Gardening by Podcast

Back in January I posted on a newspaper article out of Memphis about Felder Rushing and his concept of Slow Gardening. After that I stumbled across a link to a Podcast of a weekly gardening show on Mississippi Public Radio called the “Gestalt Gardener” with Felder and Dr. Dirt. If you enjoy gardening go take a listen to a couple of very entertaining and informative “characters”. I have become a big fan and can hardly wait for the Monday download of the Friday show.

Their info is aimed at the Mississippi Gulf Coast but it’s so entertaining…Who cares if you can’t raise the plant they are talking about.

Signs of Spring…

But winter’s still hanging on.

As the sun comes up this morning the field behind the house sparkles with one of the few frosts of this winter season. And this comes after what appeared to be a beautiful spring weekend. Even with the morning dew freezing on the grass though, the forecast for the week is for more of the beautiful weather.

I spent some time wandering around the yard documenting some of the signs of spring that were showing yesterday. I also spent some time just sitting on the still dormant grass, soaking up the sun and watching the birds play.

It’s already apple blossom time here…

But then it seems it almost always is. The poor apple trees can’t seem to figure out when it’s time to be apple trees around here.

Azaleas are blooming…

But only under the cover of the trees around the house.

Unopened blossoms.

Out under the trees.

Covered with these buds. Give it a week.

The Redbud in the front yard.

Later than some because it isn’t in full sun.

Closeup of Redbud bud.

Fables should lead our way…

 I started on Friday with Fragmented Fred and “Tale of a Farmer from Erehwon”, today Leon joined the game with his Poison Lion. Both tales have meanings that could teach us all a thing or two.

Fred’s starts this way…

When we expose our greatest hopes and precious things to strangers, we may be thought a fool. But the ordinary treasures we share may touch lives in ways we cannot imagine. This is the tale of one hopeful fool.
He prepared them lovingly, his precious mementos and carefully pressed flowers. He arranged them prominently on simple benches near the road. Just beyond, by the barn, a rough oak plank set across two tree stumps formed a crude table to display all manner of clippings and cards that flapped in the breeze-some brittle and yellow with age, others crisp and white from yesterday’s journal.

Source: Foolish Farmer of Erehwon

Leon starts his tale like this…

The Poison Lion

Once upon a time, two pretty nice little children lived at the edge of a great dark forest. They often roamed in the forest in search of adventure.

One day while walking along a woody path they met a large shaggy lion with a sad face, and they were afraid, and they ran away.

But the lion called to them and said, “Come back. I won’t hurt you. I need friends.”

So they went back and sat with the lion and saw his sad face. And they asked, “Why is your face so sad?”

Source: Leon Hale: Putting the kids’ favorite tale on paper

Now I am sure this is nothing but the synchronicity of my life that two people I read regularly decide this is the week to delve into the world of fables…Go have a return trip to childhood and read a quick tale of dreams and heroes.

And then, go forth and enjoy the day.

Long Distant Conversations

I didn’t get around to posting anything here for most of the day ’cause between comings and goings around the house there has been a bit of a conversation going on over at Fred’s Fragments and Nameless Creek Blogs.

Other than that the day has been way to pretty and springlike to spend too much time in the house. Cloudless skies and temperatures pushing 70 with a super low humidity and a slight northerly wind…Gotta love it.

I hope the lunar eclipse tonight doesn’t get clouded out though as I sit here watching some clouds ease in from the north…

Photo Friday – Alone

Alone with a book…My oldest daughter off in her own world. Taken many years ago with a throwaway camera in Kerrville, Tx on the Guadalupe River.

Lunch with Michael Pollan and John Mackey

I spent my lunch hour (x2) with Michael Pollan and John Mackey watching the webcast of their recent UC Berkeley gabfest. I thoroughly enjoyed the time. Both men appeared to be totally involved with their subject. John Mackey used the opportunity to make several initiative announcements for Whole Foods Market. I found myself being impressed with his talk. Some people seem to have been unhappy with the fact that the two men weren’t more at odds. I thought, given the nature of their past dialog, that the two men almost seem to have become friends. At least the impression that came across to me was that they respected each other.

I could be wrong, but I really wish there were more Whole Foods Markets around, especially closer to me. The whole idea of buying local kinda goes out the door when you have to do a 90 min round trip to buy your food…In my neck of the woods, the HEB Central Market brand rollout to all off their stores is going to make a bigger impact on the eating habits of a larger market.

I have read a lot of articles by Michael Pollan in the last few months. I guess I really need to buy the book. Why is it that I seem to spend a big part of my life book poor? Lots and lots of books, very little in the way of extra money. Oh well, when you don’t have the money to go and do, life seems just a little better with a good book to keep you company.

Fred, if you happen to be reading this, keep the camera handy, looks like Sunday or Monday could offer up another frosty morn for the image making. They are even predicting a possible freeze for the northern suburbs of Houston . We only thought old man winter was through with us. We have a lot of tender new growth showing here, it could be ugly.

On the drive in this morning I passed a couple of redbud trees that were bursting into bloom. The first sign of spring in SE Texas is usually these bloom covered small trees. I haven’t stopped and snapped a photo since I really don’t want anyone getting upset with me photographing their house early in the morning, but, hopefully I’ll get out this weekend and take a shot or two…But in the meantime you can go here for a shot. Another flowering plant showing up here and there are the Azaleas. We have two small one in full bloom at home already and on the morning drive I saw a couple of others in bloom. The full Azalea blush hasn’t started here yet, but, it’s starting.

Poetry on my mind

Happy March One

The first day of the month of spring is coming in a bit on the warm and damp side here. The temperature here is already just a degree below 70 and the day hasn’t even said hello to the sun yet…The weather prognosticators are mentioning a cool front moving our way this morning with some “much dryer air”. The view out the kitchen windows is definitely taking on a spring green coloration. Even the oak that run late in it’s leafing out each year is showing a lot of green already. So, looks to me like spring has sprung even if no one quite believes it.

Everyday when I check my sitemeter I see where someone has again searched for “My Methodist Grandmother” on Google. I’ll admit even I am still checking out Mary Mackey’s poetry and now I’ll probably try to pick up one of her novels on my next trip to the B&N. That Mary Mackey post had me wandering thru some more of her words on the internet. I stopped in on her Home Page and this poem caught in my minds eye…

in the great invisible electronic
library of the world
the real thing is nothing
image is all

bleary with coffee
and grief for a friend
who died the day before
I find myself staring at the screen and wondering
how many pixels it takes
to make a wood duck
or an island of black frigate birds
mating in the mangroves
their globed orange throat pouches
pulsing with birdly lust

in front of me
in a space no larger than two hands spanned
I can watch flocks of pink flamingos
stick-legged, silly-beaked
bits of egg-laying confetti
left over from the big party
of creation

(continued on her site)

Later I came across a interview on “The WELL” where, in describing the difference between her fiction and her poetry, she says…

Poetry, in contrast, is more of an explosion in my brain. It comes as a
great wave of image and emotion which I translate into words. I revise each
poem again and again, looking for the perfect combination of word and rhythm
and ambiguity. I’m constantly surprised. I never know where I’m going.

That imagery is quite striking.

My wife is always asking me what I find so interesting on the computer. The chance discovery of Mary Mackey is one of the things that keeps me trolling the internet. My wife once grew used to my nose being buried in a book or magazine. That was where it was for the first couple of decades of our marriage. The books were never a threat but the laptop appears to be. She doesn’t see it as a virtual library where you can stumble across words and images that you wouldn’t chance across in even the largest of brick and mortar libraries. Whenever I come across a site that really punches me in the gut, I’ll try and share with her. She seems to enjoy the passages I read so maybe she will come around to my virtual library yet…

Running late this morning so I better get a move on…Stay dry, stay cool.