Bleeding Heart

bleeding_heartWikipedia reports: “Lamprocapnos spectabilis (bleeding heart) is a species of flowering plant in the poppy family Papaveraceae, native to Siberia, northern China, Korea and Japan. It is the sole species in the monotypic genus Lamprocapnos.

It is valued in gardens and in floristry for its heart-shaped pink and white flowers, borne in spring.

There is also a legend from Japan which tells a story of how the bleeding heart flower came to be. In the story, a young man tried win the love of a young lady. He did this by giving a pair of rabbits (which are the first two petals of the flower), a pair of slippers (which are the next two petals of the flower), and finally a pair of earrings (which are the last two petals of the flower) to the girl. She continued to reject his affections, and, heart-broken, he pierced his heart with his sword (the middle part of the flower) which caused the bleeding heart.”

First Rainbow

first_rainbowNot the most vibrant, not a double, yet a rainbow nonetheless, graced the Little Creek valley recently; the first observed since before Winter.

Afternoon Spring and Summer rains that contain isolated thunderstorms surrounded by clear sunny skies seem to provide the
ripest conditions for manifesting rainbows. When these conditions exist, it has become habit to keep a westward eye on the Little Creek valley.

Another hazard of living here on The Hill is that rainbows, fairly rare miracles of weather, are so common here that if not mindful, rather than feeling particularly grateful for seeing a rainbow, one may find themselves somewhat disappointed, annoyed, when conditions seem right, and a rainbow does not appear.

Some believe rainbows are a remembrance of a divine promise; some believe a telltale of worldly wealth, a mere hike to the end of the colors away.

Having seen where rainbows end in the valley, having hiked there, I know there is no pot, no gold.

Having gazed at many rainbows, enraptured in their fleeting magnificence, they remain for me a source of divine comfort, a reminder to never let one’s faith waiver.

Eternal unanswered question

chickensDriving from town back up to The Hill, I encountered these ladies as they hindered my progress home. Even though my mind remained calm and I avoided impatience, I couldn’t help blurting out “Why are you doing that?”.

I remembered a day not long ago when driving in the opposite direction, while late en route to an appointment, similarly detained by the same brood, and, in fear of being late, I felt my mind go wild, and I yelled “Why are you doing that – right now??”

As this question has been pondered by many, in both instances, I recognized that perhaps this was a unique opportunity to interview a participant while in the act of crossing the road, and maybe get an accurate answer to this eternal question.

Both queries, one based in calm, the other in impatience, remained unanswered. During both encounters, the hens barely noticed me, my auto, or my question, regardless of whether gently or emphatically expressed. Had they answered, I still may not have understood – the only chicken-speak I am sure of is when a rooster crows “wake up… wake up… wake up…”.

They simply continued on their way. Though I probably could have gotten out of the car and followed them, I realized that the act of following them may cause them to deviate from their original intended course. Though I may learn their destination, I could never be sure of their motivation; I may learn the “where”, but I could never be certain of the “why”.

They would keep this secret to themselves. Disappointed at being apparently so close to a definitive answer to an age old question, I asked myself “If you had the answer, what would you do with that information?”

Despite their inscrutable ways, my curiosity still compels me to ask, if given the opportunity, “Did your first ancestor look like you, or like a small smooth oval stone?”


daffodils_on_greenIt must be nice to be a Daffodil, comfort in knowing exactly what ones’ job is in the world. Each year, Daffodils will bloom once, and provide a strong signal of Spring, splashing yellow and white across an otherwise still slumbering yard.

After the blooms expire, the leaves will continue to manufacture food to be stored in the bulb until next Spring; eventually, they too will fade, wilt, and repose until next year, their spent carcass fertilizing the soil facilitating next Spring’s emergence.

Mourning Doves

mourning_dovesWikipedia reports:

The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a member of the dove family (Columbidae). The bird is also called the Turtle Dove or the American Mourning Dove or Rain Dove, and formerly was known as the Carolina Pigeon or Carolina Turtledove. It is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds. Its plaintive woo-OO-oo-oo-oo call gives the bird its name. The wings can make an unusual whistling sound upon take-off and landing. The bird is a strong flier, capable of speeds up to 55 mph.

Mourning Doves are light grey and brown and generally muted in color. Males and females are similar in appearance. The species is generally monogamous, with two squabs (young) per brood. Both parents incubate and care for the young. Mourning Doves eat almost exclusively seeds, but the young are fed crop milk by their parents.