Monday, November 30, 2009

Children Crossing

There are lots of warning signs around town, some with words, some without – Road Work, Detour, Deer Crossing, Fire Station, etc. I find these signs helpful. The bright yellow school crossing signs featuring children walking are familiar sights alerting drivers to be careful in particular areas as kids aren’t always as watchful as they should be as they cross streets. I always look out for them. When I came across a pair of yellow signs the other day, I expected the usual School Crossing but that wasn’t what I saw. There was a Watch Children sign above and a Duck Crossing sign beneath featuring a mother duck followed by her ducklings. Well, why not, I thought. Children are children, whatever the species. Was there a “school of ducks” nearby? I scanned the road. It was duckling-free so I continued on my way, But those signs stayed in my consciousness, warning me to be vigilant on many levels.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I try to keep the bird feeders full or at least remind my husband to fill them. If I forget the birds drift off to find other sources of nourishment. It then takes a while to lure them back. I would hate for them to give up on me. I offer them good stuff, the black oil sunflowers seeds that they so enjoy. Maybe I should put out a sign – Out of Seed, Try Again Tomorrow – when the feeders are empty but I don’t know how to translate it into Bird. So I send out a mental message instead: Keep checking, please. The wait will be worth it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Love My Christmas Cactus!

I have a Christmas cactus on my kitchen windowsill. It is blooming like crazy! So I went online to see what I should do to help it grow. It seems that I should have been carefully monitoring its light, parsimoniously giving it water, and keeping it in a controlled temperature of 50 degrees before it would flower. I have done everything wrong. The kitchen is a) filled with light, b) probably the warmest place in the house, and c) an easy place to get water so the plant was frequently given a drink. According to what I was reading, this plant should not be thriving. Yet it is – beautifully. The only thing I can think of is that I talk to my plant, praise it a lot, and kiss it on occasion. Maybe it realizes that as a gardener I may be lacking but rules aren’t the only things that count. Don’t we all thrive on love regardless of circumstance?

Monday, November 9, 2009


The trees in my backyard have grown up together like old friends. They touch each other so that the Japanese Maples and the White Pines intersect, needles and leaves creating the illusion of trees holding hands.The branches of the Swamp Maple reach out to the Redbud, the leaves gently twisting in the breeze. The sun catches the underside making the leaves flutter like tiny birds. Mother Nature really knows how to stimulate the imagination.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Poor Trees

I'm still thinking about trees. We bought our house when it was ten years old. It is now forty years old. The trees that were once thin sticks planted along the curbs in the development are now huge. Their roots have spread under the concrete, often nudging up sidewalks into obstacle courses or sometimes running in long lines like octopus’s tentacles through the grassy end strips. Sometimes a tree becomes root bound and turns over and around its base so that it looks knotted. Poor trees. I wish they had more room to grow. It seems a sad legacy for such graceful beings.