Magical Purple-Blue Ceanothus

I have NEVER seen a color like the blue of this ceanothus. It’s a deep intense pure purpleblue, an amazing gigantic specimen.

Ceanothus has many ethnobotanical uses. Native Americans would mix the flowers with water to create a soapy detergent. It really works! Roots and leaves have reputed medicinal properties, and the long, flexible stems of some species are used in basket-making. The common name for Ceanothus americanus, a species from the eastern United States, is New Jersey Tea, which refers to its use during the Revolutionary War as a substitute for traditional British tea.

The camera definitely doesn’t capture the saturation of color. It’s full of the sound of buzzing BEES.

#WordlessWednesday

Will You Bee My Friend?

I used to be terrified of bees mainly because I’m allergic — which is certainly a plausible rationale for fear, but I have so many bees here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells–they love rosemary and lavender and other herbs, that I’ve decided to quell my anxiety and bee friendly.

Bees are incredibly valuable to sustaining life on Earth; they deserve our love and protection, along with a healthy respect for their ability to cause pain. Angel Boy 2.0 and I spend quite a bit of time researching bees.

This little guy took a rest on the deck from his hard work saving Planet Earth and was perfectly amenable to pose for a series of photos and then he buzzed away. More flowers, more pollen, more honey!

Another Day, Another Sunset

Walked the beach last night and the sunset was spectacular. No Green Flash though, and no whales or dolphins either, but it was the first warm evening with a hint of the summer to come.

The beach was crowded with happy people emanating positive thoughts and cheery greetings because it appears that we are collectively anticipating the rise out of darkness.

I had a fun chat with an adorable high school boy who had come out of the water after the sun went down. I told him how I used to pick up my son at the beach and he would be the only one still out in the water after dark. If you listen closely, I bet you could hear faint echoes of my voice yelling at him, “GET OUT OF THE WATER NOWWWW!” I sent the young man on his way with the admonishment to stay safe ‘cos moms worry.

Another day, another sunset. Mother Nature is magnificent.

Moose in Grand Tetons

What a beautiful boy! He was almost completely camouflaged, resting in the cool grass, enjoying a late afternoon snack. Those antlers are magnificent, aren’t they?

I could have stayed there for hours, watching him in silence, but I had to go. He didn’t seem too concerned and kept eating and eating.

Seed Magic

I don’t think there’s anything that enchants me more than a volunteer plant.

Where did you come from, my lovely friend?

Whether it was born from a seed scattered by the wind or bird or a garden angel, a volunteer plant seems to be healthier and grows more vigorously than others.

I didn’t plan for this California poppy, but here she is in all of her shiny, orange, exuberant glory!

In my fantasy-driven universe where animals and growing things speak, it’s like she selected this perfect location between a rose and lavender, and says, “Here I am, Princess Rosebud, aren’t I so very beautiful?”

Yes, it’s true. You are a very beautiful child of the universe and thank you for choosing me to care for you. I am grateful!

Happy Monday!

Spring Garden Tour

I took a look around and thought it’d be fun to share my other gardens at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

The little side yard next to the driveway…See the gigantic ceanothus to the left of the flowers? I thought it had died and now it’s taking over that entire space.

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This is one of my favorite places; a rose arbor with a hideaway pond/waterfall along with chairs and a table, perfect for morning coffee or afternoon tea.

This sweet smelling herb garden under the bedroom window is starting to bloom, too. Sage and flowering borage, also known as starflower:

Borage
Edible sage

We haven’t had any measurable April showers that would bring May flowers; such is the life of a SoCal garden. We’re halfway through the month with no rain in sight. We’ll need to enjoy these flowers until the summer heat and drought turns everything brown and drab.

Unlikely Friends: Egret and Ducks

On my walk today, I looked through the fence into the culvert that drains into Agua Hedionda Lagoon and saw a pair of white egrets. One flew away, but I was able to snap a pic of this beauty. Look closer and you’ll see he’s sharing a bit of land with two ducks.

And then this other handsome sun-glistened mallard decided to swim over and join the fun.
Co-existence peacefully without social distancing!

The late afternoon light intensifies the male’s colorful plumage that helps them attract females.

Maybe they’ve forged a friendship while they forage together for food. It could be possible even though I learned that egrets (and herons) can and do eat ducklings, but I watched their interactions for quite a while and didn’t observe any aggressive or frightened behavior. It was all peaceful and serene, just like my wishes for happily ever afters.

Hello, Yellow!

Not a shamrock in sight! I know it’s St. Patrick’s Day and I should probably write about that or the color GREEN, but my entire garden is bursting in bright, joyous YELLOW, so that’s how it’s gonna go down…

Don’t pinch me, the leaves are green!

Primroses, sunflowers, and daisies…

Here’s a FUN Writing Prompt!

What’s going on here? I dunno, you tell ME!

This is one of my favorite photos. It’s actually a sort of mistake but if you’d like to play along, tell me what it’s all about.

I like image-driven inspiration, don’t you?

Splash!

P.S. I’ll reveal in response to comments.

Photo property of Enchanted Seashells.