Fiddle arrival…

Spring marks many beginnings and renewals. Emergent shoots of shade loving Ferns have acquired the apt nickname of “Fiddle Heads” as seen in this image taken earlier this year. Nature continues to amaze and spark our imaginations. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Shells in bud…

Close-up image of Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) in the morning sunlight. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

At the entrance to Flamingo Gardens was this beautiful Shell Ginger in bud stage. The name comes from the shell-like flowers that will soon emerge from the prolific buds. The plant can grow, hedge-like to 4-8 feet tall. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

I am hoping the black tips of these buds do not mean that the plant is stressed from drought that is happening right now in Florida. This is Florida’s 4th driest start to a year. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Enjoy from a distance…

Emerging Musk Thistle (Carduus Nutans) found along the Grant’s Trail in St. Louis during a morning walk. Beautiful, but untouchable for all its bristles.

Musk Thistle bloom with bud in background. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Opening Musk Thistle flower. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

For more details see: http://extension.missouri.edu/p/ipm1015

Love is…

Rose bud for budding love, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Rose bud for budding love, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Worthy, strong, powerful define “valens”, the Roman origins for the name Valentine. Valentine’s Day has come to symbolize love, stemming from the martyrdom of St. Valentine. Though St. Valentine’s identity is vague and speculative, his (their) impact is profound every February 14th.

The combination of worth, strength, and power mixed with love evokes a robust image of fervent attention. Roses symbolize the love offered on Valentine’s Day. The delicate, sweet smelling flower, seemingly blushes when given as a token of unspoken as well as celebrated love. How artful for the lover to give such a gentle gift as indication of his (her) robust desire.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Winter nurslings…

Female Pine cone bud copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Female Pine cone bud copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

The metaphor for the last stage of life is often winter. Winter is a time of less energy when chilled temperatures, shorter days, plant dormancy or death, and animal migration and hibernation. Animals settle in for periods of longer rest or become “snow birds” literally migrating to warmer climates. Annual plants literally die. Perennial plants and deciduous trees have less energy, so quit their work and retire. There are some, like some people, that seem have eternal energy, determined to thrive throughout the harsh winter months.

“Green” is the most obvious sign of an active winter species. Buds, the plant’s newborns, do not always wait for spring’s warmer days and more colorful settings. The evergreen White Pine hosts young buds during winter months. These youthful outgrowths are surviving sub-zero temperatures while blanketed by dense snow, which does indeed give shelter species from the arctic air.