Tag Archives: catalpa

The sun and a spider mite.

The sun up above does feel like the ball of fire it is, today when the thermometer stands at 100 degrees. Summer caught up with itself and arrived with stored up (solar) energy!

It was too late to take a walk, on a day like this, but I did it. Maybe it was the heat that made the phrase “ball of fire” come to my mind as I watched a spider mite racing around on a blackberry flower, never stopping. What can a mite accomplish if it never pauses? It’s the little smudge appearing in a different spot in each of the shots below.

I also looked at the bees and flowers. I saw a syrphid fly and had to learn all over again when I got home that it was not a bee. In the process I learned that in the United States alone there are 4,000 species of bees. Here is another insect I don’t know… Is it a wasp or a fly? At least, I know it’s not a bee.

I also can’t remember what this shrub is that all three insects are posing on. [So fast! My first commenter reminded me that it is cotoneaster.] Maybe I never have known. But I didn’t really want to spend today doing insect or plant identification. I need to wash the dishes and strip the bathroom floor! So if any of you know about my insect or shrub perhaps you can tell me.

syrphid fly

Most of the salsify have scattered their seeds, but some flowers are still opening.

Mustard plants eight feet tall are growing out of the drying-up creek, along with lots of thistles. What is that orange spot that catches the eye…? Not a piece of trash, surprisingly, but California poppies! I’ve never seen them down there before.

All of this life, in many colors, pushing forth. I wondered… if I focus my camera on one small part of the very ugliest thistle, might I see something pretty? I did:

Last night at church we had a thanksgiving service for a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. When the husband retired from being a professor and a full-time Orthodox priest in Michigan, they moved from Michigan to California to be near their children. The wife said it was as though she had died and gone to heaven. 🙂 Since then they have been part-time participants in three parishes, and from all three of them people came to congratulate and rejoice with them.

I had been to only one other Moleben of Thanksgiving ever before, which was prayed for my husband and me in thanks and praise for God’s faithfulness during our 40 years of marriage. That was already seven years ago! This service was a joy – I was so happy to be part of it and to pray with them.

I had mixed up the time and arrived an hour early, which was kind of nice because I got to chat with the husband and his son a bit. The son was getting the barbecue ready for the party that would happen after the service. We were enjoying the shade of this beautiful catalpa tree whose flowers smelled like the fancy dessert was baking in the oven nearby. But this picture shows what my daughter told me about iPhone cameras, that they distort the sides of the image. Do you see how the buildings on the sides are both leaning in? Okay, now go back and enjoy the tree.

Before I go to my housework, I will have a tall glass of water, and before that, I’ll give you a little lotus weed in warm summery tones. I’ll meet you back here on a slightly cooler day.

Recipe with bees and thyme.

One recipe for a Satisfying Day just fell together starting as soon as I woke up yesterday.
It included:

*Waking up early enough to take a walk before church.

*Picking pineapple guava petals from a hedge down the block
and sharing them with a neighbor who was also out walking.
My cousin Anne told me that you can eat them,
and they truly are as sweet as candy.

*Not putting off drudgery such as stretches and floor exercises.

*Managing to stand through most of church (this was easier after having walked, etc.)
and receiving Holy Communion, on the Sunday of All Saints of America.

*Wowing over the catalpa tree at church. Each flower is like an orchid…

*Shopping for garden twine at the nursery across the road from church
and finding seeds as well 🙂


*Talking to my dear cousin Renée  on the phone
while sitting in the garden with the sun on my back.

*Taking pictures of bees on the thyme while talking.

*Sorting through pictures of bees I took before and finding some good ones.

bee on echium
bee on privet

*Eating vegetables.

*Taking more pictures of bees on the echium.

*Sorting through more pictures.

“Friendliest Weed” in my garden is blooming prettily.

*Taking an evening walk beside the creek and studying the mystery grass again.

*Identifying a plant in the creek: It’s buckeye! I know buckeye, but only as a tree; I wasn’t used to seeing leggier growth in the creek. This picture shows some of the lighter green leaves of buckeye in the creek, a mature tree above, and even some mystery grass in the middle. I don’t think it’s Timothy grass, which one of my commenters suggested, but it looks more like Timothy than anything else so far:


*Going to bed too soon to finish this post last night,
but early enough to contribute to a new recipe for yet another Good Day!

 

We have a gardening work day.

To my surprise, I was able to take part in the work day at church. For twoIMG_2235 days previous I’d been getting enough soul-calming Down Time that I could feel relaxed about leaving all the work at home undone, and head over to the church garden to get my hands in the dirt there. Some of you will remember how I used to do that several times a week before my late husband retired.

The last time I did anything like this was over two years ago, when Mr. Glad and I together helped prune roses for a few hours. The beautiful rose bushes are still there, but the late rains encouraged a lot of rust on the leaves, so one of my jobs today was to remove all those leaves affected.

IMG_2220Two of the roses that I have tended so many times in the past have to be removed — their old canes are non-productive and the new canes are too small, or only suckers. That’s sad…but it’s happened to my lovely Pristine rose at home, too, and I’m taking it out.

This lovely pink climber I was only cutting back so it will be easier for the men to remove later today. Our priest’s wife supervises the garden currently and does much of the work; she will buy a new climber and we’ll try to get it to climb up the pillar better than we managed with this one.IMG_2236 catalpa

Rain is threatening again today, and the sky was cloudy, which put the flowers in such a good light that I had to take their pictures when I stood up to straighten my back. The rose mallow is in its prime.

[For those who wonder what tree that is looming above the library, I’m adding a photo below of its leaves and flowers up close. It’s a catalpa.]

catalpa close ss

After Kit got all set up to transplant a lamb’s ear plant, she had to leave, so I dug the hole and tucked it in. I’ve never given so much care to planting lamb’s ears  before — on my own property I am always pulling them out, they are such enthusiastic growers. But this soil was pretty hard….

IMG_2224

Three hours went by pretty fast. I had to quit pulling weeds while I was still having fun, in order to preserve my back. But I’m encouraged to hope that if the next work days come when I’m not traveling, I’ll be able to spend some fruitful time in these beloved gardens again.

IMG_2246