Feast of the Annunciation
Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, S.J.: 111 Questions on Islam

A Few Spring Images

These are not especially good photographs. The first two were taken with my phone, and are small and not of high quality, the other with a camera which is new to me and, since I haven't bothered to read the documentation yet, produces somewhat unpredictable results.  But they can serve as suggestions.

From my office window a week or so ago:


Azalea bush at the home of my daughter & her husband (and my grandson!):


Blackberry blossoms in the front yard:



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I love fog.

And I've really jealous of your blackberries. We have something that looks just like blackberries when it's blooming but doesn't produce anything. It's so disgusting.


I'm glad about the blackberry love. I love them too. Where I used to see them, in southern Oregon, they are often regarded as a pest. I can't seem to get them even to germinate here in North Dakota. My most recent guess is that the soil is too good. I dug some gravel-sand out of our driveway and mixed it with some kind of potting soil, and we will see if that works. (The soil in southern Oregon where they grow in alleys etc. is a decomposed granite, so my idea is not necessarily as zany as it sounds.)

Meanwhile a Herb Robert plant that my wife brought back, wrapped in a damp paper towel, from the Isle of Man last May, is still thriving and shedding seeds, some of which are now growing. This is a wild flower or, if you prefer, a weed, which I found, from Geoffrey Grigson's Englishman's Flora, has a great many interesting folk names. But did I write about that before here?

Well, I don't want to be deceptive: I frequently regard them as a pest, too. Depends on where they are. They're almost as aggressive as kudzu, and will take over in places where you don't want them, like flower beds, if you aren't firm with them. And they have pretty mean briers.

In the Seattle area blackberries are definitely regarded as a mixed blessing. Everybody loves picking the berries & every year blackberry pies/jams/etc get passed around. But yes, they eat everything in sight and sprout huge "branches" with those giant thorns Mac mentioned. Last summer I pulled probably a total of...gees, must've been at least 100 feet...of blackberry, and that was from a neighbor's plant that had shot several long tendrils into our yard.

I need to find some place to let them grow--there really aren't enough berries to do anything with. As I recall from picking them growing up, though, you need quite lot of thicket to get a useful amount of berries.

... snow and snow and snow...this winter never ends...

Yes it will. But that's easy for me to say, here where it's almost hot.

I don't mind eating blackberries - if someone else will pick them, but they are a hideous, mean plant and I can't quite believe that anything so horrid could have blossoms! (And yet, I suppose it must if it produces berries?)

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