The Cactus and the Moon

We had a big day yesterday here in the USA.

A total eclipse traveled across the country from Oregon to South Carolina.

My family drove down to an empty field in South Carolina to experience it

with the crickets, cicadas and roosters.

I wanted to see what nature would do.  People are too noisy.

Insects and birds reacted as if on cue.  It was lovely.

The adventure did not end when we got home.

My husband’s cactus knew it was a new moon, too.

After thirty years of waiting and one “dud bud” last August,

it finally bloomed. It had one big ruffly white flower.

I saw it was about to open last night, while I was hanging laundry in the dark.

IMG_3309

Mr. Flower and I teamed up to produce these photos at 5:30 AM.

IMG_3324

He stood on a bucket and I held the flashlight.

IMG_3322

We enjoy the simple things here. The sun disappearing, hearing panicked roosters screaming, hanging laundry in the dark, a flower blooming before dawn…

You know, the real stuff.

MoonFLOWER

My First Love was Leaves

I have not always been the FLOWER.

My first love was leaves.   I collected leaves.  Pressed leaves into pictures.  Made stationery with embedded leaves…

In my home there are leaves on the rugs and floor clothes and walls and sofas…

So today I want to share an unusual leaf.

I have been watching this plant grow for months.

It was a gift from ” My Friend the Fairy.”  (See post. She is adorable)

The plant is a “Queen of the Night” , “Night Blooming Cereus” or Epiphyllum oxypetallum.

Its nickname is also Gooseneck cactus.   Now I know why.  One leaf decided it needed to be longer.  So it added another lobe on the tip.

This stem and leaf first looked like a rising cobra’s head several months ago.

It elongated and has now sprouted side leaflets.

The leaves are very thick and the venation is visually absent,

IMG_9538

except for the midrib seen underneath.

The midrib sends vein offshoots to each leaflet.

The underside of the main leaf has rootlets which is typical of an epiphyte.

Lastly, I would like to include a photo that those who know me will appreciate.

Photo shoot carnage.  Positioning leaves lead to a spill.  Another mess.  I wonder what punishment will be bestowed upon me by my facedown fairy godmother. She’s mean.

IMG_5809

The Queen only blooms once every couple of years, so I will enjoy its leaves in the meantime.

FLOWER