Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March Madness: In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lion

March Madness... in so many ways.

"March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice." ~ Hal Borland
Well, March came in like a lion and... looks like it's going out like a lion as well, a Nor'easter setting up and cold, cold, rain coming down. While a few days this month were warmer than usual, most were colder. I laughed at Nyssa just a week ago when we had 76 degree days and she was having snow and 32 degree temperatures. Now the roles are reversed.. Reno has 70 degree days and we had sleet and temperatures consistently in the 40's for almost a week now. That is "madness".

Secondly, one of the black swallowtail butterflies who had been hibernating and transforming in my little aquarium in the sunroom decided it was time to emerge. I believe they do so on basis of the amount of light as in the length of the days, rather than the temperatures. This group of six chrysalides settled down back in early October and have overwintered in warmth and comfort and moderate humidity. They aren't suppose to emerge until mid-April but this one was an early bird... er.. butterfly. He was desperate to leave but we have nothing blooming except pansies and I doubt they have much nectar. Still, I let him go. There is fennel that is already growing well and even though the temperature seems much too cold for them... it could still lay its eggs on the fennel and hopefully find a bit of food somewhere. It was "madness" to emerge that early.

Then there is this picture... I really wasn't going to post this as it is not a great idea to take pictures while driving down the road. But, it was so interesting. I took it this month, on one of our many rainy days and it looks so cold and dreary out and that long stream of car lights. This is Dominion Blvd... the main highway south to North Carolina and Elizabeth City area. It is always congested and lined with traffic after 2PM and when the drawbridge has been open. I never come south on this road after 2PM... though the other drawbridge is no better. But not only was it probably madness to take this photo... my point and shoot does have the screen on the back so it isn't as risky a behavior as having to put your eye to a viewfinder... but, look at the window covered with streaming water droplets.... WHERE ARE MY WINDSHIELD WIPERS? I was startled that there was so much water in the picture! If it was raining this hard, I should have had the wipers on high and I don't remember it being this MUCH rain... and I don't usually escape the black stroke of the wiper blade cutting across the corner of the picture. Please, don't panic... I DID have the wipers on.... didn't I!!!????

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PS: Going to take Mom for another attempt at her iron infusion outpatient procedure. I am hoping it will not be entangled as last week's version was but I think it has a 50/50 chance of actually happening, as we still do not have the blood pressure under the best control. My car is draining my battery for some mysterious reason and the battery is sitting there dead as a doornail and we were needing the second car tomorrow... and one of the gas fireplace burners is not working right so I cut off all gas to it... and this portends of another "Alexander" terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.... I certainly hope not. Did I take a wrong turn and step into the Twilight Zone?

Carmi's Theme ~ March Madness

Monday, March 28, 2011

Shadow Cat ~ Wicked Willow

Shadow cat Willow loves to find the sunbeam.

"Let us be honest; most of us rather like our cats to have a streak of wickedness. I should not feel quite easy in the company of any cat that walked around the house with a saintly expression." ~ Beverly Nichols
Willow loves to find the sunlight in shadows and hide or sit, half in and half out of light. She is a wicked cat... dominant.. bossy.. and yet angelic when she gazes up into your eyes. She barges in on any other cat who is eating or getting a pat on the head. In fact, now that they all love a little wet food in the evening, I sit and guard the old lady, Chloe as she eats. She eats slowly and Willow gulps hers down. Thank goodness I still have the clout as head honcho of their world.. all I have to do is point at Willow as she starts to sneak up on Chloe and she stops, stares and when she realizes that I will not blink.. she backs off. Of course this means I have to spend ten to fifteen minutes in the eating area simply sitting in a chair... alert at all times. It is at this time I am grateful for the Kindle.

In other news, Picasa and the usually simply "Blog This" button to send my pictures to Blogger is somehow broken... defunct... not doing what it says it is doing and generally acting all looney-toon on me. This was supposed to be a post for Shadow Shot Sunday, but the pictures I thought I uploaded simply disappeared. I see that at least two others have posted on the Picasa forum that they have the same problem.. now, if only a Google employee will see the problem and FIX IT!!!!!

It has been a group of "those" days in a row. I took Mom in for an outpatient procedure... an iron infusion, since she seems to be unable to absorb iron. She was in the middle of a flare up of gout that her primary physician didn't catch on her last labs... her uric acid was very elevated and her office did not pass on our call nor did they call back. So her nephrologist reluctantly gave her medication to decrease the uric acid but on Friday her foot was still in the stages of progression with increased swelling, pain, warmth and redness that was branching out across her foot and up her leg. This was very worrisome to me.. so when her blood pressure spiked before the iron infusion and she began having chest pain and they cancelled the procedure and wanted her to go to the ER, I was not too upset... I really wanted them to check that foot. I know her blood pressure does this when she is concerned about IV's and in pain and after I looked at her nitroglycerine pump and saw that it expired in October 2009.. well, the foot was my prime concern. I must say that Chesapeake hospital was very efficient... she didn't have to wait in the lobby when we got to the ER and they did an EKG, drew cardiac enzymes, did a chest x-ray and an ultrasound of the vessels in that leg and foot within a half an hour. There were no clots in that leg... major relief. We spent the rest of the day in the ER and then they kept her in observation overnight. Her cardiologist came to see her in observation and decided not to stress her with the stress test with her gout flared up and such. A bit of morphine IV relieved the pain in her foot and that chronic pain in her back that has been really bad lately and I brought her home on Saturday morning.

So, now I have to somehow balance a gout diet with a diabetic diet and most things are diametrically opposed... low protein, high complex carbs for gout... high protein, low carbs for diabetes. There must be a happy medium in there somewhere. The biggest problem and the biggest asset to help both the diabetes and the gout is good old H2O... water. I got 64 oz down her yesterday... and all the time she complained and fought and said she was nauseated from it and she just couldn't swallow it and... well, the foot is getting better. If anyone has ideas of how to get the required water down her every day without devoting all my time to .... "drink water", "is the glass empty yet", "we haven't gotten the required amount down yet", "do you WANT to go on dialysis?"... well, let me know.

That is why I have been out of pocket.... oh, yes.... and it froze last night... temps down to 28℉. We even got a little sleet when the rain first started and folks just north of us received almost a half an inch of snow. And here I thought spring had sprung. I sure do hope they get the Picasa blog this thing fixed and soon.

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Cats on Tuesday

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

That Moment Before Touchdown

... and the audience watching with a critical eye. Gulls of Mt. Trashmore.
(Click pictures to enlarge)
Posted by Picasa

"No bird ever flew nonstop from New York to Tokyo, or raced 15 miles high at triple the speed of sound. But birds do something else. They do not conquer the air; they romance it." ~ Peter Garrison
Carmi's theme this week is transition... and today he has two lovely photos of seagulls in flight.. preparing to land... in transition. It jogged a memory of this photo of our Mt. Trashmore seagulls.. though I really don't know if the same seagulls stay at Mt. Trashmore all the time or if groups simply come and go as the food sources do. This fellow was coming in for a landing on a rough hewn fence and he had two spectators in the background, watching his every move. The closest, in particular, seems to be giving him a very critical eye... a teacher or parent perhaps... grading a young fledgling on his landing prowess? Personally, I think landing on a rough wooden fence rail in any way shape or form and doing it without getting a splinter in one of those webbed feet is successful.. do you suppose they ever do get splinters?

Awkward in flight, but smooth in transition. Norfolk Botanical Gardens.

Our Canada geese and mallards have been rotating between the neighborhood ponds more this past week. Late in the day, just about dusk, you can see them make their approach.. a large curved path while loosing altitude and a really strange screaming sound just before touchdown. This is the first time I've heard that sound but I guess some of them are a bit bumbling and have to warn the others to clear out of the way. The smaller mallards are not so graceful in the sky, flapping their wings almost hysterically, as if they would at any instant simply fall to earth if they didn't... no gliding or finding the air currents... the mallards simply fly to get from one body of water to the next... if it isn't close enough to just walk. But... their landings and takeoffs are more smooth and controlled than those lovely geese. I wonder if they know how magical their gift of flight is.

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Carmi's Theme ~ Transitions
World Bird Wednesday

Monday, March 21, 2011


Bashful beauty broadcasts, " Surely Spring has sprung!" Posted by Picasa

"If one daffodil is worth a thousand pleasures, then one is too few." ~ William Wordsworth
I am reading a book... a small book.. actually, I've read it already but thought it good to go back through again. When I have finished a second time, I might post about it.. or I might simply keep it as my small treasure for just a bit to see where the journey goes... no, I won't keep it too close because a wonderful journey is even better when shared... but I did start. For now, this journey, this counting of gratitudes is in its infant stage and so my first ones are simple.. thunderstorms... we had our first today... and just the rumble of thunder said "Spring is here.... and right on cue." The yo-yo effect is slowly but surely ebbing away as the day and night time temperatures edge their way up. I don't think we will have any more freezing night temperatures... neither do the plants. Spring breezes... no longer howling around the roofline or clacking the bare tree limbs together... gentle but firm and warm with a hint of continuing cool around the I sat waiting for Mom at the doctor's office.. the soft breezes blew small white petals from the three large flowering pear trees and they floated to the ground like the winter snow. It had that "other worldly" effect.. you know, the one you feel and half expect to look up and see a golden carriage drawn by two snow white horses appear through the veil of falling petals...that effect. The tulip magnolias have bloomed and are shedding their pink petals in a carpet around their base...the buds so long in waiting and so short in staying after the opening. The same is so with our daffodils... no new ones planted, just the older bulbs well rested over winter. They opened a bit early as always and then had to brave the cold winds of early March... so this year, they are not pristine, a bit ragged and raw around the edges, but still... daffodils. One bulb managed, probably with inadvertent human help, to escape the flower bed and end up implanted in the yard. I remedied that... managed to extract it with bulb intact and placed it back among its siblings. This small variety, was hiding behind a larger yellow sister who is hogging all the attention with her big saturated golden locks... so I crept around and when she wasn't looking... I snapped the shot. Yes, one daffodil is worth many pleasures and much gratitude as well... this bashful beauty will go on my list.

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Mellow Yellow Monday

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Last Remnants of Winter

Forgotten nest in a naked tree.. the last remnants of winter. Posted by Picasa

"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life." ~ John Burroughs
It looks like the last freeze of winter is past... or perhaps I am going out on a limb here to say that. Still we have the yo-yo up and down temperatures between 45 and 80 right now; but the night time temperatures are slowly and steadily creeping up... 39..41...45..48...50..52. The trees are flowering or leafing and the fennel and yarrow are growing. The roses on the east side of the house are leafing out while those on the west and south sides are still canes. I see the small tiny curled fronds of the ferns starting to lift the overlying mulch just a bit and the hydrangea that I thought was horribly mutilated by the freezing cold weather this year is beginning to fill in with leaves. Daffodils are in full bloom, but alas, as yet I haven't seen one of the tulips emerge. I fear I planted too late again. Even the liriope is pushing up out of the ground and will flourish although, of all the plants in the front flowerbed, I dislike the liriope most.

In fact, the oaks and other hardwood trees along with the milkweed and lantana appear to be the late comers and still with bare branches. This long abandoned nest is tucked high in a tree behind the house. This tree is hanging on by a thread, much of the top has died and already broken off in the winds of two years ago. Its lower branches have bravely leafed out each spring and have tried to be robust enough to provide shelter for this nest. All in all, pretty successful, as it was very difficult to even see this nest.. or the birds that lived there last spring. Some day soon I expect to see it fallen to the ground.. perhaps a new nest built. That is a shame. It was a strong nest for a fledgling family and weathered the summer tropical storm winds and the winter nor'easters without becoming dislodged. So, this is its final act... a last remnant of winter for all to admire.

Watch...we will probably have a snow storm for Easter this year... just to prove me wrong!

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Nature's Notes

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Somewhere Between the Fidelity Investments Commercial and the Wizard of Oz ~ Follow the Yellow Line

Follow the yellow line.... a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. August 2006.

"The cables that hold up (the Brooklyn Bridge) on big stone piers are beautiful and not hidden. It's metal in your face, taking traditional material and putting it to use in a way that you can see what it can do." ~ Alan Goodheart
I don't know what it is about my mind but sometimes the strangest thoughts break in and simply won't go away. In these pictures I see hot, sweltering, summer days in concrete and asphalt with no rain, no wind and no relief in sight. I see us, Nyssa and I on a great adventure and obviously with no higher order mental faculties functioning as we set out to walk back to Brooklyn from Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge. Never mind the fact that once we made it to the Brooklyn side, it was still a long way to the apartment... and we had no idea as to where the nearest subway stop was.. we still set out. The walkway is down the center, room for walkers and bicycles... places to stop and rest and take in the sights along the way. Down below, the highway or road with yellow taxis and cars too numerous to count.

The Manhattan skyline behind us... we made it! Posted by Picasa
And what strange things pop into my head with this picture? For one, the green line in the Fidelity Investments commercial.... that keeps you on the straight road ahead.. or so they say. Follow the line.. follow the markings down the walkway... And the Wizard of Oz with the high pitched song of the Munchkins....
Follow the Yellow Brick Road. Follow the Yellow Brick Road.
Follow, follow, follow, follow,
Follow the Yellow Brick Road.
Follow the Yellow Brick, Follow the Yellow Brick,
Follow the Yellow Brick Road.

We're off to see the Wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
You'll find he is a whiz of a Wiz! If ever a Wiz! there was.
If ever oh ever a Wiz! there was The Wizard of Oz is one because,
Because, because, because, because, because.
Because of the wonderful things he does.
We're off to see the Wizard. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
~ E.Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen
Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! Sto-o-o-o-o-p! Stop the song in my head!!!!! Hmm. Maybe it will now be in your head....share the music, I say. Have a lovely Mellow Yellow Monday!

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Mellow Yellow Monday

Friday, March 11, 2011

Daisy Has Taken A Turn For The Worse

Daisy has taken a sudden turn for the worse in her heart disease... it appears she has decompensated and is having shortness of breath and acute heart failure. She spent much of the night standing until I figured a way she could lean on some pillows and on me and she finally fell asleep around 3 AM. Her breathing is still too fast and I am trying to get her into the cardiologist.... God has his eye on the sparrow so I know He has His eyes on Daisy too.

Update: 4PM... Daisy is spending the night at the emergency vet.. the same vet that took care of Max during his long illness. The veterinary cardiologist was not in today and could not see her until Monday, but the internal medicine doctors at the emergency place could do the echocardiogram and the lab tests needed. Her heart is really large.. but there doesn't seem to be any pneumonia, tumors in the lungs or elsewhere and it doesn't look like a slam dunk on Cushings with a pulmonary thrombosis either. Her oxygen level was really low so they put her in an oxygen crate and this had helped her breathing already, before I left. She has a cardiomyopathy type of heart failure, no tumor in the heart and no pericardial fluid. Her heart muscle looks to still be functioning fairly well and they think that with some Lasix and another drug, similar to digoxin but less toxic, she might make it over this episode. Cockers tend to respond well and have a pretty good prognosis... perhaps even two to three more years of quality. The medication starts to work in thirty minutes after dosage and I will call in later to check on her. Hopefully, she will be improved and able to be out of the oxygen by sometime tomorrow and can come home.

The workers there remember Max... "the cranky, goofy dog with the squeaky ball in his mouth"... and Daisy is so totally opposite of him.... sweet, cooperative, lets them draw blood, hold her for an echo and chest x-ray and generally prod and poke at will. I hope she can rest better tonight, but I know she must wonder where her "people" are and if we are ever coming back... she's been through this trauma before... at the kill shelter in South Carolina.

Thanks for the thoughts.... Daisy has carved out an even bigger place in my heart than Max did and if she left now, so suddenly, the hole would be impossible to fill.

Update #2 Sunday: Daisy responded well to her therapy and was able to go off oxygen at 5AM on Saturday. I picked her up a little after noon. They did an EKG and found that she also has 2nd degree heart block... which means that her heart is only contracting with every other electrical complex. If it progresses it could lead to sudden death but it does not usually progress and in this case it kept her heart rate from being as high as her respiratory rate and probably helped her heart failure stay compensated for as long as it did. They could put a pacemaker in but she is quite old and that would be difficult for her. Medication that would help would hurt her heart failure... so, we will watch. She had more energy than I have seen in her for quite a while and for a time I thought I might have to crate her to keep her from bounding around too much. After she figured out that everything was in place and this was indeed her place and that all her people were here... including her grandma... she settled down and took her usual naps, ate well and after being carried upstairs in a basket... she slept like a log.. happy to be back on her tempurpedic mattress pad. She goes back in one week to check progress and titrate her meds. Now, we have 1 dog, 1 cat, two humans on multiple meds..... hope I can keep them straight.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

ABC Wednesday: Heavenly Horticulture

Purple hyacinths with yellow pansies.

“If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one and from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul”
~ Muslih-uddin Sadi

Pink hydrangea.

Dragoons, I tell you the white hydrangeas turn rust and go soon.
Already mid September a line of brown runs over them.
One sunset after another tracks the faces, the petals.
Waiting, they look over the fence for what way they go.
~Carl Sandburg

Rose...spicy...Honey Dijon

"They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream."
~ Ernest Dowson, (1867 - 1900)

Purple Heliotrope...the scent of vanilla. Posted by Picasa

"Perfumes are the feelings of flowers." ~ Heinrich Heine
To honor the coming of Spring and the changing of the hours, I look back at the wonderful flowers of last year with their heavenly fragrances and their handsome blossoms and I hope their beauty will soon honor us with their presence again.

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ABC Wednesday ~ Letter "H"
Nature's Notes

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

It's Spring Somewhere

I know...real frogs don't have red lips.
(Norfolk Botanical Garden... greenhouse)
Posted by Picasa

"A light exists in Spring
Not present in the year
at any other period
When March is scarcely here."
~ Emily Dickinson
It's an in between day... not really cold enough to huddle under a thick blanket in front of the fire and certainly not like yesterday with its cold northwest wind blowing at a good clip... but, not really warm enough to roll up your sleeves and start digging in the dirt either. No, its an in between day... in between those yo-yo oscillations that are common in March. The swampy preserve is filled with water from our one inch of rain from Sunday and the branches of the still bare trees reflect in the quiet surface of what will certainly soon become the nursery for millions of mosquitoes. Now though, it is home to the mallard pair... quietly paddling around and stopping only occasionally to plunge their heads below that murky mess looking for food. It IS almost that time.. when waterfowl pair up and eggs are deposited and little fuzzy ducklings are spotted marching across the way in long lines with the nursery workers in strategic spots keeping all the new life together.

Anyway... you get the picture... not cold, not hot... still jacket weather... and then... "Grrrooookee...grrroke....grrroke"... that certainly doesn't sound like the high pitched twittering and tweeting (real tweeting) from the birds that have now moved to other yards since I have not cleaned the feeders and put them back in place. (I had to take them down because of the 50 mph winds that came through last week) What could it be... I listened and then.. of course. It's the beginning of frog season. Not quite as low in tone as the bullfrog, but not high like the tiny tree frog either. The sound is coming from the preserve and no, I am not going to put on waders and venture out into the primordial sludge that more than likely holds at least one snake beneath its black surface.. no, I will not risk finding the quicksand that surely must exist there, simply to try and find the singing frog and photograph him. It would be an exercise in futility as he would shut his mouth as soon as my black boots made the first clumping splash in the water. (These are the same oversized boots that became mired down in the muddy swamp that was my rose garden until we had proper drainage put in... and believe me... you must thank your lucky stars that you didn't have that scene burned into your retinas... a mud covered.... mumble year old woman.. stuck in the ground up to her knees...I did get out.. but the boots stayed there until I could find something to grab them and they let go with a wet sucking sound.... anyway, another time, another place.)

It was nice to hear the sounds of life in the swamp... at least, sounds other than those of the birds. Not that I don't love the sounds of the birds, but there is something about that symphony of ribbits and croaks that fill the spring nights, that cannot be explained in words. I distinctly heard a duet.. lower tone and a mid to higher one... the early "first chairs" getting the songs ready for full orchestration.

So, since I am not a swamp creature and the frogs are not beating a path to my back door to have their countenances preserved in pixels for all time... this colorful counterfeit creature will have to do, even though he would never be mistaken for the real thing... real frogs don't have red lips. Everyone knows that! If they did, then they would leave red kiss marks on all those women who kiss frogs attempting to find their prince! And that would simply NOT be right!

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Ruby Tuesday

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Mimic

"Why does this mimic mock me so?" said the tiny goldfinch to no one in particular. Posted by Picasa

"The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for faith is necessary to have wings." ~ James M. Barrie
"Why does this mimic mock me so?" said the tiny goldfinch to no one in particular. No one in particular replied, "He does not mock, he envies your wings; for see... he has none. This other bird, this twin, has your shape but no substance. He is simply black all over, no feather, no wings, no piercing eyes or bright colored down to attract others. He is flat, a cut out shape, a silhouette with no heart; stuck here, attached, grounded, bolted to this pole. This "bird" is no bird, just a decoration, but not even that... an emblem, a pale and weak copy of the real thing... of you, little goldfinch. You are the real art, the real decorative piece on this feeder... you have wings and feathers and a voice to sing. You don't have to compete with this fake fellow... just be yourself... sing, fluff up your tail,"

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Carmi's Theme ~ "Doubles"
Mellow Yellow Monday

Friday, March 04, 2011

Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

Chipping sparrows (Spizella passerina).. sharing grains of corn and sunflower seed. Posted by Picasa

"Two birds disputed about a kernel, when a third swooped down and carried it off." ~ Proverb (Congo)
Winter is hard for the small birds, competing with the crows and starlings for feed at the feeders. This year has been much easier though, the blackbirds were sparse and easily chased away. Even in the snow, the air is filled with the chirping songs of the goldfinch, house finch, warblers, bluebirds, wrens, cardinals and the sparrows. These two are small chipping sparrows at work on some grain they found. We filled the feeders just before the snow started and then added a few handfuls on the top of the snow as it accumulated. These little ones did not seem to be fighting or sparing over the food, but sharing it. Each took a few grains and both were satisfied. Perhaps they have learned the lesson of the above proverb... and both are content.

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Carmi's Theme ~ "Doubles"
Nature's Notes

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

ABC Wednesday: "G": Glowing and Gelid With a Touch of Geography Thrown In

Gaillardia aristata 'Sunburst Scarlet Halo', Blanketflower.

"Each letter of the alphabet is a steadfast loyal soldier in a great army of words, sentences, paragraphs, and stories. One letter falls, and the entire language falters."
~ Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
I can whole heartedly recommend this plant... Gaillardia or blanketflower. It is magnificent. I planted these in late April last year, already having blooms. Through the rest of Spring and Summer and on late into the Fall, they bloomed and bloomed and bloomed. All I had to do was deadhead the spent blossoms and more appeared. They finally faded in mid-November. Eights months of glorious, glowing color. And it will come back again this year, on its own with no additional planting... a true perennial. There are many varieties, most with varying amounts of crimson red and fiery yellow in the petals; but there are also those with flowers a gorgeous shade of garnet. Try them out... you won't be disappointed.

Groovy, garden gnome... with mushrooms!!
Enchanted Forest ~ Norfolk Botanical Gardens)

I wrote about this past Summer's display of wonderful children's playhouses in the Enchanted Forest section of Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Small clearings in the wooded area provided meeting places for the children to have short classes and explore the trees and to build gnome houses... yes, the Enchanted Forest is inhabited by groovy, garden gnomes. Look, under that bush or over there... beside that tree trunk... you never know where they will turn up. This one is adorable, but... what is that vine around him.... groundcover? Oh, I do hope it is Virginia creeper and not that nasty poison ivy stuff.

Green glass water globe.....

I learned a new word today... gelid...and adjective meaning... very cold; icy. Greens and blues are the cold or cool colors.. while reds and yellows are hot and glowing. You see where I was going with this now... right? Anyway, this is one of those contraptions that helps with watering the plants... it is filled with water, inserted in the soil and as the plant needs water it is absorbed and air replaces the water; or at least that is the general gist of it. It works well for the hanging baskets that are difficult to reach.

Gardenia...the flower meaning secret love, purity and joy.

This is my gardenia, variety Chuck Hayes... planted one year ago and bloomed deliciously this past Spring and early Summer. The scent was glorious and filled the yard with sweetness that could be sampled as soon as one walked through the back gate. Gardenias are one of my favorite flowers, in fact, they were the centerpiece of my bridal bouquet back in the dark ages. I love the deep and dark leaves and the pure white blooms and that fragrance... oh, my....indescribable!

A little touch of Geography.... Geneva, Switzerland. Posted by Picasa

Finally, aren't you glad I'm about to go? Just a little geography lesson... a little bit of the old world.... Geneva... no, not Illinois, Ohio, New York or the other six Geneva's in the United States... this Geneva is in Switzerland and this picture was taken by my globetrotting brother, Stephen Gould. This was a hard one... not the pictures... but the words. OK... I'm gone.

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ABC Wednesday ~ The Letter "G"