Thursday, May 29, 2008

Outside My Door

Over two wonderful, glorious, much-needed inches of rain on Tuesday night bowed the branches of the Kousa dogwood so that its creamy white flowers were a beautiful sight against the subtle grays of the morning mist and the intense emerald and jade of foliage renewed.

This little fella (a Rosy Maple moth) was on the steps to our porch, apparently lifeless. I picked him up to bring him inside where I could get a good picture of his Dr. Seuss-like coloring. As I held him, he began to quiver. It had been a chilly night and now the warmth of my hand seemed to revive him. He may have been new-hatched too; he beat his wings continuously as if drying them.

Click on the picture for a close-up of that cute face (and the color! OMG, the color!) and the pretty feathery antennae (one of the ways you can tell he's a moth, not a butterfly.)

I'm off to the library to practice with a slide show of photos pertaining to In a Dark Season. If technology and I don't quarrel too badly, I hope the slides will accompany my talk Saturday night at seven. And I hope I'll see some of you all there, slides or no.
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Roses and Lilacs said...

Beautiful photo of the dogwood on a misty morning. The dogwood and redbud displays each spring are a couple things I still miss about the south. I have pagoda dogwoods here, nice horizontal shaped, multi trunked trees. Sorry to say, the pagoda can't compare with the kousa for beautiful flowers.

When I lived in the south, my parents would usually visit at dogwood time and we would drive down country roads and through the older residential areas ooow-ing and ahhh-ing.

Vicki Lane said...

I agree -- dogwoods and redbuds are worth oohing and ahhing over. We're fortunate to have them in abundance in the wild here. But the native dogwood is threatened by a blight of some sort -anthracnose, I think it's called. We haven't lost any yet, as far as I can tell, but I've been planting Kousa, which is anthracnose resistant, wherever I can find a spot. It blooms about a month later, extending the dogwood season very nicely!

I don't know pagoda dogwoods -- will have to look into them.

Unknown said...

Vicki - I can't tell you how wonderful it is to see Madison County via your photos - for those of us who have fallen in love with her mountains - it is just heaven to see that mist over the dogwood. Glad to hear about the two inches of rain - we had a dowser locate the site for our well and he says 285' down we have 12 gallons per minute. Boy, I hope he is right. Best to you and thanks again for the photos. -Liz

Vicki Lane said...

We used a dowser for the well at our house and the well at my older son's house. Both wells were as predicted. I love it!

So glad you're enjoying the pictures!

Tammy said...

So utterly beautiful and peaceful. What one thinks of when they want to 'get away from it all'. So now I want your wall, your stone pathway and backyard. ;-) Dogwoods and redbuds are abundant here as well, and I hope they aren't affected by the blight you mentioned. It's really such a glorious thing to see them appear on the hillsides after a hard, long winter. By the way, if anyone wants Redbud SEEDS I have plenty every year. Plenty.. and lots of little seedlings that have to be pulled up or mown. Tammy

Vicki Lane said...

It is all pretty terrific. Nature gave us a huge running start with the natural surroundings and my neighbors shared plants from their yards: mock orange, forsythia,lily of the valley, irises, thrift, roses,and lilacs(that sounds familiar).

Then there was a brief period when we had a small nursery as an adjunct to my husband's power equipment business in Asheville. That meant I could buy landscaping plants- fancy evergreens -- at wholesale prices -- oh the joy and temptation of it!

Add to that a son and a friend who like to build rock walls and plenty of rocks on the property, and it eventually begins to come together -- and it only took 33 years!