deception pass Washington

Category: Nature

Blooming Where I am Planted

The cherry tomatoes are coming – starting to turn red!

I have been growing cherry tomatoes this year. I have carefully watered and fertilized and stabilized the plant as it has stretched tall and wide. It stretched so far that some of the branches are resting on the neighboring container’s cage. That one used to have another tomato plant growing in it but it didn’t survive the heat in early summer, so I planted a jalapeno pepper plant there instead and it is now showing signs of bearing fruit

Last year I had quite a number of tomato buds, but they quickly turned red too soon, when they were quite small. This year I have applied more Miracle Grow fertilizer and so I not only have oodles more tomatoes, but they are growing consistently bigger and these are the first 2 to turn red.

There is nothing like the taste of fruit or vegetable picked and popped in your mouth. I pick blackberries from the neighborhoods around and eat them right off the bush. When I grew up I could pick cherries, blackberries, pears, apples, plums, and grapes right off the bush or tree or vine and eat them sun-warmed. Yum. I plan to do the same with these cherry tomatoes.

I also have a bell pepper plant that I think may get multiple peppers from. The last time I grew bell peppers they were the size of my small jalapeno peppers, but I am hoping that this time (with more fertilizer applied) they will grow larger.

My garden may be small but I am enjoying the results anyway. Remember to bloom – or grow – where you are planted.

Nature Is calling, Come Out and Play

Nature is calling ‘come out and play’
Put down the work, you are done for the day
All work and no play makes Jack a dull child
Put down the work and let yourself go wild

Bob King

I love to walk and I do it daily, right before starting work. I’ve always liked to walk and hike. It always puts me in a good frame of mind, provides needed exercise, and keeps me in touch with nature. I never am plugged in, either to music or podcasts, when I walk. I want to be able to hear all the sounds of nature around me. I love hearing the frogs on a cold winter morning, the woodpeckers that I occasionally see, and even the crying crows out in the street playing chicken with cars. I see the scampering squirrels that I urge to keep moving out of the street, and even saw a pair of raccoons slinking across the road.

My favorites, however, are the wild bunnies. They, and the ever-present robins, are a sign that spring has arrived. And since the advent of summer, they are more prevalent than ever. Today I counted eight along my two-mile walk around the neighborhood. I love being in the Pacific Northwest with the forests and rivers and mountains. And I love all the variety of creatures who also call this home. I spent my time in the deserts of Arizona and don’t miss it. There are those who find that fascinating, and they are welcome to it, but it’s not for me.

Make sure to take time to appreciate your surroundings and the creatures that live near you. Feel the breeze, smell the new grass and blossoms. Especially in trying times we all need to breathe deeply of nature. Stop and smell the roses, and say hello to the wild bunnies. They won’t understand a word you say, but it will still be good for you to say it. Nature is calling, make sure you answer.

Discovery

Every day is a fresh start. An opportunity to build on the successes of the past, correct past mistakes, or just do something different. We have no requirement to continue our lives in the same manner as part days, nor any compulsion to change just for change’s sake. We have an opportunity to live out our lives as we see fit. 

Examine your life and take stock of the discoveries you have made each day. Has your life been a stretch of the same routine, day after day? Or has it been a series of ups and downs, constantly changing? How about a third option—choose to make each day a discovery day. Whether it is a new friend, a new place to visit, or just a new perspective on life.

I am a hiker, taking daily walks, partly for exercise and partly because it livens up my mood for the day. Whether I am taking on a new path, or looking at an old path in a new way, I seek to see the new and wonder in it. Like the stone above, you never know what you’re going to find. I discovered a new park yesterday and hiked some new trails, getting temporarily lost and then finding my way out again.

Have you ever spent time brainstorming? Perhaps thinking about new ways to do things or new things to do? It is good to spend some time daily to not let our minds get old. It is also good to stretch ourselves, challenge ourselves with the new. It helps us avoid ruts that we so often fall into. It is also good to dream, close your eyes and imagine. You might be surprised at what you discover—about yourself and about the world.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Spring is here and planting has begun. I went round and round in Lowe’s choosing plants to place in my containers on the patio, starting with a cherry tomato start. I love fresh tomatoes right off the vine, better than anything store-bought. And they are easy to grow. I chose bell pepper and mint, plus some flowers and two root crop seeds—carrots and radishes. And of course, I bought potting soil to rejuvenate my containers so they would support growth.

I love to garden. I love watching plants grow and produce flowers or vegetables. Or berries—I once grew strawberries and raspberries from starts. Nothing like hot fresh berries off the vine. It reminded me of growing up in the west hills of Portland where I could gorge myself on blackberries in my own backyard. Something about digging in the dirt and then seeing the fruits of your labor is so refreshing.

I also love to speak, sharing stories with others, and see their eyes light up with understanding. I want to encourage people to share their stories and not be afraid to be open with others. We all benefit from the stories are told. We need to encourage growth in others by the same techniques we use in gardening: watering with giving freedom to speak, fertilizing with feeding encouragement, weeding to help them identify and remove the obstacles that are prevent their progress. Sometimes those are people who hold them back, sometimes it is their own thoughts and messages from the past. We need to affirm them with the sunshine of our praise when they overcome their fears.

And we also need to remember our need to grow. No matter what our situation we can grow. We need to identify and remove the barriers that are keeping us back. We need to dream and stretch out our limbs to the sky. And sometimes we may need to improve the soil that we are planted in. But we also need to remember to grow wherever we are planted. Not just for ourselves but for all the others with whom we are planted.

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