Something New/Something Different

Tomorrow, May 15, will make the 60th day of our San Francisco Bay Area Counties Shelter In Place order. Sixty Days is a really long time. And the Shelter In Place order extends at least through May 31. Living in an apartment with a dog, I am allowed out of the apartment to walk her. This understandably counts as an essential trip. I spend an hour and walk a mile, always wearing a mask, keeping at least 6 feet apart from any other walkers, and taking my camera with me. The dog, the exercise of the daily walk, and my camera, have helped to keep me sane and for the most part, kept depression at bay. And knowing that the one hour is all I have, I have found that I have become even more of a noticer. By default, one has to be a noticer in order to be a photographer, but I have found that my noticing skills are heightened this spring. In particular, I have discovered that there are a plethora of unusual flowers in the neighborhood. Most of the unique ones seem to be on flowering bushes or trees, rather than specific flower species such as roses or snapdragons. Here are four. Does anyone know the names of these straight away? I didn’t, though I’m not a person that knows a lot of the flower names. But I definitely had to look each of these up. Points to anyone who can identify them without looking at the labels.

1.

fullsizeoutput_229c

2.

fullsizeoutput_24bc

3.

fullsizeoutput_24c6

4.

fullsizeoutput_24be

Answers: 1: Tree Aeonium. 2: Tritomea, aka: Toarch Lily, aka: Red Hot Poker. 3: Blue Passion Flower. 4: Trailing Abutilon.

Posted for SPTA’s Friendly Friday’s Something New/Something Different as well as the same challenge for The Sandy Chronicles.

Growing Despite Hardship

I was, of course, taking my daily one mile walk with my dog when I came upon these wildflowers. They had managed to grow under the fence, up against the sidewalk, and still thrive. I found them to be an inspiration. How can I continue to grow in spite of, or perhaps because of, this difficult quarantine during the Coronavirus? Sheltering inside, except for this one hour a day, (and even for that respite, wearing a mask and keeping 6 feet way from other people), how can I use this time? What new skills can I learn, uninterrupted like this? What books could I read? What items in my apartment might I realize, with renewed clarity, that I no longer need and I could donate? What clutter could I clear out and then organize what remains, creating a more peaceful haven? What opportunities does this quarantine present that I am normally too busy, or too distracted, to notice?

fullsizeoutput_224c

Whimsical Garden Ornaments

Appearing here to hopefully add a little joy into our quarantined lives.*

*Look closely – the first and the last dragon are not the same. 😉

And did you notice the two little snails on the lily pad?

Posted for the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Whimsical.