Wednesday, October 19, 2016

No denying late bloomers #phenology

I had to go check my calendar and my GPS location. This IS Minnesota. It IS October 19. This doesn't seem to be the right time or place for plants to start blooming, but, within the past few days, no fewer than three new blossoms have opened in the front garden. See for yourself.

late blooming day lily
late blooming day lily
Photo by J. Harrington

late blooming mandevilla
late blooming mandevilla
Photo by J. Harrington

late blooming marigold
late blooming marigold
Photo by J. Harrington

I recognize the day lily (top) and the marigold (bottom) [see the other flower buds?]. When Now that my Better Half informed me gets home later today, I'll fill in the name of what was the unidentified bright red bloom in the middle. (I'll also catch some grief because this will be the third or fourth time she's told me the name of that plant.) I'm not terribly surprised that the mums are still going strong. I am surprised that the plants by the front door have held out so well. Stunned and amazed would be the correct description of how I feel about our late bloomers. You'd think the climate was warming or something and that we keep setting record after record of high temperatures month after month, but the remaining two climate deniers must be more correct than all those scientists. That leaves us with the quandary of, if you can't kid a kidder, can a denier deny denying? (Some of us know that de Nile is not just a river in Egypt.) The problem is, even if we all voted early, it wouldn't make them stop, would it? Is there such a thing as a "killing frost" for political ads and debates and Tweets? Shouldn't there be? Where do we go to surrender?

Denial


By Patricia Frolander


He called it “his ranch,”
yet each winter day found her beside him
feeding hay to hungry cows.

In summer heat
you would find her in the hayfield—
cutting, raking, baling, stacking.

In between she kept the books,
cooked, cleaned
laundered, fed bum lambs.

Garden rows straight,
canned jars of food
lined cellar walls.

Then she died.
I asked him how he would manage.
“Just like I always have,” he said.


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