A Perfect Day for Plants and Poetry

I guess the stars were aligned in my favor yesterday.  I could not have wished for a better day.  My dreams are small and unusual, so the odds are slim of them coming to fruition…but yesterday had its miracle moments.  Plants are my “stars” you see.

I went back to one of my alma maters for an unplanned visit to their green houses and botanical gardens. I actually bumped into my first EVER botany professor from University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  I got my master’s degree from there many years ago.

As my sister and I perused the plants on sale, we struck up a conversation with a woman carrying a bag made of bark.  Her name was Carla Vitez.

She was there to give a talk about trees that included history and poetry. She invited us on a practice run of her tour. How could we refuse?

The talk and tour occurred in the Van Landingham Glen across the street from the greenhouses.  The glen is full of many species of trees and dozens of types of Rhododendron and azaleas which are in bloom now. The sizes and colors of blooms were amazing.

My two favorites were a white rhododendron ‘Bellringer’ and a red ‘Vivacious.’

Rhododendron ‘Bellringer’
Rhododendron vivacious

We got a condensed version of “In the Company of Trees.”  We were spellbound.  She eloquently quoted the words of Donald Culross Peattie as she stood by the featured trees.

We heard the parts of her talk about the White Oak, Pawpaw, Bigleaf Magnolia and Shagbark Hickory.  When she talked about the Beech trees and nuts and the, now extinct, Passenger Pigeons, I teared up.

Carla Vitez will be giving the talk and tour again on Sunday at two o’clock.  It may be full all ready.  If you wish to hear it, you may need to call. Maybe they can add another tour in sometime soon.  Carla  perfectly mixed art and nature, present and past, to include her audience in a time travel through the trees.

I will share two more little miracles on the tour. A bench honoring my wonderful friend “The Genius”, Steve Baldwin.

https://floweralley.org/2016/06/18/whats-your-seed/

and a quote from the tomb of a much admired woman, Bonnie Cone, who started UNCC.

Flower is always searching for her place you see.  My people have been here and thus I belong here also.

I will share photos from the greenhouses in another post.  Some of my little stars in the yard need my attention today.  That was another part of my perfect day yesterday. I acquired some more green little friends.  Introductions must wait. They need to get settled.

FLOWER

 

Tree of Life

My sister and I found all these different life forms growing on and in one old tree.

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This tiny pine was growing ten feet up between branches.
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The hole in the trunk was full of cobwebs and one lovely white mushroom.
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This mushroom was deep inside the hole in the trunk.
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Lichens and mosses covered the old bark.
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This huge bracket fungi was up about twelve feet high on the trunk.
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Small plants nestled around its roots.
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This dried up lichen looked like leaves.

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It was like a treasure hunt.

This tree is a treasure.

FLOWER

 

Viva La Tree

A tree is so much more than leaves

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and roots.

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It is shade

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and fruit.

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It is home and perch.

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It is look-out

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and  hiding place.

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I look at wood very differently than most

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where they see fuel and walls and fences,

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I see the stem of a sacrificed friend.

FLOWER loves the trees.

Uncover Your Roots

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Tree roots are like sculpture.

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I have been cleaning around my tree trunks for several weeks.

I use a digger, clippers and several sizes of bristle brushes.

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I have cut off crossing roots that cut into the bark

and even removed some rocks surrounded by bark.

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I felt like I was removing a thorn from a lion’s paw.

I could almost hear the trees sigh.

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These lovely shapes were made by the tree.

I just enhanced them with my tools.

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This is where I sit to hide. It’s like a tree throne.

Stay tuned for the magical transformation in the coming weeks.

Follow the sneaky FLOWER.