Air so thick I can cut it with a knife
and then watch slabs fall with pudding-like thuds
at my feet onto the slimy grasses. 
I can wipe the wet mist from my face
as if I had been crying “repentlessly”. 
Where do the birds hide their naked fledglings? 
Where do the bees conceal themselves for days? 
The tree frogs and the spadefoots sing for hours, 
a festival of Huge and Small Leap Day. 
The slow turtles explore cool wet pavement
naïve to the jeopardy that awaits. 
And most dangerous of all woodland life,
the mosquitoes sing in high pitched, fated
annoyance everywhere that warm breath flows.

Deep emerald shade hides the small mammals
Frozen and watchful, certain they're unseen.
There is a pulsing; can nature find breath?
At night the breeze does not rise to cool us.
In the day the sun bravely scatters bright
Patches that have contrast to catch the eye,
But fail to pierce the hard and deep shadows
Beneath the green canopy of large, still leaves
That cluster in hushed anticipation
Reminding me to venture quietly
As I feel I'm alien in my land.

I shall sit until air kisses my face
and the trees wave green flags and dance again.