Monday, July 31, 2017

Resentment is Suicide - Monday, July 31, 2017

The line - "Resentment is Suicide" comes from "LaRose" by Louise Erdrich - and probably from elsewhere also. Nevertheless, truth.

Picked up "Homer" (my Honda Odyssey; get it?) from Wayne, Jamie, and Brian today with new brakes. I'm getting to be a regular there. They are becoming my favorite car people - ever.

I know, I know, Van Gogh and Bryant Tillman did great versions; nature also has her say - - - annually. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

I don't plant sunflower seeds; the birds always scatter a few seeds while feeding in the winter and voila! Scattered serendipitous sunflower surprises spring up around the yard.

Aunt Jean taught me butter and eggs (Linaria vulgaris), one of my first wildflowers, a perennial wild snapdragon  relative and look-alike. This clump was captured on camera on Lakeshore Road near Forester, Michigan. Tracy found one in distant Bloomfield Hills. Plants link us.

This "wild" clematis, Clematis virginiana, is growing on my cyclone fences moderating their harsh exclusiveness. My original plant came from an apple orchard north of Oxford decades ago and has followed me everywhere since. I brought a few plants here when I moved only to find some already growing near my bluff overlooking Lake Huron.  All of my plants are males meaning they don't produce seeds, only flowers. I think I'm grateful. They do rampantly thrive where planted; branches that touch the ground root easily, too easily. Other years the birds have picked and eaten the stamens from the male flowers. I let them. This year they have left them alone which makes the show last longer for which I'm happy.

Two "wildflowers" - Clematis virginiana and Silphium perfoliatum. They look nice together, eh? I love my huge perennial "sunflower. The flowers are not as large but they are more plentiful and are as equally loved as the annual true sunflower.

While I porch-read, my porch-geraniums are frequently visited by vigorously wing-humming hummingbirds interrupting my reading - thankfully. There's always time later for finishing that book.

One of my favorite onions with poppy seed heads.

I tried delphiniums years ago. They needed staking and rarely lasted more than two years. In "my garden" you have to be tough. Dogs, slugs, sundry woodland creatures are allowed to wanted rather freely. I don't fuss - with gardens or most visiting animal residents. Yes, I do protect from herons and deer, but allow some occasional rabbit  browsing. This is wild tall larkspur (Delphinium exaltatum - what a fantastic name); it doesn't look it but it's about six feet tall here and vigorous.

This spring I had population explosions of winter surviving goldfish and bullfrogs. Numbers are down now thanks to garter snakes. I do sometimes resort to transplanting the larger garters to nearby fields, forests, streams, etc. I choose their new adopting homes carefully.

I have eight bluebird or tree swallow homes around my home and this year all fledged baby tree swallows. House wrens have moved in to second-nest three of the houses and one pair of bluebirds is working on what is probably their second clutch in another house. This father bluebird had just finished a pond-dip.

I sometimes struggle: are single plant photos better or are multi-plant ones more interesting. Above phlox, platycodon (baloon flower), heliopsis, tiger lily, poppy seed heads, etc.? Below mostly heliopsis.

Flower favorites? 
Black-eyed susans have to be up on everyone's list, imo.

I've never had much luck with nasturtiums - until these few plants seemed to escaped pests and are doing OK. Is eating their flowers some kind of sacrilege?  They might be salad-bound.

Facing east overlooking Lake Huron.
No. This is a sunrise. 

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