Wednesday Vignette – cursed like clockwork

It seems I’m blessed with a curse. For the fourth time in as many years, whatever car I was in, and I were hit by standing at, or near, a standstill. It happened again yesterday. Each time, it is in such an unlikely situation – about as odd as if a crane would drop something on you. It’s never my fault, but I have this powerful attraction to road fools. This time, I was on my little residential street, in the correct lane, waiting to turn left onto a bigger road, indicating so with my blinker. Oddly enough, I was hit from behind. How does that even happen?? I’m not sure what to do other than roll with it. At least no one was hurt. Other than my poor truck. For having been standing still, these damages are the worst ones yet. She managed to scrape the entire side – all three panels – AND hit my front wheel. It is my hope that this is it for this year. Onward, forward…

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Wednesday Vignette – emergence

“…where did the universe come from?”, he asked. Incredibly, he figured it out.

Where does anything come from? These days, things are constantly emerging, out of cold, dark, wet soils, leaves of life forms emerge, like the crumpled wings of butterflies, unfolding from a chrysalis – like thermal energy emanating from a black hole. What a great irony that the master of the universe died in spring. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking.

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Wednesday Vignette – anticipation and surprise

Things are beginning to emerge out there. Some are surprises, some are mysteries, and some I haven’t owned long enough to recognize. Let’s start with the surprise, shall we? I have a large clump of Podophyllum pleianthum growing behind my garage, near my reading corner. It has been there for years, and pretty much stayed in the same place. So, imagine my surprise, when I found several of it’s little mushroom-y offspring clear at the other end of the garden – securely lodged under my prized metallic black Hellebore that I have posted ad nauseam on Instagram lately. How the hell did it end up there, I wonder…? I don’t mind – it’s a fabulous plant. I’m tickled, but it puzzles me. Anyway, the result of this is that I probably have to unearth that über-cool Hellebore so I can gather all these little babies up and move them or give away to a more suitable home.

Aren’t they cute?

The one whose emerging, nearly fernlike scroll I didn’t recognize without looking at the tag, is the wonderful Anemonopsis macrophylla – a plant I first saw and lusted over in a Swedish garden magazine a couple of years ago. It is a woodland dream come true, and I’m so excited to see it!

Looks like an oddball cross between Swiss Chard and fern as it unfurls.

The last one has mystified me since I first saw its little purple clubs emerge out of the first fern table I built. First I thought it was some kind of Epimedium (I distinctly remember putting one of those in there too, somewhere), but I soon realized that the shoots were way too fleshy. Then, I briefly thought it was the beginnings of some kind of orchid – a lovely magenta one I bought last year. But no, that clearly wasn’t it, either. Anyway, I finally figured it out. It’s a Jeffersonia dubia, which will soon open up into absolutely adorable little blue flowers.

The ‘Sunset Fern’ draped around it held up well this winter. But it looks as if I need to find some moss for those roots. The rain keeps washing off the soil – a protective mossy cover will help.

That’s it for this week. Who knows what kind of treasures will emerge next week when I’m not looking.

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Wednesday Vignette – escaping the rain

I tell ya – being out of commission for a few days really messes with your sense of time. I totally spaced on what day it is today – thus this post comes later than usual. Sorry about that.

It’s a rainy, grey and generally miserable mudslinger of a day outside. I ventured out to do some Master Gardener volunteering this morning – for no other reason than I was sick and tired of laying on the couch day in and day out, trying to recover. I needed some fresh air – even if it was wet. On Wednesday mornings, I’m part of their propagation team. Armed with cough syrup and Fisherman’s Friend, I asked for a job in a remote corner where I didn’t have to talk to anyone (which triggers massive, germ-infested coughing fits). I had a a few blissful hours in the houseplant house, where I worked on Tradescantia baskets, among the Orchids and Begonias. So, since I’m already in a tropical kind of mood, I figured I’d continue that theme in today’s Vignette, with a few hitherto unposted shots from the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, which I visited a couple of weeks ago. These were from the Tropical Rainforest part of the Gardens, which seems much more tolerable and nice than the cold, wet rain currently going on outside.

Although the orchids in the greenhouse this morning were nowhere near the caliber seen here – they still managed to calm my mind and excite my senses.  And there were no birds of a soul-soaring color inciting dreams. Still, it was good to get out a little.

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Wednesday Vignette – the white stuff

Well, whaddya know – it SNOWED!!! Just as I was thinking this was probably it for this year. We had a white Christmas, but other than that, it has been a frightfully mild winter so far. More to show us that he still has it in him than anything else, I think, King Winter unleashed a wet, gloppy few inches on us. Temps are hovering right at freezing, schools have been canceled, and I figured if I don’t take pictures now when it’s fresh, I won’t get any – it’s so wet. I’m enjoying it while it lasts!

I just had to turn the lights on to see how they’d light up all that white stuff.



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Snowy February garden photo-op

Okay, so it snowed… I suppose that means it will be less difficult to stay inside and do paper work, but still… I had to venture out at least a little bit, and take some pictures. It’s interesting how similar fern fronds and mahonia leaves are, when they are dusted with snow. No wonder I love them both so much.

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Wednesday Vignette – from the window seat

It is a sweet feeling to reconnect – to catch up with old friends, and to hear their stories. And, it is priceless to visit family. We live so far away from the rest of our clans. It was our choice to move – we wanted things you couldn’t get where we were. We figured we could always visit “once in a while”. That “once in a while” turned out to be rather “rarely”. The exclusivity and distance sinks in when you realize that the kids were half the size they are now, last time they visited their grandparents.


We laughed when we showed up at a party friends had arranged, at how we all looked like our parents – it had been so long… It was the first time my best beloved had seen all his former roommates together in one room, in 28 years! Gray hairs, sagging skin, and crow’s feet aside – judging from the cheer and the banter, we might as well never have left.IMG_7923

Our trip was a whirlwind – parties in our honor, familiar faces of many, many friends, beloved family members, visits to old favorite restaurants (which were still there). All older and a little more worn – including us. We had that soft, comfy feeling of a flannel shirt that has been washed a hundred times – we were all there, and we only got better with age. IMG_7929

It was hard to leave. A mix of sadness, angst, and guilt. Will everyone still be there next time we return? Isolated from our past, it’s easy to lose track of time. As the plane took off, I fretted over our choices. The urge to be a part is strong, and family weighs heavily. No one should have to carry the weight of generations alone – yet those that remain do. From here, we’re as distant and removed as passengers on a plane – gazing down from a window seat. And, it’s a cold place to be.

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