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.”

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?

Portrait of a naked lady

Did you really think it was something else?

*So sorry if I disappointed*

Let me introduce you to Amaryllis Belladonna, fragrant light-pink flowers that appear once their green foliage has died back, giving them the common name of “Naked Ladies.”

Nothing common about THIS beauty!

Happy Sunday, y’all.

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Blossoms of July

These (not mine) bluey-blue hydrangeas are amazingly beautiful.

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So is this dogwood (also not mine).

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But my own very rosy red hydrangea gift is special and belongs to me!

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That’s it. Nothing more to say, but enjoy the 4th!

Symmetry and Succulents

For me, when hell breaks loose all around, there is solace in symmetry and succulents.

My happy place. No matter what.

Garden; verb and noun.

Breathe.

Happy Saturday!

fullsizeoutput_dfdI love these little matching pots from Daiso. They kinda sorta remind me of Chanel quilting. The plant saucers, also from Daiso, were meant to hold ginger and wasabi for sushi.

fullsizeoutput_dfbNothing but a round sunny yellow plate with a variety of succulents, but they bring joy.

 

View at Medium.com

Hot summer day in the garden

Really hot for the beach…

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And probably super crowded, too difficult to maintain proper social distancing, so I’m here:

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with a couple friends …

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and some mulberries that aren’t quite ready…IMG_6688

along with some pretty pretty flowers…fullsizeoutput_df1fullsizeoutput_df2I’m enjoying all the lush and colorful garden because pretty soon no matter what I do, the grass will turn brown ‘cos we probably won’t have more rain until next winter and the dry hot SoCal Santana winds make watering a futile effort.

An evolution of blue

Since I’m pretty much a (willing) prisoner here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells just like we’re all enduring stay-at-home orders,  I decided to create a positive mindset and find the beauty inside and outside these four walls and my infinite garden.

Today, the sky is blueblueblue with occasional puffy clouds so I thought I’d focus on blue.

Cerulean, ultramarine, the shade of a Ceylon sapphire.More like a periwinkle blue, but still BLUE.

The blue of agapanthus, also known as Lily of the Nile, from bud to flower.

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After the caterpillar

May2020butterfly1The view from my kitchen window in the early morning light.

A perfectly symmetrical Monarch sunning herself on grape leaves.

Saturday.

 

(Taken with my Canon Rebel T3i)