Friday, May 25, 2007

Pink Gives Way To Black

I know I’ve been busy. I know we’ve been away from the house a lot recently, attending to some family matters. But I feel a bit like Rip Van Winkle! Yesterday, as we were beginning the hour and three quarter drive from home to Boston, we passed by my friend Marion’s house. We both noticed her rhododendron was in full and glorious bloom. That’s funny, her rhody must have bloomed early this year, I said to Chuck. You see her rhody is on the eastern side of her house, in the shadow of a tall evergreen tree. Our rhody is on the southwest corner of our house and gets nearly unobstructed sun all day. But ours had yet to blossom.

Eleven and a half hours later, we returned after a day of helping a member of the family get settled back in at home after a hospitalization and then we ran some errands on the way home. It was nearly dark, but I peeked out the window to see if there were any riotous rhododendron flowers emerging from their enormous buds. Nope. So this morning I checked again in full sun. No buds, no blooms, just a profusion of tired browning stems and stamens scattered among the thick waxy leaves. The show was over and we had missed it!

After getting over the surprise, I kicked myself. How could I, who has been enjoying observing nature this year, not have seen a one and a half story tall rhododendron go into pinky-mauve-lavender bloom? Especially since this spring I have been making a point to go out each day and capture something with the digital camera. That’s when I stopped kicking myself and started blaming the black flies.

About two weeks ago the black flies emerged around here and set about buzzing and biting. Both Chuck and I got swarmed and munched every time we were outside. The black flies coincided with our family member being hospitalized and that overlapped with the wicked storm which wind and rain stripped most of the other petals I had been noticing. So rather than suit up like a beekeeper or a haz-mat worker I conceded the battle (and apparently a couple of weeks of spring) to the black flies. That’s how I completely missed the blooming of our rhododendron in the spring of 2007.

The nagging question remains: what else have I missed?!?!

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