Fen Frog Orgy

The fen was looking very junglish today, after such a cool, wet spring.  Exotic-looking natives towered over us, and masses of water irises and other beauties surrounded us.  Mobs of frogs were having a raucous orgy in the water, and there were many turtles lurking just under the surface.  I’m not even going to pretend to ID some of these fascinating plants.

I may stop doing this for a while, though I doubt the 2.5 people who sometimes graciously read this blahg will miss me.  I avoid sharing my real thoughts and feelings, except in the occasional political rant, and try to keep it upbeat and impersonal, so as to spare you, dear reader.  I’m not sure I can keep this up.  So until next time…








I’m happy to live in a neighborhood full of immigrants, people of color, old and young, and mixed families.  There are Black Lives Matter signs and LGBTQ flags here and there.  The neighbors are playing old school R&B and hip-hop outside, the perfect soundtrack to gardening.  Women and children in African or Muslim attire stroll by.  The other day I met a lovely Kenyan lady asking for directions.  It’s what America is all about, or should be.  It’s natural and organic.  It makes me feel more at ease.  Down in TN it was very white and there were nazis at the local BBQ joint.  I didn’t feel at all comfortable there.

Also, the schools here in Ohio already have strict routine security and safety protocols in place, so some disturbed kid with assault rifles can’t just wander in and slaughter people (assuming it was easy to obtain such weapons in the first place).   It tends to do the job without turning schools into penitentiaries with armed guards.  Why they can’t do that in Texas, I don’t know.  Oh that’s right, their elected “leaders” are NRA panderers and think gun control is a liberal political ploy.  Apparently their own children being horrifically gunned down is OK, while a woman’s choice not to bring a child into this world is anti-life.  These hypocrites are nauseating.  Well, ranting won’t change minds, so back to gardening…

Speaking of, here’s what’s happening in the garden.  It’s not as native as I’d like, I admit, but still vibrant and diverse.  Kind of like our country.  It’s all about finding the balance and being adaptable.

Here are E’s latest challot, better than ever.





Rain-Gardening with Stoney Creek Natives

Today we went plant-shopping at one of my favorite garden centers, Stoney Creek.  We loaded up on natives and perennials.  Some of the 250 (!) muscovy ducks were strutting around in the light rain.  Then I planted most of the plants in the pouring rain, my favorite gardening weather.  It combines work with taking a shower, convenient.

I forgot to mention the other day, I “installed” a “pond”!  OK, I stuck a kiddie pool in the backyard, and “naturalized” it a little.  Instant pond!  I’m hoping it will attract more wildlife.  (Probably mostly me–a water creature.)

I’m leaving political commentary to more qualified experts.  It’s too sad out there to even find words, let alone answers.  So I’ll let nature speak for itself.  I know it keeps me sane..ish.  Maybe if world leaders were all gardeners and nature-lovers first of all, they’d come to their senses.


Flowers for the Innocent Dead

At Charleston Falls Preserve on Monday, the streams and wetlands were deep and the falls were cascading after all the rain.  The next phase of native wildflowers and trees blooming was beginning.  I’m not even going to attempt to identify them all.

We observed masses of false solomon’s seal (with a cluster of white flowers at the tip) and a glimpse of true solomon’s seal (with whitish bells dangling underneath). The locust trees around the deep pond were displaying gorgeous white flower clusters.  The meadow fields were full of various milkweeds and other large, unique plants that I can’t identify.  The woods were decorated with wild rose and berry blossoms. and the forest floor was still covered with mayapple and wild ginger, helped along by the unusually cool, wet spring.  We were joined by a rabbit on the path.

I’m acutely aware that yet another horrific gun violence atrocity contrasts so awfully with peaceful nature posts, so without further blather, I dedicate these flowers to the too many innocent dead.


Gushing Geysers

Gusher doesn’t even begin to describe the torrential rain and t-storms we had yesterday evening.  We must have gotten two inches of downpour in just a short time.  The rain gutters and downspouts couldn’t even handle it and spouted like geysers.  Today it’s like a cool wetland out.  Which is quite fine by me; I get my best garden work done in those conditions.  Here are some happy flora friends.


Eight Years

Happy 8th A. to us!  It’s been eventful.  We’ve shared many life-changing experiences.  Now here we are full-circle back in Ohio, older and hopefully wiser.  COVID is still raging, despite many people’s denial, so we’ve opted to spend a quiet day at home, with a special meal by E, surrounded by all these flowers!


Dental and Period Dramas

I’m a couple of days behind in posts because of a dental semi-emergency, separate from the other major construction project in my mouth.  At this rate I will actually become the proverbial toothless hag living on gruel.  So annoying and embarrassing to be the genetic black sheep of a dental family.  Take care of your teeth, people, while you still can!

Wednesday evening we hung out at the Tavern, before our advance screening of Downton Abbey: a New Era at the Little Art Theatre.  I can’t give away any spoilers, but I highly recommend it, as long as you review the series and original movie first.  All I can say is if you’re sentimental, bring lots of tissues.  We’re always in good company at the quaint LAT, because the audience tends to be fellow insider fans who are familiar with the history and characters, and appreciate the subtle period humor and nuances, with the accompanying collective laughter, sighs, and rolling of eyes.

Violet Times

Tonight we’re going to see the new Downton Abbey movie at the Little Art Theatre for our upcoming anniversary!  We can’t wait to see what new trouble the Dowager Countess Violet (Dame Maggie Smith) gets into this time.

Speaking of English violet segues, here are photos from our unfolding cottage garden in the rain.

Also we have a salad made from mostly homegrown greens, and last but not least, my second booster sticker.



A Very Large Water Snake and Other Discoveries

We checked out a new-to-us little park nearby, Carriage Hill Metropark, a historic farm with a beautiful manmade lake, horseback riding and hiking trails, and wetland areas.  We were pleasantly surprised to encounter many species of wildlife, including a goose couple with adorable goslings, a very large water snake basking on a log in the wetland, many frogs and tadpoles, fish, and best of all, some turtles hanging out by a beaver lodge.  Unfortunately (a park guy told us) they had to relocate the beaver up north; maybe it didn’t fit in with their park management plans(?).  Next time we’ll check out the trails.




Here are some flowers closer to home.  Most are perennials that were already planted before we moved in, some I added.  Can I help it if I love irises, columbines, etc?  They are taking over the beds, which I’m fine with.  Their design is so intricate and ornate, for such commonplace flowers.  Humans may have tweaked them, but no engineer or artist could ever recreate  the genius of the natural world.