Endless Summer Lovin’

Backyard, Summer

Backyard, Summer

Backyard:  Clematis "Niobe"

Backyard: Clematis “Niobe”

"Polka," one of self's oldest roses. It blooms only once a year, early spring.

“Polka,” one of self’s oldest roses. It blooms only once a year, early spring.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Still More Summer Lovin’

Plants blooming now in self’s garden:

Amaryllis belladonna, otherwise known as "Naked Lady" for its complete absence of foliage. These usually only get going in August.

Amaryllis belladonna, otherwise known as “Naked Lady” for its complete absence of foliage. These usually only get going in August.

Paid $10 for this wee plum tree from Whole Foods.  I didn't expect it to bear fruit so soon.

Paid $10 for this wee plum tree from Whole Foods. I didn’t expect it to bear fruit so soon.

The white lilies popped up unexpectedly a few days ago:  Self forgot she even planted them.

The white lilies popped up unexpectedly a few days ago: Self forgot she even planted them.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“The Hydrangea”

Self loves gardens.  Ergo, she loves reading about gardens.

And when she isn’t reading a gardening magazine, she’s reading literary journals.

Today self is reading a back issue of the New Orleans Review.  They published a piece of hers, “Thing.”  Which was science fiction.  It was the start of her new experiments in genre.  Thank you, New Orleans Review.

And here is a flower poem by L. S. Klatt.  It’s called “The Hydrangea.”

In a hospital bed, the hydrangea
lies sedated. A gown covers it,
stem to neck, but neglect sunburned ankles
that seem to have walked a mile through dune grass.
And what a day that must have been, the head
of the flower, in a bathing cap, out
searching for wavy blue. June, the blooming
season, hothouse of panicles & Starstreaks.
Then August, rainwater dripping through a
French horn of tubes; the hydrangea
dishevels on a pillow, wilted giant.

Oh dear! The poor hydrangea! Well, hopefully the hydrangea in the poem will recover soon.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Twist: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is TWIST.

Which is a deliciously challenging theme, obvio.u.s.ly !

The first one is a different kind of twist:  a serendipitous discovery in Culver City, California.

The next two are of actual twists: one in a piece of art, another found in nature.

Tara's Himalayan Restaurant, Culver City. Thanks much to Jennie and Andrew for taking her here! It was her first taste of Himalayan cuisine: funny she should find it in southern California, of all places!

Tara’s Himalayan Restaurant, Culver City. Thanks much to Jennie and Andrew for taking her here! It was her first taste of Himalayan cuisine: funny she should find it in southern California, of all places!

Tapestry by Filipino artist Ugu Bigyan. Self brought it home from the Philippines over 20 years ago. U.S. Customs asked her what it was, she answered "A hammock." They let it go.

Tapestry by Filipino artist Ugu Bigyan. Self brought it home from the Philippines over 20 years ago. U.S. Customs asked her what it was, she answered “A hammock.” They let it go.

This is what's left after the clematis petals have fallen off. SO beautiful.

This is what’s left after the clematis petals have fallen off. SO beautiful.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

Spring 5: Roses and Other Blooming Things

It’s Friday morning, raining again.  “Ireland’s a bog,” someone told her yesterday.

Two years ago, when she was preparing to do an artists residency at Hawthornden, someone told her, “Scotland is rainy and wet.”  No one said the slightest thing to her about Ireland.  And guess what.  It’s even colder and wetter in Ireland than it is in Scotland!

Self has been dutifully posting pictures of flowers for the current WordPress Photo Challenge, SPRING.

She’s also been browsing other WordPress blogs and the flower pictures have been simply breathtaking.

This is self’s very own floribunda, a Fourth of July:

Fourth of July, the 2nd Rose that self ever bought, over 10 years ago.

Fourth of July, the 2nd Rose that self ever bought, over 10 years ago.

Because of all the rain, the Irish countryside is lush and lovely.

Gingko Tree, by the Main House at the Tyrone Guthrie Center, Annamakherrig

Tree, by the Main House at the Tyrone Guthrie Center, Annamakherrig:  Is this a Horse Chestnut?

Near the farmyard at the Centre

Near the Farmyard at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre

Is it or is it not coincidence that this morning, self is reading John Millington Synge?

Mary:  (Lying back sleepily)  Don’t mind him, Sarah Casey.  Sit down now, and I’ll be telling you a story would be fit to tell a woman the like of you in the springtime of the year.

–  from “The Tinker’s Wedding”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

An Excerpt from THE HISTORY AND TOPOGRAPHY OF IRELAND

Woods, Annaghmakerrig, Spring

Woods, Annaghmakerrig, Spring

Written by Gerald of Wales (12th century), translated by John O’Meara:

Shortly before the coming of the English into the island a cow from a man’s intercourse with her —  a particular vice of that people — gave birth to a man-calf in the mountains around Glendalough.  From this you may believe that once again a man that was half an ox, and an ox that was half a man was produced. It spent nearly a year with the other calves following its mother and feeding on her milk, and then, because it had more of the man than the beast, was transferred to the society of men.

Spring 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Irises, Venice, April 2013

Irises, Venice, April 2013

Sidewalk Café, Venice, April 2013

Sidewalk Café, Venice, April 2013

Feast of St. Mark's, Venice, April 2013

Feast of St. Mark’s, Venice, April 2013

Spring 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Dubliners are amazingly kind.  The taxi drivers refuse a too-large tip.  When has this ever happened to self?  They actually hand her back her change, and when she explains it’s all right, she really meant to tip that much, they say:  No.

The people at the tram stop (next to the Black Horse Saloon — bwah ha haaa!) worry about self getting lost, so they pass her along.  The first person self spoke to this morning (other than the person who tidied up the dining room after breakfast) was a woman jogging by with a frisky German Shepherd.  She didn’t know for sure how to direct self to where self needed to go, so she handed self over to a young man pushing a toddler in a stroller.  Bless his heart:  the young man, whose name was Bruno, got on the tram, went off at self’s stop, and actually walked with her all the way to Bewley’s on Grafton Street.  In the meantime, his curly-headed child kept staring at self, thoroughly bemused/confused.  Self wanted to buy something for the man and his child, but he waved her off and walked casually on.

Here’s a picture that hints at the week’s WordPress Photo Challenge:  spring.

Spring as motion, or jumping, as this sculpture of a little girl depicts.  She took the photo last April. She and Margarita D were in Venice, and self decided to make the day trip to Vicenza because she had read somewhere that Vicenza was the birthplace of Antonio de Pigafetta, the man who chronicled Magellan’s journey and who self used as the narrator of her short story, Magellan’s Mirror (published in J Journal)

Vicenza, April 2013

Vicenza, April 2013

Here’s a more conventional take on SPRING.  As in:  spring flowers.

Abutilon and Irises, Self's Side Yard

Abutilon and Irises, Self’s Side Yard

Miniature Rose, Front Porch

Miniature Rose, Front Porch

These flower pictures are from last year.  But they are the same flowers that were in full and glorious bloom, just before she left last week.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Spring! WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Apologizing in advance for this post, because self used pictures from last year.

She’s in Dublin, which is rather gloomy, and what with the hectic arrival, she still hasn’t had the chance to snap a single picture here.

Poppies!  These were in front of the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, last month.

Poppies! These were in front of the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, last month.

Hydrangea "Nikko" Blue, grows in a pot in self's backyard.

Hydrangea “Nikko” Blue, grows in a pot in self’s backyard.

Mums.  Self planted them from a florists' bouquet that someone gave her a long time ago.

Mums. Self planted them from a florists’ bouquet that someone gave her a long time ago.

Inside 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self had no idea that this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge — INSIDE — would turn out to be so much fun to interpret.  Here it’s only Sunday, two days after the theme was posted, and this is already self’s fourth post on the subject.

A long time ago, self bought this wooden painted angel from Roger Reynolds Nursery in Menlo Park (which has now gone out of business). Why she decided to frame it with something she pulled from the garage is a mystery.

In the Backyard, an Angel

In the Backyard, an Angel

Here’s something from Dear Departed Dad’s home island, Negros, in the central Philippines:  the old Gaston House in the town of Manapla has a stone fountain set in the middle of a circular driveway leading up to the main house:

The Gaston House, Manapla, Negros Occidental, Philippines

The Gaston House, Manapla, Negros Occidental, Philippines

And, can you believe it dear blog readers? — after an hour of most painstaking sifting, self found a picture that is quite literally of something INSIDE something else:  in this case, it’s a live lizard inside a glass case in the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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