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What’s There to Say About Poppies?

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The poppies started showing up last week, here there and everywhere, and this week, some in our yard.P1000408

When they arrive I want to celebrate.  It’s spring.  I thought about poetry in their honor.  Could I do a riff or a twist on Wordsworth’s “Daffodils”?  It didn’t work.  The following is all I could come up with.

Gluttons for sun,
they shine it back,
closing at night.

They persist, pop up
every year, sometimes
fewer, sometimes more,

not in the same spot,
windblown annual
new every spring.

Poppies.  Spring.
Nothing more
to be said.

While poppies are the most colorful sign of spring, it is the mesquite tree that has the honor of signaling when winter is really over and there is no more concern about frost.P1000414

You can see how close I had to get to one branch of the tree to show the leaves beginning.  The apache plume, on the other hand, didn’t wait for any signal.  It went ahead and bloomed.P1000415If there are no poppies where you are, I hope the daffodils are coming up!

Dreaming

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I have a poem in the just released issue of the online magazine Melusine.

It’s called “Floor Plans,” but what it’s mostly about is dreams, the daydreams of a child and the night dream of an adult.

Melusine is an elegant site, nicely organized.  I recommend it: http://www.melusine21cent.com/mag/current.

The Old and the New

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This post is about what’s new and what’s not so new in my garden.penstemon 2This past year I added two Penstemon superbus plants.  One did not make it through the fall and winter.  This 50 percent ratio is typical of my efforts in the garden.  But the one that has survived makes me want to try again.

Chamisa, Fall, 2014

Chamisa, Fall, 2014

This winter I cut back the out-of-control chamisa, as close as I could get to the ground.  I thought perhaps it would give up.  As you can see, it did nothing of the kind.  chamisa

I can only hope this growth will be thicker and sturdier than last year’s, when I did not cut it back far enough.  The plant growing around the stumps is Mexican primrose, which has spread as if it, too, thought the chamisa was not coming back.  mexican primroseBut what is this little blue and white flower?  pansy

It’s a pansy from a seed that wafted from another part of the garden.  I am delighted when nature adds its own touches to my efforts to work with plants.  I can pretend we are a team, though I know I have much still to learn.

The Other Side of the Mountain

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Recently I wanted to get out into some green.  I decided to visit Picacho Peak.  The name is redundant, since “picacho” is Spanish for peak, but that doesn’t seem to trouble anyone.  There is one in Arizona, too.  Like the one near Las Cruces, it is an isolated mountain.

Looking west from Las Cruces, the mountain looks very dry.  To climb it, one goes through several housing developments and some private land to a BLM parking lot on the western side.mtn from parking area

To get to the peak from the parking lot one must go through an arroyo and a few other ups and downs.arroyo

After that the trail is surprisingly straight.  In this closer picture, the hole at the right is along a particularly steep part of the trail, which then angles up across the picture to the outcrop (a small dark splotch) at the left. closer to mtn

That outcrop was a far as I got.  The trail is steep and I was definitely out of condition. I don’t think this trail was laid out by recreation experts, but by people who wanted the shortest way to the top.  I estimate I got about half way up the one and a half mile trail.outcrop

But it was nice to be on a green slope for a while.  Here’s a view from part way back toward the parking lot. to parking area