Tuesday, October 05, 2010

(What's the Story) Morning Glory?

My backyard here at the new house, which will continue to be the new house for another five years, at which point it will have been our house longer than the old house and will lose the modifier, is a wild and unstructured place. Accountant Boy rebuilt one-fourth of the deck's total surface a couple of months ago, but the rest of it is still unstable, one heavy foot away from catastrophe. We haven't taken the time to figure out the irrigation back there, so some things are overwatered and some are dying from a lack of it. We bought some Japanese maples at Costco early last spring. They're still in nursery pots. We like to say that we're pacing ourselves.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I looked out there at the vine that I couldn't remember planting and saw that thing. I remember throwing some morning glory seeds in the ground, but it's been a while, at least a couple of years. When a leafy vine cropped up around a withering rudebeckia, I assumed it was a stowaway from the nursery. It didn't bloom for eighteen months, but it didn't die over the winter, even with the snow. Tough plant. And now it's blooming, which is amazing given that we don't water it and it's living in the notoriously crappy Pleasant Hill soil.

Everything in the ground went wild this summer. This is the cosmos that we grew from seed. See what looks like a sapling trunk in the picture, near the plastic Holstein's ass? It's actually a cosmos stem. Yes, these are the same cosmos that you buy in 6-packs at Home Depot. Mine grew six feet tall.

It may not be formal, or purposeful. It's not the garden I had at the old house, that's for sure. Back then, we designed everything, planted that yard from flat dirt, knew the botanical and common name of everything in the ground. I planned very little of what's growing in either the back or the front yards here. We simply threw stuff into the earth and hoped for the best. If it perseveres, we're happy. If it thrives, we're surprised. It has been a surprising few weeks. It's wild. I love it.

Work continues on Juliet. I'm finally down to the lace portion. What I neglected to mention last time was that I'm knitting it at the wrong gauge. Yes, I did do a gauge swatch, but I did it not long after I got the O.K. to lightly use my pinkie, and while my thumb was still in a brace for twenty-three hours a day. I thought that, as it was just knitting, no purling for the first third of the project, it wouldn't be a problem. My tension couldn't be that much more loose, right? Heh. I like it at this gauge, but I'm knitting it as a large so that I can get a small/medium, so it's taking a little while. The Theraputty is in the picture for color adjustment. My phone camera couldn't get the color right without it.

Why the phone camera? Wasn't I just whining about how I don't take out my "real" cameras anymore? For some reason, the lighting in my office and the processor in my Sony don't get along. None of the white balance settings work, even with helpful color contrast object thrown into the mix. My phone, on the other hand, takes wonderful pictures at my desk, with clean, accurate white balance and brightness. My phone won out in the morning glory pictures as well. I took shots with both, but the one above was the most true to life. The big Nikon would more than likely best both of them, but that defeats the purpose of the kind of spur-of-the-moment photography I like to do. For now, the phone wins.

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