I have a major compulsion to know the names of things. It bugs me that there is a bush here with deep pink flower buds on it, and I still don't know its name in either Swedish or English. It's next on my find-out list. I went through much of my life with trees and flowers just a colorful blur around me. Now, they have personalities. They're NAMED. Not all of them, but at least of few of them are on first-name terms now. I remember sitting on the el train in Chicago years ago, whizzing by the city above ground, on the same eye-level as the trees, if they had had eyes, and thinking, I don't know their names. I could pick out maple and maybe oak. So I did something about it. I bought books and looked things up. I carried leaves home and checked them out.
Catalpa, lotus, tulip tree, ginkgo, sycamore, pin oak, hickory, hanging beech, lilac. Before I had a house, I didn't know what a peony looked like. Or a rhododendron. I mean, I had SEEN them, but I didn't know their names. Now I even know that a whole lot of rhododendrons together is called a hell. Very appropriate, if you've ever been in the midst of one.
Don't sit there thinking I was totally ignorant. Even as a child, I knew the basics. I knew their names and had seen their faces, but putting the two of them together wasn't always elementary. And I knew a lot of common flowers, like marigolds and snapdragons and daisies. But I didn't know foxglove or lupine or hollyhocks. Before, so many growing things were just neat names, or pretty flowers, but not at the same time.
Last year, I found out what coltsfoot and cowslip looked like. I know what columbine and snowdrops are now. I recognize plantain and chicory when I see them. It makes walking in the woods so much more satisfying. :)
The last two days have been spring in full sproing here in Sweden. All of the trees have greened. The bushes are camouflaging their branches with sleeves of bright green and budly fingertips. The flowers are appearing at an astonishing rate. Forsythia glows in yellow blasts of color and the cherry trees are pinking.
If It'll Work For Greg Howard, Do You Suppose It Will Work For ME??
Look At That Escargot! Sushi Racing!