29 August 2010

a beauty-- a thing called butterfly weed.

some endeavors are so embarrassingly expressive of the unkempt that i leave the camera in the house while i'm outside. that speaks the case for my flowerbeds overgrown with weeds half as tall as me by my brick (public-side) sidewalk. it also includes a non-picky plethora along my inner flowerbed and garden in the yard behind the fence. i've let my landscapes run away from me far too long, so no vision-scoops for the before and after because how badly i let it go is just that embarrassing. 

but instead, something positive out of an hour and a half's work, four trash cans full of weeds and prunings later-- a captivatingly thriving specimen in my garden. this is a new one for me, but an old perennial, i've been told. butterfly weed. it may be making a comeback in recent years.

several months ago, i saw a photo of it noted in the reading eagle newspaper as a butterfly bush. i kept thinking, if only you'd hire me, that error would not be uglying up your page ! oh well. some will know the difference, and i guess plenty won't ever notice the mistake unless they learn otherwise.

some puffs of mint's flowers span around the butterfly weed. the little dabbles of orange clusters are just so pulling heart-wise as one plant after another loses its luster toward the dwindling down of the season.

17 August 2010

the silent speech of sunflowers.

i think it's crucial to see that there are inspirations and reminders at so many corners, along so many strips of road. eyes have more purposes than we'll sometimes realize in the bustle of our days, with stressors knotted around us.

yesterday, i vision-gulped some sunflowers in a yard along swamp pike on my way home from work. this stitched a line into my head, and i wanted to run with it. i knew a house down the block had a nice patch of sunflowers along its fence, so before work this morning, i threw my stuff in the car and ran toward the golden yellow calling out in magnets.

lemon of stalk-struck sparks

you toss heat across where 
fingertips have tapped lightly-- as the oven 
you are, with your face a pie of seeds.

 bees comb out your freckles 
with their kneeless limbs

 where legs and necks blur, trailing 
skyward, a sunflower.


hasta la vista meets hosta la vista.

yes-- hasta la vista meets hosta la vista. 

i always wanted to make shirts for my brothers that said ''hosta la vista'' with a few samplings of the plant across the fabric of the front. it's on the life to-do-list, i suppose.

i have a whole potting area setup going on in the shade now at work outside of the barn. usually, we have a makeshift potting area out back behind the barn. but it's in such blazing sun, and that area has been cleared for a new purpose.

so with a much-appreciated umbrella from matt's house, i've been making new plant babies out of cut roots of hosta from his yard. he claimed there were 100 to separate. most are frances williams hosta, a cultivar with wide, gorgeous leaves.

since it will take a while for these to sprout back, here is a scene of frances williams hosta from the past.

hosta multiply quite well over time, which means in a sense, free plant children. they're great for bartering but need shade and in fact love shade. in too much sun, they crisp out badly. so do i-- we have all this in common, as it turns out.

16 August 2010

a better framed cosmos.

several weeks ago, i said i'd snag a photograph of my neighbors' more boastful orange cosmos compared to my modest plant of about three blooms. when i saw theirs in a pot on their porch, i knew it had a much more beautifully set background than my little sprig, so it was well worth some minutes dedicated to the lens.

they grew the cosmos from seed early this spring. i love the orange plops and frills of green juxtaposed with the beige stucco and the grey mint of the window shutters, plastic chair, and floorboards.

12 August 2010

so bardic.

tuesday night, i met the poet laureate of berks county, heather thomas. she teaches in the english department of kutztown university of pennsylvania and has been with the institution since the late 1980s.

our conversation inspired me to look up some works by my poetry professor who is the fellow of all things bardic at clarion university of pennsylvania, philip terman. thomas thought she might have met him before, despite the five hours and change time difference between the two colleges. 

 ( the proverbial bard himself ! )

i then found an uncanny instance of the two of them being written about back to back on the website for the stillwater poetry festival, along with several comparable poets, but i only recognized two others out of the batch.

in searching for poems by terman, i found a swaying example titled "one continuing blossom," published by the cortland review, and its smoothly cut lines of course pulled me in for reasons you can understand immediately once you eye-peruse it for yourself.

garden-speak, anyone ?

coincidentally enough, i met another writer last night, named heather goodman.  these experiences, i'm realizing, of meeting impassioned writers (perhaps impassioned is implied with the term ?), are what i needed under my ribs, and thankfully, beyond. 

some people have mad addictions to cigarettes, or maybe cake. i have either cake or poetry. and sometimes, i have both--and i go ahead, eating the cake too.  it's usually chocolate, i'll admit. how typical, i know ! but sometimes you just need words along with fluffy food at the end of your fork.

clashing energies, for the better, with the people whose minds your own can knit up with so well is just another reminder of the need for time spent invested, with love, in language.

09 August 2010

i gawk at good eats and great agricultural gems along rural routes.

i am always ready to smack myself upside the head when i discover a swoon-worthy local treature and wonder how i never trailed my way there before. this stood as the case for my first visit to fisher's fresh farm produce in a good stretch of town known as oley, pennsylvania.
two summers ago, i wrote a story about felicia fisher, whose family owns the produce farm. she whips up recipes of pie after pie daily with the black buggy baking company, which she stirred into existence after leaving a job practicing commercial litigation on park avenue in new york city. simply put, she revealed that her heart pulled her more toward baking by then than the legal end of her career minutes could.

fisher is infamous for her $1.00 over-sized cookies, obviously a winner by the delight-filled eyes and tight grip of my niece, lillee grace, in a scene above. i purchased a peach crumble pie for myself and after the first bite stepped back in awe at my kitchen counter, wondering what the subtle yet obvious difference was in its taste compared to others i've had elsewhere. knowing fisher prides her each and every pie on using the freshest and most locally grabbed ingredients, the light yet perfectly measured sweet lure of it probably had something to do with that--blended with her natural talent of juxtaposing mixing bowls, ovens, and all the obvious in-betweens.

lillee grace and i picked out a blueberry crumble pie for her family, with some ears of sweet corn only chosen by her small hands. on the car ride home, she chanted and growled OPEN THE PIE from the backseat, well into the house once our venture ended. 

but the farm stand itself beckoned all things delightful via vines and more fruitful wood. for the millionth time in my life, i felt so grateful to have my trusty camera snuggled into my bag in the car.

i also purchased some monumentally sized peaches along with sugar plums. having them  each in my kitchen was such an unlikely charm. bursting with ripe flavors of summer straight from friendly fruit trees, i boasted wildly about the sugar plums to anyone who would listen. i don't think i'd ever had a sugar plum before this. it was so difficult not to eat more than 5 or 10 at once ! i gifted some to my neighbors and my brother's family because such bites of persuasion of the good in life should be shared, never kept to just yourself, i figure.  

foodie blogger extrordinaire, amy strauss, swelled well to my persuasion and stopped at the farmstand herself to test out the sugar plums. she then learned why i just couldn't shut up about the ploppable fruit, all the better of course once you spit out the pits and just get your nom on.

06 August 2010

lillee grace meets the newer sheron faye.

tuesday afternoon, i borrowed one of my lily-lady nieces, the ever-vivacious lillee grace, and carted her to the stretches of green pasture after pasture known as wholesome dairy farms. i've brought the farm up by name and photo-wise in quite a few recent posts.

the sentimental go-getting involved is that my young nieces never met my mother, their grandmother, before she passed away. last year, farmer mark lopez kindly named a cow after my mom in gratitude of a story i had written about his dairy for local newspapers. so i was thrilled at the opportunity to introduce one little lady at a time to the new ayrshire version of sheron faye.

before hitting the road, two-year-old lillee grace excitedly gabbed about how she was going to see some cows. i taught her how to say "dairy farm" on the way to the yellow house treasure.

lopez guided us to find the young stock who were tucked away at the treeline in the shade. but they eventually moved out into the open sun, and we followed them up through the pastures.

when they sped up and into a nearby stream, lillee grace purred in her sweet tone, come back here, cows !

she picked little sprigs of grass to feed them, and they hungrily gnawed away at tufts of green all around them. they were slightly hesitant to chew from her tiny hand, but a few of them did nibble in her direction.

along with sheron faye, lillee grace made friends with roxy and even remembered her by name once the cows had scattered and moved around a bit. i knew she'd love a venture to see cows. weeks ago, i took her to see some goats, and she maaahhhed her heart out at them.

she threw in a few moos on this occasion.

next, i plan to take my other lily-lady niece, lilly jay, to meet the beautifully patterned sheron faye. with both girls being two-years-old, i can only manage handling one per farm visit !