Fantasy Friday

Possibly not the kind of fantasy others expect me to indulge in…those usually involve warriors, weapons, water, and your occasional monster or two. Sometimes a bit of romance/sex just to keep things interesting ūüėČ

No, decidedly NOT suitable for YA. Which works for me.

But today, and tonight…actually for the majority of this entire week…my fantasies have been more decidedly domestic, a lot less fun, but terribly relevant just now.¬† I am missing our old house, the neighborhood, my gardens and the landscaping I loved.¬† I have discovered I cannot function when my nights never embrace the darkness; there is always some hideous street light or spot light denying the night and obstructing my view of the moon and stars.¬† I miss nightly strolls in the dark, just gathering my thoughts, organizing this wild clutter of rampant imagination, and centering my soul.

Where, then, can we go, me and my small troop of offspring?¬† The countryside may be well suited to this introverted earth mother, but my boys are more like David was…happier with sidewalks or biking/hiking trails, and civilization (at least parks) within reach.

Image result for cleveland metroparks hiking trails

Finding a compromise should be interesting.¬† I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, other more entertaining versions of fantasy (yes, the ‘other’ kind) are running rampant through my pages with the current focus remaining on dragons and eco-themed ships on both air and water.

FOILER: Båten har L-foiler
på sideskrog og T-foil på senterskrog.

steampunk airship 3d model fbx c4d 6

 

Think they are any match for a flight of dragons?

Image result for group of dragons in flight

This is way more fun than trying to imagine what kind of place we should call home next.

Yay! Fantasy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pumpkins in a pot…

My daughter loves…I mean LOVES pumpkin seeds.¬† Every year for Halloween the seeds from the jack-o-lanterns are saved, washed, and roasted..and vanish very quickly afterward.¬† This year she put some into a sandwich container to roast later…and when she went to roast them….they had sprouted!

Image result for pumpkin seed sprouts

The obvious thing to do, of course, is…give the seeds to mom.

Pumpkins don’t really ‘thrive’ here in the Lowcountry…too much heat, no cold snap.¬† But heaven knows if they were ever going to grow, this nice cool weather is the tome to try. So I dragged out my big ‘tree’ pot, dumped in mulch, and topsoil and voila!

Sprouts of pumpkin seeds

The pot will remain outdoors soaking up warmth and sunshine until fall chills arrive, then move to the porch where the sprouts are protected from any untoward weather.

Can’t wait till spring.¬†¬†Image result for 4 month old pumpkin plants

Hope springs….

Harvest, Halloween, and moving ever forward

Last day of October, another year fleeing before us, and the joyous laughter …and screams…of children at Halloween.

We didn’t have many crops to bring in this year, what with the move and all, but what we have had is always a blessing…right now it is sage, rosemary, hot oregano,

Image result for spicy oregano plant

the last of the lemons, salad crops, and kale.  Already I am dreaming of the next plantings, and wondering where we may be by the time I am ready to put them in.

After trick or treat with the kids, time for some grown-up dress-up and a trip to good ol’ Chipotle to get our ‘treat’ burrito bowls for coming in costume.¬† MMMMM…. the perfect ending to a gorgeous Halloween.¬†¬†Sofritas bowl with guacamole

 

 

 

Loving Eucalyptus

In the front corner of the new yard there is a huge and very old eucalyptus tree. No, not the kind with smiling koalas slowly munching leaves from drowsy perches, but the wonderful, small leaved variety that grows so exuberantly here in the Low Country.

The bark is shaggy, peeling, rough and gorgeous. It makes a statement all on its own.

The peeling bark of the Eucalyptus

Couple it with the narrow, fragrant green foliage and it presents a graceful tree for the lawn or border. Ya gotta know though, that gorgeous bark means it is basically self mulching….and there is a lot of bark.¬†Another bonus? That spicy eucalyptus aroma… adored by most people, and repellent to most insect pests.¬† Thank you, eucalyptus oil.

The big one out front is home to myriad and varied birds, as well as providing strong branches for a handmade birdhouse and bird feeders, and a small platform that serves as a makeshift treehouse for the kids. It weathered the hurricanes this year without issue and has quickly become a family favorite.

Today a friend gifted me with a start from her own big eucalyptus. A few years and it will become a new bird sanctuary in this overly busy bit of urban landscaping, a welcome, gentle respite for our birds and tree frogs, a cool place of dappled shade welcoming all.

Glad you are here, little tree, grow strong. Welcome home.

Eucalyptus Pauciflora 'Bonza' Eucalyptus Tree

Daylight Savings…!

So thrilled Daylight Savings has returned.  It really should be the only time, because it makes the best use of daylight hours.  And I LOVE my daylight hours. More time to be in the yard, in the garden, enjoying my azaleas and camellias, more time for the kids and critters to play outdoors. Perfect.

Image result for red and white striped camellia

Except…sadly…this year’s change is accompanied by a very NOT usual for this time of year cold snap. ¬†Chilly. ¬†And I do not, as everyone who knows me even casually knows, like to be chilly. ¬†Ever. ¬†So here I am, eating my big ol’ yummy salad with spicy avocado-lime ranch dressing and enough peppers to warm me up, dogs curled up underfoot to keep my feet warm, and working diligently at my four zillionith attempt at a synopsis. ¬†That will keep the brain cells firing.

 

Gardener–minus the Garden

It’s a hard thing for me to deal with this spring…yes, ¬†February is the beginning of our spring planting season here in the Lowcountry…and here it is March and I have precious little in the ground save the quickie crops…radishes, etc.

This spring…we are thinking we will be moving. ¬†If not right now, as soon as school ends, which is long before most crops will be grown and ready to harvest. ¬†How then to have a decent garden at a time when the uncertainty of the months ahead makes it ever more important to have my own source of vegetables? ¬†The pear tree is covered in blooms. ¬†If we are here long enough, there will be bumper crops of pears, blackberries and black raspberries. ¬†The blueberries are still in pots, I got them last winter on sale, and didn’t want them in the ground till I could be assured of no strange weather eccentricities. ¬†Now would be the perfect time to put them in…but…ya know, moving.

Herbs aren’t so difficult, they do well in planters as long as they have room to spread out. ¬†So this weekend, pots of Mexican oregano, tarragon, white sage, lots of new starts off my very old rosemary. I still need marjoram, cilantro, and basil (probably a couple of kinds, variety is the spice of life) as well as nasturtiums.

And then there is the entire issue of which crops to plant now, which I can pot and transport, which we will simply have to do without this season.  My much loved pod peas will be grown and ready to harvest in no time.  Things like cauliflower and broccoli?  Sigh.

The obvious alternative would be to see if I can budget a share in a CSA. ¬†This might be the best option…particularly in a transitional period where I will most likely need another year to get the garden itself ready for proper planting, and when our hectic lives are better suited to some crops than others, a CSA would provide a better range of produce. ¬†I am checking it out now and will let ya’ll know how it goes.

 

 

MARCHing toward spring

And as we begin a new month, and look hopefully toward a new season, things here get more and more complicated.  Life is never dull.

Everything is in bloom now, it seems. ¬†Azaleas in reds, pinks, corals, fuchsia, and white blaze across lawns. ¬†Camellias are still in bloom and jasmine scents the air. ¬†The dogwoods are in bloom, my pear tree’s abundance of tiny white flowers offers the promise of a bumper crop of fruit again this year. ¬†The wisteria trail along fences, and wind through trees and shrubbery borders, spring bulbs have begun to open, and everywhere there is new green.

Beautiful yellow Sulphur butterflies were among the first arrivals and flit about the garden en mass now, along with small white butterflies and the first monarchs.

Lateral view of adult male cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus), nectaring at smallfruit beggarticks, Bidens mitis.

Bumblebees are out on the warmer days, and I have seen some very small bees I haven’t identified yet that look like honeybees but perhaps half the size. ¬†Anyone know what these new arrivals might be?

I have begun to see in my writing how my passion for nature colors settings: description of waves crashing against the shore, the scent of a salt marsh, details of plants and forests and landscapes…and beyond that, the way these environments influence the people and the story itself. It seems a very ‘natural’ thing to me for that connection to be present on the page just as it is present in our lives.

Then I look around and find that same connection in my pottery.  I love to create pottery. The feel of the clay,  opening to reveal the shape within.  Pots with flowers dancing down their curves,  imprints of seashells or coral, playing with natural firing techniques, finding a glaze that is exactly the right color to make a piece sing a song of the ocean, or forest, or a lovely spring day like today.

That flower child who became an earth mother seems to be finding that connection in all the things I choose to fill my life.  That is a blessing beyond measure.