Sweet Diana Fig

After I removed the messy, encroaching ficus tree, I decided to replace the empty space with something edible.

I selected a pomegranate, Valencia orange, and a fig. I chose the Diana variety because it looked so adorable, almost like it was decorated for the holidays.

I know you’re supposed to remove any fruit the first year because it’ll encourage stronger root growth, but I’m going to let these guys ripen first and eat them.

This golden fig is soft and ready to eat; incredibly sweet–tropical with hints of banana and pineapple.

What’s funny is that I learned that fig is a member of the ficus family, so to avoid any invasive root damage, I planted it about fifty feet away from the house. The guy at the nursery said that would be far enough away to be safe.

Extreme closeup. Interesting and sort of gross, too.

So yummy, not too crunchy with seeds like other figs. It was absolutely delicious and juicy. Dried figs are great, but this one fresh off the tree was such a treat!

This is the end of the month, almost the end of the year, and tomorrow’s full moon will beguile us with a spectacular lunar eclipse.

To A Mockingbird

He sat for the longest time on a volunteer Brazilian peppertree. The original tree was removed because it’s an invasive species, but also resilient and obnoxious, an aggressive woody weed which displaces native vegetation and rapidly invades disturbed sites.

To A Mocking Bird

The name thou wearest does thee grievous wrong;
No mimic thou: that voice is thine alone.
The poets sing but strains of Shakespeare’s song;
The birds, but notes of thine imperial own.– Henry Jerome Stockard

#WordlessWednesday

Rock Solid

The call of love sounds very hollow among these immobile rocks.
-Gustav Mahler

I love rocks as much as I love seashells. I’m drawn to all shapes and sizes, colors and textures. Each one has a story to tell. They’re alive; warm from absorbing the sun, cool to the touch when it’s chilly, and shiny wet when it rains. They change but stay the same. I can trust them and that’s important to me.

Rocks are composed primarily of grains of minerals, crystalline solids formed from a chemical compound arranged in an orderly manner. The aggregate minerals forming the rock are held together by chemical bonds. Immutable bonds of love.

This is my very own dry river bed. I hauled each and every rock with my own two hands; thousands of them; a true labor of love.

The Process of Abscission

Leaf Loss / Bare Bones / Blue Sky

This ash tree started out in 1985 in a five-gallon pot as a housewarming gift. As soon as the leaves begin to drop–in just a day or two– the branches will become bare and I’ll have a LOT of raking to do.

Abscission is the reason why leaves fall. Scientists believe that a reduction in sunlight leads to the reduction of chlorophyll in the leaf due to a reduction in photosynthesis and this may trigger the abscission of leaves. The actual process occurs when the weaker cells near the petiole are pushed off by the stronger cells beneath them.

I’m sure there’s an analogy or parallel to my LIFE but I’ve had a tough week and I’m tired of thinking and not able to direct my brain to untangle the profundities because right now all I want to do is quietly savor the stark, elegantly naked branches.

It reminds me of my little vase of twigs and another example of ma. (https://enchantedseashells.com/2020/10/25/ma-the-space-between-things/)

As pretty as it is all dressed in green, the artistry of bare bone branches are stunning in their strength of simplicity,

I see the graceful arms of a dancer against a backdrop of the bluest sky of the year.

  • – Coco Chanel: “Simplicity is the final achievement.Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” …
  • – Frederic Chopin: “Nature is pleased with simplicity”. …
  • – Isaac Newton: “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion.These three are your greatest treasure” …
  • – Lao Tzu: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Search for a rainbow

We’re lucky here in SoCal to have had a couple days of cleansing rain and it’s supposed to continue all day, but there was a break in the storm so I took the opportunity to go for a walk in search of a rainbow.

I didn’t see one, but I’m not disappointed because the sky and the clouds were magnificent.

I’ve been listening to different versions of this song, Feeling Good. Which one do you like best?
Sammy or Simone? I can’t choose.

Ma…the space between things

I’m inspired by the spartan aesthetic of Zen Buddhism.

Is less really more?

Ma (pronounced “maah”) is a celebration of not things, but the space between them. It’s negative space, voids, emptiness. The place you get to (if you’re lucky) in meditation. Like the space where that tree used to be.

I’m not exactly sure why this tiny little ceramic vase IS. Like why it even exists.

I mean, who designed it, procured a company to manufacture it, and filled a cargo ship full of them bound for the USofA?

I have no idea, but I fell in love and brought it home for $1.50. How could anyone NOT love shopping at Daiso?

Only four inches tall, it holds about a tablespoon of water and I continued to replace flower after flower until I got the brilliant idea of searching around the garden for beautifully shaped little twigs.

These are the last remnants of the ficus tree that is no longer there, and I decided it would be a simple way to honor that once living entity by saving a little part of it.

At first I was going to embellish them with faux gems, pearls, and seashells–like I usually do–but the more I looked at it, the more I loved the bare simplicity. I didn’t want to detract from the design of the vase.

I should write a haiku about the tree and these twigs. Being a minimalist with words is just as difficult for me as NOT gluing shiny things to those tiny little branches.

Goodbye, Tree

A while back I wrote about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and I’m guessing I could also call this post “A Tree Dies in SoCal”

Usually the loss of a tree I’ve lived with and loved for years feels like how I imagine a phantom limb might feel- a certain emptiness, a vacant unfillable void–like mourning the loss of a loved one, but this was different.

It actually feels lighter; freer–all in all a good decision that I had procrastinated about for years because I hate to destroy any living creature or growing thing.

The first cut is the deepest–I know those are song lyrics, but there’s a point you can’t go back, when the decision to cut down a tree is beyond the point of changing your mind. Too late to say WAIT, let me rethink things! You can always plant a new tree, right? Replace the old tree with a new one, right?

This was a ficus. I know ficus trees have invasive roots, I know they are much better as potted plants, but I seriously had thought this one was situated far enough away from the house so that it wouldn’t become a problem.

Then I looked under the deck and saw roots, which meant that it would only be a matter of time before there could be real damage to either the foundation or the plumbing.

It’s gone now, and I really don’t miss it at all. I’m thinking about what to plant as the empty space looks a little barren.

Maybe a fruit tree or two? Something that’s a bit more giving than the ficus which was definitely NOT an example of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree–more like the TAKING tree, sucking all the life out of the plants around it and leaving a mess to clean up.

I feel as if I most deserving of some reciprocal quid pro quo in return for all my love and nurturing and caretaking.

AfterGlow

There is nothing so beautiful as the glow of late afternoon sun through bright orange Birds of Paradise.

I spent the day digging out a tree and stubborn roots that should never have been planted so close to the house. That left a big hole that was crying to be filled in.

My Birds of Paradise were ready to be divided, so I worked and worked and worked at it until I could separate a section to fill in the empty space.

I like to fill in the empty spaces—in gardens, in conversations, and in sad hearts, too.

When I finished, I looked up and was rewarded with a beautiful sunglow behind the Birds of Paradise.

Paradise, right?

obsesh/confesh [DIY Fairy Garden]

My new obsession confession….

Maybe because I loved the fairy garden I sent Angel Boy, or maybe it was the smokey skies that made being outside harmful to my asthma, but I had to find an indoor project or it was going to affect my mental health, too.

I thought to myself, what could I craft without having to buy any new supplies?

Pinterest and the internet offers a plethora of ideas by amazing people.

There are step-by-step videos for nearly EVERYTHING DIY.

My first attempt was a craft stick (popsicle stick) door. I have a package of 200 sticks that I was saving for projects with AB and I always have glue and paint. PERFECT.

The door was so aDORable with addition of the button for a doorknob that I painted gold, so I felt confident building the bench. Also easy and also way cool. I painted it white and added a touch of my own…miniature pillows, each stuffed with 1/2 a cotton ball.

The little tables were made out of pieces of broken costume jewelry glued to a wine cork. (Yes, I do save everything.)

Check out the little broom I made with a toothpick.

I’m also obsessed with windchimes and mobiles (another post) and came up with the brilliant idea of a mini-mobile made out of an old costume jewelry ring. I have no idea where the ring came from, but it was there in the box of broken things.

I attached tiny seashells and gems using silver jewelry wire and fishing line.

Not perfect, but not bad for a first attempt, right? Next, I’m going to try to build the picnic table.

I didn’t really want to do a step-by-step DIY tutorial because mine wouldn’t be nearly as detailed and precise as the ones that are already out there, but here’s a few photos of the process:

I think I might attempt to pierce the veil between worlds and open that door. It was especially magical last night when the solar lights came on and sparkled the glass rock pathway.