After Abcission, What’s Next?

My ash tree might be slightly confused.

Although leaves appropriately dropped during autumn’s abcission, I assumed it would lie fallow and stay calm until springtime, but that’s not what’s been happening.

This particular tree seems to be on its (his/her?) own schedule or maybe the mild weather is confusing the internal timeline, because in the last two weeks, it flowered, dropped the flowers, and is showing all new green leaves. In January!

Read about abcission HERE:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2020/11/20/the-process-of-abscission/

And then the flowers fell…

Covered in bright green newly birthed leaves.

If you listen very carefully, you will hear the buzzing of hundreds of bees who love the little flowers. We peacefully co-existed.

We might get a bit of rain next week and the temperature won’t stay as summery warm as we’ve been enjoying; I wonder what my ash tree will do?

Here she is, in all of her glory. (I decided she gives off intense fertile divine female vibes; definitely not an “it” nor male, for sure.)

Birds of SoCal

Here in SoCal it’s pretty warm during the day, bugs are out and about and these noisy little birds snapped them out of the air right in front of me. It was daylong entertainment, at least half a dozen birds catching flies and (I think) termites in mid-flight.

Black Phoebe

Scratching on the ground, a few California Towhees make my garden their home. They love their reflection and tap at the window or anywhere they can see themselves.

This was a peaceful first weekend of 2021.

(Some) Creatures Great and Small

With a nod to All Creatures Great and Small by veterinarian James Herriot, this is what my Sunday looked like.

We started off the day at the beach and I’m beyond sad that I didn’t have my good camera with me so I couldn’t capture the magic of a school of dolphin jumping and splashing in the water. I’m sure this paddleboarder was happy because they seemed to follow him wherever he went. Trust me, there are about six dolphin in this photo.

On the way home, we saw a bit of an odd sight…check out these seagulls that shouldn’t have been this far away from the beach. They usually only fly inland when there’s a storm, so I have no idea why they were flying around in circles and then perched on the telephone lines.

Today was a work project day in the garden, cleaning up around the rosemary and lavender. I sat down for a minute for a wheatgrass break and this little alligator lizard stopped by to say hi. I scratched his back with a stick and he allowed me to take these pics.

All in all, a great Sunday for creatures great and small.

Leaves of Birds

Since the ash tree endured its yearly abscission, I raked fallen leaves for the very last time and have been enjoying this disrobed version until late afternoon when I noticed the branches were once again full; not of leaves, but of dozens of happy, chirpy little birds adorning every space.

So completely adorable.

One by one, they flew away, and the tree was once again barren.

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.

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.”

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?

One Tree: Two Hawks

From 2017 for #throwbackthursday

It was a great day to spend time in my garden with these two hawks. Do you know what they were looking at? Me, taking photos of them.

Love is All Around

Even here where a little green worm ate a heart-shaped hole in the leaf of a Cup of Gold vine. How can I possibly be mad at the damage when he left me such a beautiful message?

Right back at you, little guy!