Every veyne in swich licour

Seattle is an infamously damp city, but for a few days last week, we had a streak of sunny, dry days…and, amazingly, if we rub your eyes, blink, and stop complaining about the glare, little blooms of color appear begin to appear. And now that I just stumble across this stuff in, you know, "The Yard," I could be mistaken for a green thumb. (Emphasis on mistaken, mind you. I'll never cop to it!)

Showing Colors

It's purple, and I'm told
its an iris. Or a gladiolus.
(I'm from the desert; I can't tell.)

The first poppy of spring.

Happy sedum out front.

An indoor palm catching
sunset light.

Snake plants do flower.

(Click on any of images to the side for somewhat larger versions.)

"The Yard" has a collection of tuberous plants I'm told are irises (although some disagree). I don't seem to be allergic to them and they put out large, intricate purple flowers which don't attract malicious, stinging insects. Fine by me! They get water on dry days, and I'm trying to keep the Morning Glory off them.

There are a couple sizable poppies out back, but the smallest and least-happy looking of the group was the first to bloom. The picture of this red flower comes only about half an hour after it opened: you can still see it unfurling. Despite their reputation, poppies are great yard flowers—just don't mistake their edgy leaves for weeds in the winter: the plants die back quite a bit. Not so great for clipping and bringing inside, unless you want poppy seeds everywhere.

I've always loved sedum—heck, I've always liked any oddball, difficult-to-define plant. The front walk gets a lot of direct sun, but not a lot of water: perfect for sedum. Right next to last year's mammoth hens-and-chicks are some peppy purple blooms.

Indoor plants get some attention, too. The downstairs has a tall palm leaning in a corner: it almost never gets direct sunlight, but a happy coincidence of north-shifting sunsets, a gap between this house and the next, and a shifted drapery mean its leaves got the edges of sunsets a few days last week, a cacophony of red-green lines in a shadowy, late afternoon room.

And then there's the snake plant. My sister "gifted" it to me about a dozen years ago to keep it away from the curious hands (and mouth) of her then-toddler. Honestly, I wasn't much for plants, and I plunked it in a greenhouse window and mostly forgot about it for a year…during which time, it thrived. These days, some of its stalks are taller than me, and every year a strange tendril or two comes out of it with delicate, alien-looking yellow-white flowers which open up in the afternoons and evenings for a few weeks. They're difficult to photograph: they're about the diameter of a nickel, but have long filaments with tiny, perpendicular anthers splayed across the ends, creating macro lens-defying depth of field for something so small. I wasted a lot of bits trying to get this shot, but no film.

(Like I said, weakness for those oddball, difficult-to-define plants. Have I mentioned the very cute, two foot-tall spike growing out of an epiphyllum cactus in the other room? No?)


And, finally, more proof that not only does the sun occasionally shine in Seattle, it even sets—complete with sunset mirages! The "real" sun is the lower one in this image: the upper glow is reflection off the underside of a thin layer of clouds. The red of the image isn't digital color manipulation, but the effects of 85 year-old single-pane window glass on the most-exposed side of the house.

The utility pole? Um, call it local color.

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