Lily

Did you know there are many varieties of lilies?  A friend brought this lily to my garden last year just before it was about to bloom. Somehow the conditions weren’t right for the bloom to last very long so I have been waiting anxiously for it to bloom again this year, so I could take its picture for posterity. The  long-hoped-for rain  arrived the day the lily tried to bloom. Would I be lucky enough to see the flowers this year? Not only did it bloom, but it graced my garden with three blossoms. I see that the first to bloom is already a little “rough around the edges” but the other two are still fresh. Notice the dark pollen on the stamens? Then please read the poem below the photo and tell me if this has ever happened to you.

Dainty lily blooms a while,

When she does it makes you smile.

But if you invade her space

Staring right into her face,

In her bloom your nose you poke,

Be prepared for Lily’s  joke.

Those who sniff her sometimes pay.

Pollen on their nose will stay.

Orchid Goes to Town

Another orchid is waking up. The first bud is squinting with one eye to have a look around. She’s not sure she wants to come out completely. It looks a bit gray out there. Where is summer?

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She waits a day or two and soon reinforcements come along. In the company of her sisters, she feels brave enough to face the world. But what faces they have!

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One of the things I love about orchids (besides their long blooming time) is that each type has such unique characteristics. It seems that the colours and designs are infinite. DSCN8532

 

What beetle with its bleeding feet

Has marked my orchid, once so neat?

Or maybe she’s not feeling well

And has the measles, I can’t tell.

I know! She’s going into town

To sport her polka-dotted gown.

Trilliums and Trilliums of Them

They used to be more prolific here, but now houses cover the places they used to grow. We used to love saying there were trilliums and trilliums of trilliums. I was “trilled” to find these three.From under last year’s dried up ferns this special flower popped up.  Not many flowers in this world have three petals.

One thing I hadn’t noticed before taking this picture today are the lines on the petals. In the same way a leaf has lines, so the petals have lines, but these are part of a much more intricate  design. You can see the lines better if you click on the photo to enlarge it. Don’t forget to click the back arrow to come back. Don’t want to lose you!

Wikipedia says: The trillium was formerly treated in the family Trilliaceae or trillium family, a part of the Liliales or lily order.

However it doesn’t say what it is treated as now. Is it still considered to belong to the lilies?

The fleur-de-lys (lily flower) is a famous French symbol. Again, the three petals. I wonder if a trillium would be a good substitute for this emblem.

Did you see the bug on the trillium in the first photo?

Big black bug sits on my petal.

Wish I were a stinging nettle.

Shivering in the breeze I shake it

But it grips and I can’t make it

Get. Off. Me.

 

Apoppyplexy

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The One True Poppy ?

I am the one true poppy

The one in Flanders’ fields.

Surrounded here by “wannabe”s

At last my patience yields.

I’m falling prey to apoppyplexy.

Helpless as I am,

Rooted in the ground like this

I’m truly in a jam.

But look at my frustration

The lesser poppies bloom

And I am forced to bear their smirks

While I am filled with gloom.

You see that Missy Paleface

Deceitful all in white?

And what about Pink Poodle?

Her hairdo is a fright.

The crackpots growing opium

Are gossiping again.

Do they not know their sticky juice

Is going to fry their brain?

The bugs may crawl upon my face

My pollen’s falling down,

But I’m the only real one here

And I should wear the crown.

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Pink Poodle

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Miss Paleface

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Crackpots

 

 

Dogwood Time

Straight out from my bedroom window, in our dogwood tree, a little robin sang, “Winter’s over. We survived another one!”

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Did you know that the Pacific dogwood is the provincial flower for the province of British Columbia? Its flowers have four to six petals. That in itself is unusual, as probably the most common number of petals for flowers is five.

While researching the number of petals on a dogwood, I came across the term “Fibonacci Numbers.” The number of petals on most flowers is one of the Fibonacci numbers, but the dogwood only sometimes complies. The Fibonacci number sequence is named for Leonardo of Pisa, also known as Fibonacci, for introducing the concept of these numbers to the western world in the early 1200s.

The Fibonacci sequence is 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 …

Can you guess what the next number is going to be?

I was amazed at how it works. The next number is always the sum of the previous two.

I think someone used this sequence to figure out the rate at which rabbits breed. I think, too, that Fibonacci must have done his research in my backyard.

Math and nature are so connected, it never ceases to amaze me.

Harvest Time

It seems that fall is sneaking up on us. The nights are fresh and there’s a hint of dew on the ground in the mornings. The mountain ash berries are ripening, ready for desperate robins who come back down from berry-filled hills after the harvest, looking for anything left to eat. 004

Walnuts tell us it’s fall, as they near full size. They’ll leave an awful mess of walnut stain when the outer shell breaks open to reveal the brown nut inside. Wear gloves when you pick them or you’ll have stained fingers worse than the heaviest smoker ever had.

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This apple must be the one Eve offered to Adam. It’s the sweetest and juiciest of apples, the Gravenstein.008

Smaller than the Italian prune plum are the damsons. They’re sweet and tarty, perfect for eating or making jam.

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Then there are the yellow plums (which actually still look quite greenish when they’re ripe). They are really juicy, they don’t keep long, and are best eaten right away or made into jam.  017

The red Anjou pear is delicious and looks great with the peel still on when sliced onto a dessert.016

The Wilmuta apple is a cross between Jonagold and Gravenstein. It ripens in October and keeps well. Sweet and juicy, it’s a perfect late season apple.

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And what is this weird-looking thing? Mini squashes on a shrub? It’s quince. The shrub has beautiful red-orange blooms in the spring and then bears this fruit about the size of crab apples. When they’re yellow the quinces are ripe. I don’t recommend trying to eat them but they make a good jam of the marmalade style.

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Let’s hear it for the old standby – MacIntosh apples. What’s not to like?
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The hazelnuts are nearly ripe too. I’ve learned not to get too excited about the first ones that fall off the tree when those fall winds start to blow. Usually they are the duds, so don’t waste you time husking and drying them. Later, there will still be plenty of good ones. If you’re not too impatient and don’t mind risking losing them to steller’s jays and raccoons, you can pick the nuts up without the husks which come off more easily as the nuts dry. 021

And of course there’s nature adding to my planted efforts, providing blackberries for free. It’s a huge crop this year. 023 I really would like some help with all this harvesting and so far I’ve had one volunteer. Ruby is doing her best to brave the prickles. Tells you how good these blackberries are!026

Still With Us

Spring is trying to come. My lilacs are trying to open in spite of the cold rain. And the baby robins are surviving in spite of a horrendous downpour of rain about a week ago, and the constant patrolling of black scavengers.002

Every few days I’ve been taking pictures of the baby robins to see if they’re still with us. I’ve chased away many a crow that is wanting a quick breakfast of robin-kebabs. I even threw the empty kitchen garbage bin at one black murderer who was sitting on the corner of the roof watching to see where the robins’ nest was. (I happened to have the bin in my hand after washing it out.)

Before the robins become crow snack one of these days, I wanted to share their progress with you.

001I know I must sound negative about the fate of these babies, but every year I hope that some will make it and every year the crows kill them. I’m bracing myself for the worst, and faintly, faintly, faintly, hoping for the best.