Young Palm in Bloom

Let me say first that this palm and I are not in love. I didn’t think it was possible for there to be a dysfunctional relationship between a person and a tree. It is. We have it in for each other. Young palm is the ornamental kind plopped down on front lawns of Floridian planned […]


The last few minutes of lunch served at a cafe in a museum. There’s no one left but us, and the staff, and tables to be bussed, things put back in place. Everyone is preparing to be somewhere else. Even though we’re still here, we’re done, thinking about our own particular next. It’s the last […]

In the Company of Orchids

My neighbor’s orchids put me in the mood to go back to the American Orchid Society last Sunday, to see what my true orchiding neighbors had been doing since I went there the first time, years ago. I remembered a concrete circle and the beginnings of a garden, and a greenhouse, but not much more. […]

My Neighbor’s Orchids

I have no talent for orchids. But some of my neighbors do.  Early mornings, I ride past them on my bike. I hardly see anyone around here in the summer, so I don’t really know who lives where. But I know their orchids. I love their mix of Walt Disney and Willy Wonka and David […]

Joyce’s Garden (part 2)

Closer up in Joyce’s mountain-side garden. Still-lives from a place not at all still, from the hum and fizz and whir of the smaller things. Even the colors seem to make their own sounds. One gift that Joyce’s garden has given me was this: that one early evening, a few years ago, I went outside to […]

Joyce’s Garden, (part 1)

In May, I wrote a little piece about my friend Joyce’s house. A few days ago, she sent me photographs of her garden. And, of course, I had to share them. Joyce’s home has always been more than a house, it’s the focal point of her many talents and a gracefully composed poem about what she […]

Flora and fauna

In a few square yards, such strange and wonderful things are growing. Prickly trees, (Silk Floss) (seriously so). Insect galls. Caterpillars that eat everything they can, (Monarch Butterflies soon) while holding on for dear life.  (she’s a Queen Butterfly-to-be) And messages from the more destructive species, who still make their points, sometimes good ones, in […]


       Inconspicuous to me, normally, without a macro lens. Though I’ve always been pretty low to the ground, I’m not this close.  a cassia petal plumbago hibiscus stigma Two petals were scattered on the sidewalk, the plumbago grows wild near the air conditioner, the hibiscus bush is next to the garage door, and […]