Monday, May 14, 2012

Barefoot Again

Pink Yarrow
I am barefoot again!

Today I spent most of the day in the garden with NO shoes. I think my foot feels better for it.
Skin to earth. Feeling every prickly thing, every edge on the gravel. Love it.

For the past week I have been wearing a regular shoe on my right foot, usually the sturdy hiking boots with the rigid sole and lots of support around. When I first put it on, my foot feels snug and safe. By the end of the day the whole foot hurts. My toes complain about being crammed into the shoe. My long unused muscles ache with their work. Only a tiny bit of occasional pain occurs where the break is.

But walking skin to earth, feeling the way the terrain shifts and curves has stretched the muscles gently and taught them (again) how they are suppose to work.

For the past week I have been planting like mad. Seeds, plants that I started from seed, plants I bought and plants acquired during a plant exchange party a couple of weeks ago.

Purple Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe), I took a tiny seedling
 to the plant exchange.
A plant exchange is quite a simple and delightful concept. You take plants that you can spare -- extras you bought or started and have no room for, or divisions of things getting out of hand, even that small shrub you decided to dig out. Whatever you have to share. Bring it and then pick out new plants from what others brought. Oh yes, don't forget to bring a dish for the potluck, and maybe a bottle of wine. After all it is a plant exchange party!

I was so proud of myself for bringing home fewer plants than I took. I told myself that I could bring something home only if I had a vague idea where I would plant it. So I got a hellebore (not sure what kind) and a solomon's seal for the shade under the hedge tree; some meadow rue and a perennial sunflower for the wildflower patch; a Monarda didyama (don't know what color); a clump of Virginia bluebells that the hostess had dug just for me; and a plume poppy.

All are now planted, except for the plume poppy. You must beware what you take home from a plant exchange. Why do you think there is enough to share? The plume poppy can get to be a giant of a plant and is "invasive under ideal circumstances." So I am carefully considering its new home.

Aphrodite Fritillary, Speyeria aphrodite

Butterflies are fluttering about by the hundreds -- soon to be thousands when the hackberry emporer pulls free of its cocoon. I have seen many lovely orange and black butterflies that I was able to identify as one of the fritillaries that grace our state. Today I caught a photo of one supping on the blossom of pale coneflower (Echincacea pallida). I at first identified it as a Great Spangled Fritillary -- with a bit of disappointment, as I noticed the Aphrodite Fritillary listed immediately after it -- but not pictured -- in my booklet from the Kansas School Naturalist, Emporia State University.

However, my photo and the one in the booklet of the Great Spangled didn't quite match. So I breathlessly did a Web search for Speyeria aphrodite. Imagine my delight when I found that, indeed, my butterfly is the Aphrodite.

1 comment:

plant.monkey said...

so glad your toes are back in the dirt.