Staying in Focus: A Beautiful Day in My Neighborhood

What is it about spring that makes us want to go outside and play in the dirt? Is it the warm, earth-scented breezes that draw us outside, or the warmth of the sun, or the intensity of green that brings such delight to our eyes? Or perhaps it’s the birds, filling the morning air with song, as they go about building nests for their families. I imagine it is life, calling us forth to join in the return of light and warmth, growth and change.

We had a lot of rain in the early spring months here in North Carolina. Everywhere you look, flowers are blooming, trees and bushes are lush with spring green leaves, the grass, a soft carpet of beneath our feet.

Now as we near the summer solstice, the bright green of spring is deepening into the dark green of summer.  We have had a few days of uncomfortable heat and humidity, but in between, Mother Nature has gifted us with absolutely perfect days of cool weather, pleasant breezes, bright sunshine. They are the kind of days I where I simply cannot go inside, intent on savoring every minute of clear blue skies and fresh air. In fact, this coming week has a few days predicted with highs in the 70s.

I know that soon the heat and humidity will fall on us, like a heavy wet blanket draped over our shoulders and our bright blue sky enveloped in a pall of hazy white. But, for now, I will cherish each low humidity day, pottering outside with my plants, listening to the chorus of birds in the trees.

I invite you to enjoy a beautiful day in my neighborhood:

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Staying in Focus : Spring and its Color Display

I love spring, planting flowers in beds and in pots, their beautiful colors combining to sing a song of life renewing itself with a flair we try to capture the lens of the camera. Here are my feeble attempts to convey their beauty from flowers received for Easter and those in pots and beds in my yard:

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flowers from my thoughtful nephew, Gary and his gal. Robin.

   flowers from my thoughtful nephew, Gary and his gal. Robin.

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pink geranium from my sister, Mary and brother-in-law, John



Staying In Focus: Eyes on Spring

A visit to the ophthalmologist today prompted the thoughts for these poems. With my eyes dilated and peeking out from behind my sunglasses, the colors of the green leaves unfurling on every bush and tree was a delight to see, especially with my eyes wide open.

I love perennials. Plant them once and every year they come back to surprise me. No one tells them when to start blooming – the instructions are coded in the tiny seeds we sow. Would that we could sow other seeds – of kindness, of appreciation, of consideration and love  and have them perennially bloom within us. Now that would be a sight to see!


Keep Your Eyes Open

a visit to the ophthalmologist

always an eye-opening experience

especially in early spring,

my eyes wide open to the view

of yellow and mossy and deep evergreen                                                                                                        IMG_3023

and every shade there is in between

blue green needles adorn the tall pines

and yellow green bushes arranged in a line

remind me to keep my eyes open to see

the beauty of nature surrounding me

the promise of life’s renewal each spring

and the joy and delight this season can bring!




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We sow seeds carefully each spring

and look for the delights they bring

perennials will bloom again

a precious visit from a friend

If only we could sow the seeds

of kindness , love and understanding

appreciation, concern and care,

into people everywhere,

what a change this world would see –

and be renewed  –  perennially!


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Focus on: Lunch Among the Flowers

 For those of you who may be interested, I have a new Blog at .My place to rant or rave about the Braves.

Yesterday was  a lovely day, all about art in its many forms, nature-made and manmade. My friend, Linda, picked me up about 11:00 and we drove to downtown Raleigh, to the Seaboard Cafe at the Logan Trading Company (Garden Center). We had a wonderful lunch, dining al fresco amid all the beautiful plants. After lunch we perused the plants like kids in a candy store. To see the range of color mother nature presents, with a little help from those who hybridize the plants, is simply breathtaking. If you live in the Raleigh area and want to see the cream of the crop and more variety than you will find at the big box stores, take a few hours on a sunny day this spring and head to Logan’s. Stop by the cafe for a delicious lunch – the chicken salad with apricot and almonds  on a  croissant was yummy! Here is just a sampling:of our favorites:


They had miles of Impatiens patiently waiting to brighten someone’s yard!


Rose Magic Osteospermum


Tiny Tim Euphorbia


we thought these petunias looked like butterflies

We didn’t know the name of this pretty flower, but it’s petals were as thin as fine parchment, translucent in the sun.

033        Of course I had to adopt  a few, so I took some sunshine, some color, some magic,, and , of course, who could resist Tiny Tim?! After viewing nature’s art,, we explored the Contemporary Art Museum.See tomorrow’s post!








tiny tim

Plants, Prose, Photos and Poems

As I was digging happily in my little tree garden (flowers planted around the tree in our front yard,) I realized that I should have added plants to my list of coping tools, along with prose, photos and poems. There is nothing more healing than working in a garden on a lovely spring evening.  Photographing them and writing the poems they inspire can lift the spirit as well.

One can work out a lot of frustrations in digging  a nice big hole for a plant.  The act of placing it in the rich earth, filling in the hole and adding some fertilizer can induce a meditative state — a feeling of being at peace with the earth and building a connection with nature and all living things.

 Pruning the plants, keeping them full and green and removing spent blossoms is much like unloading the leftover bits and pieces of hurt feelings, arguments and disappointments many of us carry with us – these only serve to weigh us down  and keep us from feeling the lightness of a healthier state.  I know i would much prefer to look like a full, green and glossy plant, then a drooping, spindly one barely able to hold up its head. A healthy plant looks up at the sky, is nurtured by the sun and washed by the rain.  A healthy plant is a joy to look at and flowers are the stars of plantdom. I especially like pansies.  Their delicate faces light up in so many wondrous colors!

So take some time to dig in a garden, or even a large pot.  Plant some pansies. You’ll smile back when you catch them smiling at you.