April 13, 2011

An Afternoon Walk in April

It has been awhile since Michael and I have ventured out into the Secret Garden.  It's been almost a year since we moved into this magic place and we have seen the garden transformed with the passing of the seasons.  So much has changed.  The fruiting mulberry tree, that once reached passed the roof tops along the north side of our balcony is gone, cut down to save the cement walkway from its massive root structure.  The Giant Oak, that we watched fall--making a natural bridge across the creek in May 2010 as we were dining with a friend, is gone--chopped into pieces and drug away by the County's maintenance crew just a few months ago, leaving a huge, empty, stark space in the landscape on the western bank of the creek.  The cuttings from the Wandering Jew from North Carolina, that we had planted in three places along the banks of the creek, have all washed away during the winter storms.

Our first year in the Garden was so magical that it almost seems as though it was a dream.  Each month brought new discoveries of things unknown and things unexpected.  Now the Mulberry tree, the one that supplied the fruit last summer for our mulberry and cream cheese stuffed pancakes and gave us front row seats to the antics of the squirrels as they played in the branches, is gone; the Giant Oak that sheltered all the feral kittens and provided a bridge for easy crossing for the skunks at night, is also gone.

It does feel as though some magic has left the garden and that we will find less there to discover, and yet, I can still find great delight in our walks.

We have heard tales that there is a while turtle that lives in the Garden; but that was a tale told by a 9 year old little boy last fall.  I suppose I half believe him; because, I secretly hope to come across that white turtle sitting on a rock at the edge of the creek.  For now, I will be content with the less unusual.

On our late afternoon walk, yesterday, we did find "The Miniature Forest of Wheat and Tares" which was teaming with (probably) hundreds of lady bugs who were competing with some type of beetle for an afternoon meal among the fresh spring growth.  It was a wonderful photographic opportunity as the sun was low in the west and casting the perfect light on the patch of green.

I believe this little guy is a Pedilus lugubris or a Neopyrochroa femoralis
Until our next walk...

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