flowers, history, photography, politics

Memorial Day 2020

Originally a day to remember and honor the fallen in the American Civil War, Memorial Day expanded to include later wars.  Now it should expand beyond the military.  In the COVID-19 pandemic, essential workers risk their lives and sometimes die, defending the rest of us from the disease itself and the societal collapse it could cause.
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In wartime, ignorant and impulsive pols can somehow make horrendous situations even worse.  So it is with the pandemic.  Medical workers (including EMT-s and hospital support staff as well as doctors and nurses) have been sent into battle with inadequate personal protective equipment for themselves and inadequate intensive care facilities for their patients.  Stockpiling such stuff would cost money.  Might even need to raise taxes on those who can work from home, if they need to work at all.  And so on.

It’s so much easier to claim that all is well until all Hell breaks loose, then claim that all will be well when the weather warms up, if we just go back to work and drink a little bleach.

The governors of some states have stepped up.  Learning from each other and from countries (like New Zealand and South Korea) that took the threat seriously, they made tough decisions.  They include a few Republicans (like Hogan in Maryland and DeWine in Ohio) and more Democrats.  It is too early to be sure, but they just might have saved the USA from criminal incompetence in the White House.  Federalism works.

The doctor in Wuhan who first sounded the alarm about COVID-19 was punished for “spreading rumors” and later died of the disease.  Remember him also today, along with our essential civilian workers and those who serve in our military.  Remember that dark money and gerrymandering and vote suppression have sickened American democracy but not yet killed it.

Remember in November.

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flowers, humor, photography, seasons

Nothing Needed

Long ago, I bought some dwarf tulip bulbs and went thru the forcing rigamarole to get indoor blooming before planting the bulbs.  Nothing but leaves came up.  Feh.  Tossed the bulbs out back.  Guess what happened about a year later.
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Nothing ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #231

Yes, the bulbs survived and put out leaves.  And flower stalks.  Which bloomed.

Year after year, the discarded tulips bloom in spring, while I do nothing for them.  Maybe they are old Yankees like me: compulsively self-reliant.

flowers, haiku, love, photography, seasons

Widower’s Song #4

The first three are haiku in a previous post.  This new one is a tanka in response to a CDHK prompt.  A vase with this special urn’s shape and colors would have pleased Edith, and that means a lot to me.
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Carpe Diem #1814 lost love

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Widower’s Song #4: This Urn
|It held her ashes,
|waiting until daffodils
|came for them in spring.
|Then it held one last bouquet
|of her favorite flowers.

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flowers, photography

Poinsettia on Thanksgiving Day?

Tho sad that Xmas activities keep moving earlier and have intruded on Thanksgiving, I bought an irresistible poinsettia prematurely.  Then I noticed that it fits in with Thanksgiving after all.
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While shopping for food on the Monday before Thanksgiving Day in 2019, I noticed an especially good poinsettia with the salmon pink leaves edged in pale yellow that I like.  Too early for a Xmas decoration?  Yeah, but this plant’s not so glaringly out of season as the older choices of bright red or stark white.

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In the morning on Thanksgiving Day itself, the plant looked even better and insisted on being photographed.  Between shots, I noticed ways that the plant fits in with giving thanks after all.

  1. I can spend an unplanned $4 at the market w/o skimping on necessities.  (This was not always true.)
  2. The builtin flash on a modern camera is sometimes useful.  (Yes, I have an external flash.)
    poinsettia-pnk-grn-flash_840x598
  3. I can still shoot at 1/20 sec in available light w/o needing a tripod.  (The colors seen at the time were between what the images show.)
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  4. I still live among people who accept the diversity symbolized by this poinsettia variety.  Marxists, racists, sexists, and tribalists all pretend that knowing where somebody fits into their categories tells U most of what’s important about that person.  Not so.
    poinsettia-diversity_840x650

Yes, I am posting this small Thanksgiving celebration a little late.  One reason is that I let things rest a while and then edit again before publishing.  The other reason is that the wheels turn slowly at my age.  That they still turn is yet another reason to give thanks.

 

(reblog), flowers, humor, photography

Capturing the Unexpected

While the juxtapositions collected by Mitch Teemley are all clever and funny, the ballerina/tulip photo is special.  Because their stems keep growing and tend to flop over, tulips are tricky in flower arrangements.  It’s one of life’s (littler) lemons.  The ballerina/tulip photo makes lemonade.
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Mitch Teemley

Coincidence? I Think Not.

Life, as mentioned in the first Capturing the Unexpected post, is sometimes horrible, sometimes beautiful, and always just a little bit weird. Why is that? (Lean in close and I’ll tell you.) It’s because we’re weird! We find comedy in calamity, meaning in meaninglessness, truth in absurdity. Coincidence? Nope. We’re wired that way. Don’t you love it when someone captures proof?

(Click on any image to enlarge it, or to begin slide show)

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flowers, haiku, photography

Lavender Elegy

My lavender rhododendron contributes a visual elegy to the Memorial Day observances in 2019.  Memorial Day is a time for sadness, along with the pride and gratitude that the same plant helped visualize in 2018.
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Memorial Colors
|Lavender salutes
|red, white, and blue of our flag.
|Pride and gratitude.

flowers, haiku, humor, love, philosophy, photography

Gift of Silence

The [Menu] button (atop the vertical black bar) reveals widgets like the Search box.  Typing just the [Enter] key into the Search box is a way to browse WordPress blogs.

Words ~ Pic and a Word Challenge

As Susie left home to start a new life with Dale, her mother watched and wondered.  Would the mixed marriage work?

Aware that sharing her worries would be unwelcome and unheeded, Mama let her words of warning remain unspoken and unheard.

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Wisely,  Mama kept silent despite having words to say.  Unwisely, some people run afoul of Wittgenstein’s Laws by breaking silence despite not having any sensible words to say.

Memo to Mystics
|Unless you can grab
|bubbles, you cannot put your
|wisdom into words.

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flowers, music, photography

Visual Rondo

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Close Up or Macro

In music, a rondo is a piece with successive segments that go A-B-A-C-A-D…-A, where contrasting segments B, C, D, … are bracketed by repetitions of A that may vary slightly.  Let’s arrange some colorful closeups like a rondo that goes

A-B1-A-C-A-D-A-E-A-B2-A.

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flowers, humor, photography

Vibrant Synergy

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Vibrant Colors

I like the synergy when a few good things up their game by working together, as with peanuts and chocolate.  When they do not clash, bright colors can work together in vibrant synergy.

Pink and Green:

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Magenta and Yellow (with a bee):

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With help from blue and green, the pink and yellow flowers in the following photo team up to illustrate a deep truth about statistics.  Really.

Outside of CFFC, I posted the photo along with a beautiful image found on the web that espresses the same deep truth in another way.  Both ways have no equations, no jargon, and no saturated fat.  Click on the photo to see the details.

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(reblog), flowers, haiku, photography

Calm, Cool, and CollectING

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Carpe Diem’s Quest For A (New) Masterpiece
#3 the quest continues

My latest haiku came quickly when I saw a superb photo by Cee Neuner.  While I gave the haiku a title to make it intelligible w/o the photo, I also requested and received permission to share the photo in a post.

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© Cee Neuner

Red and Yellow Dahlia
|Amid swirling flames,
|pollen and nectar beckon.
|Bee stays calm and cool.
flowers, photography

Red Trillium

I often look at things from an odd angle.  Red trillium plants like shade, grow low, and have flowers that face downward.  Now is your chance to get a from-below view of a red trillium flower, in a mix of reflected and transmitted sunlight:

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Figuratively, I sometimes “look” at a neat little thing from an odd angle to shine some light on a messy big thing with a subtle similarity to the little thing.  For example, there is a parallel between the history of a little word puzzle’s instructions and the history of a big idea in economics.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Red

Some of my photos with prominent reds were used outside of CFFC.  The following images link to posts that use them in ways that may be surprizing.  Can U guess what ideas they illustrate before following the links?

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anzac

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flowers, humor, photography

Threesome of Floral Threesomes

In response to challenge with the word [threesome], here is a threesome of floral threesomes that pushes the envelope of what flower pix can illustrate.
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One Word Sunday — Threesome

As Susie left home to start a new life with Dale, her mother watched and wondered.  Would the mixed marriage work?

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Other floral threesomes can illustrate a poem and a point that go beyond flowers.  The following images link to earlier posts that use them.  Can U guess what the posts are about before clicking on the images?

I used 3 clusters of rhododendron blossoms to illustrate an abstract haiku.

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In about 40 yrs of making bouquets from the many daylilies in my yard, how often have I seen 3 flowers blooming on just 1 stalk?  Exactly once, on the left in this bouquet.

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With 3 separate stalks, the commonplace floral threesome on the right is a freebie, beyond what my title promises.  Buy 3; get 4.

flowers, haiku, photography

Lavender and the Flag

Tho not a color many would choose for a flag, lavender goes well with red, white, and blue for Memorial Day.|
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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Flags or Banners

Late May in my part of the USA is a time for blooming rhododendrons and several days of observing Memorial Day in various ways.  On 2018-05-30, I found good conditions and a good angle for a composition with my new flag and old rhododendron.  Tho not a color many would choose for a flag, lavender goes well with red, white, and blue for Memorial Day.

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Memorial Colors
|Lavender salutes
|red, white, and blue of our flag.
|Pride and gratitude.

flowers, humor, photography

Unlikely Blooming

The Pink Rebel is a Xmas cactus that blooms when it damn well pleases.  Experts say a Xmas cactus left to its own devices is unlikely to bloom at all, let alone during the daffodil season.
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Unlikely | The Daily Post

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The Pink Rebel is actually a Thanksgiving cactus (if U want to draw the distinction).  It earned its nickname by blooming when it damn well pleases, with no special treatment from me.  I keep the soil moist all year, with a little diluted fertilizer in the water.  The plant gets as much light as my window will give it, with no enforced darkness or coolness.  Experts say a Xmas or Thanksgiving cactus so treated is unlikely to bloom at all, let alone during the daffodil season.  But unlikely things do sometimes happen.  Don’t bet on when or where.

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Unlikely Life | Word Porn Quote

flowers, haiku, photography

Elegy in 3-5-3

Basho (1644-1694) mourned the death of his friend and teacher Tando with a beautiful sad haiku.  A CDHK episode calls for variations on this theme.  Mine is an elegy for Tando.
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Basho (1644-1694) mourned the death of his friend and teacher Tando with a beautiful sad haiku:

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
|falling to the ground
|a flower closer to the root
|bidding farewell

Chèvrefeuille presents his own beautiful variation on this sad theme in the CDHK episode

Carpe Diem Weekend-meditation #14 Revise That Haiku

and challenges readers to “revise” Basho’s haiku in the same spirit:

© Chèvrefeuille
|tears flow
|falling to the ground
|autumn leaves

My response honors Tando’s influence on Basho (and hence on countless haiku poets) with imagery like Basho’s but a change in the metaphorical correspondence between the 2 people and some parts of flowering plants.  As he weeps, Basho also resolves to carry on.

Elegy for Tando
|Flowers fall,
|but seeds will ripen.
|Some will sprout.

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