per·i·pa·tet·ic
ˌperēpəˈtedik/
adjective
  1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
    Aristotelian.
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kornblumenblau in Florida--Now I'm in Trouble!


Kornblumenblau in Florida--now I'm in trouble for sure. Wild child that I am, I decided to add some wildflower seed to one of my front flower beds. The seed mix produced mostly these bachelor's buttons or cornflowers, also known as Centaurea cyanus. Seedlings were easy to identify as they came up, set apart from the rest of my plants by their gray-blue cast and slender leaves. As you can see, Kornblumen come in a variety of colors these days. So I guess the famous German song Kornblumenblau won't carry the same weight in beer hall parlance anymore. What a shame that lines like "Cornflower blue/the sky is beautiful at Rheine/Cornflower blue/are the eyes of the women in the wine" will not apply at all if the Kornblumen are pink. In case you're wondering, the trouble I'm in stems from the fact that some experts consider Kornblumen to be a menace to society--plant society, that is. Apparently, it's an exotic imported from Europe or the Near East. I've heard it said time and again that ignorance is no excuse. "I didn't know!" should no longer be a part of the Internet generation's lexicon. We now have a wealth of information at our fingertips available around-the-clock. Propaganda propagators should not be a problem anymore, right? So, now I'm in trouble. For not considering what these lovely flowers can do once they get loose in a place like Florida. What can they do exactly? Spread like that wildfire plant Phlox divaricata? (I hope so, naughty gardener that I am.)


Kornblumen can find themselves in a vase on my table along with some hydrangea blooms, Knockout roses, and Gaura. I am dangerous in a garden; I know it now. Give me a piece of ground, and I'm likely to spread a menace like Kornblumenblau. I must be seeing things through a scrim.
"We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!"
--from The Message--

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Amounts to a Hill of Beans




When I planted a hedge of Photinia bushes two years ago, I knew what it means to be uptight. So uptight, in fact, that something inside me snapped while I wrestled 2-(felt like 5!)gallon-size potted shrubs into unyielding hardpan. No; it wasn't my sanity, although some people might consider it questionable now and then. There had been no rain for weeks early that spring, and I was harboring animosity toward someone our daughter was dating at the time. The tension I had allowed to build inside of me for several months finally met its match the day I planted those bushes. A back made weak by countless hours of sitting in the UWF library and in front of the computer to finish a degree that year began to show signs of wear and tear by degrees. And an unforgiving spirit of superiority regained a foothold in my soul. I have since discovered it takes a daily dose of garden/nature/prayer time to overcome what amounts to a hill of beans in this Casablanca-of-a-life.
video



The Fool's Prayer
The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"
The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.
He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!
"No pity, Lord, could change the heart
From red with wrong to white as wool;
The rod must heal the sin; but, Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!
" 'Tis not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
'Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.
"These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.
"The ill-timed truth we might have kept--
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say--
Who knows how grandly it had rung?
"Our faults no tenderness should ask,
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders--oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.
"Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"
The room was hushed; in silence rose
The King, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,
"Be merciful to me, a fool!"
--poem by Edward R. Sill, 1841-1887--

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May in Florida--Find-the-Spring Time!



"The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won..."
--from "Ode on Intimations of Immortality" by William Wordsworth--



May in Florida takes us miles from home to visit someone special on the Atlantic coast. We decide to try a new route, leaving the interstate highway for a more leisurely pace and a look at what the heart of Florida has to offer. Silver River State Park in Ocala would be a great place to spend a few days if we had the time. We have only a couple of hours to stop and stretch our legs. Trail signs direct us to visit the spring-fed Silver River, but strange, hairy plants sprouting from tree trunks beckon us to stop and wonder at them and other oddities along the way. I suspect that these plants are some type of bromeliad, and this excellent site I found, jacksbromeliads.com, appears to confirm that suspicion.


If I'm wrong about the bromeliad identification, I can rest easy. I know there are bloggers out there who will kindly help me. Julie and Claude really know their stuff when it comes to succulents and other plants like the bromeliads that thrive without a lot of water. Visits to their blogs and discoveries along the trail help me appreciate the beauty and hardy nature of these plants.



Daughter made cupcakes for Mother's Day 2009, using a Red Velvet cake mix. We stayed up late Saturday night getting them baked and laughing about that armadillo groom's cake in the movie Steel Magnolias. I threatened to make one for her future groom. Who doesn't love a gray cake with a red center that looks like road kill? But I'm getting ahead of myself. Back to the journey east and trail I go.



Silver River lives up to its name, flowing like a silver thread through the park, providing a cool, mineral-rich home for fish and the fowl that feed on them.




People with more time than we have to spend at the park find canoes available for a reasonable rental cost. The park ranger at the fee station suggests getting an early start if visiting on the weekend. Canoes for rent are a hot commodity on this cool river, especially during the summer months.



When we reach the river at the end of a boardwalk, we spy a small alligator making its way to our shore. It disappears behind some brush, and we hear a loud splash. I hope it's not one of those lovely birds we see diving for fish. A sudden noise behind me makes my heart skip a beat or two. An elderly gentleman laughs when I sheepishly admit that I thought he was an alligator sneaking up on us. He takes his place along the boardwalk with a much nicer camera than I have. I pray he gets a chance to enjoy and capture whatever we will miss as the light softens and the day comes to an end. We leave him alone and retrace our steps along the trail back to the car.



The lady we have come so far to see celebrates a long life, 92 years in 2009. A sister-in-law graciously provides a cake (not an armadillo, thank goodness!) for all of us present to share, and we think about the ones who are absent and missed.
"...Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears."

--from Wordsworth's poem as above--