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

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!

Release | Set Free

In keeping with positive intentions and more of that anticipatory vorfreude for this new year, something so strange and wonderful happened!

I had been working in the garden — in my zone of bliss — raking leaves from the ash tree as it finished abscission during last week’s rainy and windy weather. It’s a mystery to me how and when the leaves fall; last year it was before Thanksgiving and this year was much later.

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

When I came inside to freshen my lemony water, I saw what I thought was a piece of paper stuck to the kitchen window, but upon further examination, it was a yellow butterfly!

A yellow butterfly!

I have absolutely no idea how it came to be in the house. I never leave the screen door open ‘cos the rats and squirrels are my constant arch nemeses.

Isn’t this magical? I think so…

My grout isn’t dirty or dingy; I enhanced the photo so the butterfly would be more visible!

I was able to gently coax her into a small plastic container and set her free on the deck. With a joyful heart, I carefully watched her flutter away back to from wherever she came. There was no harm done to her delicate wings.

I wonder if it’s the same butterfly I saw a while ago…that would be SUPER cool.

According to “World of Feng Shui,” a butterfly in the home is always a good omen but…

Maryland lore believes that a butterfly that enters the home and flies around someone foretells one’s death or the death of someone one knows, yet the same sign in Louisiana means that the person will have good luck.

In Japan, they treat a butterfly that enters the home kindly, as the soul of a loved relative or friend might reside in the butterfly and has come to visit them. 

I’m going with the good luck and visit from my mom theories. In either case, I am grateful for the visit.

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.

Hawk or Roadrunner? Camouflaged by Nature

It was just about ninety degrees here yesterday and today is even hotter. I climbed up the hill to check on the the fruit trees (the apple trees are flowering) when this hawk flew right over my head –so close that I could almost feel him.

It seemed as if he was hunting for something, so I stood absolutely still. I’m sure he was looking for a rodent and I didn’t want to disturb THAT!

A couple minutes later he flew back over my head and landed in this tree. Either he didn’t know I was right there or he didn’t care.

I only had my phone so I wasn’t able to zoom in any closer but here he is. I believe it’s a juvenile Red-tailed hawk with the longest tail I’ve ever seen.

At first my son thought I had sent him a pic of a roadrunner because of the long tail, but I think it’s definitely a hawk because the roadrunner that I’ve seen around here is much larger and also walked/ran on the ground.

This is an older pic of our resident roadrunner side by side with the hawk. I think the click of the camera really annoyed him because he immediately flew away and didn’t get whatever he thought he was going to eat. Sorry, Mr. Hawk!

Twisty Cucumber Vine

Here’s the last of the summer cucumbers trained to climb up and around this singular post that seems to have the gigantic job of holding up most of the second story. Or it’s the third story, cos I can’t really figure out how this tri-level house works.

We had a HUGE thunder and lightening and rainstorm last night and my garden is SO happy. Fingers crossed this means we might have a rainy year and end the drought.

Bunny Love

I’m writing this post from the dentist’s office where I’m waiting for the lidocaine to take effect. This time it’s merely to replace the temporary crowns with the permanent ones, but I have time to share a couple of photos from yesterday.

Happy October 1 from a couple of my bunnies.

They LOVE watermelon!