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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.

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