Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ABC Wednesday: Minding My P's and Q's

I enjoy participating in the ABC Wednesday meme when I can think of an idea, usually related to gardening. I was going to skip this week, though . . .I mean, what flower starts with Q?? And then it hit me! I had the perfect topic! I spent part of the last two days photographing my subject from various angles and doing a little research on the topic.

And then I realized . . .Q doesn't come after O . . . the next letter is P! Drat! Time to bring out Plan B . . .

Last Saturday was the first of the month, which means in garden blogging land, it's Garden Muse Day, sponsored by Carolyn Gail, when many gardeners post an appropriate poem for the season. I found a suitable poem, though it wasn't anything famous or particularly literary, but VP at Veg Plotting posted a poem just perfect for November by one of my favorite poets, "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost. The sentiments of that poem stayed with me as I read Gail's post on Monday about the gold and yellow colors in her garden this November. Both of them inspired me to take a second look around my own surroundings where I noticed more golden colors of autumn than were apparent last week.

At the risk of being accused of Plagiarism, I'd like to share some similar golden views.

In my last post I showed some of the fall color in my garden, including the honey locust trees whose leaves were beginning to turn from green to yellow. This week they are dressed completely in a magnificent yellow.

"Nature's first green is gold/Her hardest hue to hold..."

I will enjoy this lovely show of gold as long as it lasts, for we know that soon these leaves will drop with the inevitable rains and winds of November.

Another correction from my last post--I said that the old oak tree wasn't especially colorful in the fall and that its leaves merely turned brown and fell. Not so! This week the leaves have turned to bronze. Its leaves are still clinging to the branches, providing shade across the front lawn as it has all summer, but now its burnished gold provides some light at the end of the driveway as well.

Across the road, the neighbor's trees are all decked out in yellow and gold, too.

"Her leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf."

In the shade garden the hosta leaves have all started to turn yellow, a sign that it's time for their long winter's nap.

The Pumpkin that my daughter carved into a Jack o'lantern looked great on Halloween. But after too many hours of candle burning, its face is beginning to sag and collapse upon itself.

Winter seems far away despite the falling leaves and wilting garden. We have had beautiful weather for the past week, almost summer-like. But the bees and the butterflies that inhabited my garden all summer long left at the first frost the week before. One visitor apparently didn't get the message of impending cold.

"...Nothing gold can stay."

My husband spotted this Praying Mantis one morning last week on the screen of his bathroom window. Oh, I will miss you, my strange little friends! See you next summer...

Fall is also the time to Preserve the bounty of the harvest. This year has been an exceptional year for apples; my two trees produced more than we could eat. I have made nearly every apple dessert I could think of and have put apple slices and a lot of applesauce into the freezer. This was my first attempt at making apple butter, and it turned out quite well, if I do say so myself.

The beautiful weather this past week has been perfect for Planting bulbs. I was overtaken last spring by tulip envy and got a little carried away in buying bulbs--nearly 300 tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths! Thank goodness I had a little help: my daughters bought me this auger attachment for the cordless drill pictured above. I think it is one of those gadgets advertised on TV, and it's touted as making weeding a painless, easy procedure. I didn't find it very useful in weeding--if you're not careful, a perfectly nice flower can get entangled in it--but I thought I'd try it out in planting bulbs. Once you've drilled a hole, there is still some scooping out of the dirt to do, but it saved me from getting up and down so often, not to mention avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome from the bulb planter!

Besides planting bulbs, this is the time of year to Prepare the garden for winter, including adding some mulch. Mother Nature obliged by blowing most of the leaves into my flower beds. Little Snow Bunny looks all snuggled down for a winter's nap, doesn't he?

Today, though, the big news all across the United States is that we have a new President. There is the Promise of change and a brighter tomorrow. I wish him all the success in the world.

ABC Wednesday is brought to you each week by Mrs. Nesbitt and can also be seen at the ABC Anthology . . . um, next week is Q, right?


  1. homemade applebutter. Makes me drool thinking about it.
    So glad you were minding your P's and Q's.

  2. Such a good Plan B. Great Ps and Qs. And I think you will not be accused of plagerism, you gave credit after all:)

    You know what? I have noticed the oaks down here are really pretty this year too. Not the usual brown.

    A monumental election. So exciting!

  3. Hi Rose.....The oak always manages to stir something within statuesque......
    I shall miss the mantis to.....I have been captured by these wonderful little creatures and have loved your posts......

    I to wish your president every success in the world........of course, all that he does will effect the UK in one or another, I wait with anticipation.......

    Happy Wednesday Rose......

  4. Your entry was superb! All of it!
    You have a grat knack with photos whatever they begin with.

  5. Rose, your P's were plentiful after all. It is an unusual fall to have the oaks turn colors. Most often the cold wind and rain make themturn brown and fall. Can't wait to try some of that apple butter. If it' s as good as your strawberry jam it will be wonderful.

  6. Hi Rose, lovely P post! I like the punpkins when they decay a little, it gives them character (a bit like people really?!!)

  7. Hiya Rose,

    A bevy of Quail: quintessentially quirky coming up?

  8. Hi Rose, magnificent come back, but as usualy you tickle my funny bone! HA You are definitely one I would want to live next door to me, never a dull moment!


    the word verification was *corms*!

  9. I am awaiting Q with great anticipation. You have a whole week to work on it. You have such a creative mind. How's that for a challenge??

  10. Very well thought out post, beautiful image and your closing paragrapha bout the New President we all jope so too around the world.

  11. Rose,

    I loved this post! It is great fun and very clever! You must be a really fun are a fantastic blogger.

    Fall gold has to be celebrated, photographed and is too perfect to keep to one's self! Thank you for sharing and thank you for the mention/link!


  12. ooooh thank you, you have just given me a prompt for my Q next week

  13. Photo, Apple butter is a family favorite; it takes a long time to make, though.

    Tina, Thanks--I did give credit, didn't I? I've never noticed the oak tree looking so gold before, either. As to the election, I am excited, too; I thought his acceptance speech was very inspiring.

    Cheryl, Yes, I am attached to that old oak, too. The mantis was quite a surprise.
    According to surveys, friendly nations around the world were definitely pro-Obama. I am excited for the first time in many elections; I hope that he is able to carry out all his promises.

    Maggie May, Thanks--I'm no great photographer, but it's fun trying.

    Beckie, I was surprised, too, when I noticed the oak--btw, most of the bulbs are planted!

    Suburbia, Yes, the pumpkin is beginning to look a little like me:)

    Joco, Quail would be good, except we don't have any here! Actually it's nothing too exotic...

    Frances, How nice of you! I'd love to have you as a neighbor, too, especially if you came over and gave me some gardening advice:) How funny that the word verification was "corms"; I've been seeing them in my sleep lately:)

    Lisa, Oh dear, I hope I don't disappoint--it's not quite that creative!

    Babooshka, Thanks for the kind words. I am very hopeful about our new President; his acceptance speech was very inspiring.

    Gail, Thanks for the kind words! I really loved your post on Monday; thanks for letting me be a little bit of a copycat:)

    Deejay, Now I'm intrigued--I will have to check out your post next week!

  14. Your "golds" look real pretty. I think our trees have really taken off this week. I think I will try to get out and snap some pics this weekend.

  15. Hi, Rose--So, do you grow quince along with your apples? I'm still groggy from a late night watching the returns--we didn't get to bed until 1, and I'm normally asleep at 10--so I'm waking up with coffee and some of my favrite blogs. You've illustrated the Frost poem perfectly--beautiful symbols of change as Obama begins his work.

  16. Lots and lots of P's! Applebutter is something new to me. It's a kind of jam isn't it?! It sounds all delicious.

  17. Lovley photos again. We haven't had good photo weather, over the past few days. It's been overcast, dark and miserable.

    So many bulbs! They will look spectacular when they flower! Like the pumpkin, too.

    Such great news about your new president. He has a tough job ahead of him, but inspires confidence. A very impressive and charismatic man.

  18. Those a sure pretty picture of trees.

    Coffee is on.

  19. Glad you decided not to skip this weeks post. Great P photos!!! Fantastic post.

  20. An altogether joyous post with beautiful pictures. For this celebratory day I'm glad you also included a photo of new president!

  21. All your P's were Perfect, Rose - and Pictorial! I'm waiting for cooler soil to Plant my bulbs and the Pumpkin came from a can and went into a Pie last night.

    Both the concession speech by Senator McCain and the acceptance speech by Senator Obama were touching and inspiring. Promise was an excellent 'P' word for today.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  22. You did pretty well for somebody who was going to post about "Q"!!
    See, your oak tree was only fooling you with its brown leaves. It can change its colours like magic. Loved your pumpkin!

  23. A plethora of P's.
    Good luck with Q next week.

    Bear((( )))

  24. Dear Rose,
    A wonderful ABC Wednesday post!
    Your apple butter looks delicious. A friend of my husband brought over a huge box of pears. I think I will do up some of them. I wonder if there is such a thing as pear butter?
    I send blessings to our new President.

  25. I look forward to seeing what Q is next week!!!! Your golds are beautiful and so are all your "P"'s.

  26. Susie, I think our trees have hit their peak. Colder weather and rain are moving in today, and I imagine many of the leaves will fall.

    Cosmo, Good morning! No, I don't have any quince, but you've given me another idea ... I think we all were up late Tuesday night!

    Reader Wil, Apple butter is like a jam, but not as thick. Very tasty!

    Mean Mom, I kept telling myself how beautiful all these bulbs will be next spring as I dug and dug and dug. I'm excited about our new President, too, though I'm realistic enough to know that change will come slowly.

    Peppylady, Thanks, and thanks for dropping by! I've really enjoyed the trees this fall.

    Chrissym, I was just going to post about my trees, but then all the P's just sort of took over:)

    Granny Smith, Thank you! Yes, our election certainly was the P post of the day:)

    Annie, Thanks; I was lucky to have such nice weather to plant them all. I think most Americans are feeling much more hopeful after this election.

    Wendy, Yes, the oak did fool me--I've never noticed this color before this year!

    Bear Naked, Thanks--Q is actually going to be easy for me:)

    Sherry, Thanks. You've reminded me I have some pears in the fridge, too. Yes, I've heard of pear butter, and of course, there is pear preserves. Hmmm, maybe I should start cooking again.

    Cindy, The yard seems to be full of gold right now, but colder weather is coming.

  27. Thank you for the smile this morning;)

    I noticed that glowing bronze on my oak. It is the last to give up its leaves, sometimes keeping a few all winter.

    Your applebutter looks good!

  28. Good luck with "Q"; can't wait to see what you come up with!

    I rescued one of your praying mantis friends today. I don't know what they do when cold weather hits, but this one thought the elementary school sign was going to be his home, which didn't look too comfortable to me. He'd been there for two days. I scooped him up and moved him to a flower bed and he immediately livened up and ran off.

  29. How perfect to have a P day after the election! Promising indeed. I love that Frost poem too. He’s my favorite poet. It is a good week for happy P's.

  30. And now you have a week to think up a Q!

  31. Plagiarism! Very clever! Admitting to filching an idea! I think I'll use 'Copy' for my next 'C' entry! Great photos!

  32. Marnie, The oak is still full of leaves, though there is quite a spread on the ground waiting for the rake (or the wind, I hope). The apple butter is surprisingly good!

    Joyce, I'm so glad you rescued the mantis! Now, did he really RUN off?!

    Sarah, P turned out to be a perfect letter for this week, although O would have worked, too:)

    Katney, I have the idea, I just need to put Q all together!

    Rinkly Rimes, I taught English for many years and always preached against plagiarism, so I certainly wouldn't want to be guilty of it!

  33. Rose - I didn't think your post was Plagiarism at all, I thought it was Perfect!

    And many thanks for the link love my friend!

    Great fall colour too - it's a great year for it here too :)

    Enjoy your weekend!

  34. It's funny how we come across ideas. Artists will tell you that its not unfettered access to ideas, but their careful cultivation in a controlled (and limited) environment from which art springs forth. That's what makes the meme idea so potent.

  35. A beautiful blog entry!
    Wonderful autumn leaves and garden images - and our new president - and hoe for the furure.
    Greetings from New York!
    psp must get back to doing ABC Wednesday.
    I've been slacking - must start thinking of "Q"

  36. You know, I pretty much need to recite the whole alphabet to remember what order those letters at the end go in! ;-)

  37. Very nice post Rose. Your fall colors are splendid. And that apple butter. . . yum! My grandma used to make homemade apple butter every fall with the abundance of apples from their orchard that grandpa was so darned proud of. (we had to dodge the cow pies left by wandering neighbor's cows.)

    I too have been inspired by our election results. My middle daughter was lucky enough to have tickets to attend the Grant Park election night celebration, and is still on cloud nine.

  38. VP, Glad you didn't mind my copying your idea; it was the perfect poem this month.

    Robert, Thanks for the comment--poetry speaks to each of us in different ways, so I suppose our intrepretations are unique.

    Elizabeth, Thanks for stopping by. I don't always participate either, but the P's just seemed to fall in place.

    Monica, Thanks; that makes me feel better:)

    Linda, Happy Birthday! How exciting for your daughter--I can't imagine what a thrill that must have been!


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment. I'll try to reply here, but I'll definitely return the visit.