Thursday, May 28, 2015

MUCH warmer

I have a very funny friend, clever and witty! These days when we've had some pretty warm days (75+) she's fond of replying to the statement" "Wow, it's 85 degrees, that's really hot" by saying, "It sure is, that's 103 degrees higher than the -18 degrees we had in mid-February!"

I agree that it is amazing to be 103 degrees HIGHER than just three months ago, but the perplexed person is left rather speechless, trying to figure out how it could be 100+ degrees in a city whose temperature hardly ever gets above 90!

PS. Hope you've enjoyed the Smileboxes and numerous entries on our community website over the last week or so. Lots of good things going on in our little part of the world.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Be kind, be kind, be kind

Congratulations to Sister Anne Wambach--re-elected for a second 5-yr. term as prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie.

Sister Anne Wambach, prioress, with Sisters Mary Grace (left) and Irene Warchol (right) last March!

"Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
John Watson

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bleeding Hearts

"What is the greatest gift?"

What is the greatest gift?
Could it be the world itself--the oceans, the meadowlark,
the patience of the trees in the wind?
Could it be love, with its sweet clamor of passion?

Something else--something else entirely
holds me in thrall.
That you have a life that I wonder about
more than I wonder about my own.
That you have a life--courteous, intelligent--
that I wonder about more than I wonder about my own.
That you have a soul--your own, no one else's--
that I wonder about more than I wonder about my own.

So that I find my soul clapping its hands for yours
more than my own.

Mary Oliver

Monday, May 18, 2015

Seldom Seen #10

Seldom Seen #10 is our greenhouse, the interior of the greenhouse.

The greenhouse is "hidden" in the southeast corner in the back of the Mount. Unless you purposely take a walk around the building or are hiking out to the hermitages you probably don't even know that it is there.

I believe it is a little over 25 years old. It was part of the additions that were added to both wings when the Sisters of Benet Lake, Wisconsin merged with our community. Time and weather have taken its toll on it however, with the glass windows on both the ceiling and side leaking badly. But, a face lift is in store for it this summer, as many of our gardeners and individual sisters rely on it for potting soil, a southern exposure for beginner plants and, lately, even some fresh lettuce and vegetables for summer suppers (grown free from the ravaging of our hungry deer)!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Seldom Seen #9

This week's "seldom seen" is from the prioress's office, so unless you have business with her or another reason to stop in, you probably wouldn't see this. She has a half dozen plants around her office but as I was passing this one last week I noticed what I would call four soft "spikes" had grown out from one of the plants. Each spike had little protrusions all down it--each about 1/2" long. Two of them had tiny green balls at the end of each of the antenna-like parts. But, the other two were what really caught my the end of each little growth was a bubble (at least they appeared as such in the sun). It was a stunning sight.

I called a friend who I knew had a super-duper camera and she obliged by taking dozens of photos over the next two days to try to capture those "bubbles" as we were seeing them. We determined that they were a kind of sap and 3-4 days later they had dried up!

My guess is that the plant is either a gold dust croton or a close relative. Here's a google images photo of a group of them, though ours is singular. And here is the perfect photo of the spring "sap." Enjoy!

The little sap bubbles. Photo by Jo Clarke.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Seldom Seen #8

Our silver dollars are only "seldom seen" because they are tucked in a little recess in the corner of our Gathering Space right outside of the chapel. Unless you're looking for them they are overlooked, but they are lovely and I think we've had them for years. Especially pretty up against the natural light from the window and the matching whiteness of the vase.

Lunaria, Silver Dollar

Also known as Honesty, of the genus Lunaria, silver dollar plants are named for their fruit, with pods dry to flat silverish discs about the size of silver dollars. They hail from Europe and were one of the first flowers grown in the dooryard gardens of the New World for their pods and edible roots. They are members of the family Brassicaceae or mustard family, which is evident in their foliage: fast-growing single stems that can reach about two feet high with broad oval leaves that are coarsely toothed.

They are delicate, four-petaled, pink to purple blossoms grown in racemes or clusters atop the long stems and bloom in early to mid-summer. The seed pods produced by these dainty flowers are what make caring for a money plant worthwhile. By late summer, the large flat seed pods have dried to silvery discs that show off the seeds inside.

While lunarias are biennials, growing one year and flowering the next, they are so prolific they are often mistaken for perennials and considered invasive. What the money plant growing info usually fails to mention is they are so much easier to weed out than most other garden annoyances.

The dried stalks of the lunaria silver dollar plant makes excellent additions to dried flower arrangements created from your landscape either in conjunction with other plants, such as grasses, or alone clustered in a vase.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Spring Weekend

The little male cardinal that showed up at the feeder this winter is back. Still much smaller than his father, I presume it's his father, but very cute!

Benedict is surrounded by  a riot of daffodils these days.

This is an old out building down at Glinodo...very near the lake shore. Today it has a large patch of the field all a bloom.

(Click any photo for full screen)