Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Have you seen...

A pot of applesauce bubbles on the stove, filling the chill of this cool morning with an aroma, sweet and warm. In the sink, an enormous tangled mound of coiled parings and cores from a bag of wormy apples I couldn’t bear to throw away. The meager pile of clean flesh destined for the pot, much less than what I have carved from it.
And though I discard most of each pitted and pock-marked fruit, the remnant that I keep adds a bright, wild burst to its pretty, tamed cousins from the supermarket.
Yes, there’s part of even the wormy apple that I love.


Morning sunshine has caught on a branch of Honeysuckle, bare of its leaves, bright with translucent, red fruit. And, again I find myself loving this undesirable thing.
An invasive plant, capable of displacing the native flora with its dense bushiness or smothering vines,
but for now, a filler of this otherwise vacant space.

Loved by winter birds for its berries.
Filled of their nests each spring.

Tatarian Honeysuckle, Lonicera tatarica

Amur Honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii


As we are able, we will replace it.
With the plants that once grew here, years ago, before the land was cleared.
But for now, as the field stands brown and lifeless all around me, there’s part of even this honeysuckle that I love.

"Have you seen...." is an effort to discover the unusual beauty in things not usually appreciated for their beauty.

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19 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Oh,I do like the idea of seeing beauty in things not usually considerd beautiful.Lov eyour pictures and I can almost taste that applesauce.Yummy.

Kallen305 said...

Applesauce....Yum.....

Your honeysuckle pictures are so pretty. I had no idea they had berries in the winter. I am going to have to go across the street where there is some wild honeysuckle and take a look for myself. I don't know what kind of honeysuckle it is, but it smells of cloves. I pick some every season just so my house smells like that.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

MMmmmm those days of making applebutter with my Mother were brought back by this post Nina. Thank you for the wonderful memory.

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

Those are positively beautiful words!
Brenda

Mary said...

You are the master of "Have you seen", Nina.

TSannie said...

I love your haiku and your nature leaning! Adding you to my blog roll. I know, I know, not great shakes, but I really like what you're doing here.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Beauty has become so cliche in popular culture. It's a remarkable discovery to break free of that mindset ... and you are right, our spaces abound with beauty, it's just a matter of seeing what we already see. Or something like that.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Thanks for leaving a comment today on my nature blog. I love to hear accounts of children who have grown up with the Handbook of Nature Study and have developed a love for the beautiful world we live in.

It encourages me to keep going.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

bobbie said...

There is beauty in everything around us. I've never understood why weeds are not appreciated more.
Honeysuckle has always been one of my favorites, especially red honeysuckle.

The grizzled but still incorrigible scribe himself! said...

I've been on both sides of the honeysuckle issue, depending on whether I was hacking away at it, sniffing the blooms, or taking pictures. I know I've decided to leave some on the bank above my cottage because it blocks a bit of the view/noise from the road above, little traveled though it is. And Lord knows, I don't have to do anything to keep it growing…which is more than I can say about a lot of stuff here.

I also wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Yours, and several others in much the same vein, were one of the reasons I finally decided to take a shot at blogging myself. I've got a ways to go to turn it into what I want, but whenever I read your blog, it truly encourages me to keep trying. For that, as well as the daily pleasure of reading your words and seeing your excellent photos, I certainly need to say thanks.

RuthieJ said...

I have a master gardener friend who speaks of Tatarian Honeysuckle in the same way as Common Buckthorn--something not tolerated and must be destroyed. But your pictures of the honeysuckle look so beautiful and I would be tempted to save it for the flowers alone.

polona said...

everything in nature has its function - even the invasive plants... thank you for the reminder

Endment said...

The photos are wonderful - but you have left me with a reminder of the wonderful scent of hot applesauce on a cold autumn morning
yum

nina said...

Grizzled incorrigible scribe--it's never too late to try something new. I'm glad you enjoy your time here, and I appreciate your encouragement, too.
Photography and writing were never what I was good at, years ago when I had career choices to make. It's nice to have blogging as an outlet now to share these things I love!
I'm thrilled to know it's well-received. Thanks!

Ruth said...

At least your applesauce is not tainted with pesticides. I buy 1/2 bushels of 2nd and 3rd grade apples at a farm for applesauce. Honeysuckle is lovely in the spring and is so protective for little birds. They spread the seeds themselves so I don't think they will be eradicated easily

Toni said...

Nina
I love how the words seem to just flow from you effortlessly. It is your words that always bring images to my mind. You will see me here more often now.

nina said...

Tsannie and Toni--I'm glad you enjoy it here and I appreciate your compliments. Thanks for taking the time to comment, too--that's my reward!

Applesauce must be one of those very tangible childhood memories! It seems we all instantly go there, with the mention of it cooking on the stove!

RuthieJ--I do try, when I find a new plant, to yank it out by the roots. And I have cut some huge ones wayyyyy back, to open the understory for something else to take hold. I dream of a place, years from now, full of viburnum, wildflowers,...

Appalachian Lady said...

I can sympathize with you pulling out the invasive plants--it's a never-ending battle. We have Japanese honeysuckle covering open areas in the woods and invading my flower gardens at the edge of the woods. It is very difficult to remove since it is everywhere, choking out native plants. But, the smell of the flowers is intoxicating in the evenings and the hummingbirds love it.

The Tile Lady said...

I am so greatly torn....I WANT a garden of natives, yet love many that aren't native. I think, well, maybe I will have one native garden and one non-native.....it is so hard to choose!
Marie