When I was driving around the Bootheel a few years back, I kept running into what I call “ghost houses.” Those are places where you can tell by the way the trees are spaced or cleared that a house probably lived there long ago.
In the spring, there’s another clue: yellow flowers that someone planted years and years in the past.
I didn’t shoot many of them
I didn’t shoot the ones I encountered in the Bootheel because I was searching for things that were there, not things that were missing. I learned later, that the ghost houses would have been the perfect metaphor for counties that lost as much of 80% of their population when mechanical cotton harvesters came in.
I’ll look harder next spring
I’ll make a broaden my search next spring. These were spotted in one afternoon’s drive in 2018. None of them convey exactly what I wanted to show.
Who planted the flowers?
I have to wonder who planted these flowers so many years ago that they outlived the gardeners and the buildings they surrounded.
I walked around Mother’s house to check for any damage from Thursday night’s storms (we heard a roar that almost drove us to the basement). We had a few dead limbs down, but nothing really worth hauling out the chain saw for. I mentioned a couple days ago that things were greening, purpling, yellowing and reddening all over the place.
What I did NOT expect to see was a patch of dandelions already going to seed. (Click on the photo to make it larger.)
I know that it’s a sign of disgrace to have dandelions in your yard, but I’ve always had a soft spot for this colorful little weed.
The morning started with the weather alert radio blaring out a severe thunderstorm watch for the Cape area. The temps climbed to the high 70s and the air felt wet and sticky, but we didn’t get much rain here. In the late afternoon, we experienced some sharp lightning and window-rattling thunder to the north of us, but that was about all.
A couple mornings ago, I noticed one bright tulip in the planter next to Mother’s front door. This afternoon, I spotted half a dozen. There was some drizzle dripping down my neck, so I didn’t spend much time admiring the flowers.
I’ve confessed before that my plant knowledge is embarrassingly meager. In fact, you could probably boil it down to Poison Ivy and Not Poison Ivy.
These purple flowers fall into the Not Poison Ivy family.
I owe the Pinecrest Azalea Gardens an apology. When Mother and I went searching for them in 2011, we arrived late in the day and late in the season. The light didn’t do the plants justice, and we were a little past the peak of the blooms. I happened upon the pix tonight and turned to the Gardens’ website to see the 2014 schedule.
Drat! The site said the gardens would be closing May 20. “See you next spring.”
It’s in the vicinity of Oak Ridge, but isn’t the easiest place to find. Check out the website for directions.
Photo gallery of past-their-prime blooms
Click on any photo to make it larger, then use the arrow keys to move through the images. Maybe I’ll get there at the right time next spring.