Morning garden

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It is very satisfying to hang clothes on the line after an early morning shower. The sky is quite clear and they will hang for a few hours and be reeled in dry as board, the towels rough and the underwear bleached white. The garden is still dripping. I noticed some morning glories. Mine always come late in the summer. I wonder why it is that we love them but scorn their white cousins, convolvulus and rip,them out as weeds. Floral racism, I guess. Wonderful how that true purple sits so well with the red of my first crop of tomatoes. Who would think to wear such a color combination and yet what is purple but red with a little blue mixed in.

See my lily finally came out. There is something very sexy about this picture and I leave you to figure that out for yourselves. My white lily did not appear so I will have to get another one. I thought of it as my Gabriel Lily and I am vexed to think that some damned squirrel or racoon got it. I hope it gave him a stomach ache.

Last picture of a strange and wonderful insect ( I hope it is not that that is spoiling one of my favorite roses). Anyway, he is waiting to see if I really will have a sunflower this year.

Off to get ready to be a guest……and then be a host tomorrow. Summer is lovely in that way. Flitting around like shimmery-winged insects.

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Jasmine

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All winter the jasmine plant was dreary and bare
It sat in the dim laundry room
perhaps grateful simply to be alive.
So much in the garden then was as good as dead.
It was at least protected from the long ice agony

Now after much rain and much heat
Some buds, some blooms appear.
The scent alone draws attention.
The evening silent and lonely has a sweet white consolation.

Sometimes waiting in the dim laundry room, safe and alive at least
I longed to pour forth some strong sweet scent to a warm breeze.

Perhaps,now, after much dim light, after much rain and heat
I might put forth a bud, a white jasmine bloom.

Waning Summer

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What summer? No danger of heat stroke or sunburn this year so far. The rainy summer has ensured that I do double time weeding and that the biggest stars of the garden are the many and beautifully striped snails who rule! This morning as I sipped coffee in a dreamy haze I had evidence of night visitors who are convinced that fall is coming. Racoons climbed up on my grape arbour, investigated my composting bin and tipped out a couple of orchid pots I had left out. What a mess! Raccoons are heavy animals and years ago I saw five of them up on the grape trellis checking for ripe fruit. “Not yet, guys”. In their search for treats I fear they will bring the whole thing crashing down. I smiled as I wondered what they thought of the taste of pineapple rind laced with coffee grounds. How gourmet are they, anyway? How curious they are! Imagine them scratching at my orchids and discovering that the roots were not tasty after all. Maybe the upset will stimulate the plants to bloom. They were only out there because I had hopes of recreating the damp yet sporadically sunny environment of their natural habitat. Of course, the grapes are not yet ready and the only blessing is that they did not discover my measly tomato plant. Honestly, I have had bunches of tomatoes in suspended animation for weeks…not redder, not bigger than the day I noticed them. Oh well, off to wash the balcony and sweep up the yard. Roll on fall!

Public sculpture

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In winter I was posting a little about graffiti. There are some great examples here in Montreal but over the past week or so, I’ve been surprised by the great public sculpture around town. Here are two pretty classic examples. The beautiful copy of the winged victory of Samothrace was a total surprise. Montreal’s long summer construction projects forced me to take an unusual shortcut down a very beautiful little street close to Tupper St. ( the old Montreal Children’s’ Hospital area). As you can see they have a more mysterious and obscure figure peering over the upstairs balcony. Can’t tell you who this is.

The more flashy Pinoccio and Venus de Milo homage is a little one. (yes his work can be B I. G ) by Jim Dine. This was outside a gallery on Greene Avenue and I think I’ve seen other works by this artist here before. OK, if you don’t know this guy, just google him. You can see a You Tube interview that is so facinating. He is a painter, sculptor, poet, decorator and such an unpretentious and sincere soul. I really got that impression,when I heard him speak. If you want to see more of his work, our museum has quite a few pieces including a painting. Pinoccio is such an important theme for him. Scratch your head if you will but…don’t forget, Pinoccio was just a piece of wood before he ran away, hurt his father, fell in with bad company and finally got enlightened. Hmm sounds like the journey many of us make towards being a grown up, no? Well worth exploring, Jim Dine.

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The beauty of insects

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We’re always swatting them away, spraying them, destroying their nests and yet they are very beautiful and absolutely necessary. Why do we love butterflies and despise these little guys. Of course, it is annoying to us to have flies buzzing around our food, in our houses or hovering over the pic nic. This little guy sat quietly for me to take his picture in the morning sun. If you are able to zoom in on him you will see that he has an emerald thorax and that the rest of his body is golden. His transparent wings have little black bars like racer stripes. How beautiful he is. I don’t want to swat him or spray him. Just take his picture and think about him. Now, mosquitoes are a whole other matter. Wasps? Hmm not quite sure.

For those of us not in love with winged friends, the hopeful flox. So faithful and welcome right about now. Love how the little buds promise to do well this week. How still it is, not a lead stirring. A soft day to all.

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Just when I think

 

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That the garden is at a bad stage, roses done, clematis starting to fall, nothing interesting for a while and loads of weeding. . . .I find that the foxglove I planted earlier this year has bloomed.  They are supposed to take two years to come out so what a nice surprise.

Just when I think I’ll only see cabbage white butterflies this year, here comes a monarch and I whisper,'”Hasta luguega  baby!  See you in Mexico.”  And the snails wander around my butterfly bush enjoying a surprise sun shower.  Just when I thought the clothes were dry.

 

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At The Pow Wow

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It is always hot at the Pow Wow.  I usually manage to go and it is always hot.  By now I have learned to wear a big hat or bring an umbrella for shade and to sit on the east side of the dance ring where there is a little shelter from the burning sun.  The Pow Wow is another world.  My rules do not apply.  There is always a long line up for tickets or for food because the most efficient way has not been adhered to.  However, cold water costs only one dollar a bottle because “no one should be thirsty on a hot day”.  I am not allowed to have wine with my picnic lunch.  I will stand when the veterans bring in the flags to open the dancing and I will not take pictures of people dancing with an eagle feather.  I’ve seen disrespectful youngsters physically removed from the stands in the past…..by a lady security guad.  There is something refreshing about being a guest in a place so close to my home.  When I read the sign, “This is Indian land”  I nod and think to myself, “Yes, it is.”  No political correctness here.  A lot of straight talk and respect from the visitors and the hosts.  I love the drumming, the regalia, the corny jokes of the MC.  I love the big old trees that surround the dance ground, the tents selling skins or hair ornaments or food you’ll never find anywhere else.  I love the breeze from the water that brings a sigh from the people in the stands.  I love the patience of people who are constantly being asked to stand for a photo.  I love the little ones dancing with their elders.  I love the beadwork and the colorful costumes, traditional or neon modern.  Today I stood close to the drummers and saw the group of about eight men follow the high keening voice of the lead singer and harmonize with him in those cries that accompany the solid beat of the drum.  When it was over one of them took a drag of a cigarette and with his hand wafted the smoke over his face and head like a blessing, like incense.  If the dancers were old or fat, if they were toddlers or sober middle aged men and women, if they were giddy teenagers or babies in the arms of their beautiful mothers, they were all floating on the sound of those drums.  Their feet were as light as a little fox’s paws, they twirled around like snowflakes in a high wind.  They were celebrating and celebrated.  I liked being there.  I love the Pow Wow no matter how hot it is because sometimes it is good to be hot.