Inspiration Monday XVI

Here’s my offering for Inspiration Monday XVI. 

OUTSTRETCHED FINGERS

Aroused from sleep by an unsettling nightmare, Eva opened her eyes and stretched. It was a glorious morn. The sun shone brightly, the beams filtered here and there by puffy white clouds against the bluest blue sky. Hungry, she wandered to the garden to see what she might find ripe and ready for picking. She lingered for a moment at the herb garden, letting the sweet and varied fragrances tickle her nostrils and whet her palate. “The dew must have been quite heavy last night”, she thought, as the grass was still moist and cool under her bare feet. There were bushes of berries, and trees with all manner of fruit from which to choose, except for one. The owner had specifically forbidden her to pluck the fruit from the tree in the center of the garden. She was drawn to it this day out of curiosity, and the desire to find out why it was off-limits. As she made her way past the vineyard, the tree came into view. It had a certain aura about it, glistening in the morning light. Eva stopped in her tracks and stared, she had never seen such a wonderful tree. Its beauty beckoned her to draw near, to touch it, to experience it with all her senses. The fruit was especially enticing as her innards gave a soft murmur. With outstretched fingers she tentatively reached for it, but quickly brought her hand to her bosom, as she remembered the nightmare that had so rudely awakened her.

Image: Bing, artist unknown

Mulch, and More Mulch

I suppose I just gave away what *we’ve been up to this weekend.

*For clarification, “we”  means I went along for the ride to Lowe’s. 🙂

I came outside to create today’s post, but there have been a lot of distractions. Thinking I’d take care of some plant watering, the timer keeps reminding me I need to move the hose. The birds were creating quite a ruckus. When I looked to see what had gotten them all atwitter, I spied a cat stealthily creeping behind the euonymous (shrub) and promptly shooed it away. You have not heard such a cacophony until you have a tree full of grackles exercising their trademark “rusty hinge” voice. Peaceful birdsong has returned, and it is music to my ears. 

Saturday I watched Mama Downy (tiny woodpecker) make several trips from the suet feeder to the oak tree. Here’s a picture of who was waiting for her to bring sustenance. 

That day, I also got the sad news from our neighbor that this oak tree is scheduled to be removed this coming weekend. It’s certainly going to make a big difference in the amount of sunshine that reaches our yard. Maybe I should look into the care and feeding of cacti. 

A New View of Our Big Backyard

Tuesday morning, I noticed these scattered under the oak tree, a sure sign that a squirrel was building a nest. 

 I gathered this pile of gnawed-off branches for you to see, and planned to share another joyful backyard post. My husband joked that they waste a lot of construction materials.

 We spied a young bunny 🙂 in the yard this past weekend. 

 Tuesday afternoon, we were on the receiving end of a severe thunderstorm, which I knew not of, as I was getting a massage and listening to peaceful music while havoc was wreaked on the great outdoors with 60-70 mph winds. When I arrived home, the snowy white substance in the landscape bed caught my eye. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was hail. 

 There was a LOT more debris found in the backyard, but it couldn’t be blamed on the squirrel. Poor thing, it was running back and forth across the tree, like it couldn’t find what it was looking for; and I wondered if animals experience shock. Taking a closer look at the plants in the butterfly and herb garden, I found leaves shredded, plants flattened as if they’d been forced to bend in one direction,  broken limbs and stems. A gerbera daisy had every flower stem broken, as did the bee balm.

A cherry tree between our yard and the neighbor’s had been uprooted.

This is what is left of those beautiful rhododendron blossoms. I’m glad to have enjoyed them while they lasted.

Sometimes I wonder if gardening is worth the effort. Realizing the sense of loss I experienced at seeing what had happened in our yard, how much more I felt for those who have had everything familiar stripped away by the recent tornadoes. I thought of the squirrels that once ran through the trees of their now-destroyed landscape. And how many gardens were ruined, if they could even find their garden?

This quote I’d seen posted on Facebook recently came to mind:
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” –Martin Luther

Let us continue to sow our seeds into the soil, and into the lives of others, for we all share this Big Backyard.
May God bless you this day, in a very special way.

Got Paper?

A popular topic in the blogosphere is “What’s on my desk?” Aside from a general mess, well, here you have it. Since no early-blooming flowers reside in my yard, by golly, I’ve got a garden on my desk! (Thanks to Susan Winget, and her scrapbook papers).

She is a watercolor artist, and I’ve faithfully purchased some of her works of art in the form of a Lang calendar for several years now.

Last week, I went to the fabric store. Yes, you heard correctly, “fabric store,” and I came away with PAPER. Lots of paper, as a matter of fact. I might admit to being a paperholic, but will leave that for another post, and your imagination.


Since spring is taking its sweet time arriving this year, I had to go out and buy my own spring. Who says money can’t buy happiness?

Thanks for stopping by!

The Apple Tree and Me

I stumbled onto the BEST writing exercise recently! You have got to try this, even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, or you thought English class was a method of torture. This will only take a few minutes, unless you find yourself savoring these forgotten moments and choose to linger. Get your pen, pencil, paper, or keyboard, sit up straight (sorry, I HAD to say that), and get ready to take a little trip.

Think of a childhood memory, and start writing about it. You will be amazed at the details that come to mind, and where your thoughts take you.

Fully aware that you may be bored to tears, I decided to share a bit of my journey with you, anyway. If your screen becomes blurred, you are excused to go write your memory; but be sure to come back and leave a comment and tell me what came to mind, or what you thought of the exercise. Please be kind. 🙂

I began my visit to the past, sitting in an apple tree with a Nancy Drew mystery. It was summer vacation, and I was enveloped by the warmth of the season on a lazy afternoon. Sometimes I’d pluck a red, ripe tomato from the garden as I trod the path that led up the hill  to the apple tree. I could almost taste it as the words spilled onto the page. Then there was the time Dad found a huge conical hornet’s nest at the end of my reading branch, and he wondered why I’d never been stung.

Like a trip in a time machine, my thoughts were transported a few years down the road, to the last time I’d seen the property after my parents passed and the land was sold. Many changes had taken place. Their property had been surrounded by woods, the terminus of a dead-end street at the time of my apple-tree adventures. Then a neighborhood was built in the middle of a pasture field, and where the trees once stood. The last time I saw it, the outbuildings and chicken coops had been razed, the hill had been leveled and someone built a home there.  It would never be the same, and I’d never returned…until just the other day.