flowers, haiku, photography

Waiting Impatiently for Autumn

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My previous posts about waiting for autumn were not CDHK responses.  My response to
Carpe Diem #1227 waiting for autumn
(Aki tikashi, Aki wo matsu)
is to update and reblog them.  They fit the prompt better than anything else I can offer now.

Prophet for a Day (posted 2015-09-01)


Soon after the wild daylilies have finished blooming, another flower in my yard turns to prophecy. The pale blue blossoms are long gone, but a few of the leaves on a few of the plants have another calling now. For about a day, they prophesy the next season.

prophet

Prophet for a Day
|Wild geranium
|(just one leaf for just one day)
|turns in high summer.

Fall Preview (posted 2016-07-21)


WiPachysandra_842x582

As happens in many years where I live, late August of 2016 was a sneak preview of fall, the year’s best season.  Days were still too warm, but more were dry and breezy while fewer were hot and humid.  A few cool nights led to chilly mornings, and I suddenly noticed that my garden flag with a picture of phlox was out-of-season.  The roadsides have goldenrod and purple loosestrife now.

Virginia creeper is turning, as are some red maples in wet areas.  Nearly all the healthy trees are still green, but there is a hint of yellow in many of those greens.  The process will slow to a crawl in September; I will spend much of that month grumbling when the weather backslides and thinking “C’mon! C’mon!” when I look at green leaves.

OnRock_825x619

October
|Bright sun and cool air;
|azure skies and pumpkin pies.
|Leaves fall in glory.

flowers, haiku, photography

Prophet for a Day

Typing just [Enter] key into the Search box makes it easy to browse WordPress blogs like this one.   Here, the [Menu] button (atop the vertical black bar) reveals widgets like the Search box.

Soon after the wild daylilies have finished blooming, another flower in my yard turns to prophecy.  The pale blue blossoms are long gone, but a few of the leaves on a few of the plants have another calling now.  For about a day, they prophesy the next season.

prophet

Prophet for a Day
|Wild geranium
|(just one leaf for just one day)
|turns in high summer.

flowers, humor

3 on 1 on 3

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I saw something on 2016-07-06 that I had never seen before, in about 40 yrs of making daylily bouquets.  I saw 3 flowers blooming on 1 stalk.  It was on day 3 for a batch of stalks I had cut.  (By cutting about as many stalks with mature buds as with open flowers, I get a batch that supports 4 or 5 days of bouquets.)  While I see 2 flowers on 1 stalk much less often than just 1, I do see 2 on 1 often enough to take it in stride.  Seeing 3 on 1 was a pleasant reminder that there may still be new wonders to be directly experienced, even in the same old yard.

3-on-1

Hope nobody misconstrued the title of this post as a reference to a bizarre kind of group sex.

enlightenment, flowers, history, humor, language, photography

Lion’s Tooth

I like the scattered violets that appeared in my lawn some years ago.  In the spring I let the grass get rather high before I mow, so that the violets will have a good chance to set seed.  The delay also gives the dandelions a good chance to set seed.  Fine.

DandelionViolets

Would the dandelion have a better rep if we had translated (rather than anglicized) the Old French name?  Not likely.  Every flower is the same bright yellow, so there is no variation for plant breeders to coax toward white or red and then offer “Snow Ball Lion’s Tooth” or “Fire Ball Lion’s Tooth” in seed catalogs.  Any klutz can grow dandelions, so they give gardeners no bragging rights.

Nowadays the French have a derogatory-sounding name for dandelions.  Were the royal gardeners frustrated by the plant’s defiance of the oppressive formality of the plantings at Versailles?  The Germans have kept the good old phrase “lion’s tooth” (in their own language, of course), as have the Italians and the Spanish.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

When many people see a dandelion, they see a weed.  I don’t.  I see Löwenzahn, the Wagnerian Heldenblume that thrusts green and gold into the grayest and grimmest of our cityscapes.  I see Dent de Lion, the Enlightenment philosophe whose call for liberty and rationality rides the wind.

DandelionSeeds_few

I do pull weeds; I do not pull dandelions.

flowers, haiku, love, photography

Confluence

daffodils-closeEdith-1981I took my favorite photo of my late wife Edith in 1981, long before she showed symptoms of the Alzheimer’s disease that would dominate our lives in the current century. I cared for her in our own home as long as possible; I visited often during her final years in a nursing home.  This post is about one aspect of the endgame that may be helpful to others in a similar situation.

In Edith’s childhood home city, the Ohio River emerges from the confluence of smaller rivers.  Three streams flow together at the end of this post.  Please bear with me.

  1. The plantings around our house were few and scraggly when we moved in.  Over the years, I planted trees and shrubs while Edith planted bulbs.  Lots of bulbs.  She was especially proud of the many kinds of daffodil, blooming at various times thruout the season.  Long after she stopped gardening, she enjoyed the flowers every year.
  2. When Edith was in custodial care but still aware of who and where she was, the saddest moments came when she said she wanted to go home.  I distracted her as best I could, never said anything to indicate that her condition precluded that, and never said that I would “go home” when it was time to end a visit.
  3. Many years ago, we had seen ads for cemetary plots, discussed what was and was not a good way to use land, and decided that we preferred cremation.  When I began considering specific arrangements for Edith in 2014, I found that there are astonishingly many styles of urn available online.  Stardust Memorials had one that would have pleased Edith as a vase for a bouquet of her daffodils.  Packed carefully and shipped promptly, the urn was ready when the dreaded phone call came.

daffodils-medium

“Are you ready to bring Edith home now?”  The funeral director’s question at the end of the calling hours brought me a sense of relief.  She could come home at last, in our own car.  There was time for me to work on some haiku while she waited for reunion with her favorite flowers in the spring of 2015.

Widower’s Song #1

No haiku can say
how strange this is: her journey
ended before mine.

Widower’s Song #2

Warm earth welcomed her,
ashes among daffodils
she planted and loved.

Update [2017-01-15]

In response to Sometimes Stellar Storyteller Six Word Story Challenge:

I scattered
her ashes
among daffodils.

Buddhism, flowers, haiku, photography

Riff on a Quote

Being calm and compassionate is also important in Buddhism, so I have responded to

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #72 Use that quote

by expanding the Dalai Lama’s quote about being happy into a haiku about being all 3. Rhododendrons originated in Asian mountains, so a photo with 3 clusters of their blossoms seems appropriate for illustrating the rather abstract haiku.

Rhodo_928x599

Riff on a Quote from Tenzin Gyatso (14th Dalai Lama)

Be calm and happy.
Give loving help to those who
are frantic or sad.