Irony of Serendipity – Haiku

Wild vines trailing long-

Thriving unfenced, untended.

Animals don’t feast?

08-24 Watermelons

Several weeks ago, during a walk around our neighborhood, we spotted a cluster of strange vines growing on an empty lot.  Upon closer inspection, we identified it as watermelon.

Of course, I had to take pictures because our watermelons never made it this far.  We had two garden areas last  year, both fenced in.  One garden was ravaged early on by rabbits, who squeezed under the fencing.  They were greedy – they ate the plant sprouts before fruit could begin to develop.

Our second garden survived most of the summer.  While neighbors lamented the destruction of their plants by various wildlife, I declared that our garden thrived.  Neighbors commented on our beautiful zucchini and tomato plants.

And then the elk came.  They ransacked the garden and what was left died within a couple weeks.

This is why the wild watermelons are so perplexing.  It made me wonder if the animals around here prefer a challenge.  You know, bragging rights amongst their kin when they outsmarted the ridiculous attempts to deter them.  Or, perhaps they have become so accustomed to the good stuff being locked up (like expensive wine) that they don’t bother to look outside the fencing.

"Hidden" in plain sight?
“Hidden” in plain sight?

Then another thought occurred to me:  I might be over-thinking it.  Maybe the wild watermelon is just one of those unexpected things in life to make us take a pause.  Perhaps it’s not meant to be understood- just simply enjoyed.

After watching the news this weekend, I’m all for simple enjoyment.  I’m trying to shake a hopeless feeling… the restlessness I feel whenever I’m saddled with the weight of current events.  Watermelons flourishing when all logic says they shouldn’t distracts me from the beheadings, bombings, civil unrest and earthquakes.

To me, these watermelons are more than just plants.  They are hope.

And I hope your Monday brings you joy!

P.S. If you came here looking for fiction, I hope you’ll check back later this week – I’ll be posting a story for another of Emilio Pasquale’s photos.  This is the third in an unofficial monthly challenge 🙂

Going Underground – Haiku (and more)

Arizona sun

relentless for months on end-

we went underground.

Lava Caves

Over the weekend, we went somewhere that forced me to face a few of my fears all at one time.  It wasn’t exactly by choice… I was kind of out-voted, and majority rules.  I don’t know why no one wanted to stay home and clean our tile floors.

We went on an excursion to the Lava River Cave (near Flagstaff, AZ.)   Fears aside, I looked forward to one thing:  40 degree temperatures inside the cave.  It’s been quite warm (okay, hot) in Arizona for a few months, so being cold without standing in front of the wide-open freezer sounded rather nice.

Good news:  I only bumped my head on low ceilings twice (you’d think I’d have learned after the first time, but no,)  and despite my older son’s effort to freak me out with claims of seeing bats, none nested in my hair (I checked.)

My older son led the way and as usual, I was the last of our group.   There is a danger of being left behind when you’re last, but I had insurance:  I packed the snacks in my knapsack.  Yep… that’s one way to make sure they keep me close.

I mentioned in the beginning that this one mile walk would have me encounter several fears.  You might guess that bats is one of those fears.  Now, I’m not afraid of bats per se… just bats deep inside a cave.  This brings me to another fear that I break into a sweat just thinking of:  enclosed spaces.  I only had one near panic attack in area that was about three feet high.  My family was there for me… well, my husband at least- he held my hand and talked me through it while my kids laughed at me.  (Charming little men, they are…)

I am also not a fan of the dark, or rather the things I can’t see because it’s dark.  I had this covered, though.  I carried two flashlights and a baggie with twelve AA batteries.  Hey, when facing fears, I didn’t intend to go down without a light, I mean fight 🙂

Oh dear, that was terrible. I really should see about writing my posts earlier in the evening!

Do you share any of these fears?  Have you explored caves?

Haiku Poem & Life (Which Is Not Always Poetic)

Wispy clouds streaked orange;

Colorful monsoon display.

Hopes for late-night rain.

Monsoon Sunset

It is monsoon time here in Arizona.  The storms can be swift, with more wind than rain, but for me, it’s always the promise of rain that makes me keep one eye on the radar.  We may not always get rain, but at least we do get some decent photo opportunities 🙂

Last week, I only managed to do one post, which was a story for Speakeasy.  (That story was voted 3rd place last week, so thanks to all who read it!)  It seems my week of Mondays is still going, haha!  I’ve re-installed the operating system on my computer, but still can’t get to the internet, so my Dad is going to look at it when I visit them at the end of the month.  Until then, I guess I get to buddy up with my old Vista laptop.

I didn’t mention it in my A Week of Mondays post, but that week, I also found out that my kitty, Cybil has kidney issues.  I’ve been taking her to the vet every other day for IV fluids and my husband has tried giving her pills each morning.  All this ‘treatment’ has resulted in her becoming quite suspicious of us and spending more time under our bed.  It made me wonder for whose benefit we were doing it all, and if I’m honest, I think it’s for me.  The last time I took her to the vet, I had to squirt her with water to get her to come out from under the bed.  The last time my husband tried to pill her, he wrapped her in a towel and still ended up getting bitten and she still worked the pills out.  So, as of yesterday, I’ve stopped the madness. I don’t know how long we’ll have with her, but I’d rather not put her through the stress any longer.  Maybe she will quit running under the bed whenever I come into the room.

Okay, so I’d like to move on from the depressing.  I’m working on a story that I hope to post later in the week – probably Thursday.  (Writing is a great way to keep my mind distracted!)  Speakeasy is on a summer break right now, and I don’t have the energy to figure out the combined summer grid, so for the next six weeks, I plan to write a story each week unprompted.  I thought it would be fun to write a few sentences at the end explaining the inspiration for the stories, or how the idea occurred to me.  (If no one cares, it can easily be skipped!)   I hope you’ll come back and read it.

To leave this post another positive note, I’d like to announce that we finally finished a couple of ongoing projects (last update was May 21):  our fencing is essentially complete (we still need to do a proper latch for our double-gate) and our rock trenches are DONE!  We finished them a couple weeks ago, and a recent rain confirms that they seem to be working, so far:

Rock Drainage

I hope you have a beautiful week!  If you have any thoughts on this post, or want to share something you’re looking forward to this week, or have a gripe about Monday, I hope you’ll share a comment.  I’d love to know what’s on your mind 🙂

Haiku – Leaving Our Mark

Immersed in nature;

once peaceful, pristine, untouched-

marred by carelessness.

06-26 Tree

A few weeks ago, we traveled down a dirt road just to see where it went.  We happened upon an area of lush greenery – so dense, it reminded me a bit of hiking in Shenandoah.  Of course, I had to get out and take pictures because, let’s face it, most of Arizona is quite dry and brittle- especially this time of year.  As we were getting ready to go, a flash of red caught my eye (see center of photo).

I was disappointed to see it was a paper cup (Panda Express, I think) tossed into a tree.  I’d like to think there was a time when people cared and respected the land.  I’d like to think we could get there again.  The world is not a trash bin and my hope is that those who treat it as such will wake up and see the error in their ways.  (And if not, perhaps awakening underneath a trash heap might open their eyes 🙂 )

I hope you have a beautiful (litter-free) Thursday!

Nature – Haiku

Nature can be harsh,

Still, life manages to thrive.

My pampered trees die.

06-17 RedMountain

I’m always fascinated when I see trees, shrubs, or any kind of growth emerging from rocky terrain (and I see that often here in Arizona!).  This photo is zoomed into the top of Red Mountain.  These trees flourish, yet the ones carefully planted in our yard with a mixture of soil and fertilizer, and watered several times weekly die under my care.  It doesn’t seem to matter what type of vegetation – if it has roots, I kill it.

Thank goodness I’ve had better luck with children and pets!