When I’m in the garden, even if I have a plan to execute and am organized for that undertaking, I am often (and easily) persuaded by whimsy, or sometimes necessity, to focus attention on a scene or event unplanned for.  Such it was on a lazy afternoon of summer backyard bird-watching last weekend.  It’s dog-days here in Austin, Texas, hot and muggy is the norm for now, but the covered patio offers shade and an ideal spot to watch my resident birds go about their enterprises in the garden.  In recent weeks, I’ve enjoyed the antics of a Black-crested TitmouseBaeolophus atricristatus, family. Chipper little things, the youngin’ has been learning to navigate the trees, the seeds on perennials, and the sunflower seeds in the bird feeder which I make available to all who are interested.   I hoped to catch photos, or at least a photo, of either parent or teen as they twittered in the tree and flitted to the feeder.  Alas, they were all too quick for me and nothing but camera blur resulted.

While plopped in the chair, hot and disgruntled and slightly frustrated with the birds, the camera, and myself, I noticed this:

The seed heads of the spring-blooming Brazos PenstemonPenstemon tenuis, almost–though not quite–echo in both color and form, a triad of ceramic stacked spheres. Additionally, in the above shot and at the background, I like the parallel of the tree trunk with the carved pedestal of the bird bath–color and texture notwithstanding.

But it was the seed heads and spheres that made me sit up and smile.

The spheres lack the sharp peaks that the seed heads employ to distribute their DNA and are limited to the toasty color rendered from months of development.   The ceramic balls enjoy more color, a permanent fixture of their existence.

I’ll continue to watch the Titmice, because they’re fun and part of the fabric of the garden. Maybe I’ll even get a good shot or two of one of them.  Soon–very soon, I’ll prune the seed heads and distribute the seeds throughout my garden.  The evergreen rosette of the Brazos Penstemon will disappear under the evolving late summer garden, but the spheres will remain–in watchful guardianship of seasonal change.

I’m joining in for the first time with Anna’s charming Flutter and Hum as a contributor, rather than just as a reader.  Please pop over to Wednesday Vignette to enjoy other gardeners’ view of plants, gardens, life.

18 thoughts on “Echo

    • Yup, it really is. These items have been in place near to one another for a year or two. That I never noticed the combo is a little annoying, but I enjoy seeing something new.


  1. Did the seeds of the Pensetemon jump by themselves or by a ceramic ball that fell on the plant? The photo is very beautiful. I have been in the country house with my parents for about 15 days. The garden was not a garden but a jungle. Yesterday I finished cleaning it, and less than four rose bushes for rust, a poor Aquilegia charred by sun, thyme, rosemary, a hosta, a sick hydrangea, a Sambucus nigra, 4 lavenders, Honeysuckle, ivy, Mint: I do not have flowers, the main parterre has been left empty and the bees have nothing to eat, except lavender, Honeysuckle flower and pergola cover, Parthenocissus quinquefolia if I am not mistaken, it is in bloom. Sorry for my list of plants. By the way, I’ve seen a firefly in my garden three days in a row: I could not take a picture with my camera, they were blurred. Its light is precious. Do not be too hot, Tina. Greetings from Margarita.


    • You have a nice list of plants, Margarita. I’m sorry your bees don’t have much to eat, but they have a little and now that you’re there, maybe you can add some blooms?


      • Tina just what she was thinking. Go to a plant nursery and buy a few flower pot plants ready to be transplanted to the main flower bed that is empty. And give them some food. For the next year they have everything planned: I hope that no problems arise like this year! Greetings from Margarita.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely observation! Those seed heads are fabulous, and, as you so eloquently expressed, echo both the color and the stacked nature of the sculpture. I hear you completely on the difficulty of photographing flitting things – I have tried all summer to get a decent shot of a butterfly – to no avail whatsoever! Thanks again for joining in, Tina! 😀


  3. I didn’t think I’d heard of Brazos penstemon, but now I think I’ve seen it and heard it called Gulf Coast penstemon. It’s a lovely plant, and the seed heads are delightful. I enjoy plants with ball-like buds or seed heads anyway — or blooms, for that matter. I can imagine your spheres surrounded with something like rayless gaillardia, too. There are lots of choices.


    • Yes, and this is the first post that I’ve ever referred to it as Brazos! I’ve always called it Gulf (or Gulf coast) penstemon, but I noticed that the LBJWC lists Brazos as the first name and who am I to argue with them? 🙂 When I reference a plant, I use whatever name the source uses, in the hopes of lessening confusion. (Which, I guess in this case was a big FAIL.) I’ve decided the botanists like to mess with our collective heads….


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