Brown Bat, Brown Bat


_145, 10/20/04, 11:47 AM,  8C, 2956x3762 (421+717), 62%, bent 6 stops,  1/60 s, R72.2, G55.3, B69.2


Shortly after I became Suddenly Single the house that I had known and loved turned against me.

A basement that had always been as dry as the Gobi began to roil and flood; plumbing disintegrated and turned my ceilings to paper; appliances – all of them – made a suicide pact behind my back and a once glorious Victorian pond now featured bloated fish bobbing gruesomely amongst the lilies.

It was therefore not surprising in the least to come home late one night, flip on the light switch and notice that hanging upside down on the corner of one of my picture frames was a bat. We were close enough to be eye to eye. His wings were leathery yet fluffy and folded around him like the spokes of an umbrella.

I screamed a loud Psycho-scream as his eyes slid towards me, cartoon-style, but then I noticed that his tiny brown body was ticking with its own frightened pulse. For some time (okay, a really long time) we regarded one another in this way. Continue reading

The Florist Wears Knee Breeches



My flowers are reflected
In your mind
As you are reflected in your glass.
When you look at them,
There is nothing in your mind
Except the reflections
Of my flowers.
But when I look at them
I see only the reflections
In your mind,
And not my flowers.
It is my desire
To bring roses,
And place them before you
In a white dish.

Wallace Stevens, 1879-1955 Continue reading




Today I got up especially early, almost dawn, poured myself a cup of steaming coffee and went outside to do some serious gardening; just picking up sticks and clearing away leaves and winter debris, (what my British father used to call “pottering”) but it’s very meditative, mind clearing, solitary work.

And I look forward to doing it.

I’ve never had good luck with Columbine planting although I try each year (I especially love the deep black ones and in this regard, my good friend Jinny is my dealer, since each spring she cheerfully provides me with a few more, judgement-free,  from her own pristine garden).

I’m also not the most skilled at remembering exactly where I planted them either but last year I made a special effort to make a Columbine ‘grove’ near my back deck which would be hard to miss. Continue reading

Rhubarb Crowns!

Finally! IMG_0510There is hope for spring! Today the air was soft and warm again and I scampered outside to assess the progress of my garden before work and noticed that all the rhubarb crowns (I love calling them this) are pushing through the frozen ground, stretching up their tiny garnet arms and tightly compressed buds for anyone who cares to see them.  (I always think of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and Audrey II  when I first see these …)

But this is the first genuine sign of spring and I am greatly heartened.

I understand (well actually, I don’t really understand ) but I hear, that there are those who are completely indifferent to rhubarb but to me, it’s a delicious taste that is easily overlooked and available for such a short season;  and the colour alone! That clear, deep, jeweled pink unlike no other,  is so beautiful, particularly when combined with strawberries.

And, speaking of strawberries, I have seen many confirmed rhubarb-haters change their minds rather quickly over a piece of lattice-topped rhubarb-strawberry pie with a scoop of ginger infused ice-cream or some English custard. (Or both, let’s be honest here!) Continue reading