Garden heroes of all stripes

As the over 90-temps approach, I found I've lost the gardening schedule I kept up during the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Now, we have to take considerable care to snatch whatever narrow window we have when the humidity is low, the death star doesn't beat down on us, or the mosquitoes don't use us as their all-you-can-eat.

I made the adjustment this morning, digging up a hole big enough to be the future home of Retama, the Jerusalem Thorn tree. More on that in a bit.

For now, I can't help but notice how very alive the garden is - with heroes and foes, mind, but it's the heroes I want to pay particular attention to today. Restoring landscape sustainably will invite them back, too, so we hope that they will indeed, take care of any foes we see in the garden.
In the garden, it becomes so clear: the fights directed outwardly are mere reflections of the same fights directed towards the self. There is an alternative. There must be!

Perspective is important. Trying to "think as Nature would" is necessary. Out there, nothing is wasted. No life is worthless, and there's a place for all who are charged with surviving. And here are some of the beautyful "alls" I've had the Grace to see recently.

[caption id="attachment_764" align="alignnone" width="625"]IMGP3463 Sage, August, and Blue.[/caption]

We are blessed to live in a place frequented by herons and egrets. These blue creatures sometimes land (rather awkwardly, might I add?) on the street side of our houses, and walk slowly, delicately, purposefully along the sidewalk. Strolling along the pavement for dinner at dusk.

Then there is this very amusing Native relative:

[caption id="attachment_765" align="alignnone" width="625"]Still life with Squirrel and Finches. Still life with Squirrel and Finches.[/caption]

That little rat and her/his avian friends remind me that I feed them - not for my pleasure (solely), but for their sake as well. All good. Everyone needs to eat.

But soft, what light from yonder window breaks?


I see this and I think: Ancestor! Dragon! Fairy Chariot! They fly, and settle, and fly, and settle again, sometimes perching on the tops of the green onions.

[caption id="attachment_767" align="alignnone" width="625"]A scallion with wings. Will you take to flying away now, and plant your white roots elsewhere? A scallion with wings. Will you take to flying away now, and plant your white roots elsewhere?[/caption]


But this isn't a magical moment from all perspectives; I'm standing about a foot away from this Dragonfly, and can hear quite the crunch it's making with its beautiful jaws as it lunches on someone that used to be, before lunch time. My magical moment is rather a sharp and painful one for that other creature.

Far more benign is this little, industrious, formidable friend:

[caption id="attachment_769" align="alignnone" width="625"]Red salvia looks like fun to forage from. Red salvia looks like fun to forage from.[/caption]

Whose companions are equally photogenic:

[caption id="attachment_775" align="alignnone" width="625"]IMGP3543 There's work to be done - and don't they know it.[/caption]

Or this dizzying companion to flowers:

[caption id="attachment_770" align="alignnone" width="625"]Called: Gulf Fritillary. Or, simply: Beautiful Called: Gulf Fritillary. Or, simply: Beautiful[/caption]

At every turn, there's someone alive doing something to stay alive.


And being part of a plan is what makes all of this so beautiful.


There may be suffering, but there is no damage that cannot be undone.


Would that we animals could learn a thing or two from all of this.


Call me morbid, but I should love to be buried, in the dirt, in a field I know will always be unsullied by human hands. Becoming a part of a wildflower, visited by one of just these sorts of bumbeleebees or becoming a part of a leaf sat upon by a baby anole: I can't think of a better way to spend the afterlife. Can you?

A wise old owl // lived in an oak //
The more he saw // the less he spoke //
The less he spoke // the more he heard //
Why can't we be like that wise old bird?

See you in Arcadia!

Gardening in June...

...We're batting down the hatches with lots of mulch for the plants (thank you, neighbors and your raked up oak leaves, which we went about collecting in the Winter and early Spring). My better half is discovering that he must stoop so low and buy a gardening hat. Right now he makes do with a towel. What can I say? In our burgeoning quest to turn our boring suburban garden into a cottage garden that invites the re-creation of a healthy garden ecosystem, we delight in colour - Cool colours here: