Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Around the House

After a week of preparing for and keeping a vigil during the hurricane,
and for some of us, cleaning up or contemplating the rebuilding after the mess,
I think it is safe to say everyone here in this part of the world
 is suffering from acute storm fatigue.
So today, I'll recount a little trip I took around my house late last week, 
before the rains set in. 

Recently, I mentioned my pineapple sage 
and my prediction that it wouldn't bloom in its current shaded location.
But when I came out my door recently, there it was:

Rather than the entire plant turning fire red with blooms,
only two red flower stalks emerged this year. 
Sometimes that kind of scarcity makes what blooms are there more precious.

One of the main reasons the pineapple sage is encumbered 
is its proximity to the two legacy redbuds,
here turning a lovely golden yellow:

Autumn leaves are always the main draw, what people drive for miles to see,
but sometimes I like the fallen leaves better.
The redbud's scattered leaves lay around its slender trunk
and form their own special pattern.
In this photo, I can see the faintest shape of a star around the tree:

I realize I've shown hydrangea blossoms in the recent past, 
but I can never get enough of them. 
Perhaps it is because they present a paradox:
the hydrangea's tiny blossoms, when alone, are nice but have little impact.
Clustered together, they form a huge, round colorful and fluffy flower head
whose grace and form capture our attention.
Here is one taking on that light green color I am completely enamored with:

Flowering kale could be the hydrangea's distant cousin, 
given its propensity for forming miles of ruffled leaves,
each encircling the other.
Oh, to be a bug tucked into the safety of those leaves:

Although flowering kale is beautiful, I don't have any planted here.
I took this photo when I was at the garden center.
I opted for pansies instead.

I had wanted to include the drape of bright red Virginia creeper
that I see through the window every time I enter my living room.
But each photograph I take fails to capture the experience of its intensity.
So, imagine a large picture window, 
one that brings daylight into a perpetually shaded room.
And in the center of that window, against a backdrop of green,
see the most vivid shock of a leafy red vine spreading across,
its tendrils gently bobbing in the autumn breeze.
Sometimes the view from inside the house is better than the one around it.

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