The interval between the fullness of a bud and the opening of the blossom is a time for the season. The Christmas cactus continues to bloom and our time is cactus time!
As I watch the changing cactus, I realize that before there were clocks, there was the growth of the soil, the height of the corn, the flowing, and drying of waters. The movement of sun and moon as the seasons change.
This is all around us. Every breath we take is a tiny piece of our life.
I thought, when I watered the cactus yesterday, the blooms would vanish quickly. And indeed, two flowers dropped — but two new ones opened up. So it lives on and maybe, if I am very lucky, it will make it through the holidays.
I don’t take a lot of snapshots of people. I take a lot of animal snapshots and this year, I took a lot of shots of our town being happy as the Christmas parade was about to start. That was different for me. I think, on the average, I like animals better than people.
About birds and feeders. I put up the bird feeder because every winter, I’ve watched the cold little birds shivering in the bushes, nothing to eat, fluffing their little feathers to fend off the cold which my coat, sweatshirt, gloves, and muffler can’t fully prevent.
It makes me feel guilty and sad. We have so damaged their native habitat, this year I said “I have to help them. I can’t just watch them shiver and die from cold and starvation.” Being told to let “nature take her course” is a ridiculous statement after humans have done everything possible to make nature take OUR course, without regard for any other living creatures. whose lives we were dislocating or destroying.
Now, I feed the birds and the squirrels and I am finding an enormous satisfaction in it. I watch them. I don’t always take pictures. Sometimes, I just watch them. I listen for them, too. Today I heard a loud “twee, twee, twee.” That means there is a Cardinal nearby. I didn’t see him, but I’m betting the other birds knew exactly where he was.
The little birds really are surprisingly protective of the feeders … something I didn’t anticipate.
I suppose they feel threatened by the larger birds, though they shouldn’t. They eat different parts of the foods, too. They need to share it so everyone is healthy. It will serve them well.
I’ve been following the progress of this lovely Christmas Cactus since its first bud last month and now, it has come, I think, to the end of its peak.
I watered it yesterday. The water quickly made the flowers limp as I knew it would. But the segments of the cactus were beginning to curl inward, a sign that the plant was thinking about dying too. So, there comes a moment when you either water it, or it could up and die.
I picked watering rather than death. This has been an extremely healthy plant and I’d like to give it another year to bloom a few more times. One of these days, I’ll be forced to put it in a new pot, but I shudder at the thought. These guys — as Mrs. Angloswiss discovered — have a knack for self-destructing when you try to pot them. The segments just separate. It’s what they are supposed to do, but it is very unnerving when it happens.
IF you are going to put them in a new pot, let them dry out completely first and don’t do it when they have any buds on them.
Since I didn’t want to lose it, I realized I was going to lose the last of the buds, but I watered it.
It felt like dried sand, so I don’t think it was too early. If I’m lucky, it will bloom again in a few weeks. This is, after all, the season for blooming cactus.
So these are the full blooming cactus. They are not macros, but they are shot very close, but not using the macro lens. I wanted to show more of the entire plant this time. I hope you have enjoyed the journey.
I certainly have had fun showing the process of budding, and blooming.
Oddly enough, that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing! Between the birds at the feeder and the genuine macros on the Christmas Cactus, it’s been all close-ups and macros for several weeks … with a few more weeks to come.
Tonight, though, we’re going to make an excursion to see if we can get the light on the Common. It’s cold, but it’s very clear and as far as I know, we aren’t expecting any rain or sleet or snow … or for that matter, toads and frogs, descending from on high.
A good time for cameras for as long as we can stay outside. If there isn’t much wind, we have a little longer.
I can’t tolerate cold as I used to. I was always warm, but these days, I’m always cold … even when it isn’t all that cold. So I guess we’ll see. Maybe I’ll wrangle with the extremely warm by complicated heavy winter coat I own.
I never wear it because I can’t always figure out what all those buttons, zippers, elastic, cords do. By the time I manage to get myself into it, I’m exhausted and need a nap. We shall see!
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