more interesting

Trees, shrubs, and ground cover are more interesting than I give them credit for. These white pine needles resemble a July 4th fireworks show.

This shrub’s colors move from evergreen to a frosty blue grey.

And then this ground cover is just so fun. The stems look like spring action toys–if you pushed on them, they would spring right back.

monarchs and milkweed

Since moving back to #Illinois, I can’t help but notice all the attention paid to pollinators–the critters like bees and butterflies that move pollen around on a plant, causing it to produce seeds.

Milkweed is the ultimate snack for monarch butterflies.

They migrate thousands of miles for this stuff.

And they need milkweed to lay their eggs because Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed leaves.

Local milkweed bloomed and has since faded, but these butterflies persist. I spied a few this past week and hope I might see some more before they migrate south for the winter.

hunting trolls at the morton arboretum

If you have an afternoon to spare and enjoy searching for gigantic troll sculptures, the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, is a good bet.

The sculptures are huge. If I had to guess, between 20 and 30 feet in height.

Trolls are ultimate mischief makers in Norse mythology. They create natural disturbances and set riddles for humans to solve (or not).

green clover, green clover

One of my neighbors in #Belhaven has a large clump of clover at the corner of his property. And every time I pass it by, I can’t help but peer closely and hope I find a four-leafer.

Jackson Mississippi Belhaven Clover Deep South

Clover is an herbaceous plant in the pea family, and its leaves are primarily three lobed. It took some diligence but I finally found a four-leafer–in my backyard when I was pulling weeds. Insert eye roll.

Honestly can’t remember the last time I found a four-leaf clover. Was I ten? Eleven or twelve? As a late 40-something, I’ll take this as a positive sign and hope that good luck might blow my way. (Now if I can just find a rainbow and a pot of gold.)

when broken is beautiful—a gift of sea glass from newport, rhode island

Yesterday I was tidying up the front and back yards as my house is currently listed for sale. Raking leaves and fallen camellia blooms, picking up twigs, cutting back some potted pansies–when I noticed a large box on my doorstep. The handwritten mailing label indicated it was from Sea Glass Central (Newport, Rhode Island), which happens to be home of my friend Shannon. She mentioned she’d send me a bag of sea glass to wish me good luck with the sale of my home. I received an entire box instead, and the sea glass is cool stuff!

Broken bottles and glass that are tumbled by the ocean for years–that’s sea glass. The bits of sea glass take on a frosted appearance as the result of being tumbled, and I’m thoroughly smitten with the pale rose, green, and blue pieces. Broken is beautiful.

the florida botanical gardens in largo

Places I could easily fritter away hours: garden centers and botanical gardens, seriously. The Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo are pretty neat-o.

A beautiful selection of camellias (thoroughly smitten with this shade of pink):

Camellia Florida Botanical Gardens Largo Florida

The Princess Flower from Brazil. Crazy-cool stamens on this flower.

Princess Flower Florida Botanical Gardens Largo Florida

And then this pale orange hued hibiscus. To spend a life surrounded by flowers is a pretty enviable one.

Hibiscus Florida Botanical Gardens Largo Florida