Questions, Questions, I Have Questions!

September 8, 2010

The hydrangeas that cried wolf are back, looking healthy, fit and fine. I thought impatiens were overly histrionic but their thespians skills pale in comparison to their hydrangean brethren. The angst they’ve caused, with their wilted leaves, drooping flowers and sagging stems was completed unfounded. They are the undisputed prima donna of the garden. And after several weeks of being planted, seeming to be very pleased with their spot, did they chose Tuesday to look so sickly?

It’s chilly today and all the fish swim at the bottom of the pond, where I would think it’s actually colder. With their little insulated lives, born and raised in domestic conditions, do they have any instinctive inkling of what is to come for them? These 27 cent fish have grown large and hardy; they would be in the 99 cent tank now. If we have a mild winter, they could certainly survive until spring. That has happened before, causing me a great deal of shock come March as gold streaks zip within the dead leaves and paper that collect in the pond.

There is a beautiful spiral orb web between the cattails over the pond. It is not a neat web, as it seems to have been mended many times and has bits of insect still stuck in its threads. Spiders are so strategic in their web placement. Is that instinctive or is that educated behavior? Does this particular spider hope to catch the no-see-ums that swarm over the pond or is it hoping for a fish?

Only three punks total this year – a disappointing harvest.

The clematis on the arbor opens more and more, with the scent of sweet, sugar, honey hanging in the air. This plant gets less sun than its fellow on the front trellis and yet has more blooms open already. They were planted at the same time, from the same nursery in the same size pot. Given the fact that clematis likes full sun, why would the early bloomer be the one in less than ideal conditions?

Which kid at the party caused a cave-in on one of the pond banks?

The drying gaillardia holds a surprise. I took it in my fingers and rubbed. Instead of being dry and crackling, the petals feel like worn tissue, soft and supple. Will these reseed? Can I get volunteers? Should I gather seed heads and plant them in the front beds like I do coneflowers? I am reading that I can, so I will give that a try.

The coneflower pink fades to black as the sedum green bursts into pink. The sedum draws bees and flies and butterflies, a friendly plant. The zinnia are confused. Some dry and fade to brown, some bloom deep red.

Now the purple clematis in front is truly covered with truffula trees, with the seed heads now gone to complete Thneed raw material. Those whirly fans have started to bloom feathers, turning into ecru balls of tuft. They look like wild cotton balls.

A flock of finch peep and beep and whistle in the trees in front, fluttering from one tree to the other and back again. These birds are more shy than robins, tentative around people, and are anxious to get back to their meal, a cluster of coneflowers. They have a question of their own:

When the hell is she going to get out of here?

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