Macro Monday: About to Burst

The amaryllis plant I nurtured during the holiday season was fascinating to watch…as it evolved from bulb to greenery to buds to its eventual demise. A welcome distraction from, well, most everything. I am hoping to bring it back to life at some point and it is currently “hibernating” in what I hope is the appropriate dark cool place in our storage unit. We’ll see what happens.

This macro shot was taken January 17th: the third and final bud on the brink of blooming. A moment of foreshadowing the promise of what was to come. I know I was looking forward to it.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Brink

Watch and Wait and Water…But Not Too Much

Do you think I killed it?

No you didn’t kill it.

Are you sure? Maybe I overwatered it.

No you didn’t.

I feel so bad. It only lasted a few weeks.

You didn’t kill it. Flowers die.

Right.

But of course I know that…

My husband and I received an early Christmas gift at the end of November: a pot holding an amaryllis bulb. I think the last one we ever had was in 1980. Needless to say, the memory of it and its life span has faded.

Directions were thankfully simple – just water when the soil feels dry. Of course then I had to remember to CHECK the soil & make that determination, but in my overwhelmed mind I managed to call up enough neurons to handle the task.

I have had flowering plants before – with varying degrees of success, but never paid such close attention before.

Not to sound melodramatic…but when faced with a pot of dirt and a bulb…meh?…one can forget the potential. As in…what happens next.

No big deal, nothing special, except…it is.

As I felt myself closing in and closing up during these past 8 months, I was drawn to that pot of potential (should I call it magical? maybe so). Glanced its way when I walked through the living room. Curiosity got the better of me – as it often does.

And then nature began to do what nature does. Up close on a shelf under our picture window…safe from the cold wintery scene a glass width away.

And…because it’s what I do…I documented. Cheered it on. Rotated it in the sun. Fashioned a coat hanger as a stake. Moved it back and forth from its spot by the window to keep me company where I sat at my desk in the next room. As the sunlight moved from window to window, so did the pot. I didn’t name this Amaryllis as I did my Coleus plant in college (Calvin Coleus), but I should have. I felt an unusual affinity for Ms. A (as I will now call it/her – after all it gave forth life)….

My own Breaking Happy News.

Watch and wait. A theme for 2020. Through the loneliness of holidays in isolation. Swirling uncertainty about the direction my country was headed. The uneasy realization that I took way too much for granted for too many years.

The over-riding questions were my last thoughts before sleep and my first thoughts upon waking…Would goodness prevail? Would those in charge do the right thing?

Meanwhile goodness was happening in front of my eyes…

The unimaginable kept happening in 2020. And then again six days into 2021. This time it wasn’t stacks of bodies in refrigerated trucks or lines of cars with desperate people needing food. It wasn’t only the virus anymore. The shock of January 6th played out repeatedly on every news cycle for days.

Meanwhile goodness continued in front of my eyes…


Grandma, why do you watch the news?
Because I want to know what is happening.
But why?
Because it’s important.

What I didn’t say was that the news has been scary and upsetting, but that’s what happens sometimes and even more so now. But better to know…than not to know. Except when you’re 4 1/2.

Goodness kept happening in front of my eyes.

Eventually breaking news seemed less…broken. I’d like to think goodness prevailed – as order was restored. Maybe, just maybe, a return to kindness and empathy and hope?

The virus rages on but perhaps with a tiny vaccine light brightening our way to a return to whatever used to be “normal.”

Watch and wait.

Nature did what nature does…in front of my eyes.

From beginning to end.

No reason to be sad, but I was. I did, however, read up on how – maybe – I can somehow take care of it so it will bloom again.

Life goes on, until it doesn’t. No startling realization there. Often we have no choice in when and where and how. But remembering how so much beauty and joy can happen along the way?

That’s the choice we do have. Lately it’s been hard to recognize. Thank you Ms. A.

I’m happy to report…I got my first vaccine shot on Wednesday. There’s something to be said for being a “senior” (notice I put that in quotes) and getting to be next in line. ✔︎

~~~

I am happy to slip back into my blogging world after these weeks offline and check out what everyone has been up to. I have missed your stories (adventures! exploits!), your photographs, your poems. Here’s to a better 2021!

~~~

SoCS: Stream of Consciousness Saturday – This week’s prompt is “the beginning, the end.” Write about the beginning of something and the end of something. 

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Flower

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The theme this week:  Flower

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO FEATURING FLOWERS OF ANY KIND.

 

iris trio
Immigrant Iris

 

As anyone who lives in a condominium may know, there are rules. So many rules. As a former homeowner they have sometimes been difficult to accept.

However, I knew going into this new lifestyle what was expected. I signed the papers. By-laws. Rules and regulations. Blah blah blah.

I don’t regret the move, but sometimes I do let my mind wander to what was….

And one of those mind wandering destinations is flowers.

As anyone who reads my blog knows, I loved the flowers and flowering shrubs & trees at my former home. Where I could plant whatever I wanted. Whenever I wanted. Anyplace I wanted.

I could also shovel snow. Snow blow the driveway. Hack ice off the eaves. Rake leaves. Fertilize the lawn. Chase down wasp nests. And so on.

But I digress.

One of our new condo friends had the foresight to save a collection of iris bulbs from his former home. Where his gardens were spectacular – as he showed us in photograph after photograph.

One day in the fall of 2017, he stealthily planted several of these bulbs amongst the legal bushes around our building. They popped up the following spring.

As iris do, they spread…this past spring there were a few more.

They are…almost…an exact match to the ones I left behind.

 

 

Flower of the Day

My contribution to Cee’s Photography FOTD

I have owned a small Christmas Cactus plant for 20 years. I have watered it. And not watered it. Plant food. Lots of light. Just a little light.

My green thumb has always been a fantasy and this cactus was no exception.

Until we moved a couple of years ago. For the first time (I think, ever) it bloomed…and bloomed. We were in a rental by the beach and I wonder if it was the light? or the air? or better karma?

We have since moved again – and it has bloomed – but never like it did 2 years ago. However, I keep on hoping it will…

 

cactus
Christmas Cactus 2016

 

IMG_2984
Christmas Cactus 2016

Flower of the Day

My contribution to…Cee’s Photography FOTD

Daylight Saving Time is gone until next year.

Less sunlight means catch it when I can.
Which I did this morning.

My Bougainvillea plant (thanks to blogger AYR for helping identify it from a previous post) plays dead for weeks at a time.
Flowerless for the past month or so.
Despite sitting right next to a window.
No matter what I did.

I fed it some fertilizer a week or so ago and just let it be.

This past week, it surprised me once again by bursting into bloom. Just when I needed some color…
to filter  and bounce shadows in the morning sun.

IMG_6931

Flower of the Day

My contribution to…

https://ceenphotography.com/2018/09/11/flower-of-the-day-september-12-2018-peony/

On this dreary rainy day, it is time for a flower!

This is a closeup of a type of rose plant given to me a few years ago. Taken on a sunny day in July. My mystery flower! I’m just guessing it’s a rose.

Much to my astonishment I have kept it alive during our move to a rental and then to a condo. Hardy if nothing else. I wish I had not lost the directions on care and feeding…which also included its name. It likes lots of sun. That much I remember.

My 4 year old orphan, nameless flower:

IMG_6457

If anyone knows what it is, please let me know!