Conspicuous Consumption

This year I want to create more, and consume less. I am a somewhat reformed magpie in terms of material stuff, but I want to address other kinds of consumption -- my constant nose diving into the national news for instance. It’s an addiction that is chomping into my creative life as I scramble to look at the news each morning.  My husband is a writer, and pulled me out of this self sabotage by sharing a snippet from a recent interview.

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Flower Stalker

 Rocky Mountain Penstemon

Rocky Mountain Penstemon

I am a wildflower stalker, albeit a haphazard one.  My dedication falters when learning proper nomenclature.  My mother started me on this path when I was a child. We hiked in the same hills where I now live --the Colorado Rockies --  and before each hike she would load the nylon hunter orange drawstring  backpack with sunscreen, sandwiches ,water bottles, army surplus rain ponchos and always, always the battered,  thumbed wildflower guidebook. The sandwiches would be smashed and inedible by lunchtime but we weren't allowed to complain. How could we with those views, these mountains, that meadow of flowers?

 False Dandelion

False Dandelion

 

My mother  taught me all the quaint names -- bread and butter, monkshood, elephant pagoda, false sunflower and Indian paintbrush. We had to stop on each hike and peer at flowers and ponder their identification. Of course she was also teaching us reverence, but I only cottoned on to this as an adult. Now it's karmic payback as my own kids suffer my abrupt roadside pullovers to snap a photo for later identification.  In their minds, I think the needle of my eccentric scale is now well beyond unusual and has leaned into embarrassing. 

 Scarlet Gilia

Scarlet Gilia

But the bottom line is that my mother slowed me down and taught me how to look, really look and notice the ant on the stamen, or how the wind moved the leaves on a stem or how to be astonished by how many hues one blossom can capture.  She developed my artists's eye as we explored the natural world.  Someday I will get to thank her. 

 

 Multiflowered Phlox

Multiflowered Phlox

 Service Berry Bush

Service Berry Bush

 Alpine Lupine

Alpine Lupine

 High Alpine Meadow

High Alpine Meadow

Flower Child

Just living is not enough....one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. Hans Christian Andersen

 Papaver Orientalis -- The Mojo Garden

Papaver Orientalis -- The Mojo Garden

The gardening catalogues are clogging up our post box and I am daydreaming about my gardening future. I’m beginning to feel the earth move under my feet, even through a foot of snow. 

 Lupine in the Mojo Garden

Lupine in the Mojo Garden

Conservation InternationaI's "I need nature" campaign is a household hit, and our kids love the celebrity takes on various "personalities" of our natural world.  The film shorts make a compelling reason for why we all should be conservationists.

 Monarda in the Mojo Garden

Monarda in the Mojo Garden

My favorite features Lupita Nyongo and makes me long for my flowers, the Mojo Garden (our garden) and summer. You can find Lupita as flower below, but don’t miss PenelopeCruz as water either.