The Moorings of the Spirit

What holds my soul fast and safe, when all else fails or falls away?

My strings of flimsy faith?

The hand of a merciful God?

My devoted family?

My loyal friends?

What keeps me whole, when I am cracking and breaking?

Where does all that strength come from?

Something saves me.

I know this to be true.

I have been broken and I have been mended.

What saved me? What held me together? I am not sure.

How could I keep standing by his bed in ICU to put a wet, sponge pop in his mouth?

How did I stop screaming to clean up her blood on the rocks?

How will those church people who were hit with this horrible shock stay sane?

What will hold them up?  What will keep them from shattering?

Will it be God?

Will it be the heartfelt prayers of millions of puzzled and sad humans from afar?

Will it be the love and touch of the caring people around them?

Will it be soothing words or holy music?

Will it be some secret inner strength that appears when needed?

Whatever it is.

I hope there is a whole lot of it in Texas.

Mourning Glory FLOWER

The Conk Colony

I have been watching the growth of a group of conks around an old oak in town.

I think its scientific name is Inonotus dryadeus. 

Other common names are weeping conk, oak bracket, warted oak polypore and weeping polypore.

Inonotus dryadeus

It is a beautiful sight, but a bad sign.

The presence of the weeping conks is a sign of root rot or butt rot. More and bigger conks mean more rot for the tree.

I posted on a lone giant conk last year. This group is a block away from that one.

conk cross-section

This city has very old oak trees in the hell strips.

The roots get damage from the sidewalk side and the street side.

It’s amazing they have lived this long.

I find all fungi fascinating whether they are friend or foe.


I Wish I Knew Their Secrets

It’s Schlumbergera truncata/Christmas cacti blooming time.  Well, actually I think it is early.

The GOLD came in first and is blooming profusely.

gold Schlumberegra truncata

The WHITE is also covered with blooms and buds.

white Schlumbergera truncata

The SALMON colored is about at its peak also.

salmon Schlumbergera truncata

The FUCHSIA is the brightest ever, but one-sided. Oops!

fuchsia Schlumbergera truncata

The PINK is tumbling over because of so many blooms.

pink Schlumbergera truncata

It’s the REDS  and Light Pinks that are struggling.

red Schlumbergera truncata

They look a little dehydrated. They have fewer blooms.

There’s a problem. Some of them changed. The bottom half to be exact. The “Shop” group.

I had them in two different locations. I watered and fed both sets the same like a good scientist should.

The variable was not as much the amount of sun, but the time of day that they got sun.

None got much direct sun because they were all under an overhang most of the time.

The struggling group got afternoon hours, the thriving group got evening hours of sun.

That hypothesis makes sense, but I have another.

The group by the entryway got more attention.  A plant?  Needs attention?

This may surprise some of you, but plants are living things.

They process and respond to their environment. They communicate with each other.

I can read some of their signs like wilting, drooping and color changes.

I cannot however perceive their chemical signals.

The needs of the downstairs group were not met in some way.

I turned them less, rearranged them less, pruned them less.  It shows.

They have fewer buds, smaller buds and less color.

Maybe you had better check on your plants more often.

Turn them around, pull a leaf or two, maybe a kind word…

I have been misting the sick ones and giving them “banana water.” Now there’s a secret!