Heartaches, Attachments, Autumn

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Autumn Leaves 1Flowering Cactus with shadow Seed Pods 1Prickly Pear Fruit 1Toyon in Autumn 1As I type these words, I’m trying to memorize the contented sound the quail make as they move through our yard. It goes something like this: whoop whoop whoop whoop. But I’m frustrated because that sound isn’t quite right and I’m quickly running out of time to learn it by heart. So each morning I scatter seed then wait, watch and listen. When I feel overwhelmed, I go outside to soak up some sun and check on the oak tree we planted two years ago; inevitably, a tiny lizard joins me. Each evening a hummingbird pays us a visit and I delight in the sound of it’s wings. I want to capture these moments and file them away.

Last week I picked two limes from a tree I planted five years ago. They were the first limes the little tree ever produced. Our Meyer lemons are starting to turn yellow, but we won’t be here to pick them. We bought and planted that tree six year ago, the very weekend we arrived in California. Have you ever planted a tree knowing you won’t be around to see it mature? In my mind, that’s one of the least selfish things a person can do. It’s a gift for future generations.

Now, do four favors for me, please?

Read this post by artist Lily Stockman and listen to this recording of the Mojave Desert at dawn by naturalists Sarah Koschak and Andrew Skeoch.

Plant a tree, then go hug someone you love.

Friday Flora & Fresh Air

Sedum rubrotinctum 'Jelly Bean' 1

Sedum rubrotinctum 'Jelly Bean' 2

Once a science teacher, always a science teacher … sometime last summer, I picked up an overgrown pot of succulent ‘Jelly Beans’ (Sedum rubrotinctum) at an estate sale for a dollar (I know! I just love estate sales!). Anyhow, when I got home, I divided the plant into two pots and proceeded to place one in the backyard – where it gets filtered morning light, and the other in the front courtyard – where it gets full blazing sunlight all afternoon. Can you guess which is which?

bottle brush flowers Arbutus 'Marina' flowersNow that the blue agapanthus in the front courtyard have finished blooming, our resident hummingbirds are all over the red bottle brush flowers and pink Arbutus ‘Marina’ blossoms in the backyard. Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of red or pink flowers, but I gladly grow them for the hummers. I love those little birds.

Have a wonderful weekend!