I don’t smoke–(special for Kathie–I dahn’t smahk)–but this struck me as a brilliant idea. This friend of Charlie’s smokes a corncob pipe, though I’m pretty sure he’s neither Douglas MacArthur nor Mammy Yokum. I asked his wife, “What’s that sticking out of his pipe? It looks like some kind of nut.” She said, “He doesn’t like to fool with tamping down pipe tobacco, so he just cuts off a length of cigar and sticks it in.” It doesn’t smell as nice as pipe tobacco, but I approve of the time and energy savings.

More stuff is in bloom. Here is a Wilma Iris. I don’t know what kind of iris it really is, but Wilma gave us some starts. She said it was a Japanese Roof Iris. The University of Arkansas web site says:

In China, apparently the original home of the roof iris where it has been grown since at least seventh century, the plant grows on the ground like any sensible iris. But in Japan, it was found growing on the ridges of their thatched roofs.Apparently this tradition started in Japan because of a decree by a Japanese emperor during a period of wartime when it became illegal to waste land growing flowers. All available land had to be used for rice or vegetables.

The main reason for growing the plant was not for its flowers, but for a white powder that was made by grinding the roots. The makeup used to create the white faces of the Geisha girls was made from the rhizomes. So, the plants moved from the garden to the roofs where it remained until being “discovered” by science.

I call it a Wilma Iris because Wilma gave it to me. She’s gone now, but I think of her every time I see the iris in bloom.

The sage is trying to flower. They tell me I need to pinch the flowers off before they open because the sage will have a better flavor, but the flowers are so pretty I just can’t pinch them all. The bees and hummingbirds like them, too.

The tulip poplars are in flower. On a warm day, the scent is delicious. The trees are so tall here, I couldn’t get a very good picture, but the blossoms are shaped something like tulips, and they’re orange and yellow. Lovely, until they die and fall off and get all brown and squidgy all over everything. Oh, well, I’ll be brown and squidgy myself, some day.

Our beautiful rose, that we’ve had since we moved over here, is full of buds. Sadly, some of the buds are EATED DOWN 2 TEH STEMZ! The leaves are all laced up with bites taken out of them. NOT charming. NOT lovely.

I caught the culprit–or, at least, the culprit whose “friends” ran off and left him holding the bag. Charlie was like, “Kill him!” but I was like, “He’s beautiful! And he’ll be a beautiful butterfly, if he lives.” Charlie was all like, “Do you want butterflies or do you want roses?” And I was like, “Now THAT’S drama! The stronger dramatic tension isn’t between good and evil, but between two goods or two evils.” I picked that up from the late Karl Largent. I don’t know who he picked it up from. Writers are like chimpanzees–we’re always snatching good stuff from one another. Anyway, I took the caterpillar to the edge of the woods, gave him a good talking to, and let him go with a warning. Tomato hornworms…. Ah, that’ll be a different story.

I’m totally not going to describe the “ghastly” part of this post, nor did I take a picture, you’ll be astonished to know. In fact, I’m not even going to post about it, although it’s clean. The place is clean, I mean. I’ll just say the words “my mother’s marmalade cat” and the word “abscess” and “belly” and tell you that I have to hold him while Mom squirts a dropper full of Amoxillin down his gullet and let it go at that.

MA

writing prompt: What would your main character do if he/she caught a caterpillar on his/her roses?

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