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Monday, December 5, 2011

"They sang him a ballad, and fed him on salad . . . "




Temperatures in New York City (where I live), have been pushing sixty degrees or more for the past several days, which is is quite unusual for this time of year in our area. However, today is December the Fifth, and in sixteen days it will officially be winter; hence, a good reason to include Mutts, one of my favorite comic strips, in today's blog entry with his "prophecy" regarding the inevitable "W" word which is inevitable.
[As you know if you follow my blog, I like to include this delightful animation whenever I get a chance, and if you would like to refer to past posts which include Mutts, you may refer to them by clicking here as well as here and here and here.]


With the "W" word come bare branches for many trees and shrubs; however, in the case of my shrub known by the name Avellana corylus AKA Contorted Hazel Nut or Harry's Walking Stick, a shrub you may recognize as  I have discussed it in previous posts on TLLG, which you may refer to by clicking here. And, as you may recall, it is a shrub that has a cameo appearance in the first garden themed movie which I proceed titled, "The Kiwi Speaks! Fifteen Minutes of Fame . . .  almost", that is now on Vimeo, and the link to view it may be found by clicking here.

In any event, once its leaves fall off, the twisting and turning of my Avellana corylus's branches are quite evident as the aforementioned movie points out. This phenomena can be seen more clearly in the photograph posted below, which was taken by Juan V, a few days ago, when he and I worked in my urban terrace garden.




Juan's image shows my Avellana corylus decked out for the Christmas holidays with ornaments, and a close-up of these colorful "bulbs" can be seen below.


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11


They are made from recycled plastic bottles. To the Avellana corylus's left is my Rubus calycinoides AKA Ornamental Raspberry. Her leaves are the colors of Christmas, apropos for this time of year, for she is indeed a fashion conscious vine (and she can even be a diva at times, as I indicated in a previous post which you may refer to by clicking here). She is a gorgeous vine — and she knows it. Her beautiful leaves were even discussed in a blog entry on TLLG which was authored by my Ophipogon planiscapus AKA Black Mondo Grass, and, if you'd like to, you may read it by clicking here.


Something that may be hard to notice in Juan's image above the ornament close-up shots is my salad greens (I have added a white circle to his picture to show you where they are located in relation to my Avellana corylus and my Rubus calycinoides). These salad greens are still thriving — even though it's December! However, they have become "salad purples", as opposed to salad greens, which you can see in the close-up images of them that are posted below.


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11


They are so beautiful that I don't want to eat them, and I'd rather let them continue to be a source of inspiration, as they were for Edward Lear,  a name which you might recognize for his creation, The Owl and the Pussycat. Lear was also an artist, illustrator and poet who lived in the 1800's and, additionally, is remembered for his limericks such as the "salad-inspired" one posted below:


"There was an Old Person of Fife,
Who was greatly disgusted with life;
They sang him a ballad,
       and fed him on salad,
Which cured that Old Person of Fife."

Limericks go with the fun atmosphere which is prevailing in my garden at this time, although, I am not proficient in authoring them and have only written one in my life, which can be found below:

"There once was a little grey mouse
Who lived inside of my house;
a tiny fellow
with eyes of yellow,
He scared me right out of my blouse!"

I wrote it in elementary school (and my father helped me with the last line); however, I've never succeeded at composing one since that time, although I am fairly good at filling in the blank for the last word of a limerick on WNYC's weekly radio program, "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me", a "quiz" show, where one of the segments has a listener fill in the last word of a limerick which is base on a current news event (for information on this radio program, please click here).

In any event, even if I met the "old person from Fife", while I might sing him a ballad, but won't serve him my salad, I suppose my greens' bein' too pretty's not valid . . . and could cause strife!

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