Violet Memories

A little violet plant surprised me today in the garden. I don’t know how it came to grow here, especially since Southern California is not the most suitable habitat. Violets prefer damp, well-drained ground and the sun-dappled protection of woodlands, none of which I have.

I was reminded of a special time with my mom. Every spring we’d bring willow baskets with handles and go to the stone bridge at Palmer Park in Detroit and fill them with purple and white violets.

When we returned home, my mom and I would fill every vase and glass we could find with the fragrance of these beauties. Sometimes I’d press a few in a book to find at a later date when it was dried and papery but still evoked the faintest perfume.

Since there’s no rational explanation, I’ll just thank my mom for her visit to guide my happy memories of those lovely times we shared.

Sugar Snappy Ambedo

Ambedo – n. a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details-raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee.

Or while you pick weeds under the loquat tree and look up to see sugar peas in a pod backlit by the sun.

The pea plants decided to have a life of their own and the tendrils became entwined in the branches of the tree because I didn’t stake them good enough.

I became lost in time, entranced by the simple green perfection. I l subsequently discovered there’s a word for that: ambedo.

(Click on the image to access full size)

#wordlesswednesday

Snail’s Pace Escape

I discovered a snail that escaped from one of my yard waste containers so I rolled it closer to a spreading geranium and watched his ascent to freedom.

His excruciatingly slow movements had a very mindful awareness, as if he was channeling Thich Nhat Hanh.

“When you walk, arrive with every step. That is walking meditation. There’s nothing else to it.”

Fly, Dragon, Fly

Isn’t this the most vibrant orange? I’m in love with this little guy.

Flame Skimmer, Libellula saturata

Dragonfly species that are orange include a variety of skimmers, such as the flame skimmer, firecracker skimmer, golden-winged skimmer, or Needham’s Skimmer.

Orange dragonflies can symbolize joy, creativity, wellness, and sensuality. This relates to the second/sacral chakra, which is orange.

There is magic all around, if you stop and look.

As Robert Bly said, “To be wild is not to be crazy or psychotic. True wildness is a love of nature, a delight in silence, a voice free to say spontaneous things, and an exuberant curiosity in the face of the unknown.”

Me and My Shadow

I thought about this: I’m lucky enough to experience a great deal of butterfly interactions; a continual source of joy and delight.

No photographic evidence exists to prove I’m telling the truth, but yesterday, as I was planting a bunch of California natives, a mourning cloak butterfly was fluttering all around me and then sat on my arm for about two minutes.

I tried to get to my phone to document this magic, but I couldn’t, so you’ll have to believe me. I guess she really really approved the locations where I planted the coffee berry and manzanitas!

This planting experience was a team effort: my son was on the phone with me when I was at the nursery having done the research about which specific plants to buy, and he also determined where each one should be planted. It’s not as much fun as having him here in real life. but we had a good time.

She came back today, blocking my way on the steps, so I was able to finally snap a photo.

Me and my shadow and her own shadow!

Stay Safe, Yellow Butterfly

Gale force winds, tree limbs down in the garden, neighbor’s pool toys are in my yard, umbrellas broken, lights flickering, and so much RAIN I can’t go outside because it’s dangerous.

This is a perfect time to share a photo gallery of this sweet little yellow butterfly who flirted with me on Sunday afternoon.

I can’t figure out if it’s a Sleepy Orange or Southern Dogface or California Dogface, Little Yellow, Southwestern Cloudless Sulphur, or Jamaican Yellow.

Whew!

I didn’t know there were so many yellow butterflies that look quite similar! (iNaturalist Butterflies of San Diego County).

Anyway, here’s a bit of sunshine on a rainy day. I hope all butterflies and birds and coyotes and bobcats stay safe and dry.

Holiday Flower Photo Shoot

Happy early Hanukkah! It starts tonight at sundown which is closer to 4pm now after that ridiculous time change.

Things are super dry here in SoCal and there isn’t much color in the garden but I have a spectacular Christmas cactus that decided to bloom on Thanksgiving. Also called Zygocactus, it’s really a Schlumbergera hybrid.

I’ve had this one for quite a while…

I found a pure white African violet at a local nursery and that’s the new addition to the fam. I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing and fun Sunday!

Sunday Blues

It was hot again but not quite as hot as the previous day. I took a break from yard work and gardening projects to lie on the deck and gaze up in wonder at the pure blue sky.

I turned my head a bit to the right and this yellow coreopsis was my view so I had to snap a pic.

Day Moon, Evening Moon, and a Sunset

It’s been a real Santa Ana here and SO hot and dry, the kind of weather where if you hang up washing on a clothesline, everything is dry in less than half and hour.

That’s what today is like, and yes, I still prefer the old school way to hang laundry outside and be kissed by the sun.

When I completed that rewarding task, I looked up to a day moon between the leaves of my loquat tree:

Last night’s sunset was EPIC…

…followed by the moon and I think that’s either Jupiter or Venus to the right of the moon, but I’m not sure…