I went out back yesterday, and in addition to experiencing the ridiculous heat index of 100 plus degrees Fahrenheit, I experienced dismay at seeing cottonwood tree leaves. Yellow and on the ground. My six-year-old trees, stressed to the max, and it’s only mid-July. Darn.
Cottonwoods, native to the Midwest, typically lose leaves in late summer or early fall. Or when it’s extremely dry or unusually hot. No, it’s not late summer. But the heat and lack of rain has caught up with the trees. They’ve shed about 10 percent of their leaves, which helps the tree survive. All the extension office websites I checked agree that the trees aren’t in danger. Yet.
Is there a lesson in that? For me? For you? For the country?
Back in May, a handful of seeds thrown against the brick wall. Today, a riot of blooms.
I’m at that point with my work in progress (WIP). Time to chalk it up as a bad experience, lessons learned, and move on. Maybe I’ll give up writing altogether–or so I tell my fabulous editor/coach.
No, no, no, she emails back. You’re closer than you think.
And while I’m cogitating, Jim asks me what I want to do with the ‘old tree out back’. This poor thing was a 40 foot cottonwood that has been here since before the acreage was divided and the house was built some 30 years ago. It’s been dying a slow and painful death since we moved in. This spring, Jim cut the tree down and left the stump.
I thought we’d poly it and use it as a garden seat. I neglected to say the words out loud to Jim, and he left it be. As you see, the tree persists in being something. Not the cottonwood it was. Maybe a cottonwood bush. And surrounding the stump are little trees popping out of the grass. Like so.
I have this notion that I should be able to write three or four novels a year. And I have, but not different books. I’ve rewritten the same book, three times going on four.
Now here I am, at the start of the second year, deciding whether to persist. Have I learned to be more tree-like?
Early chrysanthemums and lemon elderberry soaking up the rain. A much welcome two inches fell overnight.
This daylily is Mauna Loa. I know its name because I searched for it forever. The flower is just as bright orange as the photo. Looks like I’ll have tons of blooms this year.
I went a little crazy last year and bought a gazillion different daylily hybrids. Honestly, I don’t remember how many different kinds.
When I planted them, I carefully made a label for each, using plastic markers and permanent ink. Sad to say, the ink disappeared and something ate most of the markers.
So I don’t know most of the names. It’s sad to think I’ll have to go through the summer, showing you all these great daylilies without identification.
Coming face-to-face with this glitch in my garden design seems to have made me remember my working days. I’ve been dreaming of my four most memorable bosses–and since I dream only nightmares, not in a good way.
Gotta get these four out of my head! So instead of flower names, I’ll say more in subsequent posts about my one stupendous and three dreadful bosses. No names, of course.
Daylily buds appearing everywhere. Flowers next week? A sign of summer about to arrive, although the temperature feels like full-force summer already.
Back in the days when I thought gardening required nothing more than design, water, and weeding, I planned a red garden. Composed of red lilies and daylilies, red columbines, a couple different red clematis, and red geraniums, I looked forward–that first year–to brilliantly red blooms.
The joke was on me. The red lilies–as seen in the photo–bloomed an orange-red. The daylilies bloomed a wine-red. The columbine didn’t bloom at all. The clematis bloomed a rich purple-blue.
Only the geraniums were red.
Oddly enough, after five years, I like this garden better. It’s full of surprises. Not what I’d planned, but good.
Happy Jack is especially happy today. Wishing everybody the same.
Last year, I took on the Ray Bradbury challenge to write 52 short stories in a year. I fell a bit short, only writing 32 and most were bad. But I had a handful of not-half-bad stories, and three that seemed good.
One of the things I learned along the way was how to be another person. Never mind that I’m a–well let’s call it ‘senior’–female. I could be an out-of-work 30 year old male, a mean and murderous female school teacher, a male retiree bent on revenge … you get the picture.
Weeding the mermaid garden this morning, I wondered what it would be like to sing songs to destroy men and ships.