It has been an eventful week in the Patch.
The gleaming surfaces,
My old Weber was, to say the least, looking very much under the weather, its visual hygiene compromised by the confounded laxative popping doves that seem to follow the grill around up in my pecan trees. I am convinced the accidents are not accidents at this point but a stupid bird conspiracy. As the summer is drawing to an end (tell me it is) I am looking forward to some much more humane grilling weather. I also fear for our sanity if the temperatures do not start to taper-off soon…
I found this rather peculiar sign taped to my daughters room the other day,
naturally curiosity got the better of me and I immediately had to “dstrib” her.
This is what shuffled past me as I entered the room, very “dstribing” indeed. The heat is certainly getting to us all at this point.
The long hot summer has been good for some things:
She practically grew gills this year,
whilst he weathered the heat, brushed up on his short game and tried to ignore the rather large dinosaur looming behind him.
Talking of gills and golf…
…I shot this writhing mass of feelers on a golf course this past week…Brrr.
From cat whiskers to horsetails:
This plant is dependable no matter the conditions, (well it is housed in a large container underwater). Unlike a lot of aquatic plants that outgrow their pots, get root bound and go into a steady decline in their maturity, this reed does not seem to care about its confinement at all.
One plant that has completely impressed me is this baby
Thunder Cloud ™ (it is trademarked by Texas A&M University). Its naturally compact growth form, silver- white foliage color, and very dark purple flowers all combine to make this a great small, drought tolerant shrub. It gets to about three feet high and three or four feet wide. I planted this little one in the middle of our continuing 70 days of consecutive triple digit temperatures in a place that has killed many a healthy plant, and then I neglected it.
…and covered in these deep purple blooms.
I did bump into Ernie (my neighbor) on my dangerous venture to the back of the Patch, I think he may have spent just a little too long watering his vegetables.
more pictures like this. It appears the heat is now randomly selecting loquats to fry up in the garden wok, garnished with some of my society garlic. This is one of my neighbors but my death toll is also rising, I have lost two well established trees so far.
A slight forgetfulness on my part with the garden hose gave Kumo “the opportunist” the chance to a) cool off in a wallowing-pig like fashion and b) dig out what was left of my Salvia leucantha whilst yanking out some dead gaura with his teeth as a sort of cooling-off hobby, well it saved me the bother.
Considering that my garden looks like it is hovering in that parched veil between life and Ernie, I though I would leave you with this rather melancholic but very fitting poem for all central Texas gardeners right now.
Relax, I am not re-running the “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”…at least not yet.
This is a rather long poem but stick with it…
The Garden of Proserpine
Here, where the world is quiet;
Here, where all trouble seems
Dead winds’ and spent waves’ riot
In doubtful dreams of dreams;
I watch the green field growing
For reaping folk and sowing
For harvest-time and mowing,
A sleepy world of streams.
I am tired of tears and laughter,
And men that laugh and weep;
Of what may come hereafter
For men that sow to reap:
I am weary of days and hours,
Blown buds of barren flowers,
Desires and dreams and powers
And everything but sleep.
Here life has death for neighbor,
And far from eye or ear
Wan waves and wet winds labor,
Weak ships and spirits steer;
They drive adrift, and whither
They wot not who make thither;
But no such winds blow hither,
And no such things grow here.
No growth of moor or coppice,
No heather-flower or vine,
But bloomless buds of poppies,
Green grapes of Proserpine,
Pale beds of blowing rushes,
Where no leaf blooms or blushes
Save this whereout she crushes
For dead men deadly wine.
Pale, without name or number,
In fruitless fields of corn,
They bow themselves and slumber
All night till light is born;
And like a soul belated,
In hell and heaven unmated,
By cloud and mist abated
Comes out of darkness morn.
Though one were strong as seven,
He too with death shall dwell,
Nor wake with wings in heaven,
Nor weep for pains in hell;
Though one were fair as roses,
His beauty clouds and closes;
And well though love reposes,
In the end it is not well.
Pale, beyond porch and portal,
Crowned with calm leaves she stands
Who gathers all things mortal
With cold immortal hands;
Her languid lips are sweeter
Than love’s who fears to greet her,
To men that mix and meet her
From many times and lands.
She waits for each and other,
She waits for all men born;
Forgets the earth her mother,
The life of fruits and corn;
And spring and seed and swallow
Take wing for her and follow
Where summer song rings hollow
And flowers are put to scorn.
There go the loves that wither,
The old loves with wearier wings;
And all dead years draw thither,
And all disastrous things;
Dead dreams of days forsaken,
Blind buds that snows have shaken,
Wild leaves that winds have taken,
Red strays of ruined springs.
We are not sure of sorrow;
And joy was never sure;
To-day will die to-morrow;
Time stoops to no man’s lure;
And love, grown faint and fretful,
With lips but half regretful
Sighs, and with eyes forgetful
Weeps that no loves endure.
From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
Then star nor sun shall waken,
Nor any change of light:
Nor sound of waters shaken,
Nor any sound or sight:
Nor wintry leaves nor vernal,
Nor days nor things diurnal;
Only the sleep eternal
In an eternal night.
In the classical myth Proserpine was kidnapped by Pluto, the god of the underworld, to be his wife. She begged to be returned to earth, but because she had eaten some pomegranate seeds Pluto confined her to his kingdom for half of each year. Her reemergence each year ushered in the forces of spring and the growth of vegetation, causing Proserpine and the pomegranate to forever be linked to the emergence of spring.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Here is a depiction of her consuming a pomegranate which symbolizes captivity.
On Proserpine, Rossetti wrote:
She is represented in a gloomy corridor of her palace, with the fatal fruit in her hand. As she passes, a gleam strikes on the wall behind her from some inlet suddenly opened, and admitting for a moment the sight of the upper world, she glances furtively towards it, immersed in thought. The incense-burner stands beside her as the attribute of a goddess. The ivy branch in the background may be taken as a symbol of clinging memory.
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