In Frank Lloyd Wright’s Footsteps…

31 03 2006

SUBJECT: Architectural Masterpiece

ARCHITECT: Cindy Dyer, a.k.a. Head Weed

CLIENT: Dim-witted Mourning Dove (with lack of sense to build nest in a less conspicuous area)

PROJECT: Nest Improvement, including A-frame (vented) roof that blends into surroundings

LIMITATIONS: budget (how much could a dove have to offer?), limited to materials on hand, and time (limited due to builder’s other job as a graphic designer)

Ample chicken wire from Carmen & George’s moving-out contributions, cheap wire cutters, plentiful source of leaves, twigs from last year’s liatris stalks, willow branches from delapidated garden ornament, and grapevines

Client attempted to “break ground” without first consulting architect (or land owner); site is the empty gothic-style wrought iron planter box hanging on a limb stump on a tree in the architect’s back yard. Architect sees bird fly off, inspects site, notes start of nest, then proceeds to devise renovation plans, taking a gamble on bird returning after nest site is partially disturbed

THE THOUGHT PROCESS (yes, there was one)
— Build A-frame mesh roof, just wide enough to accommodate already-begun dove nest
— Attach mesh roof to wrought iron planter with green wire (to blend in nicely)
— weave willows to form back wall (rather crudely done, but this is the look I was going for….something a dove might do if she had opposeable thumbs, but not so complex that it would appear a real architect did it!)
— weave right side with same willow to add protection from the elements, but leave some open gaps to appeal to the (not so bright) bird’s penchant for open spaces
— leave left side of metal roof open for feng shui appeal (good vibes in, bad vibes out)
— tuck in leaves to further protect from the elements, add a softening touch to the heavy metal roof, and offering some camouflage from predators

— Didn’t get client approval (in the form of an immediate move-in) for at least one day

— Let cats out in the backyard early evening, 3/29/2006, and birds scattered from the home site
— Took a peek into empty domicile and observed blindingly white egg
— Add a few more leaves to obscure view of aforementioned egg
— Add a few more grapevines overhead, then cut (invisible) ceremonial ribbon, pronouncing the project complete

OBSERVATION, 3/30/2006, 1:04 p.m.

Eureka! (Dad, eureka is one of those words that deserves an exclamation mark)

The client loves her new abode; see paparazzi’s photographic proof, attached, in the first photo below…she settled in and laid eggs a few days later.


© 2006 Cindy Dyer, All rights reserved.

I was able to observe and photograph Baby Yin and Baby Yang from birth to flying lesson day. Above: in the middle photo, Baby Yin is at recess under Mama’s watchful teal-rimmed eyes. (Baby Yang was not quite ready to leave home and stayed in the nest while his sibling learned the ropes.) In the last photo, Baby Yin is doing the all important wing stretches (yes, she does have two legs, but doesn’t she have remarkable balance on just one? I’m such a proud mother!)


Blue Pinwheel Thingie 3.31.2006

3 03 2006

An e-mail from my Dad, in response to the question I sent out to the Weedettes:

“Blue pinwheel thingies…does anyone know what these are?”


Ah, Master, at last you have come to the Grasshopper for assistance. My heart swells with pride and I am virtually overcome with emotion. In fact, I am so happy I could just—well, you know the rest.

The “blue pinwheel thingies,” as you so casually (and rather unflatteringly) refer to them, are “flores azules hay como las llantas.” Freely translated from the Spanish (and I do mean freely), the name means “tire-like blue flowers.” The word “tire” refers to the circular shape of the blossoms.

“Pin” refers to the stem, the part of the plant on which the blossom is “mounted.” Llantas (tires) are mounted on wheels which, in turn, are placed on the hubs of axles. Note the similarity of “pin” and “hub.” The terms are synonymous—that synonymicity, or synonymicitessness, should have been obvious to you because each word has exactly three letters and each is pronounced with just one syllable—the “b” in hub makes it sound like two syllables, but it only has one (you probably pronounce it “ub,” as in “erb” and “erbert oover,” etc.).

The “blue pinwheel thingies” were named by none other than Michelangelo (1475-1564), a man who was entranced (enthralled, even) by all things purple, even by anything even remotely tinged with the color purple, and one who is said to have thoroughly enjoyed “tip-toeing through the tulips,” if you get my drift.

In naming flowers, as in all his other endeavors, “Micky” (as he was called by his students, most of whom are said to have been fellow tip-toers), was centuries ahead of his time, because although the wheel was in universal use, “llantas” (tires) had not yet been invented.

And finally, we come to the curiousist (as Alice in Wonderland might say) part in the saga of “flores azules como las llantas”—in this beautiful blossom we have a flower named by a fruit, and nothing could be any curiouser than that.

Actually there is something curiouser—in her e-mail (Friday, March 31, 2006, 8:11 a.m.) your friend Gina said she thought the plant might be a hyacinth. She was wrong, of course, but the curious part is that Michelangelo also named the hyacinth. The parents of his favorite student (said to have been a flagrant tip-toer) deliberately misnamed their son (they wanted a girl), and Michelangelo was wont to greet her— I mean him—as follows: “Hi ya, Cinth,” thus the name “hyacinth.” The name “hyacinth” therefore came from Michelangelo’s adaptation of his greeting to Cynthia.

Perhaps Gina knew the origin of the name but didn’t know that she knew it—it may have been submerged in her subconsious but was close enough to the surface to trigger an association with Michelangelo and his penchant for naming flowers.

Enough of my gloating over your inability to recognize that which should have been immediately recognizable. I’ll close by saying that the pics are gorgeous, whatever the flower’s name and however its origin.

Methinks I taught thee well (you’re welcome).


© 2006 Cindy Dyer, All rights reserved.