First Flowers & Natural Habitats


May 16, 2020.  The season’s first flowering plant brings a “yipee!” in planting zone 5a. It’s a long wait! This cheery yellow wildflower, called marsh marigold, is springing up in the low-lying places. Spring arrives so slowly here, each indicator is a little thrill. The ferns are sending up their first curly shoots too.  I love ferns! I once took a few from Michigan to my other home in Virginia and tried to plant them in my garden there. It didn’t work, of course.  All species—human, plants, animals—need their natural habitat in order to thrive. 

Isn’t it odd that this now appears to be my natural habitat…a camper, with an outdoor compost toilet and running water only when the temp goes above freezing.  A few years ago, I was a Navy captain and a federal official with high-falutin’ titles, thriving in the city.  I wore suits (most days), and IDs around my neck, and make-up. Now I wear boots and jeans, forget to comb my hair, sometimes wear the same clothes for days, and put on only mascara and only for Zoom meetings. Well, humans are adaptable, aren’t we?  When we stop long enough to observe ourselves and gently question ourselves and dare to change, we find that we are capable of the most unusual things.

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