Night Blooming CereusNightbloom, photo and all text © Irene O’Garden 2013

To listen to this post, please click here:Coincidence of Rarities

As plants go, it’s an eyesore. Scarred, scallopy, leathery, lesioned leaves all akimbo on the bony stems. Three hundred and sixty four days a year, that is.

But some unpredictable summer night, a prehistoric, dinosaurish scaly head lifts from the troubled leaves and opens to a melon-sized, pristine, fragrant wheel of glory. It is the legendary night-blooming cereus.

A paradise for moths, a silken tunnel of immaculate complexity –this opulent, ephemeral wedding of a flower has inspired parties for centuries. (We’ve held one or two ourselves.) As we left for Canada last week, we noted the swelling buds and resigned ourselves to missing this year’s display.

Yet our lumpy friend reserved her two spectacular blooms for the very night of our return, when I was able to capture this image.

As we sat in admiration, the waxing moon set early, leaving a dark starry stage for another annual rarity: the Perseid meteor shower. No haze, no clouds–for the first time in several years we could watch the thrilling, erratic archery of shooting stars.

The shooting stars: quicksilver blossoms. The cereus: a slower shooting star. Unity in rarity.

(Should you care to see a brief time-lapse video of night blooming cereus, here is one. Thank you, poppavox.)

 

A Gift For You

Do you have a favorite poem you would like to hear me read?

We will be abroad in September. Rather than depending on iffy Internet or closing up blitshop, I thought it would be fun to record some of my readers’ favorite poems before I leave and schedule them to post while I am gone.

Please note that your poem must be in the public domain, (published in the US before 1923) This gives us a huge selection:  Shakespeare, Blake, Mother Goose, Stevenson, Whitman, Dickenson–just think! Poets all over the world who wrote for adults and children! If you’d like some ideas or want to check if your poem is in the public domain, look here on Bartleby or on Gutenberg here.

You can submit them through the comments section below,  use the contact tab above, or email me. But please do so soon, so I have time to select and record them. Happy hunting!

 

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