Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Sensuality of Seasonality

The first snowdrops.

These little beauties first poked leaves up in January. However, we had a couple of 50 degree days, so the snow is gone and the snowdrops are BLOOMING! Snowdrops, snow crocus, witch hazel, and hellebore save my sanity every year. How can you not love plants that flower in winter?

I was fortunate to attend iLandscape this year and found some common themes in the talks that got me thinking. It seems horticulture is going back to layers and garden rooms - more plants! Less mulch! More beauty! More bugs! Huzzah! 

I found myself pondering the whys of my fascination with plants and the natural world. I am head over heels in love with nature because of change. There is something new to see, hear, smell, feel, and taste every day. Every. Single. Day. Every time I walk out the door I learn something new. The earth is littered with delightful surprises.

While shoveling snow, I learned the call of a downy woodpecker, the satisfying scrape of the shovel on the pavement, the smell of fresh snow as it blankets the earth, and the taste of sky on my tongue. There is such breathtaking elegance in a fresh snowfall on the zigzag twigs of the katsura or the impeccable calligraphy of beech branches. 

And then it thaws and melts and you are rewarded with flowers. 

So, for myself, I will revel in the sensuality of the changing seasons. My gardens bloom from January to November which means I have a panoply of pleasures at my fingertips. Winter showcases the architecture of plants from the brown boats of milkweed pods to the soughing branches of the Norway spruce. I am greedy to devour it all, each tiny petal, buzzing wing, flagrant feather, and pungent herb.

Won't you join me - outside?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Janustory Wrap Up 2018

 
Another Janustory in the bag! I never really know where these stories will go until about midway through the month. I hope you have enjoyed my annual attempt to re-energize creativity and good writing habits. Because life is a journey with many twists and turns, I decided to include a photo of a staircase. Which way are you going? What will you find when you arrive?

  1. Walking.
  2. Bone-weary trekking.
  3. Blisters have popped.
  4. Sunrise lights boulders pearly.
  5. Rain at last has ceased.
  6. First farmhouse welcomes me with tea.
  7. Desperate for news, trinkets are swept aside.
  8. The family lines up to hear my tale.
  9. Acrid smoke stings my eyes from the smoldering fire.
  10. The baronial war is finally over, but not the famine.
  11. Their narrow faces mirror mine as we commiserate over the harvest.
  12. Mysterious fragrant blood-red flowers have been springing up where battles were fought.
  13. The farmer worries as cattle, sheep, and goats are sickening in the fields.
  14. His six children have been warned to stay close to the house and barn.
  15. I’ve heard strange rumors of weird sights in copses that saw battle on misty nights.
  16. The weary farmer confirms my growing fears and we discuss how to banish the troubled ghosts.
  17. As the twilight gathers in the corners of the kitchen, we line up the banishing spell ingredients.
  18. Jonathan, the young farmer, has rounded up some neighbors to assist in freeing their fields from these hauntings.
  19. The ancient wisewoman who gave me the receipt to dispel ghosts and evil beings promised me it would work.
  20. The oil-soaked torches are carefully lit as the men kiss their loved ones before we head to the ragged copse.
  21. While walking across the freshly harvested fields, the uneven footing is very treacherous and we slow down to a careful crawl.
  22. Hands shaking, I construct a small fire from broken ash, oak, and thorn twigs, managing to light it on the first try.
  23. Into a dented iron cauldron, I swiftly pour each pre-measured ingredient following the exact order hastily written on a scrap of old parchment.
  24. As the autumn stars begin to light the night’s darkness, I finish adding the last herbs, a thick greenish smoke pouring from the cauldron.
  25. As the smoke tumbled over the cauldron’s sides and rippled oily into the scattering of trees, my stalwart comrades took up banging pots and buckets.
  26. The spell fog purled through the tangled underbrush and swirled around our ankles as we shouted and pounded a fierce racket to scare the unquiet ghosts.
  27. As we hooted and hollered ourselves hoarse, hundreds of pairs of angry wicked red eyes flickered up into the air, dancing ahead of the creeping greenish smoke.
  28. The stalwart rustic souls continued with their motley cacophony as the twinkling crimson eyes sharpened and began to dash erratically through the trees ahead of the spell fog.
  29. In one perfectly choreographed fluid motion, the sparking scarlet eyes swirl and spin into a fiery red tornado and reverse course toward our determined band of weary, frightened defenders.
  30. The wisewoman’s treacherous spell smoke seemed only to deeply enrage the hideous tormented spirits as we fled bumbling and stumbling through the thin trees, running for our tiny precious lives.
  31. Now as a cloud-streaked dawn shimmers peach golden on the horizon, I lie stretched and broken on the cold rocky ground as a red-eyed demon devours me, beginning with my toes.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Janustory Day 30


Janustory Day 30: The wisewoman’s treacherous spell smoke seemed only to deeply enrage the hideous tormented spirits as we fled bumbling and stumbling through the thin trees, running for our tiny precious lives.

#janustory #wordcount30



Monday, January 29, 2018

Janustory Day 29


Janustory Day 29: In one perfectly choreographed fluid motion, the sparking scarlet eyes swirl and spin into a fiery red tornado and reverse course toward our determined band of weary, frightened defenders.

#janustory #wordcount29

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Janustory Day 28


Janustory Day 28: The stalwart rustic souls continued with their motley cacophony as the twinkling crimson eyes sharpened and began to dash erratically through the trees ahead of the spell fog.

#janustory #wordcount28







I couldn't resist this shot of a 17-year cicada from 2007. We were loaded with 'em. Only nine more years to go until the next round does their mating dance!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Janustory Day 27


Janustory Day 27: As we hooted and hollered ourselves hoarse, hundreds of pairs of angry wicked red eyes flickered up into the air, dancing ahead of the creeping greenish smoke.

#janustory #wordcount27

The plot thickens...

Friday, January 26, 2018

Janustory Day 26


Janustory Day 26: The spell fog purled through the tangled underbrush and swirled around our ankles as we shouted and pounded a fierce racket to scare the unquiet ghosts.

#janustory #wordcount26