as spring becomes a memory

5.31.24 ~ North Carolina Botanical Garden
common yarrow

May ended on a very pleasant note, with lots of sunshine, mild temperatures and no humidity! Since we knew these conditions wouldn’t last we went out for a walk, in spite of us both being sick with colds. Who knows when such perfect weather will come around again?

bronze fennel

And of course, it being ten days since our last walk, different things were blooming. It’s never the same garden twice.

golden tickseed
bee visiting English lavender
purple coneflower

When I watched the sun rise this morning, due east, I felt that the universe, the solar system, the earth, the year, the season, the day, were still in order, no matter what stupidities man might achieve today. It is good to know such things about the place you live. It is good to know that there are certainties.
~ Hal Borland
(Hal Borland’s Book of Days)

hemlock cones
woodland pinkroot
crow poison (poisonous to humans and animals)
common sanddragon dragonfly
phlox

The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world.
~ Michael Pollan
(Food, Inc.)

32 thoughts on “as spring becomes a memory”

  1. I went to our Botanical Gardens today and was surprised it was so colorful. Most of the plants were annuals but the roses were blooming everywhere. No butterflies at all yet. I like the Hal Borland quote – made me smile. The Woodland Pinkroot was my favorite here and that Crow’s Poison sure was interesting. I’m sure scorching hot and very humid weather is waiting in the wings for you and Tim. Might as well make the best of any pleasant weather day. We had three perfect days in a row, but rain tonight will spoil the evening and Sunday morning. The Gran Prix race is tomorrow in Detroit, so everyone is hoping it clears up for the afternoon race. We have one nice day this week – Monday. Then we cool down after possible severe weather on Wednesday. I hope you both feel better Barbara.

    1. Thank you, Linda. I like the Borland quote, too. Even though the weather is unpredictable due to our stupidities, we still know exactly when the sun will rise and set and how much light we’ll have on the equinoxes and solstices. I worry about the moon, though. They’re already talking about a lunar gold rush as we greedy humans have pegged it as an untapped resource. Sigh… I’m so glad you finally got to enjoy some spring color at your botanical garden!!! The butterflies will find them pretty soon. 🙂 We’ve already had a few days in the 90s, but mostly it’s been in the 80s. Sick or not, we just had to get out there those couple of days when it was in the 70s! Now that you are retired you can take advantage of the Monday, the one nice day of the week. Isn’t that wonderful?

      1. Yes, I worry about that as well as all the unusual activity with the sun – they said there are more and more solar flares which wreak havoc with us here on Earth, especially geomagnetic storms. We have another solar flare coming soon which may mean more auroras for us, but also cause blackouts and damage cellphone towers, GPS signals, etc. I read to keep your gas tank full or near full and have an emergency preparedeness kit much as you do in severe weather season, as it could disrupt power at gas stations or grocery stores, much like we experienced when the grid went down in August of 2003. Lots of things to worry about these days. Though I want to complain about four days of rain this week, if we can keep the severe weather at bay I am happy. I hope Wednesday’s severe weather fizzles out. I do embrace those good weather days just like you and Tim do – 70s is a nice walk, but when the humidity and dew points are high, it is not a walk, but a trudge.

        1. I’ve been looking at those recent record-breaking high temperatures in the southwest and it is frightening. How hot will it get before we fry ourselves off this planet??? And we’re so dependent on our air-conditioning, it won’t take too many power outages before large numbers of people are dying in the heat. It’s hard to be optimistic.

          1. The national news said Las Vegas never gets this hot before July, so this is likely the new norm. We are getting temps near 90 the tail end of next week. I’m not looking forward to that as it will touch off severe weather. It’s been very pleasant the past few days through Tuesday – didn’t need the A/C on. I agree with you Barbara – probably too late now to try and reverse the damage.

          2. This new normal, climate wise, is pretty terrifying. I’m glad you had a few nice days. We’ll have to make the most of the nice ones whenever they do come. I’m feeling cranky this morning because it looks like a good walking day but my lingering cold symptoms are discouraging me from getting out there. 🙁

          3. Yes, seize the day Barbara. Sorry you were not feeling well enough to get out and enjoy a Spring day – maybe Tuesday? I had plans for today that were dashed when cloud cover was so bad, that they said it might drizzle and I knew I had to get out early because winds at 14 mph were bad enough at 8:00 a.m. but by 11:00 a.m. were supposed to be 30 mph. Not great. So much for making plans in advance.

          4. The best laid plans… I wound up going to the urgent care clinic yesterday, instead of a walk, but not for the cold, which is improving, but for a mysterious rash on both my legs. The doctor put me on a steroid and referred me to a dermatologist, who I will be seeing today. Nothing but temperatures in the 90s starting Thursday for the foreseeable future, but no storms on the horizon. Hope you get a nicer day soon!

          5. Well I hope the dermatologist can pinpoint the rash problem. I still have marks from the bug bite almost three months ago. The initial bug bite went away but I had tape burns so I got the Tegaderm clear dressing which still caused tape burns, just around the edges. You can’t use Neosporin with Tegaderm. I am on the second box of Tegaderm and keep moving the bandage over a little … it may never heal. The tick issues here are scary; I read an article on the Refuge site on Facebook – ticks are the size of a sesame seed. We finally had a good day, no wind today, but I had to go for allergy shots first. We’ll have your weather Thursday and all next week. We got down to 48 last night!

          6. Seems like the treatment is/was worse than the original bug bite! Well, the dermatologist didn’t know what to make of the rash so she took a biopsy. I have to wait until Wednesday next week for the results. Meanwhile, the steroid is lessening the burning itchiness. I don’t enjoy dealing with uncertainty.

          7. Yes and I had to loosen the bandage last night as it was aggravating and making a red welt in a new spot. My mom had the same problem and used paper tape and I now wish I’d just bought some paper tape and gauze for the bite. These bandages are waterproof and you can leave them on seven days, but because you can’t put any ointment on them, it doesn’t heal quickly. I hope your biopsy tells you the answer – perhaps just a plant rash, but not poison ivy. My friend lives in NY and will go out to pull weeds in socks, long pants and a long shirt and come inside with a rash on her arms and legs anyway. The doctors don’t know what it is and sometimes she isn’t even outside and gets a rash. They suggest it is stress, but years and years of testing and no answer for her.

          8. I’ve never bandaged a spider bite or bug bite before, they seem to heal all right without that kind of barrier. A little cortisone cream dries soon enough without coverage. Maybe you could do without all the irritating bandage problems? I’ve had stress rashes before and that’s what I thought this one was at first. But it kept getting worse. Steroids took care of the itching now and I’m keeping my fingers crossed about the biopsy.

          9. I never bandaged a bug bite before either, but this one got infected … I was worried what bit me to be honest. I get those little ants every Spring but didn’t have hardly any this year, which I put down to our mild Winter, so there was no big eruption once the warm weather arrived. I only get them on one side of the house and that’s my bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. I didn’t think it was an ant bite, but worried it was a spider or centipede got into my bed overnight … I am so scared of them, the thought of one of them on me was worse than thinking about the bite. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you as you await the biopsy results.

          10. Thanks, Linda. I do hope your bite and bandage allergy resolve themselves soon. You didn’t need all that worry and aggravation at the start of your retirement adventures!

  2. Hi Barbara, I’m glad that you decided to venture out to the Botanical Gardens again! The woodland pinkroot sure looks tiny and delicate. I enjoyed seeing what bronze fennel looks like in plant form.
    I use small amounts of fennel seeds in my diet and teas for the variety of health benefits. Wishing you both speedy recovery!

    1. Thank you so much, TD! I do love the flavor of fennel and it’s nice to know it has health benefits, too. The woodland pinkroot was so pretty and I’m glad I had a chance to see it, sick or not. 🙂

  3. The phlox is lovely, but my favorite might be the coneflower. Thus far, I haven’t had success growing them, but I keep hoping! I’ve never heard of golden tickseed or crow poison. Thank you for venturing out, despite your not feeling 100 percent. Here’s hoping the colds go away soon!

    1. Thank you, Debbie! I used to grow purple coneflowers even though they wound up looking scraggly most of the time. My grandmother always had phlox in her garden and it brought back some lovely memories to see it down here. Like you, I never heard of golden tickseed or crow poison before!

    1. Thank you, Susie! I’m going to try to get over there whenever we get breaks in the humidity this summer. 🙂

  4. I enjoyed this walk in the garden so much, Barbara. Thanks for the beautiful quotes and lovely photos. I’m sorry you are now sick with laryngitis, though.

    1. Thank you so much, Jet. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos and quotes from this summery walk. 🙂 There’s always something new to see every time we visit the garden.

    1. Although golden tickseed supposedly grows all across the country I bet it does much better in some places. I don’t remember it in Connecticut but it seems to be a thing down here. Glad you enjoyed the photo!

    1. Thank you, Tracy! Thank you so much for your well wishes, this cold was definitely a force to be reckoned with.

  5. Hope you are feeling better as I am reading this a week after you posted. Love your photos. Making me want to get out for a nice walk myself. Life has been a bit crazy recently, so hoping that it calms a bit and I can do this soon.

    1. Thank you, Karma. I’m feeling better but still have some lingering symptoms which are dragging me down. 🙁 I hope you do get a chance for a nice walk soon as now is a beautiful time of year up north there, as I recall. 🙂 Hang in there!

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