Archive for June, 2012

Moss

Friday, June 29th, 2012

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Who says tree bark is brown? At least, not after a warm spring rain. (May 4, 2012)

100 Degrees

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

I’m snacking on raspberries, cherries, yogurt, and coffee, and wishing I were back on the West Rim reading a book. Hot as it is, I did make a point of wandering by the river (barefoot) just to get outside. It’s too easy to slug about in the air conditioning, and now that I’ve returned to it I’m a useless (read as: bread-baking, cloth-sewing, cheese-making, house-cleaning) lump. In other words, things could be worse.

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Forest fire residue on the West Rim; Zion National Park, 2012.

Adoptive Creatures

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

I recently made a public spectacle of myself in the middle of Treasure Mart (a local antique store) when I stumbled across a slightly-used wooden aardvark of middling size. I instantly clutched him to my chest and proceeded to leak hysterical tears of mingled adoration and mirth. After ten minutes of happy wandering, I was shamed out of buying him by my less whimsical companions. With an overwhelming sense of unease, I tucked him under a quilt so he could observe passers-by from a shelf perch.

For two days, I couldn’t shake off the reckless feeling that I Must Own Him. I felt guilty and on edge. I finally gave in, and rushed back to Treasure Mart after work to execute a search and recovery mission. I started in the basement where I’d left him…no aardvark. I got a little nervous, but hey, there are three floors. Forty-five minutes later I had frantically torn through every shelf, drawer, and storage-unit. I looked in things, under things, on top of things, behind things, and I was eventually forced to admit that he just. wasn’t. THERE.

I just couldn’t understand how anyone but me could develop a strong enough attachment to the ridiculous creature to take him home. So why wasn’t he there?! I trudged home sadly, wishing I’d had the good sense not to abandon something that so clearly needed me to love it. I tried to forget over a sewing project, but that quickly proved to be a hopeless attempt.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. I opened it…and there was no one there. I looked about in confusion, and my eyes fell to the floor.

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My aardvark. There he was, with his funny snout forward and a bow tied about his stout little belly. David, knowing the strength of my internal aardvark-related struggles, had rescued him for me over lunch just hours before my panicked search.

While it’s impractical to buy every little thing that demands one’s love, this was truly an unavoidable exception.

(Disclaimer: Yes, I realize he was probably intended to be a pig. Aardvark tails are longer and thicker, and they have long stout legs. No, I don’t care. His face is too perfect, and he fooled the antique store. Good enough for me; aardvark he is!)

Air Plant the First

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

I bought my first Tillandsia, or “air plant”, last February. She came inside and adorable glass pod that I immediately hung in my sewing area.

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She looked a little cramped, but I figured that as long as I spent time loving her and spraying her weekly she’d recover and grow. Well, I was wrong. I acquired three more Tillandsias in April, and learned very quickly that they love to be bathed. I also discovered that it’s impossible to remove a plant through a hole that small without damaging leaves. :(

Yesterday I discovered my solution. She was looking particularly sad and thirsty, but also sodden and at risk for rot (a common problems with the glass pods). I gently rescued her from her little nest, let her soak in the bath, and peeled her dead leaves.

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Success. Now I can easily remove her from the pod without damaging anything.

Porch Planters

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Before:

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Planter one with its brand new inhabitants…

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…and planter two (pre-woodruff).

These two photos were taken May 12. Nothing got planted last year because I’d hardly managed to move myself, but this year I decided to usurp David’s planters for my own selfish purposes. He did not object.

After:

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I’m impressed by how far the fuchsia vine has stretched, and the coleus is almost unrecognizable. The begonia constantly produces amazing red-orange flowers.

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This one is full of mint, vines, sweet woodruff, and a little forget-me-not that hides in the very center. The woodruff is my favorite, with its funny star-shaped leaflet crowns.