Spotting the berry bush, it occurred to me that there are a lot of holiday colorings to our year-round plantings. Here are some examples from our garden this week.
We have joined the neighborhood in adding even more red and green to our outdoor decor, [Along with the great doormat Levi-the-therapy-dog and Julie and Raul gave to Kumba!]
This weekend, our community will enjoy all the neighbors’ holiday lights when Santa and his hayride/sleigh come to visit. And we are going to see the Lights 4 Hope display at Okeeheelee Park. Footage to follow!
In the meantime, happy holidays from our red-and-green garden!
This quote from Tom Bissell’s New York Times book review resonated as I took in the passion of a stormy sea at our favorite South Florida beach recently. The waves smashed onto the beach, releasing some of that pent-up energy into the air and the rest onto the sand with such force that my bare feet tingled.
…human presence is only a thin film stretched over mystery.
Scott Russell Sanders
Yet we have polluted it
And yet, thin film though we are, humans are managing to meddle with nature with irrevocable results: sea level rise floods more and more of our coastal areas; warm ocean waters gin up hurricanes with wind and deluge that rend lives and livelihoods; wildfires burn out of control across the globe.
We are off-handed in our support of the status quo, blaming convenience as we buy what want, toss it out when we’re done, and turn a blind eye to the results. But look at the results, plastic that I collected on this very beach.
By including local municipalities, businesses, and organizations and having them show their support and involvement through our buckets and encouraging them to hold multiple cleanups throughout the year, we will be creating even more awareness and cleanup events throughout our communities to get involved in.
Let sunlight flame in a blade of grass, let night come on, let thunder roar and tornado whirl, let the earth quake, let muscles twitch, let mind curl about the least pebble or blossom or bird, and the true wildness of this place, of all places, reveals itself.
Like lots of families living through the pandemic, one mother had all the time she could take with her teenager and kicked him out. Or her. It’s hard to tell with a fledgling mockingbird.
When I first spotted the little bird, I thought it was one of the lizards that flash their orange neck fan for the girl lizards to see, or, more likely, to show off to the other male lizards while the girls just roll their eyes. A closer look revealed the orange body part to be a beak, which a very young bird nestled in the grass just outside our patio was opening and closing in silence.
Poor thing, I thought, too weak to even chirp. Remembering rescuing a baby squirrel in Albany on another spring day years ago, I found a small paper box and ventured outside to save another life.
I bent down to scoop the wee bird up, and two unexpected things happened: the fledgling chirped and hopped a bit — teenagers are such drama queens — and the mother bird dive bombed me.
This was not an abandoned or lost bird. This, the wildlife rescue volunteer told me, was an expected rite of passage. The mother boots the fledgling out of the nest but continues feeding the insatiable teen.All I had to do was back off and let the process unfold.
Do not put the bird in a container. That will scare off the mother.
Mary, the volunteer wildlife rescue coordinator
Even so I heard these words, the mother flew in with a beakful of lunch. After carefully assessing her surroundings, she hopped over to her kid and deposited the morsel in his yawning orange mouth. He immediately chirped for more.
She was back in a few minutes with the next bit. And so on all afternoon while Junior ventured a bit of jumping and flexed his new bony wings.
If the bird is there when evening comes, you can bring it indoors so it’s not killed by an owl, or a snake, or a cat. Or an alligator. But put it right back in the same place in the morning.
Mary, the volunteer wildlife rescue coordinator
The fledgling was gone when we went out to bring him in for the night. I am hoping that he was able to take wing or at least hop to safety. It’s too sad to think that, after all those hours of feeding by a devoted mother, the fledgling was taken by a predator. But, then again, there are all kinds of babies out there needing to be taken care of.
It’s just the beginning of fledgling season. Click here for Palm Beach County information on Florida wildlife.
These orchids bloom once a year. They watched us leave home in 2019 to cross the Atlantic on that fateful cruise and they bloomed again last year as I marked my one-year anniversary of surviving a near-death illness in Amsterdam. As Christians commemorate Jesus’ death on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday, I bow my head to the powers that made it possible for me to be here.
My husband brought these bunny-enhanced orchids home as a present on Palm Sunday, the 43rd anniversary of the day we went to a Spanish-speaking Mass in Jackson Heights — even then one of the world’s most diverse neighborhood — followed by an elegant lunch at White Castle. Ah, Queens!
The blooms on this white orchid, with tints of yellow and pink, look like fine linen haute couture Easter frock.