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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

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Perhaps ten years ago now I was shopping for zinnia seeds to plant in front of my mom’s house in Irvington. On a whim, I grabbed a packet of large brown seeds, only five or six to a packet. From the photo on the front these flowers looked much like the blue morning glories I would be growing, except they were white. So it was with these modest expectations that I planted all the seeds and awaited the results. As the summer wore on, I confess, those special brown seeds slipped my mind. I had plenty of vines, and eventually there were beautiful sky blue flowers gracing the railings of my mom’s front porch every morning. I couldn’t have been more delighted with the results. One day I stepped out onto that porch near sunset, and was nearly knocked over by the sight of the largest and most exquisitely gorgeous silky moon-white and fragrant flower I had ever laid eyes on. It was nearly as large as my face, and I immediately took some selfies with it. It was huge, and it was beautiful, and I had forgotten I planted the thing and so it was beyond any and all expectations that I had formed and then forgotten over the course of the growing season. It was a bonus miracle.

I tried growing moonflowers during some of the following summers in other gardens, and met with no success. This past summer however, once again living back in Irvington and just a few blocks from my mom’s front porch of days past, I tried moonflowers one more time. Again, I thought I had failed. Again, one unsuspecting evening, I strolled out onto my deck and was struck by the radiance of a delicate beauty veritably glowing from within the flourishing tangle of morning glory vines. Another miracle, at last! I was blessed with a few more moonflowers over the next several days, and I savored them all. Perhaps there is something in the air here in Irvington that makes this type of magic thrive. Once you see and smell one of these gorgeous entities for yourself you will understand what I mean. And when you do you will start planting moonflower seeds too.

In the meantime I will let Jetta Carleton do the describing, in this excerpt from her novel, The Moonflower Vine. Perhaps someday I will get to see a show such as this:

“The watch resumed. Soon, now, a stem would tremble, a faint shudder run through the vine, sensed more than seen. A leaf twitched. No, you imagined it. But yes, it moved! A light spasm shook the long pod. Slowly at first, then faster and faster, the green bud unfurled, the thin white edges of the bloom appearing and the spiral ascending, round and round and widening till at last the white horn of the moonflower, visible for the first time in the world, twisted open, pristine and perfect, holding deep in its throat a tiny jewel of sweat.

…The vine stormed to life, and the blooms exploded— five, twelve, a torrent of them, tumbling their extravagant beauty into the evening air.

…The big spendthrift blooms extended themselves, stretched tight as the silk on parasols. In the dusk they would glimmer weakly, limp and yellowed as old gloves after a ball. But not now. Now the starred blossoms burned white against the dark vine and filled the air with the sweet, faintly bitter scent of their first and last breath.”

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Helianthus

Some things makes sense.

A seed
—this seed—
A tiny black teardrop
falling from a ratio
more golden than the rays
that shield your perfect face.

You salute the skies.
Air
and light
Make sugar in your palms.

Every breath that rises
pulls life
—up—
through your grounded dirty feet.

And the finch,
this yellow finch,
clutches that face
Calls to the wind
the same
beat
repeating.

Until she chooses herself
to answer.

By reason she grows
No fanfare.
No expectation.
Just knowing to make life.
To live it.

—Why—
then
do you sing to me
repeating:
“You are everything and all of it”

And then turn your head
As if you had not meant to speak?

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My break from blogging was quite refreshing, and I’m glad to say I’m back with a vengeance, ready to fill your summer days with all the garden photos and random nonsense I can offer.

I recently took a day trip to Shoals, Indiana, to do some hiking and to be mercilessly attacked by the ravenous insect population. When I wasn’t pulling ticks out of my clothing, I was concentrating on getting some shots of the interesting flora and fauna that thrives in the humid Hoosier backwoods. One of my favorite discoveries was this old bottle of water that had seemingly burst from the inside out, teeming with life. If you ever wanted spring in a bottle to save for those cold and dark winter evenings, this is probably the closest you will get.

Spring in a Bottle

Stay tuned for more exciting summer discoveries…

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Signs of Life

We’re in those last few weeks when Spring feels like it is never going to show its face. All I want is green trees, warmth, seedlings pushing up through the soil, flowers everywhere, unlimited sunshine….is that too much to ask?

In my desperation I went out looking for some signs of impending spring growth, and I wasn’t disappointed. I just had to look beneath all the brown.

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Spring is here. 🙂

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