Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I really wanted to laze about today and do nothing, but the sky is that wonderful pre-fall color it always seemed to be on old-fashioned calendars, and it beckoned me out to find what was at the local garden center. I planted some obscenely vivid scarlet dianthus and a gorgeous azure-blossomed variety of sage I'd never seen before. Then I got in the pool to paddle about and cool off my aching bruised leg. I did something really goofy, which was to water the plants circling the yard from the pool. I dragged the hose into it, and sprayed landward with abandon. Everything got watered thoroughly, me included, and I didn't get over-heated or put new stress on my leg. I saw the most enormous, magnificent true-yellow-and black butterfly - the largest butterfly I've ever seen, descend and have its way with my butterfly bush(black knight variety, with dusty purple-black blooms). It worked its way around spikes of the flowers, the proboscis unfurling and tucking into nectar with remarkable speed and efficiency. Next to it, a smaller butterfly worked away, an amber velvet wedge circumnavigating the tiny flowers in a gracious little waltz. I saved a honey bee that was foundering in the water. I cupped my hands together and scooped it up in the water and it found my finger and climbed up and flew away. Crisis averted. I decided to come in for a bit and go back out to the pool later with a book and a glass of wine, but I sat in a chair and dripped a little more dry before coming in, and lo and behold, I saw my very first and only hummingbird in my flowers since I moved in 14 months ago. All the toil and sweat and thought I've put into my garden has been engineered precisely for the purpose of luring butterflies and hummingbirds. Today I declare it a success, and so very worthwhile.

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