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My Place in the Garden

The Cherokee bean and the coral honeysuckle are calling to the ruby throated hummingbirds and the mimosa strigillosa sings out to the bees while the cross vine welcomes them both. And then, there is this special one called a maypop, that hosts the gulf fritillary butterfly. The large blue-purple blossoms are hards to miss and once the butterflies lay their eggs on this plant and the caterpillars start eating the leaves, the maypop will disappear from the garden altogether until the seeds from this plant sprout and/or new growth pushes through the nodes of the green stems. Until then, I love being surprised by these flowers when they appear.

The oaks in my neighborhood are also pushing their way into my field of vision. They have finished blooming and setting new leaves, while the warblers, that are gleaning the insects in their canopy, discuss heading back north. But the swallow-tailed kites have just arrived from SA and are a joy to watch, as they glide through our neighborhoods looking for a meal. This is a beautiful time of year!

Nature has found its rhythm again despite the interruption of the hurricanes. There is so much to observe now, so get out those cameras, sketchbooks, musical instruments and easels and record what calls to you. The joy of drawing, at least for me, is that the hand can be trained through sketching to remember even when your brain forgets. The same, I think, can be said of music.

Spring is a time of new growth and inspiration for me. I get a thrill at watching seeds sprout, and buds opening, in light of all the difficulties they have had to push through. This week it has been the iris that has held my attention, that I find at the edge of the wet prairie at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and also in my backyard swale next to the stand of pond cypress. Last year the ones in my backyard didn’t bloom. They had become hidden under the growth of neighboring shrubs. So, I cut the shrubs back… and lo and behold…I have blooms!All of which reminds me, that in order to feel the inspiration from that spring light, you have to step into it. So, I hope that you follow my lead and get outside. Look up and out and maybe even down if you see a reflection in the pond or lake. Pause and take a deep breath. You might become inspired to remember the moment.

Next Wednesday, the 28TH, I am offering a free mini painting class to honor our place in the garden. We will meet in our community nature park and butterfly garden. Class starts at 10am and ends at noon. Please email to let me know you are coming and I will reserve a canvas for you!

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