Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Poppies for Dad

Several years ago I bought a brilliant scarlet poppy plant at the Farmers' Market and planted it in a spot reserved for flowers in the veggie garden. I never knew the variety but it reminded me of the little "Buddy Poppies" that the Veterans of Foreign Wars sell in honor and remembrance of all veterans. The following year I decided to start transferring all my flowers out of the veggie garden and carefully transplanted this little poppy to another spot. Sad to say, it didn't survive the move. But in the unpredictable manner of plants, the following year there were several volunteer poppies scattered around the spot where I'd planted the original. This year there are about ten poppy plants growing freeform among the veggies. Now I'm just going to let them come up where they please, bright red bursts of color among the lettuce, the garlic, or whatever.

I love the poppies for their color, their simple shape, the fact that they bloom only briefly and then are gone for another year. But I also love the poppies because of the connection to veterans of foreign wars, and one veteran in particular, my Dad. Dad served in Guam in World War II. He passed away 5 years ago today. So all those poppies blooming today in my garden are a fitting reminder and tribute to him.

Harry Z. Sennott
12 January 1925 - 26 May 2005

Monday, May 17, 2010

Endless Rain, Boundless Hope

So much rain, day in, day out. So much rain that I've lost track of the inch amount. I just know that our yard has become a wetland marsh, a haven for lots of colorful, sweetly-singing birds who are busily rearing their young. Our garden, which should be nearly all planted and vigorously growing by now, is a weedy swamp. So when I awoke to yet another dreary day this morning, I had to push myself to find something good about the day. I pulled on my boots, grabbed the camera and headed out the door, determined to find something beautiful, something to feel hopeful about.

As you might guess from the photo above, my mission was successful. No sooner did I step off the back porch, then I was greeted by this sparkling patch of clover. Water droplets on green leaves always get my admiration - one of nature's tricks for embellishing her already perfect creations.

Out in the garden it is too soggy to do anything but step carefully, avoiding bare soil as much as possible. Early in April in a small window of dry weather, we did get a bed of lettuce, arugula and radishes planted. It has grown slowly but steadily so that now we are enjoying salads nearly every day. But the soil is wet and not at all "mudluscious" as e.e. cummings wrote.

On the back porch my small army of tomato, pepper and basil plants are getting bigger by the day. I can hear them shouting at me every time I step out there - "Get us out of these cramped pots and into the ground! We want to grow, grow, grow...!"

Around on the other side of the house the cherries are beginning to have a blush of color. Still too early for picking, but dripping with raindrops, they did look beautiful and held the promise of future tarts.

A young redbud tree along the garden fence next caught my eye. More of those elegant watery jewels on the heart-shaped leaves. Even sans sunshine they lifted my spirits.

Well the final photo is really a cheater, one I took last week sometime when the sun put in a brief appearance. The rugosa roses have recently started blooming. Their flowers are so old-fashioned, their petals so wonderfully disorganized. And the smell is exactly the right fragrance - not too spicy, not too sweet.

Did the rainy walkabout cure my another-rainy Monday blahs? Yes, I can always find something lovely, something hopeful if I put my mind to it. It just seems that I need to remind myself of this fact over and over... Am I happy about the never-ending rain? No, but I'll keep on hoping for those sunny days. Have a good week!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Off Loom Weaving

Some weavers, myself included, weave their sturdy utilitarian fabrics on large looms that have many fiddly little parts. They make a lot of banging, clattering racket as they work.

Other weavers need only two fragile cattail stalks from the previous summer to quietly spin and weave their elegant webs.

I came upon this little bit of weaver's work the other morning when I strolled down by the pond. The weaver was nowhere to be found but I thought her delicate cloth must surely be a new gossamer mantle for a pond fairy. My sincerest compliments to the weaver...