Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Wednesday Vignette: Accept joy where you find it

It's been really difficult to feel happy about much of anything of late.  But even the darkest days have their moments.  I thought I'd share two of those from the past week.

Late last week, when it was still too hot to do much in the garden and the air quality remained poor, I decided to spend an hour pulling up and potting several agave pups I'd spied in various locations of my garden.  When done, I labeled them and others I'd collected earlier and put them out on the curb for neighbors to take if they were so inclined.

This was the group's class picture, taken before I placed them on the curb.  The group included: Agave desmettiana 'Variegata', A. funkiana 'Blue Haze', A. 'Jaws', and A. pygmaea 'Dragon Toes'.

I'd only just put them out and grabbed my camera to take a photo when the first car pulled to a stop in front of them

About an hour and a half after I put them out, all but three were gone.  Another two went the next morning.  Poor Agave funkiana 'Blue Haze', admittedly the runt of the litter, didn't find a new home but I've put it aside in the hope it'll bulk up before my next give-away.

Yesterday, it was the birds in the backyard fountain that made me smile.  There was a steady steam of them but catching them bathing isn't always easy as they usually fly away as soon as I get close to the window.  However, one fellow was so caught up with his bath, he paid me no mind.

Most of the bathers were house finches and lesser gold finches.  I think this one was one of the former group.
I've noticed that house finches are particularly serious about their baths

He splashed about a half dozen times before deciding he was done and relinquishing the fountain to a trio of the smaller finches

I was happy to bask in his pleasure, if only for a moment

The United States reached the grim milestone of 200,000 deaths associated with COVID-19 this week.  The US accounts for 4.23% of the world's population, yet our total deaths currently represent 21% of the total attributed to COVID-19 worldwide.  That's not just sad, it's pathetic.  We're the richest country in the world and our per capita death rate from the virus is the 11th highest in the world.  The number of lies that have come directly from the horse's mouth regarding the virus are incredible.  While the occupant of the White House can't be blamed for importing the virus, he, his minions and his apologists should be held accountable for their monumental failures to manage the response to it.  Are we prepared to allow them to compound their failures and continue to lie?  VOTE. 

For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


30 comments:

  1. It is very cool how you shared the pups with your neighbors; folks do love free stuff and it probably made their day. In these times of high anxiety, every little bit of respite is a blessing!

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    1. I had a brief chat with the first person who stopped to check out the agaves. Apparently, she's taken advantage of at least one of my giveaways before and had discussed the fact with another neighbor living near her. She picked up plants for both of them.

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  2. Vote, vote, vote... We can all contribute to turning this ship around, by spreading kindness, tolerance, and encouraging others to do the same. Good for you for sharing your bounty with your community! This is how we'll grind this catastrophe to a halt- by sharing what we have. Reach out to friends and neighbors, and encourage them to come out and use their rights. Hang in there, Kris - 40 days to go.

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    1. The election seems both too far in the future and simultaneously too close for comfort, Anna. I classic paradox, albeit one founded on the opposing emotions of hope and fear.

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  3. Pups and birds bathing - a happy pairing. Trying to stay grounded and focused and plants help.

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    1. I agree that gardening helps, Barbara. It's been good that I can get back in the garden again this week and refocus my attention, if only for awhile.

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  4. Keep your spirits up Kris. It will get better, it has to.

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    1. I'd like to believe that, Jessica. Although I believe I look at most things from a rational perspective, I'm a bit of an optimist at heart. But the events of the last few years in the US have sorely tested that perspective.

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  5. Your neighbors must LOVE you with all your generous giveaways. So nice that you share the joy of plants. Nature is the one place I can count on to make me feel better. Hang in there. <3

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  6. It's so awful to look forward to the election and dread it at the same time. I have packed my fall with projects including those done by actual contractors. Having some of these long-simmering infrastructure issues dealt with has been a happy distraction. I put lot's of 'Free Sign' stuff out at my curb but thus far never plants ! I think you have inspired me to give it a try.I have dug up so many plants in the last couple of months, and I also have some Agave and Aloe pups I could share .

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    1. I really had no idea how people would respond to my giveaways, Kathy, but, when my citrus giveaways were well received, I figured I might as well try giving away some plants. I was very surprised when the large mass of Euphorbia 'Sticks on Fire' cuttings I left out (with a warning to beware of their sap!) were gone almost immediately. I may try giving away cut flowers at the end of the season as my small Mother's Day offerings of cut flowers in ice tea bottles also went fast.

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  7. These days are very difficult...My garden has taken on even more importance. Yes, vote vote vote. North Carolina is a key state and we're trying our best to turn it blue! And yes, I just gave away many, many iris after dividing numerous clumps.

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  8. It makes me so happy to see that not only are you valuing these plants enough to pot them up and label them, but others value them enough to stop and pick them up. I remember an interaction from early in my blogging career, with a couple living in the Bay Area, that painted agave pups as garbage not worth their, or anyone else's time. That made me so sad!!! I mean I get they grow like weeds in some parts of CA, but still...

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    1. I figured that people might be more willing to pick up the plants if they were neatly presented in pots, although I didn't do that with the Agave desmettiana bulbils last year or the Euphorbia 'Sticks on Fire' cuttings this year and they all went quickly. I always list what's included in the giveaway but, given that there were 4 varieties this time, I didn't provide any details on size, care, etc. I noticed one woman pulled out her cell phone to look them up, though, which I count as progress!

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  9. I keep my eye on discards in parkways all the time, to Marty's eternal regret! Good for you, sharing the love. Narrow issue voters will be the end of us -- think bigger, like planetary, for once! And apparently that's asking a lot of humans. Fingers crossed, Kris, but I wouldn't be surprised either way.

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    1. I agree, Denise. Narrow or one issue votes, as well as a refusal to accept compromises of any kind, could be a real problem. I'm trying to remain calm but I don't think I'm succeeding...

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  10. So lovely of you to do that. I put out a bunch of cleaned and tidied 'Cynthia Gitty', but very few takers.

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    1. Your neighborhood behind the gate is smaller than ours and probably doesn't get the same volume of foot and auto traffic, HB. There are 55 homes within our circular neighborhood.

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  11. I can't imagine having neighbors that would actually take a plant offered. Lucky on both sides.

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    1. I figured the fruit giveaways might be popular (even through others also have fruit trees) but I really wasn't sure that succulents would appeal to most of my neighbors, Lisa. Maybe being stuck at home has turned more people into gardeners.

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  12. What a great idea to do a curbside giveaway! I must try it. (I need to!) Your last paragraph, so well said. These are battering (or battling!) and surreal days. I love your overarching premise of catching joy when you can. Even the littlest bits. It reminds me of When Everything is daunting, “baby steps.”

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    1. I've started taking more more cuttings and divisions with the idea of giving those away too once they're well rooted. It does my heart good and these days that's a lot!

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  13. Thank you for this blog, once again! I have learned so much from you. Taking the time to pot up and label those agaves to unknown neighbors is the gift that keeps on giving! I am thankful that I have been one of the recipients of not only plants from you but your knowledge. Gardening reminds me to push forward no matter what is going on around me that I cannot control. You remind me that when I remove plants to make room for others, to make sure I offer them as freebies! The birds fervently bathing in your fountain brought me joy! Thank you.

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    1. Thanks for the comment and for being such a great friend, Kay. I've appreciated your plant hand-offs too. Hibiscus trionum got planted this week - I'll let you know when I see a flower!

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  14. Wish I lived close to you. I am sure there's a network of people who put the word out when they see your offerings. It's thoughtful and possibly a way to get other's to do the same.

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    1. The woman I spoke to on this last occasion said that she and another neighbor had discussed my practice of putting plants out on the curb. I expect that, if I did it on a more predictable schedule, that would have a bigger impact but I don't have that great a stockpile of cuttings and divisions, at least not yet!

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  15. Hi Kris. I love your curbside mini nursery. I have collected a number of bromeliads by the side of the road and leave some out when I move them around. I got my mail in ballot today!!!

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    1. I've been wondering when our mail-in ballots are going to arrive here, Amelia! Of course, California tends to load the ballot with propositions and getting all that documentation in order may be part of the hold-up. Echoing The Atlantic, one of the regular PBS News Hour commentators expressed concerns yesterday that #45 may try to hijack the election by calling for GOP governors to name state-level Electoral Colleges to decide the election when there's a delay in counting mail-in votes in a particular state, which freaked me out. It's not likely to be an issue in California but for swing states it could be. All this is crazy!

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