Cool Dahlias

Dahlias need four things to thrive.

First, they need rich soil. I enrich mine with homemade compost and mushroom compost.

Second, they need a lot of water to grow. Mine are at the bottom of a hill with a berm.

Third, they must be supported. I have been negligent in this so excuse the messy stake job.

The fourth thing that MUST happen is cool weather. Dahlias struggle until it cools down.

Then they show off with giant, heavy blooms.

These are my three favorites, Thomas A Edison, Snow Country and Firepot.

Thomas A. Edison Dahlia
Snow Country Dahlia
Firepot Dahlia

I love the cool weather, also.  I have wilted and withered all summer. Hooray fall!

FLOW

Two Brackets

During my wanderings, two brackets were discovered.

One up a tree 

and one on an old stump.

Both on wood, one wood living

the other dead.

The white on was high up in a tree. 

The brown one was low to the ground hidden by weeds.

The white one looked new, clean and pristine.

The brown  bracket looked old, dirty, and weather worn.

One seemed heavenly,

the other earthly.

FLOW

A Bad Fit

Sometimes we end up in the wrong place.

A place where we do not fit.

A place that won’t allow us to grow.

When this happens, it’s best to realize it earlier rather than later.

Sometimes this “place” is a job or a town or a relationship.

Others see that your circumstances are not a good fit, but you stick it out.

Until the obvious cannot be ignored.

Do you know this tomato?

Flow

 

Alligator Flag

Sometimes I wonder about the origins of common names for plants.

This is an aquatic plant Thalia dealbata. It grows about three feet tall in a pot in our small pond.

One of it’s nicknames is Powdery Alligator Flag.

I envision an alligator trying to sneak through the marsh without being detected.

The alligator brushing by these stalks as it snakes by and making the flowers wave like a flag.

There are no alligators in our little pond, but a tiny green frog seems to like the Thalia dealbata leaves.

Flow at the Pond

Night time with a Vine

I went out and sat under the climbing okra vine last night waiting for the moths.

The ants have the day shift. The moths have the night shift.

These flowers glow as the sun goes down, beacons for its pollinators.

Moths come to the blooms.

The female blooms produce a long pod.

These can get over a foot long.

The seeds look like watermelon seeds .

The fruit tastes like okra.

It’s large pods can be dried to make luffa sponges, thus its name Luffa acutangula.

What an interesting, multi-purpose plant.

Flower grows food, too.

Eating Luffa

I finally collected enough Climbing Okra (Luffa acutangula) to cook a batch.

I saved the large pods for seed. (Don’t panic people.)

First wash the pods.

Remove the ends and cut the rest into sections.

Toss the pieces in cornmeal.

Fry in oil.

Drain and put in a pan on paper towels.

It smells like okra. It tastes like okra. But it’s luffa.

Delicious to eat and lovely to grow.

Next post will be more about the vine.

FLOW

The Butterflies and the Figs

I am a scientist, but I believe in signs. Mine come from nature.

Today was tough. I won’t share my troubles. I needed to be alone.

I went down to sit in my sad chair. It’s where I sit to sort out my crises.

I was pondering my problems when I was distracted by fluttering in the fig.

This is the “Miss Robbie” fig tree. It has a history.

That history did not include butterflies until today.

Now we can say these flutterbys were passing through and stopped for a snack.

This may be true, but this is the first time of my seeing them on a thirty-year-old fig tree.

Mama was on my mind and Miss Robbie was sending me a sign.

She is on the other side with my daddy you see.

They probably saw me crying in the sad chair and felt compelled to send those butterflies.

They may have been angels stopping by to put my troubled mind at ease.

Nature has a way of healing me when I am hurting.

All I have to do is be still.

Flow

 

Fox with Moxie

This young fox seemed right at home on the neighbor’s pier.

It’s boldness is unusual, but it is young and hungry.

It was aware of my presence, but not alarmed.

I bet I have been spied upon as I wander and work outside.

I am happy that this lovely creature has chosen to hang out here.

No worries about Charlotte, she is enclosed in a fortress built to keep out coyotes.

The fox belongs here, Charlotte is the immigrant.

Nature rules.

Flow