Garden Critters and Blooms

Flying Cloud Farm is only 6 miles from my apartment. They have community UPick flower fields, so I find myself there with my macro lens pretty often.


Here are some shots of my garden from earlier in the week. The tomatoes in the front bed are about two feet taller than I am right now and I think collectively they threaten to bring down the stakes. Next year I’ll opt for metal instead of wood.


My first dahlia bloomed! (!!!!!!!!)


Ammi and zinnias.


Not pictured below: the squash and the cucumbers that won’t stop growing.

Pictured below: very tasty pickles.


Garden critters – including a monarch caterpillar! There are at least 5 of them nestled in the milkweed and we’re all really excited about watching them pupate.

Appalachian Spring Wildflowers: Part 1

Some photos from a few different walks in the woods in April. Jack-in-the-pulpit, more spring beauty, trillium, fleabane, more ragwort, dutchman’s breeches, tons of violets, and a beautiful swallowtail I encountered on the trail one evening.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit
Dutchman’s Breeches

Bloodroot on the Appalachian Trail

Spending time in the woods yesterday reminded me of yet another Mary Oliver poem: ‘How I go to the woods’.

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.

… bloodroot!

Soft mornings

There is magic in quiet mornings. Mary Oliver sums it up in one of my favorite poems, ‘Softest of Mornings’. (Okay, every poem Mary Oliver ever wrote is my favorite…)

Softest of mornings, hello.
And what will you do today, I wonder,
to my heart?
And how much honey can the heart stand, I wonder,
before it must break?

This is trivial, or nothing: a snail
climbing a trellis of leaves
and the blue trumpets of flowers.

No doubt clocks are ticking loudly
all over the world.
I don’t hear them. The snail’s pale horns
extend and wave this way and that
as her fingers-body shuffles forward, leaving behind
the silvery path of her slime.

Oh, softest of mornings, how shall I break this?
How shall I move away from the snail, and the flowers?
How shall I go on, with my introspective and ambitious life?

Up popped the crocus

I was walking through a residential neighborhood in West Asheville earlier in the week when I spotted dozens of crocus on the edge of the lawn ahead. I spent a good 30 minutes sitting there on the sidewalk admiring them. : )

It’s amazing the difference a week can make. I did a few neighborhood walks during some time off last week, and here are some other pops of color I saw.

A post from weeks and weeks ago included a pic of a mantid egg sac. It’s still there among the horsetail grass! I looked it up and learned that this mantid sack has probably been there since around the first frost of the season last year. It will hatch sometime after spring begins. I am going to go back and relocate this sweet thing to my daughter’s grandmother’s garden. There will be plenty of things for the nymphs to eat when they emerge and I want to be there with my macro lens to document their growing up. I love mantids. Females that eat their male counterpart are bad ass in my book. ♀

Babies!

FOTD – January 29th (zinnias)

Here are some colorful shots of zinnias from over the summer. They’re one of my favorite flowers.

Looking through these sweet flower photos has inspired me to start an exciting new project: seed starting and building a raised bed garden behind my apartment. My lady neighbors are on board, too, so it’s going to be an all women’s community garden effort. ♀️

This year has been a real doozy, and covid will probably stick around for a bit longer. I’m really excited about creative new projects coming down the pipe. Stay tuned and here is to hoping that I don’t kill my sweet seedlings. 🌱☀️🍅

FOTD – January 27th (thistle)

Thistle! Aside from wild carrot, it’s my favorite summer wildflower.

Here is a shot of my favorite meadow in WNC. It’s chock full of thistle and pollinators throughout the summer and it’s one of my favorite places in the world.