These gladiolas, or their ancestors, were planted by my father in the garden of the house where I grew up. You can see the flowers in the background of my wedding pictures. Years ago, my mother gave some of the bulbs to her wonderful caregiver, Maud. Last year, Maud sent some of the bulbs to me. These are California glads, so I’ll have to dig up the bulbs and shelter them inside over the winter.
Yesterday, I went for a walk after a rainstorm, but I didn’t bring my camera. (There might be a lesson there.) One of the cherries growing on this wild cherry tree had been damaged, and the cherry juice leaked into a droplet, making it glow red. By the time I got back with my camera, the ruby droplet had fallen. The best I could do was this slightly pink one and the drop that has a smiley face reflection.
The woman who lives in that house came out and asked what I was doing. I told her about the ruby droplet. She said I’d frightened her son. Apparently a disreputable realtor had recently photographed their house and claimed he’d made the sale. I apologized for upsetting her son. Then I waved to the boy because he was peeking through the curtains. I asked my neighbor if she’d like to look at the pictures I’d just taken to prove they weren’t of her home. She must have decided I didn’t look like a creepy, dishonest realtor because she declined. Then the boy came out of the house, and I had to retell the story of the ruby droplet (lost and gone forever, dreadful sorry). He ran to the tree and started picking wild cherries. His mother and I shouted in unison, “Don’t eat them!”
Two days ago on our morning bike ride, I noticed about 15-20 great egrets roosting in this swampy area. Yesterday, there were more birds, and today there must have been 50. The birds are constantly squabbling with each other. I took this picture with my phone because I don’t bring my camera on bike rides, especially when it’s about to rain. I asked my friend Tim why so many were together in a group. He said, “First, most or all of these egrets will migrate fairly soon. They need to put on as much fat as possible before then. I presume there must be good pickings here -- fish, snails, frogs, perhaps trapped in this slough for one reason or another. Easy pickings compared to rivers and lake edges. A few egrets must have found/known about this place. When other egrets flying around saw those unmistakable white forms, they tried to horn in and are all trying to get their bellyful. They'll probably pick that spot nearly clean of prey.”