Our second day at the Shelburne Museum was blessed with sunshine, warm temperatures and…flowers…everywhere I looked.
Camera in hand, I staked out butterflies at the Owl Cottage Garden with its glorious path of zinnias.
I sat on the steps and waited…
Another visitor with a macro lens had just had success, so I kept the faith. Tiptoeing next to collections of oranges, reds, yellows, purples….I spotted it.
The lone butterfly I hoped to capture (in a photo that is) appeared.
I assumed it was a real butterfly. It wasn’t as colorful as the ones I had seen the day before. But it cooperated…and gave me time to focus…
I am not sure what kind of flowers these are, but I was attracted by the massive butterfly presence. We are spending a few days in Vermont at the amazing Shelburne Museum. The grounds at this museum are full of gorgeous flower gardens. Yesterday the butterflies were everywhere.
I finally was at the right place at the right time. Camera focused.
This could also qualify as the “Butterfly of the Day” if there was such a challenge.
Towards the end of February and the beginning of March, I always looked for signs of crocuses in our front yard. A first sign of Spring. After tramping through the soggy grass, I’d discover them poking up out of the ground despite the cold weather or lingering patches of snow. It wasn’t long before they were in full bloom.
A family of crocuses appeared every March right next to the maple tree. A hardy little bunch, they managed to muscle their way through massive amounts of roots, thatch, rock hard soil and mulch. Year after year.
No gardening effort required on my part.
I liked that.
It is cold…
And rainy (yes rainy).
Snow covered ground outside my window.
Clouds. Gray sky.
A black and white day.
Recipe for gloom.
Except for my…
The miracle plant. Back from the dead.
The phoenix rising.
My first – and only – Christmas cactus.
I brought her (I’ve decided she is female) home 20 years ago. A Christmas gift from a patient who faithfully arrived weekly for weight checks and diet advice. My former job in my former life.
Ms. Cactus hid her true glory for years. Alternately near death…yellowed leaves withering and dropping off onto the living room floor. To be sucked up by the vacuum cleaner. Or mashed in the carpet by a teenager clomping across the room.
Even though nutrition was the centerpiece of my professional career, I often overlooked…plant food…on a regular basis. Perhaps because I was otherwise occupied with a job, kids, house and such. Feeding the family…remembered that.
For years she just sat there getting dusty – sprouting no buds – no matter what I did. Houseplant books never agreed. The internet couldn’t decide either. I pruned. I overwatered. A branch broke off. I under watered. Changed locations: bookshelf…garden window…coffee table…side table…. No luck. No color.
Maybe because it’s a cactus…which would imply it is meant to somehow grow and thrive in the desert…explains why it hung on.
And then we moved.
My cactus flowered somewhat at our beach rental 2 years ago, crammed in the corner of the tiny living room.
And then nothing.
Last year, a few blooms randomly appeared.
Now…right in the middle of January…when I needed it most…Ms. Cactus exploded in color. And has rightfully earned a place of honor on the kitchen table (when not posing for pictures).
One happy plant. Looking pretty good for the old age of twenty.
Downsizing to this condo apparently was just what she needed.