Misleading Appearances

A few days ago in my post “Survivors,” I wrote about my cuttings that survived the winter. I was particularly fond of the Tall Sedum (pictured bottom left). Its four leaves reminded me of a propeller that was just waiting to be launched into spring. Imagine my dismay yesterday, when three of the leaves fell off, and the remaining one turned yellow. I was about to pull the cutting with a sigh, when I noticed new life growing at the base of the stem.

Speaking of misleading appearances, here is a true story: My husband and I had our careers in the San Francisco Bay Area, where people who don’t know each other keep to themselves and avoid eye when passing on the sidewalk. When we moved to Southern New Mexico, I was shocked when a stranger smiled at me and said, ‘Hello.” One day soon after when I was walking from the parking lot to the side door of Walmart, I became aware of a biker (in leather with multiple tattoos and piercings) closing in quickly behind me. There was no one else nearby, so I became a little nervous as he drew nearer. Imagine my surprise when he rushed ahead to open the door for me.

Honestly, Gentle Reader, this really happened in the Land of Enchantment.

Variety

A neighbor recently commented on the unusual patterns of color we are seeing this year on the autumn leaves in our neighborhood. She attributed them to our unseasonal snowstorm and freeze a few weeks ago. I hadn’t noticed the unusual patterns, but I was glad she brought them to my attention. I was reminded of the poem “Pied Beauty” by Gerard Manley Hopkins in which he gives glory to God for dappled things and…

...All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

At the same time, there is beauty in monochrome. In our backyard, the ash trees simply ignored the snowstorm. The leaves were green before the storm, and they remained so after the snow and ice melted. Now, they have turned to their reliable shade of gold.

Best Laid Plans

“Texas Tapestry” by Eric Michaels

Every two or three years, I talk my husband into a trip to the Texas Hill Country to see the Bluebonnets. This year, we planned to leave the day after Easter. I made reservations. All our plans were in order. But, of course, we had to cancel our trip.

I looked for photos from our previous trips, but they were gone. A few months ago in one of my rare photo purges, I deleted all my photos from the Hill Country.

Then I remembered the Bluebonnet seeds I bought on our last trip. After rummaging through my cupboard, I finally found them, and a few of them sprouted.

Now, a few real leaves are beginning to appear between the seed leaves. I don’t know if the plants will bloom. The weather may be too hot by the time they mature, but they give me hope. Perhaps, in a few weeks, I may enjoy that intoxicating shade of blue once more.