Revisited: Shine on, shine on, harvest moon…

30 09 2012

Originally posted September 23, 2008

En route to visit Barb and Dean in Spokane on Saturday, September 13, we drove past miles and miles of wheat fields and as the land became more golden in the late afternoon light, we noticed the makings of a harvest moon.

Whenever I hear the words, “harvest moon,” I always remember a very old Ruth Etting album (heaven only knows where I found it) that I eventually gave to a friend’s husband to add to his large music collection. I just did a search and I actually found the recording! The only words I could remember were “shine on, shine on harvest moon…for me and my guy.” (I sing it true to her old-fashioned vibrato, of course).

Etting revived the song in Ziegfield Follies in 1931. Click here to find it on youtube.com. And if you’re a Liza Minnelli fan, click here for her rendition of the song.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

_____________

ADDENDUM: Thanks to fellow blogger, Deborah Rose Reeves, for her recent posting of this poem by Ted Hughes.

The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come,
Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.

So people can’t sleep,
So they go out where elms and oak trees keep
A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come!

And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep
Stare up at her petrified, while she swells
Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing
Closer and closer like the end of the world.

Till the gold fields of stiff wheat
Cry `We are ripe, reap us!’ and the rivers
Sweat from the melting hills.

by Ted Hughes.

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Ah Sunflower

5 07 2012

Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done;
Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go!

William Blake (1757-1827)

Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





To see the world in a grain of sand*

5 06 2012

I am constantly amazed at how much life there is surrounding me—that something barely half the size of a sesame seed has such incredible detail that you can’t see without a macro lens. I was photographing Indian Pink blooms (Spigelia marilandica) at Green Spring Gardens last weekend and discovered this miniscule, yet-to-be-identified bug. I shortened and splayed out the legs of my tripod, plunked myself down in the dirt, then got settled in to examine all the angles I could photograph the slender two-inch-long tubular crimson blooms.

Stalking the miniscule
I saw this tiny white spec slowly moving along the edge of a stem and decided to follow it, moving in as close as my 105mm micro lens would allow. Magnification revealed all sorts of oddities in this little bug—a head like a spotted fish with big round eyes and a fuzzy coating, virtually no neck at all, a segmented thorax like a roly poly pill bug, followed by a cotton-candy-like burst of white fluff at the end of the body and crab-like freckled legs.

 

What in the world is it?
Brian, my photography mentor, said it could possibly be a larvae of a deer fly or horse fly, but without more photos with different angles, he couldn’t be sure. I looked online at larvae of various flies and don’t see anything that looks as odd as this little guy. He also said that it could be transitioning from larvae to adult stage, which makes it harder to identify.

When I moved toward it, it would hide behind the stem, so it clearly sensed my presence. To get it to move into the crook of the flower stem so I could photograph it unobstructed, I would wave my hand near it and it would move around the stem into view again. When I wasn’t looking at it through my lens, I was hard pressed to locate it—it was that small!

Learn something new every day
I learned a new word this morning, also courtesy of Brian. Entomologists have a word for unknown specs of stuff—frass. According to wikipedia, frass is the fine powdery material phytophagous (plant-eating) insects pass as waste after digesting plant parts. It causes plants to excrete chitinase due to high chitin levels, it is a natural bloom stimulant, and has high nutrient levels. Frass is known to have abundant amoeba, beneficial bacteria, and fungi content. Frass is a microbial inoculant, also known as a soil inoculant, that promotes plant health using beneficial microbes. It is a large nutrient contributor to the rainforest, and it can often be seen in leaf mines.

So, in the words of Martha Stewart: Frass…it’s a good thing!

What have I learned from this encounter?
The smallest, seemingly insignificant spec of dust or dirt may not just simply be “frass.” It just might be a live fuzzy-spotted, fish-headed, roly-poly-bodied, cotton-candy-tailed, crab-legged larvae-in-transition, making its teeny tiny way in this big old world. I also learned a new word—frass. F-r-a-s-s. Frass. And yes, I can use it in a sentence: Frass is a good thing.

Ah, my time behind the lens—never a dull moment!

__________________________________________________________________

* “To see the world in a grain of sand” is a line from William Blake’s poem, Auguries of Innocence. I found an enlightened explanation of the meaning of this line by an unknown author here, and wanted to share it with you:

Blake is never the easiest of poets to understand at the best of times, because he is the first by far who can justifiably lay claim to the title of symbolist poet, and as such is open to personal interpretation.

Here what he is, I think, saying is that one can find vast truths in the smallest of things—or to put it in fashionable literary terms, he’s dealing with the microcosmic as representative of the universal. So, knowledge of the whole world can be gained from examining its smallest constituent part, or later on, even such a small thing as a caged robin is an affront to both God and man—it’s a tiny thing but it’s symptomatic, and absolutely representative of the whole.

Not wanting to get too “Twilight Zone” here, but from the little I understand of today’s mathematics and physics, looking at Chaos Theory and the Mandelbrot set, Blake is indeed more literally right than he probably knew. The tiniest part of something does apparently indeed represent the entire construct, and the smallest thing can indeed have a huge effect—there’s allegedly a butterfly near Tokyo who with the flapping of its wings has a helluva lot to answer for 🙂

__________________________________________________________________

Ever wonder where “the butterfly effect” theory originated? Check this out here!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

 





Blooming in my garden: Daffodils (Narcissus)

31 03 2012

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier
in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. 
—Nadine Stair

Ain’t gonna let a little rain stop me from photographing my Daffodils. (And yes, Nadine, I was out there barefoot!)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: Water like satin

11 03 2012

Originally posted May 26, 2009. Sunset begins at Lake Land’Or.

The Lake. To — by Edgar Allan Poe (1827)

In spring of youth it was my lot
To haunt of the wide world a spot
The which I could not love the less—
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
And the tall pines that towered around.

But when the Night had thrown her pall
Upon that spot, as upon all,
And the mystic wind went by
Murmuring in melody—
Then, ah then I would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.

Yet that terror was not fright,
But a tremendous delight—
A feeling not the jewelled mine
Could teach or bribe me to define—
Nor Love—although the Love were thine.

Death was in that poisonous wave,
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his lone imagining—
Whose solitary soul could make
An Eden of that dim lake.

Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

CanoeLakeLandOr





Desktop poetry: Unfurled

22 02 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Eye candy, batch #2

11 12 2011

Pulled from the archives of my personal refrigerator magnet poetry, I give to you my handcrafted attempt #1:

January snow blanket melts
cold February moon gone
March winds a memory
a luscious light envelopes
tiny crocus petals whisper spring
most delicate green grass emerges
rain sweetens the earth
bird song filters down
from the impossibly blue blue sky
warm breezes weave through
a gorgeous tapestry of color

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Love only the sunflower

21 07 2011

Ancient Aztec Flower Song (anonymous)

Be indomitable, Oh my heart!
Love only the sunflower;
It is the flower of the Giver-of-Life!
What can my heart do?
Have we come, have we sojourned here on earth in vain?
As the flowers wither, I shall go.
Will there be nothing of my glory ever?
Will there be nothing of my fame on earth?
At most songs, at most flowers,
What can my heart do?
Have we come, have we sojourned on earth in vain?

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Every cloud has a silver lining…

13 07 2011

Yes, more clouds! Want to know where that expression comes from? Check this site out here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: An apology to the wood anemone…

21 05 2011

After posting that shot of a Wood Anemone, I remembered writing about one I was growing in my garden last year. This was originally posted April 5, 2010.

Lovely eight petal wood anemone
please accept my apology
More plants, I surely did not need any
but your price was reduced to a hundred pennies
Relegated to your preferred shady spot
remembering to plant you, I most certainly did not
Lost in the shuffle of spring and summer
as the King of Texas says, “what a bummer!”
you braved well over two feet of snow
yet still come spring, you put on a show
Please accept my apology
lovely eight petal wood anemone

Poem and photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Lone Poppy

12 05 2011

The Little Garden

A little garden on a bleak hillside
Where deep the heavy, dazzling mountain snow
Lies far into the spring. The sun’s pale glow
Is scarcely able to melt patches wide
About the single rose bush. All denied
Of nature’s tender ministries. But no, —
For wonder-working faith has made it blow
With flowers many hued and starry-eyed.
Here sleeps the sun long, idle summer hours;
Here butterflies and bees fare far to rove
Amid the crumpled leaves of poppy flowers;
Here four o’clocks, to the passionate night above
Fling whiffs of perfume, like pale incense showers.
A little garden, loved with a great love!

—Amy Lowell, 1874–1925

Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blooming in my garden: Oriental Poppy ‘Ruffled Patty’

12 05 2011

Papaver orientale ‘Ruffled Patty’—this hybrid perennial poppy blooms in May and June with huge pale pink flowers that have double and fringed petals. Zones 3-8, part to full sun and average soil, height 30″ / spread 18″

Summer set lip to earth’s bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there.

—Francis Thompson, The Poppy, 1891

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: After a spring rain

6 05 2011

Originally posted 5/8/2009

Photos taken this morning at Green Spring Gardens, just after the morning downpour. This time I was prepared—I brought a large trash bag to sit on. Unfortunately, when one sits on a slope to photograph a flower, one will soon find one’s behind sliding off the edge of the plastic and one’s pants would soon absorb the surrounding mud and water. I speak from experience. Ah, well. No pain, no beautiful flower shots, eh?

A Spring Rain by Raymond A. Foss

The world is wet today
luxurious, damp, drenched
drops hug the leaves,
anoint the still budded lilac blossoms
before their blooming
rich purple and plum
made richer by their watery skin
New leaves under the weight
droplets heavy, hanging
bowing the white pine needles
undersides exposed to drink
drink in the morning
hushed in the rain
temperature near the dewpoint
sprouts of just planted flowers
eager from the parched soil
new puddles bloom too
on the ground, the driveway
collect and gather
without the smell of summer rain yet
tears splash and spread
silent shimmers, heralds, messengers
in the spring rain

__________________________________________________________

I came across the above poem and it was perfect for this posting. I looked at the name and wondered why it looked so familiar. Apparently I’m drawn to this man’s nature- and garden-inspired poetry because I published (with his permission) another of his poems on my blog in August 2007. His poem was a great accompaniment for my posting about harvesting Concord grapes in our backyard garden. Click here for that post and Raymond’s beautiful poem, Smell of Autumn. I most recently posted his poem, Chartreuse, on my blog in April. Click here for that post. Raymond has written more than 11,000 poems to date and all of them can be found here. Click on “Poems” beneath his photo. Raymond’s blog can be found here.

Thank you for letting me share your poetry on my blog, Raymond. If you ever want to publish a book of your poetry, give me a shout—I would love to design it for you!

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

GreenSpringCollage





Chartreuse

6 04 2011

A palette of green in the hills of Austin. Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

A Line of Chartreuse Blooms

Chartreuse blooms, living for a week at most
maple trees lining Maple Street
little bells, like green lilies of the valleys,
bright yellow-green buttercups
bouquets shining in the April-May sun
Soon they will fall and the supple new leaves
will stiffen, turgid with Kelly green, darker hues
But for a regal moment, even the trees bloom
in vivid bright colors

—Raymond A. Foss


I met Raymond online a few years ago when I asked for permission to use one of his poems to accompany a post about growing grapes in our tiny townhouse backyard garden. I’ve kept in touch with him regularly and enjoy reading his new works. He is one of the most prolific poets I have encountered—more than 11,000 poems to date! Check out more of his work here.





Blue Dasher Dragonfly

27 06 2010

I was fervently hoping to get some shots of the dragonflies yesterday at Kenilworth, but they were very active and rarely settled long enough for me to photograph them. It was getting hotter and I was just about to give up. I stopped to rest and something compelled me to look to my immediate left—a little more than a foot away from my head, at eye level, was a Blue Dasher (the fella in the second photo) clinging to a bare branch sticking out of the pond. I moved really slowly and was able to fire off about a dozen shots before hedashed away.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Pair of Water Lilies

27 06 2010

Water Lily

My whole life is mine, but whoever says so
will deprive me, for it is infinite.
The ripple of water, the shade of the sky are mine;
it is still the same, my life.

No desire opens me: I am full,
I never close myself with refusal—
in the rhythm of my daily soul
I do not desire—I am moved;

by being moved I exert my empire,
making the dreams of night real:
into my body at the bottom of the water
I attract the beyonds of mirrors…

—Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by A. Poulin

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Bumblebee on Water Lily

27 06 2010

Hey, this is a nice angle…lemme crop out that brown leaf on the left…and now wait until the sun goes behind that cloud…mmmm…nice and graphic…black, white, green, yellow pop in the center…let’s try a vertical…focus, click, view screen…nah, horizontal is better…focus, click, view screen, change aperture, focus, click, refocus, click, click…now if only a dragonfly would land right smack in the middle…then it would be perfect…oooh, oooh, a bumblebee!…quick, refocus, click! Just one shot before he buzzed away, but here it is. (Cropping it as a square made for a more dynamic image in this case.)

Ode Tae a Bumble Bee

Wee hoverin’, fleein’ ferlie fello’,
Wi’ yer stripes o’ black and yello’,
Yer ever sae bonnie, so ye ur,
Like a spring lamb—only smaller and withoot the fur,
But see if ye ever sting me oan the bum again,
Ah’m gonnae jump on yer heid so Ah um.

—Stuart McLean (from No’ Rabbie Burns)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blue Dasher Dragonfly

27 06 2010

The Dragonfly

Today I saw the dragon-fly
Come from the wells where he did lie.
An inner impulse rent the veil
Of his old husk: from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.
He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;
Thro’ crofts and pastures wet with dew
A living flash of light he flew.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blooming in my garden today…

13 06 2010

Easy-to-grow perennial ‘Blue Star’ Stoke’s Aster (Stokesia laevis) and unidentified yellow lily 

Chide me not, laborious band,
For the idle flowers I brought;
Every aster in my hand
Goes home loaded with a thought. 

—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)





H.M. Dyer’s ‘Ode to a cheesecake’

6 04 2010

I must preface my father’s poem (below) by explaining his urge to write about a cheesecake in the first place. In February we hosted a very scaled back Chocoholic Party for friends—aptly renamed the “Cabin Fever with Chocolate Party.” It was scaled-back from our annual soiree because of the unprecedented piles of snow in our area, which resulted in virtually no parking for guests from outside the neighborhood. (This annual party usually brings in 35+ chocoholics, so ample parking is necessary!) So, if you could walk to our house in 30+ inches of snow, you were a guest! Anyway, earlier in the week we bought a cheesecake from Costco during our rounds to gather food for this semi-potluck party. I was sitting at the computer working a few days before the party when Michael came downstairs—a brown wrapped package in one hand and a shovel in the other—and unlocked the patio door. I watched him, wondering if he was going to dig a path through the almost three feet of snow to the back gate (and why?). He proceeded to dig a hole into the snow bank just outside the door and buried the package. I then asked, “what in the world did you just bury?” “Cheesecake!” he exclaimed. “There wasn’t any room for it in the refrigerator and since the party is just two days away, I figured it would keep.” There you have it. Such a resourceful man. I think I’ll keep him.

So, my ‘An apology to the wood anemone’ poem (see my previous posting) has inspired my father to write his wonderful ‘Ode to a cheesecake.’ Bravo, bravo, King of Texas! Here are his comments to my post, followed by his poem.

_________________________________________________________________________

In advance of posting this comment, I humbly offer my abject apologies to the preacher John Donne, to the poet Joyce Kilmer and to the author of ‘An apology to the wood anemone’ . . . It’s not my fault—it’s in my nature—it’s something I cannot control. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa maxima.

Ode to a cheesecake

Breathes there one with soul so dead
That never to one’s self hath said
Methinks that I shall never see
A word so lovely as anemone.

Offed from my tongue it rolls
Sadly as the bell that tolls
Not for thee and not for me
Nor for the lovely anemone.

But for the cheesecake in its bower
Not ‘neath trees nor plants nor showers
Nay, ‘neath snowstorms full of power
Lying beneath the snow for hours
In wait for the chocolate party
To be eaten by goers hearty.

But wait, what’s that I see
Beside the cheesecake ‘neath the snow
The anemone arises ready to go
With the cheesecake to the table
Petals eight to be divided
Among the diners so excited
A ‘nemone to see.

They smell the petals
They hear the bell
They’ll come to know
As time will tell
If snow and cheesecake
Sounds their knell
Or leaves them alive
And well.

— H.M. Dyer (1932-     )

I neglected to give credit to Sir Walter Scott for his poem ‘The lay of the last minstrel’ in my ‘Ode to a cheesecake’—credit is now given. I also neglected to say that I loved your poem ‘An apology to the wood anemone’… Well done!

Your anemone arising from the snow is reminiscent of Thoreau’s “Walden,” in which he tells of a golden bug that in the spring gnawed its way out of a table after being entombed in the wood for many years.

________________________________________________________

See more of my father’s pondering, hypothesizing and philosophizing, musings, comments, lectures, diatribes, royal reflections and revelations, essays, memoirs, biographies and autobiographies, tall tales, fables, childhood memories, yarns, jokes, poems, political and social commentary, and my favorite of his topics—excellent grammatical lessons—on his website, thekingoftexas.wordpress.com.





An apology to the wood anemone…

5 04 2010

Lovely eight petal wood anemone
please accept my apology
More plants, I surely did not need any
but your price was reduced to a hundred pennies
Relegated to your preferred shady spot
remembering to plant you, I most certainly did not
Lost in the shuffle of spring and summer
as the King of Texas says, “what a bummer!”
you braved well over two feet of snow
yet still come spring, you put on a show
Please accept my apology
lovely eight petal wood anemone

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Blooming in the garden today…

17 07 2009

Song of the Flower

I am a kind word uttered and repeated 
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth;
I was Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.

At dawn I unite with the breeze
To announce the coming of light;
At eventide I join the birds
In bidding the light farewell.

The plains are decorated with
My beautiful colors, and the air
Is scented with my fragrance.

As I embrace Slumber the eyes of
Night watch over me, and as I
Awaken I stare at the sun, which is
The only eye of the day.

I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.

I am the lover’s gift; I am the wedding wreath;
I am the memory of a moment of happiness;
I am the last gift of the living to the dead;
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.
But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn. 

— Khalil Gibran

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.    
http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

Blooms7172009





Blooming in my garden today…

10 07 2009

My Star Gazer Lily
blooms
with colossal flowers of pink fire.
Its stamens lick the air
with pollen-covered tongues
of orange flames.
The trinity of blossoms lean heavy,
would topple and only ogle earth
with bright freckled eyes
if I had not propped them
against a colorful pot.
Heady fragrance fills the room,
demands attention.
A lower petal rests like a benediction
on the porcelain head
of an angel poised with a silent harp,
as if flower shakti could bring
the angel to life.
No shy, tiny violet
this plant blares its presence
in a trumpet of color,
declares its allegiance
to life with the vibrancy
of a Flamenco dancer,
castanets clacking,
red dress whirling,
feet stamping.
Its verve stirs me with purpose,
calls me to action
with the torch of love blazing,
a conflagration of pasión.

© 2006 Sher Lianne Christian

This beautiful poem was reprinted with permission by Sher Lianne Christian. Find more of Sher’s poetry and creative essays on her blog, www.lusciouspoetry.typepad.com/. Sher hosts the Third Sunday Poetry Reading and Open Mic at Coffee Catz in Sebastopol, CA, accompanied by her husband John on accordian and keyboard. She is the author of Star Kissed Shadows, Divining Poetry, available for purchase on her website. Click here to learn more about Sher, John, and their spoken-word CD, Sweet Tongue, Assorted Poems & Music, released in 2007.

Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

StargazerLilyCloseup





Partake as doth the Bee

9 07 2009

Partake as doth the Bee,
Abstemiously.
The Rose is an Estate—
In Sicily.

—Emily Dickinson

Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

BeeOnConeflower





Water like satin

26 05 2009

Sunset begins at Lake Land ‘Or © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

The Lake. To — by Edgar Allan Poe (1827)

In spring of youth it was my lot
To haunt of the wide world a spot
The which I could not love the less—
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
And the tall pines that towered around.

But when the Night had thrown her pall
Upon that spot, as upon all,
And the mystic wind went by
Murmuring in melody—
Then, ah then I would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.

Yet that terror was not fright,
But a tremendous delight—
A feeling not the jewelled mine
Could teach or bribe me to define—
Nor Love—although the Love were thine.

Death was in that poisonous wave,
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his lone imagining—
Whose solitary soul could make
An Eden of that dim lake.

CanoeLakeLandOr





After the rain…

8 05 2009

Photos taken this morning at Green Spring Gardens, just after the morning downpour. This time I was prepared—I brought a large trash bag to sit on. Unfortunately, when one sits on a slope to photograph a flower, one will soon find one’s behind sliding off the edge of the plastic and one’s pants would soon absorb the surrounding mud and water. I speak from experience. Ah, well. No pain, no beautiful flower shots, eh?

A Spring Rain by Raymond A. Foss

The world is wet today
luxurious, damp, drenched
drops hug the leaves,
anoint the still budded lilac blossoms
before their blooming
rich purple and plum
made richer by their watery skin
New leaves under the weight
droplets heavy, hanging
bowing the white pine needles
undersides exposed to drink
drink in the morning
hushed in the rain
temperature near the dewpoint
sprouts of just planted flowers
eager from the parched soil
new puddles bloom too
on the ground, the driveway
collect and gather
without the smell of summer rain yet
tears splash and spread
silent shimmers, heralds, messengers
in the spring rain

__________________________________________________________

I came across the above poem and it was perfect for this posting. I looked at the name and wondered why it looked so familiar. Apparently I’m drawn to this man’s nature- and garden-inspired poetry because I published (with his permission) another of his poems on my blog in August 2007. His poem was a great accompaniment for my posting about harvesting Concord grapes in our backyard garden. Click here for that post and Raymond’s beautiful poem, Smell of Autumn. Raymond has written 3,974 poems to date and all of them can be found here. Click on “Poems” beneath his photo. Raymond’s blog can be found here.

Thank you for letting me share your poetry on my blog, Raymond. If you ever want to publish a book of your poetry, give me a shout—I would love to design it for you!

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

GreenSpringCollage





And dances with the daffodils

6 04 2009

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
and twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
in such a jocund company:
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
what wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

— William Wordsworth

Learn more about growing Daffodils here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

daffodilwhite






Sigh…the final harvest

22 10 2008

The temperatures are finally starting to feel more fall-like in Virginia. A few nights ago, we gathered up the three passion flower vines and brought them into the studio so they could continue their growing indoors through the winter. I cut the last of the catnip and made our cat, Jasper, a very happy boy this afternoon. And although there are still a few things in bloom, the garden is growing weary and fading fast. The only things blooming now are daisies, butterfly bushes, yellow mums, and balloon flowers in the front. And the only things blooming in the back yard garden are a red cardinal plant and one solitary Marguerite daisy. It’s nearing that sad, sad time when my garden goes dormant. I’ll put the garden to bed for the winter by next week.

When the evening weatherman reported impending frost a few nights ago, Michael ran out to pick the remaining (green) tomatoes (for his homemade tomato relish), as well as the rest of the green beans. With flashlight in hand, he picked what he could find easily in the dark, then I assisted by shining one of my studio modeling lights through the window. To add to the harvest, I found another dozen beans today on a vine hiding by the heat pump.

Without further delay, I present to you the final bean harvest—enough for dinner for two…and a beautiful poem by Irish poet and playwright Louis MacNeice (1907-1963), followed with a quote by one of my favorite writers, May Sarton.

The Sunlight on the Garden

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

__________________________________________

In the garden the door is always open to the holy—growth, birth, death. Every flower holds the whole mystery in its short cycle, and in the garden we are never far away from death, the fertilizing, good creative death. May Sarton

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Desktop poetry: In my garden

4 08 2008

© Cindy Dyer, 2008. All rights reserved.





On fire with bloom

21 06 2008

Tropaeolum majus (Garden Nasturtium or Indian Cress)—Learn how to grow them at GardenGuides.com. This annual edible flower blooms late spring to early fall, requires sun to partial shade, and is native to Hawaii. The title of this posting is taken from this excerpt from a poem titled, “Guests,” by Celia Thaxter, a nineteenth century poet and gardener.

Guests
Sunflower tall and hollyhock
that wave in the wind together,
Corn-flower, poppy, and marigold, blossoming
fair and fine,
Delicate sweet-peas, glowing bright in the quiet
autumn weather,
While over the fence, on fire with bloom,
climbs the nasturtium vine

You can read the entire poem at poemhunter.com.

My fellow garden blogger, Kathryn Hall, has written a wonderful review of Thaxter’s book, An Island Garden, on her blog, Plant Whatever Brings You Joy! You can read the text of An Island Garden (sans the lovely illustrations by Childe Hassam, an American Impressionist painter) on the Occasional Gardener‘s blog.

And if you’re ever in the Maine, there are guided tours of Celia Thaxter’s Garden on Appledore Island, conducted by Shoals Marine Laboratory. The site also showcases photographs taken in the garden.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Desktop poet, attempt #1

12 02 2008

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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