Saturday Silflay

watership down

A robin pranced around the skullcap patch.

I cut a bouquet of hydrangeas and found a cricket, its antennae at least as long as its narrow, translucent body.

A mockingbird again snacked in the elderberry.

Half a dozen rabbits enjoying a good silflay throughout the gardens and slim meadows of the Fens.

Also, I don’t want to be too redundant, but I somehow woke, right around four thirty, without a bit of cricket, katydid, or conehead in my ear. Was it too cold? Or were they merely weary?

The List

Rabbits half the size of my fist
An invisible redtail
Jousting mockingbirds in the elderberry
A tiger swallowtail flying some stories up into pine trees
An unbelievably big bumblebee; a queen?

Also, on the domesticated side of things:
Buds on passionflower vine
Lemon cucumber sprawling
Hops cones massive
Swamp milkweed planted

Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Blue Hydrangea”

(Now, I know I’ve not written here in awhile, and that I ought to. I will soon. But for now – I was in the backyard earlier and thought so fondly of this poem. Please enjoy, and know there will be more news from the urban wild soon.)

Blue Hydrangea
Rainer Maria Rilke


Just like the last green in a colour pot
So are these leaves, withered and wrecked
Behind the flower umbels, which reflect
A hue of blue only, more they do not.

Reflections are tear-stained, inaccurate,
As if they were about to cease,
And like old blue notepaper sheets
They wear some yellow, grey and violet,

Washed-out like on a children’s apron,
Outworn and now no more in use:
We contemplate a small life’s short duration.

But suddenly some new blue seemingly is seen
In just one umbel, and we muse
Over a moving blue delighting in the green.

(Thanks to for the image.)

The Fenway Victory Garden Chronicles – Part One

Across the street from one of Boston’s most beloved and familiar scenes…

my partner and I hold temporary rights to a small parcel of paradise – a plot in The Fenway Victory Gardens.


In anticipation of spring, which can’t be Too far away, I would like to tell the story of our little spot of land. This, of course, is an abridged version – many fruits, blooms, and weeds will go unnamed. I hope to offer a taste of our gardening year, though! Continue reading

Bloomin’ lovely

A few days ago Matt and I had the pleasure of romping through the Arnold Arboretum with our friend Miles, who led us on a tour of the blooms currently gracing the landscape. We have had a very strange and mild winter, and while we may eventually get the snow one expects from a New England February, for the time being the ground is soft and the air smells like an Easter basket. This is throwing plants into confusion, with buds that typically bloom in March baring their pastel colors, hopeful stamens, and hungry stigmas many weeks earlier than usual.

Hamamelis mollis – Chinese Witch Hazel. Many witch hazels bloom in the early spring, as opposed to our native H. virginiana, which flowers in the neighborhood of November. (Another beautiful Hamamelis that is flowering right now is H. vernalis, a shrub native to the central and southern U.S.)

Lonicera standishii – Fragrant Honeysuckle. These flowers smell amazing – not like anything a nose typically experiences in the wintertime.

Acer griseum – Paperback Maple. One of the Great Grandaddies of magnificently barked trees. I could write poems to it all day long. Continue reading

An overcast day in Boston Town

In the beginning you could almost only see dirt. Some touches of green in the apple leaves and the bedraggled foxglove, but mostly it was just staring at me, my autumn garden full of garlic and onion flowers nestled and covered with soil.

But above me there was the confused profusion of mixed-up cherry blossoms…

And behind me a perfect blackberry leaf that Alana found and posed.

This is Alana.

She looked asleep as the garden was put to bed in lawn leaves and hay.

The kale that grew from seed that Matt saved is robust and bright. It was hiding behind tomatoes all summer.

And the horseradish! What a royal, leggy, triumphant treat. I will be pickling it this week for use on many sandwiches.

Its long leaves can be sauteed, but though they appear lush here, mine were eaten by someone else first.

I found a perfect, hollow snail shell,

And plucked some fennel seed for after supper ruminations,

And kept my eyes on those blossoms.

It’s hard to believe that once, only a month ago, it all looked like this.

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