This is a blooming Asclepias variegata. I know this, not because I am smart, but because I belong to a Facebook group called Florida Panhandle Wildflower Alliance and the folks who post there most frequently ARE smart. I'd never seen, or at least never noticed this particular plant until today and I immediately recognized it as one that had been posted on the wildflower group's page.
It is also known as Redwing Milkweed. Isn't it beautiful? I really, really want to get my hands on either some plants or seeds. I could try digging up this plant and bringing it home but that would be wrong, in my opinion. It's not my property and somehow digging up an established wildflower seems like a selfish thing to do. I found it right off White House road while I was walking today. The coral bean flowers are also blooming.
These, too, I would like to have in my yard.
Another thing I saw on my walk today was the guy who bikes with a Hillary For Prison sign attached to the back of his bike. I also noticed that he had a boom box in the basket that he affixes the sign to and it was indeed booming with music. I suppose that this person not only feels the need to share his opinions but also his favorite tunes with the rest of the world.
Or at least the very few people who might possibly see and hear him on White House road. Today he looked at me and just kept pedaling. I guess he's gotten the idea that his sign does not elicit a positive response from me.
Maybe he has problems.
So many of us do.
I don't know why but after my walk today my legs and hips have been unusually sore. As in, I sort of want to cry. I didn't walk that far and I certainly didn't walk that fast so I have no idea what's going on but I'm not pleased. This soreness has led to me going about my day in a very slow manner. I hung out a massive amount of laundry on the line, even double-hanging the napkins we used yesterday to make more room for everything else. The weather is so perfect for drying clothes that everything still got dry and it's all now folded and put up which feels good. It just took me forever to do anything and I've accomplished almost nothing.
Dearie was busy, though.
Well, she only laid one of those today. I know I've told this story, or at least I think I have, but for the past few weeks Liberace has been leading Dearie on to the back porch and DEMONSTRATING LAYING AN EGG IN THIS BASKET.
I mean, he makes it quite clear. He makes a lot of noise and he gets in the basket which is a tight fit, believe me, and sticks his head out and does a pretty darn good impression of a hen who has laid an egg, bawking and squawking. I've seen roosters do this before in different places around the yard but I've never gotten to observe the process so closely. After he gets out of the basket he dances about and makes more noise. He is a very loud rooster.
Dearie was laying eggs in that basket earlier in the year and I kept taking them out. Then she laid that clutch of eggs in a very unprotected place in the yard and sat on them until they got stolen by some critter. So this time around I am going to just let her keep going for awhile and see if she decides to sit on these.
The funniest thing of all is that when she goes into the basket to lay, she actually and truly pulls that basket lid up so that you can't see her.
It seems logical to me that one of the rooster's jobs is to do the best he can to ensure the successful hatching of eggs and thus, the continuation of his DNA. Theoretically, at least. And after doing a little bit of searching online I see that I am not the only one who thinks this. Liberace simply wants his children to be safe and protected just as any good father would.
People always ask me if a rooster is really necessary for a flock and I always say that no, not really. BUT that they do serve a purpose when it comes to protection and I think that's true. Roosters didn't evolve to have spurs and sharp beaks in order to win at cockfights. They evolved those to protect their hens from predators. And probably to keep other roosters at bay and to prevent them from adding their DNA to his flock which is why one rooster will challenge another if he should try to get too friendly with the sister-wives. It's only humans that have taken these evolved traits and turned them into a blood sport.
And I could take all of this and use it as a metaphor for what we humans have done in general with life here on earth. We take what nature has so cunningly crafted and turn it into something which ends as death and destruction and blood on our hands.
I guess that's my Earth Day message.
Not very optimistic, is it?
Well, neither am I.
We're having our first salad of the replanted arugula tonight. I AM optimistic that it is going to be delicious. I guess that's good enough for now.