Sunday, July 25, 2021


They are everywhere in midsummer, sturdy, almost weedy flowers with the delicately draping skirts and bristly centers. They have been cultivated in other colors but these are what you see most often. Those glowing centers are enchanting in the backlit "golden hour" of the morning or late afternoon but honestly, I have a hard time embracing the clash of magenta petals paired with rusty-orange centers. Yes, those same colors appear together in dramatic sunsets and striated canyon walls in the West. So I will trust that Mother Nature knows what she is doing and learn to love the common coneflower.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Chintzware On the Shelf

 On summer evenings, before the sun sets, long shafts of light move across the shelf. A warm glow illuminates the roses and forget me nots on the cups and saucers. Past generations of brides set their tables with these flowery ceramics. Who were those women? Did they set them out for special luncheons, accompanied by birthday cake or rounds of bridge? Or did their first owners optimistically use them every day, until children and years of hand washing led to chipped plates and broken-off handles? My shelf holds a collection of survivors. They may be mismatched, but they are ready for tea. Or birthday cake.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Whose Shoes?

Look closely and you will see them: A pair of silver metallic pumps. Someone threw them over the chain link fence bordering a narrow walkway between two buildings. They are now trapped by the sturdy vines that have grown around them. A spider has woven a veil across the heel. You could write an entire collection of short stories aout those shoes, the how and why of their current fate. Does their owner walk past? I should say "their previous owner." They now belong to the vines and the spider and the weather.

Sunday, July 4, 2021


 Given the choice, I will choose a blue flower. Hydrangeas make me happy. They are big and grandmotherly, happy to screen the foundation of a house or peek through a fence, just like these beauties here. Years ago, we moved into a house blessed with a couple of hydrangeas in the back yard---pink hydrangeas. I spent two years watering them with an acidic fertilizer, coaxing them to change from pink to blue. In transition, the shrubs were gorgeous, a fantasy of pink, violet and blue blossoms living in analagous harmony. But if I must choose just one shade for my hydrangeas, it will be blue.