1180. Light-enchanted sunflower, thou who gazest ever true and tender on the sun’s revolving splendour. ~Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Ah, sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime…
~William Blake

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An errant seed was she left to lie
not by I but unknown circumstance
throughout winter, dark and deep,
and there it was she marked the time
until days lengthened and they warmed.
But who knows the when or how soon of
an ordained and sacred thing which must
come together at an exacting moment in time
to spark a miracle in and of earth’s soil
wherein roots shoot down and a stem
with a pair of leaves rises unto the light.
However that it did as spring rains came.
Up and up advanced the thickening,
woody stem with more and more of the
sunflower’s green, heart-shaped leaves
until one day a bud appeared on top
with frilly green whorls of bracts that
cradled the flower’s golden splendor inside.
Soon the time was right for the bud to
turn and face the sun so that petal by petal
its heart of emerald green could exposed.
And then surrounded by a yellowy halo
the gaudy sunflower reigned on high for days
and days above the garden fair but alas time
that in the end swallows up all things has
bowed her noble head in fading glory.

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. ~Psalm 113:3  ✝

**This is the same sunflower that I’ve be showing as she went from bud to flower and now to fading glory.

1005. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power. ~Northern Advocate

In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year,
bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil.
~Rose G. Kingsley

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Leaf by leaf and petal by petal, the garden unravels more and more each day. And with every wind that blows, be it from the north, the south, the east, or the west, little eddies of leaf litter now blow about dancing like bits of confetti. Too can be seen the first skeletons of trees and shrubs laid bare by the blustery winds and recent downpours. Yet the temperatures have remained mildish and so amid the decay are, even as the sands in late autumn’s hourglass run out, “honey’d leavings” and faint renditions of fall’s “lusty song.” However, soon and like all things, the last season of the year will come to its Sabbath and therefore have to rest until its next appointed hours.

What prodigious phenomenons are the seasons of the year! How carefully planned! What attention to detail they are given! Even in places where there are no robust seasonal changes, one is able to discern the Divine’s purpose. No matter when or where one is, there is a discernible rhythm to the seasonal harmonies in the cosmic book of days. And in the rhythms are a sacred and perceptible heartbeat, a heartbeat that if sought and listened to is as recognizable as that of a mother’s to her infant. For it is the beating heart of God, and His comforting eternal echo of the spheres can be heard in every corner of the universe. Like gravity the sound of it holds hearers in its grasp, and in the hearing comes the longing to see the face of the Holy One whose heart holds us, His children, with a love bigger than the universe itself.

Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. ~Except from Jeremiah 8:7  ✝

**I love this capture I got of the red oak leaf that became wedged in the latch on my greenhouse door during yesterday’s high winds.

682. Which is loveliest in a rose? Its coy beauty when it’s budding, or its splendor when it blooms? ~Edited line by George Barlow

The rose speaks of love silently,
in a language known only to the heart.
~Author Unknown

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Slow buds the pink dawn
like a rose from out
night’s gray and cloudy sheath.
Softly and still it grows and grows.
Petal by petal, leaf by leaf.
~Susan Coolidge

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These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God today.  There is no time for them.  There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.  But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future.  He cannot be happy and strong until he lives with nature in the present, above time. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:4   ✝

**All 3 of these photos above were taken by me of a rose named, Cherry Brandy, which I believe may be my all time favorite.  I sure hope I can find one to plant in my yard.

461. When the eye sees a color it is immediately excited… ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air — explode softly — and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth — boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either — not just little boxes of eight, but the boxes of 64… And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.” ~Robert Fulghum

DSC_0053During the growing seasons in my yard, yellow sets up camp on sunflower’s faces, orange spills from the daylily’s cup, red rests on many a rosy petal, blue climbs salvia spikes and perches on morning glory vines while purple dangles from the wisteria vine and crawls along the top of the lavender’s wands. Then there’s the medley of light to dark pink that runs along coneflower petals while gold fills the Rudbeckia petals, the magenta that bubbles on the panicles of the Crape Myrtles, the hot pink that mounts the spires of loosestrife and trumpets forth from the upright tubes of Monarda, and the softer and varied shades of light pinks that adorn other roses as well as the coral vine. What I don’t have nor never will have here in my yard are what you see in the photo, the beautiful wine-red fruits of the prickly pear cactus. I am just not a cactus fan, but I think the ripened fruits of Opuntia are stunning, and in the Texas landscape the prickly pear cactus can be found almost anywhere.

Claude Monet once said that color was his “day-long obsession, joy and torment” and that he perhaps owed “having become a painter to flowers.” Similarly it is my love affair with color and flowers that led have me to become a photographer and blogger. And to think it all began with boxes of crayolas. Why? When I was a child, we lived in southern, coastal California where I fell in love with the flowers I encountered at every turn, and since we traveled every summer either by car or train, Mother wanted to make sure my sisters and I had things to keep us from getting bored and antsy. So each of us got, among other engaging things, a brand new box of crayolas and coloring books for our journeys. I looked forward all year long to those new boxes of crayolas and the pleasurable hours of coloring, but I was not then nor am I now able to draw images very well from scratch. So later in life I replaced my box of crayons for a camera and bought a house with a large yard so I could have lots of growing spaces for flowers. And now it is the pretty flowers and their luscious colors that move me daily to make “offerings” of praise and gratitude to the Lord.

Praise Him (God) for his mighty deeds; praise Him according to his excellent greatness. ~Psalm 150:2   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! May I dwell in Your holy presence and praise Your name for all that you have given and done.

423. Orange is the happiest color. ~Frank Sinatra

Nowhere in nature
can you find purer color
than sunlight passing through
the petal of a flower.
~Larry K. Stephenson

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orange bliss petals
bring fiesta for eyes
and sweet citrus dreams
~Natalie Scarberry

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

374. Flowers really do intoxicate me. ~Vita Sackville-West

Flowers have spoken to me
more than I can tell in written words.
They are the hieroglyphics of angels,
loved by all men
for the beauty of their character,
though few can decipher
even fragments of their meaning.
~Lydia M. Child

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Like Sackville-West, “flowers really do intoxicate me” but none more than Poppies and Larkspur. However, until several years ago I’d not had any success in growing either of those two. Luckily, one day at the book store another gardener revealed that the trick here in north-central Texas is to sow the seeds of both in the fall. So I took her advice and the following autumn I threw poppy and larkspur seeds in several flower beds around the yard. Et voilà, much to my amazement, up they sprouted! After the Larkspur germinated, the seedlings grew into fluffy little green mounds that looked way too diminutive and delicate to survive winter’s upcoming, bitter assaults, but that they did. Then as Spring approached and days lengthened and warmed again, the seedlings produced upward growing center stalks, the stands of which my husband referred to as little forests for indeed that’s exactly what they looked like. Then some time after they’d begun their upward advance, he ran in excitedly to tell me that one of my little “trees” had flowers opening on it. And soon all the little” forests” exploded into spiky seas of luscious colors; so inviting was the “beauty of their character,” that I visited them daily as did the swallowtail butterflies and the bumblebees. The bees and butterflies were going for the tasty nectar and I to gaze in amazement at the long-yearned-for new additions to my garden. Although new in my yard, they were hardly new to the world for I’d found out over the winter that the stately Larkspur has existed for thousands of years. I also learned that at some point in time they were given the name Larkspur because one of their petal-like sepals elongates into a spur resembling the spur of a lark’s back toe. Might that too be the hieroglyph of an angel?

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Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. ~Psalm 148:1-3 ✝

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Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

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342. Thou art the Iris, fair among the fairest… ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Undulating ranks of Iris
Slimly holding their broad flat blooms
Like tripods of incense
Aloft towards the moist spearing
Of morning sunlight.
~Michael Strange

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Iris, most beautiful flower,
Symbol of life, love, and light;
Found by the brook, and the meadow,
Or lofty, on arable height.
You come in such glorious colors,
In hues, the rainbow surpass;
The chart of color portrays you,
In petal, or veins, of your class.
You steal the full beauty of Springtime,
With your fragrance and sharp color glow.
~Edith Edwards

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“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” Isaiah 60:1  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!