The Annunciation Lily

I noticed that many of the annunciation paintings at the Uffizi Art Museum in Florence included a lily that looked like an Easter lily.

The Annunciation, Leonardo Da Vinci

I was curious about a lily that churches display at Easter being included with Mary and the angel, Gabriel.

This is a white Madonna lily,  Lilium candidum.

It is a symbol for purity, Christ, innocence and spring.

The Annunciation and Two Saints, Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi


Easter Lily/Lilium longiflorum


I also thought that Mary’s reaction to Gabriel’s news was portrayed in interesting ways.

If you search Annunciation paintings of the Uffizi Art Museum (or …of Italy),  you will see many examples with much better photography.  I was amazed by an angel bringing Mary flowers.


Happy Easter!

Red Dogwood/Cornus florida

My Flock of Friends

My flock of friends flew in yesterday.


They filled the trees with excitement.


Groups took turns swooping down to visit my Foster Holly.


The party lasted from morning ’til evening.



Just at dusk, they lifted from the tree tops and flew away.


I do not know where the Cedar Waxwings come from or where they go when they leave.


But they know where my Foster Holly is


and stop by every spring to feast on its berries and rest as they journey.

Follow the Flock.



Wednesday Vignette – glory days

This is a beautifully written piece. Please give yourself 2 minutes of peace by reading it.

Flutter & Hum

So, there’s been another attack – in Brussels of all places. Of course, it’s not just any town – it is the administrative center of the European Union. But still… it makes me ponder the relative randomness of it all. You never know where the next one is going to be, and how close you will be to it. The only thing we can pretty much know for sure is that there will be a next one. There always is.

In the air, halfway between Amsterdam and Gothenburg about two months ago, I looked out the window of the plane, and saw this:

What is called a "glory" - an optical phenomenon where light is refracted through drops of water. This is what is called a “glory” – an optical phenomenon where light is refracted through drops of water. Notice how the rings continue through the spectrum twice – even a third time – as it fades outward. I bet it continues beyond that, even though we can’t…

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Fern Fiddles

Baby fern fronds are called fiddleheads.


They unfurl from the earth, unrolling and lengthening as they spread out their leaflets.


A cross-section looks like that of a chambered nautilus.



This fiddle is from one of my favorite ferns, the Japanese holly fern/Cyrtomium falcatum. 


One reason I love this fern is its random arrangement of sori on the underside of the fronds.


No nice little rows for this fern.


When the fiddles unfurl, spring has sprung.

Wait for it…

Follow the Flower





A Pie story for Pi Day

My daughter’s favorite dessert is Key Lime Pie.

This is what she wants instead of a cake on her birthday.

So being the over-achiever that I am, I thought it would be extra special to make a REAL Key Lime pie from scratch.

I bought a bag of Key Limes.


The recipe called for 3/4 cup of juice.  I had to squeeze all the limes in the bag to get this much juice.


Then the recipe called for a tablespoon of zest.

Since I never read ahead on directions, I had to get zest from the smashed halves of tiny limes.


I am afraid there was some finger zest included.

The pie was beautiful.  I asked her how she liked it.

Since she is my daughter, she gave an unwisely honest answer.

It was too sour and Edwards’  Key Lime pie was better.


Well this could be the end of the story,

but there were all those cute little seeds left over.



The Flower has issues.

Spring Queening

Each spring has its own unique crop of weeds. This spring has an unusually high number of different weeds, due to our mild winter. The volume of weeds this March has been overwhelming.

Even though there were many contestants in the Spring Queen Weed contest, there was a clear winner.


This weed showed a superior ability to grow along side other weeds.


This one was firmly rooted wherever it took hold. It clearly dominated the field as a go-getter.


The lovely little purple blooms atop square stems were quickly recognized as a nettle.


Its hairy leaves with a blush of purple, arranged oppositely with palmate venation was the sign that this was no regular Henbit.


I’d like to announce the newly crowned “Spring Queen of the Weeds” is…


Purple Deadnettle/ Lamium purpureum

She is clearly top of the heap for the 2016 spring season.


Congratulations Nettie!

Do not expect me to end this post with

“Long live the Queen.”

Bunnies out, Bulbs up

I have been telling folks that my bunnies are as big as the neighbors’ beagle. Now I have a photo to prove it. Thankfully, I had my camera with me photographing bulbs when this encounter went down.

Charlotte standing her ground.
Barley. To dig or not to dig? That is the question.
Alberto Costello Starflower
Anemone blanda

I spent every day last week sliding up and down the hills on cardboard.

No, not for amusement!     I’ve been digging weeds.

Spring is just around the corner in NC.  Wait for it………

Follow the Flower to spring.

Start Your Seeds

It’s time.   Finally.

Here’s what you need to start your seeds.



SEEDS can be what you’ve collected yourself (See Save the Seeds Post),

or what your friends sent you in their Christmas cards,

or some you bought.


SOIL must be fine for small seeds in pots .

or loosened and enriched with organic  material, like compost or chopped leaves.

Think of it as plant “baby food”. You wouldn’t give a baby a big chunk to eat. Break it up.


If you use a Jiffy tray, keep it covered. Do not put this little greenhouse in direct sun or you will cook your babies.



SIGNS can be anything weather proof. I use colorful plastic knives from the party store.

If these need to be legible for long periods, etch the plant names with a Dremel Tool.


Six weeks from now these babies will go outside.

NOW…Start your seeds!