I live where weather extremes prevail. Yesterday it was nearly 70, today 60, and in a few days it will drop to 9, yes, 9, with a windchill way below zero. In the meantime, I dream of spring flowers, renewal, transformation. I scrolled through old flower photos and decided to share a few. Drink a glass of wine, dream spring dreams, dance.
For several weeks I noticed big bright white blossoms on tall stalks as I looked across the canyon in the evenings just before dusk. While it was still hot even at 8 during this latest heat wave, I hiked across the canyon for a look, taking various photos as I strolled along.
When it rains, water drains into this arroyo and crashes over the cliff near my bedroom.
Never bulldozed or cleared, this land allows ancient junipers to continue to thrive.
No water dropping off the cliff on these hot, dry days.
The flowers I could see from my house across the canyon. My wildflower book tells me these are a type of Stickleaf. To take a photo of the other flower, I had to climb up an incline covered with gypsum.
My dog, Athena, and I continued our hike along the canyon edge.
It was beginning to get dark as we headed back to the house.
I can also see this bush from across the canyon. I see no others like it and do not know what it is.
Headed back home along the canyon’s rocky edge.
I look at the weather station.
watch hot wind bend juniper, mesquite.
Off and on clicks electricity, then off.
15 minutes, 20 minutes, 25,30,35.
Slowly, interior temperature rises.
I find the coolest place, read, worry
about refrigerated food.
40 minutes, 45.
Switch flips, ceiling fans whir.
I think: how could anyone live
in this heat without air conditioning.
One happy plant resides outside,
from somewhere in East Africa.
Azure sky beckons
Usually, my son sends me flowers for Mother’s Day even though he lives far away. He sometimes sends his sister in Amarillo flowers as well. Since none of us are participating in the flower rituals this year due to quarantining, I offer all of you mothers out there photos of my iris this year.
Happy Mother’s Day. Stay safe, be thankful, take a walk. Enjoy!
Nature ignores the stresses humans suffer these days, renews, brings beauty, joy. Luckily, I live in the country, can work online, and take walks to escape and renew. Recently, after feeding the horses in the morning, I took a walk and captured photos of all the wild flowers in bloom and some photos of the canyon where I live. Relax, observe, breathe deep, enjoy.
See if you can find the bee.
In the midst of being home for about a month now, it is spring most of the time. Saturday was 80 something. Now it is snowing. When it was 80 plus, I walked around outside and took photos of some of the wild flowers and the orchids blooming in the window above my kitchen sink.
I had planned to post several days ago, but I am so busy teaching English and Spanish online, I hardly have time to do much else. I did mow for several hours Saturday morning, did some gardening, cleaned horse runs, let them out to run. My students are studying the works of John Steinbeck, reading Animal Farm, The Odyssey, and Oedipus Rex–I teach four different levels of English. Designing lessons they can do online with little assistance takes forethought and planning. I thought I would hate it, but there are some things I really like and when we go back to class, I probably will continue. In the meantime, I will read, think, garden, care for my horses, hike my canyon, teach, write, and dream. Take care. Be safe.
Internet and modern technology make quarantining easier. Today is my birthday and for the first time in my life I am alone on this day. It could have been a lonely, sad day I suppose but it has been good; modern technology has enabled me to FaceTime with my college roommate and her husband in California, to exchange messages with three of my former exchange students scattered across the world, France, Italy, Thailand, receive birthday wishes on Facebook from around 80 people I know from everywhere, and message family and friends. Some of them and I have exchanged little conversations, catching up on who is doing what where.
This morning I almost finished all the work I need for Google Classroom this week. This afternoon I have spent a sizable chunk of time outside watering, fertilizing bushes, chopping down some weeds. After I finish writing this, I will go back out and complete the watering. Mostly I have plants for our dry climate and water only what is necessary.
Yesterday was the perfect sunny weather for taking some wild flower photos. Everywhere yellow flowers carpet the land. Here and there white ones appear as well.
Inside an orchid that resisted blooming for two years has changed its mind and several other plants are in full flower. All this beauty makes hanging out at home so much easier.
Stay home. Be safe.
Will many record their experiences during this difficult time? I have no idea. However, a thought came to me yesterday that I should–not sure why, just that this is something I should do. Interesting because I am not really into “shoulds.”
Because Martina, the exchange student who lived with me this time last year, lives n Milano, I have realized the seriousness of this for weeks. She and her family have been quarantined for so long that I have lost track of just how long. A couple of days ago her mother had to go to the grocery. It took her four hours to get through the line. She has a grandfather over 90; they worry about him; he is scared.
Yet, here in the Panhandle of Texas, many fail to realize just how awful this can get. Until yesterday, when they had no choice due to the statewide mandate, they went out to eat, exercised at the gym, congregated in mass at bars, you name it. Now schools are closed until April 3 when the situation will be re-evaluated.
In the last ten days the only places I have gone are the grocery, the doctor’s office–for an awful allergy attack. Luckily, I live out in the country, have horses. They have to be fed twice a day, their runs cleaned. Today it is 70, the patio doors are open; I might even take a little hike later. Just me and Athena, my black, standard poodle.
Luckily, it has been spring break so I have had plenty of time to think about what to do with myself as I keep myself quarantined–I am not even going to my daughter and grandson’s house–I really miss seeing them. What do I do: have read two books, almost finished crocheting a poncho, worked one warm day in the garden, graded all the papers I brought home and posted them, cared for the horses, cooked, communicated with friends worldwide–Covid19 is everywhere, watched some TV, mostly news and documentaries. One thing I will do every day is act as if I am actually going somewhere, put on my makeup, get dressed, have a plan for the day.
This morning I went to the grocery. What did I do when I returned home? I left the bag outside to air–will disinfect it shortly, I took off my clothes in the laundry room and put them to wash. Then I took a hot shower. Why all this you ask? The virus can stay in your clothes for 24 hours. There were more people in the store in the morning than I expected. Are they healthy, virus free? No idea. In the county where I live, there have been two cases already. I do not want to risk it. Although I am healthy, I am in one of the higher risk categories due to my age. I do not mind dying, but who wants to die from this? I don’t.
It is a nice spring day outside, the wild flowers are starting to bloom, and I need to relearn how to use Google Classroom because that is how I will be teaching English and Spanish until who knows exactly when. I have used it before over a year ago. I need to refresh myself.
Here are a few pictures of the wild flowers around my house. After this, review Google Classroom and maybe play the piano for a bit.
Take care of yourselves. Be safe. Be wise.
Once I was married to a man who sarcastically commented that I could find beauty anywhere. It’s probably true. Taking a hike in semi-arid country, I find tiny flowers, hidden lichens, cactus the size of my thumbnail. I keep thinking of the miniscule lavender flowers near the rock walkway by the garage. They only appear briefly in the spring. They are so tiny, tinier than my pinkie nail. How can I see them? They stand out so brightly against the rocks, they’re hard to miss. Well, hard for me to miss.
Every natural place has its own beauty. I can only think of one place I’ve been where I questioned this: a place on the Interstate east of LA next to the Arizona border. In June when it was 118 and the hot wind nearly knocked me over, I recall asking myself, “How can anyone live here?” Yet I’ve seen photos of the same desert carpeted with hot pink flowers in the spring.
Every natural place has its own beauty. You just have to be open to seeing., feeling, experiencing its magic.
Note: This essay was part of an assignment for a writing class from the Story Circle Network. The assignment is to write six minutes each day using just one word to get you started and writing about that word. You can make a list of topics or just pick a word out of a book. The teacher is Yesim Cimcoz. It would seem I never took of photo of the tiny flower mentioned above. Below are photos of native flowers taken around my house.