May 09, 2007

Brings May flowers

Dandelions

This morning, after taking a shower, I sat outside to let my hair dry in the sun while I indulged in a leisurely phone call with Artist Friend. I call him Artist Friend because he is an artist, and his creative work seems to be the defining part of his personality, but he's also a writer who teaches at a college like I do, and we don't have much time to talk during the busy semester. So it's become a tradition in May to catch up with a long phone call.

We don't have too much in bloom here yet, but my lawn was just covered with bright yellow dandelions, those cheery spring flowers, and the softer blues of forget-me-nots and purple creeping charlie. I could feel the sun on my wet hair, on my legs and on my arms. Birds trilled and sang from the woods around me, and the wind chimes that hang from the house sang softly when the wind blew.

Artist Friend, miles and miles to the west of me, was relaxing in his own backyard, and our conversation would get interrupted every time he saw something exciting. "A wren! A wren carrying a stick!" (Honest. That's an exact quote. I am not making it up.) A bunch of crows in his neighborhood were getting so excited about something that I could hear their cawing over the phone line.

We talked about our summer plans – vacations with our families and a conference we're both going to – and about the writing we want to accomplish over the next month. We talked about the hike I'd taken yesterday: Artist Friend is a naturalist who always wants to know the names of flowers and birds and butterflies. By the time I had hung up the phone, my hair was dry, smelling like lavender and sunshine, and it was time to get dressed and begin my day.

21 comments:

Chip said...

Your camera is amazing, making even dandelions look like beautiful flowers. (I have to admit they are one flowering weed that I do get rid of...) And what are those nice purple flowers in the background?

jo(e) said...

The purple flowers in the background are what everyone around here calls creeping charlie. Once it gets into the lawn, it sort of takes over. Kind of like your slender speedwell.

(I just looked up creeping charlie in my field guide, and it's not in there. I wonder what name botanists call it ....)

Phantom Scribbler said...

It's ground ivy, and it's all over my yard, too.

jo(e) said...

Yep, that's it.

Busymomma66 said...

I just love dandelions, they're so cheerful, and persistant. My husband hates them, so we war all spring and summer long about our lawn. lol. Beautiful picture.

BerryBird said...

Another common name is gill-over-the-ground. We haven't mowed yet because we have so many beautiful flowers in the yard: dandelion, veronica, several species of violet, all kind of good stuff. The more flowers in a lawn the better, far as I'm concerned.

Nadine said...

That's pretty much what my yard looks like. I've already mowed twice and it doesn't deter the flowers. They just pop up again the next morning!

Rana said...

Yeah, that's what our lawn looked like about 3-4 weeks ago. It's about as much "weed" as grass, and I have to admit I prefer it that way, especially when the flowers come out.

I had to laugh at your friend's reaction to the wren. I could so easily see myself doing something like that. ;)

(btw the verification "word" is hilarious - "owmmuafa")

jo(e) said...

Hey, Rana: Artist Friend will be at ASLE so you are going to get to meet him. I was telling him what cool roommates I was going to be having at this conference.

I love having such knowledgeable readers. It's great to be able to identify plants via my blog ....

susan said...

Curious Girl calls dandelions daisies, and the other day she picked a bouquet of them for her ballet teacher (needless to say, entirely her own idea). She is so enchanted with them, and I'm pleased at this side effect of my lazy approach to the lawn.

jo(e) said...

I think that a handful of dandelions clutched in the grubby hands of a small child is one of the prettiest bouquets anyone can be offered.

Anonymous said...

You should have added that the wren was visiting the birdhouse that my son and I built on Sunday and hung in the apple tree on Monday. That's exciting! It took the fellow a few tries to get his long stick through the hole, but he finally figured it out. Nice morning.

AF

jo(e) said...

Artist Friend: But it was funnier out of context.

Isn't that the birdhouse that came out so pretty? You should send me a photo ....

Pendullum said...

What a beautiful morning... I can almost smell the air... Great to have a friend who can inhale it with you...

Michael said...

This is such a beautiful season. Everything seems so in balance -- not too hot, not too cold -- before the extremes of summer set in. This is the first year in many years that I can remember actually having a spring. The trend for quite some time seems to be the quick jump from winter to summer.

Anonymous said...

Jo(e), I've missed reading your blog. I'm on vacation in Canadian Province That Looks Like A Comma. I'll catch up now.

FA

Bitty said...

If this were my first visit to this blog, I'd know I was "home" just from this post. Yes, dandelions ARE flowers, doggone it. My childhood favorites.

Here's a dandelion poem from the wonderful Poetry 180 site:

http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/156.html

MindSpin said...

I learned not long ago that dandelions pull nutrients from deep in the soil to the surface to make them available to other plants, while clover fixes nitrogen in the soil. No wonder my lawn is healthier wherever there's clover mixed in.

I think the ground ivy or creeping charlie is lovely. I haven't noticed it where I live, so I was curioius. I found an interesting article about it: http://landscaping.about.com/cs/weedsdiseases/a/ground_ivy.htm. It was once used as a medicinal herb, and before there was hops, it was an ingredient in beer. The article says it smells wonderful when you mow it, like mint. Is that so, Jo(e)?

jo(e) said...

My lawn does smell nice when it's mowed but I don't know if it's the ground ivy or not. I've also got a whole lot of chocolate mint, and that smells really terrific when I mow.

I like the clover and wildflowers in my lawn -- the poison ivy on the edges is the only thing I think I would be happy to eliminate.

mindSpin said...

I found some ground ivy tonight - just one little patch, not more than a square foot. It has nestled in beneath an October Glory Maple, having staked out a tiny patch of shade. It's a brave little pioneer because the maple is not yet more than three feet tall. I pulled out the grass crowding the tree and left as much of the ground ivy as I could. My hands did smell of mint :-).

Of course, I've got the poison ivy, too, at the edge of the woods.

sakthi said...

Oh man Jo(e),You're really lucky to have those flowers on your land.I jealous...
European Breakdown Cover