Brown

Never a frown

With Golden Brown

~”Golden Brown” by The Stranglers

I love the color brown, golden or otherwise.

It’s the color of many a tree trunk, leaves that have fallen, lots of rocks/stones/boulders, my desk, good clean dirt, and a large percentage of my wardrobe. It’s also the color of decay. But even with this on its resume, I still love the color brown.  And then there is my absolute favorite of favorites (outside of my husband, that is) and a lot of other peoples’ favorites, you-gotta-know-where-this-is-headed, the magnificent, the nearly magical and unearthly satisfying chocolate. Be still my heart.

For chocolate alone, brown would be one of my top three colors. Perhaps even number one. Depends on the day.

Here’s some brown for your day.

Beautiful fallen boulder that allowed me passage on our hike. Joshua Tree, California

Beautiful fallen boulder that allowed me passage on our hike.
Joshua Tree, California

 

Some kind of seed pod. Perhaps one of you nature buffs will know what it is. It caught my eye, but it didn't tell me what its called. That's okay. We didn't know each other very well. Joshua Tree, California

Some kind of seed pod. Perhaps one of you nature buffs will know what it is. It caught my eye, but apparently the feeling wasn’t mutual.  So, it didn’t tell me what its called. That’s okay. We didn’t know each other very well.
Joshua Tree, California

 

Decaying in blossom I spoted on a street corner. If I can have even half this grace in my aging process, I'd be thrilled. Nature does it all so uh, naturally. Nature doesn't fight the inevitable. Solvang, California.

Decaying blossom I spotted on a street corner. If I can have even half this grace in my aging process, it will be thrilling. Nature does it all so uh, naturally. Probably because nature doesn’t fight the inevitable. Or at least, not that we know of.
Solvang, California.

I didn’t manage to take any photos of chocolate. It doesn’t last long enough in our house to have its picture taken. True story.

No Green Thumb Here…

Nature simply is. She gives and keeps on giving. All She asks for in return is respect.

Somehow I got stuck in the wrong line when they were passing out green thumbs and I ended up with two brown ones. Brown is very nice color in quite a few instances (chocolate comes to mind), but decidedly not when it comes to plants and the like. Usually the opposite in fact, yes? Brown is generally the color of plants when they’re on their journey to the other side.

I’m in good company. My soul sister is also a confirmed brown thumb. Without any sort of devastating sense of failure, I am content with my brown thumb status simply because there are an abundance of wildflowers, parks, trails, and other people’s gardens that I can enjoy.

From the garden of one of my long suffering neighbors. They all now seem to understand that there is no way to get rid of the loony lady with the camera.

From the garden of one of my long suffering neighbors. Though they all (finally!) seem to understand that there is no way to get rid of the loony lady with the camera.

Wildflowers from the hills near our home.

Wildflowers from the hills near our home.

She looks like she's licking her chops to me. Do flowers even have chops? In my world, anything is possible.

She looks like she’s licking her chops to me. Do flowers even have chops? In my world, anything is possible.

Where can you get that shade of delicate pink? As far as I know, only nature can do it.

It's a bit of a green tangled, but nature does it with such grace.

It’s a bit of a green tangle, but they do it with such grace.

There she was in all her tiny gloriousness flourishing away in an empty lot I stumbled upon.

I spotted this fine lady growing in a small garden alongside a gas station. Pretty cool that someone took the time to plant her there.

Another find in a field. I had trouble getting them to sit still for me, but all the same, aren’t they sweet?

Contrary Mary

Mary, Mary quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells, and cockle shells,

And so my garden grows.

~English Nursery Rhyme “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Contrary Mary loved her garden and never wanted to be parted from it. Unless she was eating supper or sleeping, everyone knew that if they wanted to see Contrary the only way was to tromp around behind her cottage where they’d find her amongst the ferns, freesia, and feverfew. “Plants are much better than people and flowers far more beautiful,” she could often be heard to say. Her neighbor Quentin could not agree more.

Contrary did not care if it were a rainy a day. She would still spend hours in her garden, tending and babying her flowers, lucky ladies that they were. Far too busy snipping, trimming, mulching, and talking, she never bothered to protect herself from the elements. Daily her mother cried and wrung her hands while her father railed bitter warnings that she would catch her death. Contrary gave not a hoot and did as she pleased, day after day. Her parents should have known their counsel would be to no avail. They named her, did they not?

On that gloomiest of mornings when she fell quite ill, no one was really surprised it had happened, though it was sad none-the-less. The worst was to hear Contrary begging, “Do not part me from my garden, I care for naught else.”  No one could figure out how to get her bed out into the garden, so they settled on moving it to the back door, which they left wide open. Not the best of plans, leaving her exposed in this manner, but her pleas were so tearful. Contrary made all of them promise: father, mother, and older brother to bury her in her garden after she died. Her love was too great to be parted from it. It was her last wish and of course they could not refuse.

All fine and good, but Contrary happened to be admired quite secretively, by Quentin the Vampire Botanist who lived just down the road and across the way. He had long loved and admired her from afar. Viciously, he cursed his lack of fortitude, which caused him to delay and now never to tell her how he truly felt. If he had, she could be by his side, as his “Bella Vampress il Fiore” (when in a romantic mood, Quentin always thinks in Italian).  Unwilling to let her go, Quentin came up with an idea. Beware of ideas, my friend, for although some of these are quite grand, others can be just as easily quite tragic.

Utilizing his botanical science and his vampire magic, he infused her spirit with the fertile soil of her garden.

Now amongst all Quentin’s creature creations Contrary Mary’s ghost sprouts up in various guises and incarnations. She seems fond of changing her ectoplasmic outfits, as well as her hairstyle on a daily basis. What’s a lady ghost to do? She no longer has need for shoes.

As her name suggests, although she now can spend eternity with her beloved garden Contrary is, to put it mildly, annoyed with Quentin’s arbitrary decision to trap her essence this way. She expresses her annoyance in the only way available to her: by sprouting tiny thorns all over her stems. No one dare pick her, not even Quentin.

You may well wonder, if Contrary is a ghost why hasn’t she escaped? She can’t. Not yet. But if you witness the various expressions that move sometimes violently across her tiny ghost face, it’s not difficult to imagine that she’s working on it. And when she succeeds, which could be any day, I really wouldn’t want to be Quentin. Would you?

Inspired by the nursery rhyme, I drew Contrary Mary with a fine-tipped, black marker and then painted her using acrylics. Her story? After I finished painting her, she told it to me.

Daiseous Vampireous

We always think of plants as pretty, decorative, and often useful. Other adjectives might include tame. Safe. We forget about carnivorous plants. Sure, those are dangerous to ants and flies, but what danger could they be to us? None. Until an introverted botanist named Quentin became a vampire. Quentin never connected to his fellow humans, preferring to spend all his free time in a garden or hothouse.  As a child he was heartbroken that the plants didn’t win at the end of “The Day of Triffids.”  Nothing has changed since he’s become a vampire and now the only way he relates to humans is as a food source.

Since he doesn’t associate with vampires any more often than he did with humans, to combat his lonely existence Quentin decided to experiment with his beloved flowers and plants. Daiseous Vampireous is his first achievement.

“The Day of the Triffids” would have ended differently in Quentin’s world and he has made very certain that his Plantvampings will always have the last word.

Vegetarians and florists, you’ve been warned.

Although Daiseous’ teeth are tiny, you should never judge something’s danger based on size. One mere scrape of those tiny teeth and you may never wake again. And her defenses do not end there. When she’s at rest, two small dragon leaves uncoil and stand guard over her. At her base, Oveous with its big, yellow eyes keeps watch. It would be unwise to skip through a field of Daiseouses. Luckily, there is only one of her. For now.