Monday, October 28, 2019

Florida Nature Poetry & Art, La Mar & a Cup of Tea

Monday Nature Verse - La Mar & Cup of Tea
Florida Nature Haiku-Senryu by Kevin Songer
rumbling storm vibrates
oceanfront window panes
and my cup of tea

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Florida Nature Poetry & Art, Monarch Butterfly’s migratory flight across the gulf

 Florida nature poetry for Wednesday, Monarch Butterfly’s migratory flight across the gulf.
Monarch butterfly feeds in preparation for it's winter migratory flight across the
one last nectar sip
as kaleidoscope gathers
over the shoreline
nature's refinement
eight hundred miles cross the gulf
waves swallow many
the strongest survive
maybe luckiest rest in
oyamel fir trees

#monarch #butterfly #arttherapy #pensacolaart #pensacola #biglagoonstatepark #floridastateparks #naturepoetry #haiku #poetry #floridanature #nature

Florida Nature Art & Verse (Haiku), Fragrant Water Lily

Tuesday nature poetry, Fragrant water lily, Nymphaea odorata
Florida Nature Haiku & Art, Fragrant Water Lily by Kevin Songer
sweeter scent none else
shallow blue fishing spot
blooms bugs and bass

lazy kayaking
lily pads circle round and round
floating two eyed log

Monday, October 21, 2019

Florida Nature Poetry & Art, Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Florida nature poetry for Monday, Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Florida Nature Poetry & Art, Purple Coneflower by Kevin Songer
too many’s a crowd
genetic diversity
is survival’s key
purple coneflower
displays its finest array
intently seeking
long distant bee for random
cross pollination
Florida field of Echinacea purpurea, Purple Coneflower by Kevin Songer
Purple coneflower depends on long distance bees to spread pollen across hectares, enhancing genetic biodiversity.  In turn, bees profit from Echinacea's nectar sustenance. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Florida Native Plant & Wildflower Poetry, Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis

Florida Native Plant & Wildflower Poetry, Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis
Florida Nature Haiku Poetry, Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis
slough bush quiet rustle 
loud cicadas hush as wood
duck leaves her nest,
gliding across still pond,
below bees busy with sweet
buttonbush blooms

#floridanativeplants #florida #pensacola #pensacolaart #arttherapy #haiku #buttonbush #wildflowers #poetry #natureart #cephalanthus #wetlands #waterbirds  #swamplife #pollinators #bees 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Florida Living Wall and Green Roof Plants, Nature Found

Some of my best learning experiences with green roof and living wall plants come from Mother Nature.
Florida Living Wall & Green Roof Plants Nature Selected (ferns), Ft. Pickens, Pensacola by Kevin Songer
Mother Nature is especially instructive about nature irrigated plants growing in sea salt influenced areas; up the sides of masonry walls and across barren roofs.

Florida Living Wall & Green Roof Plants Nature Selected (Bidens alba & ferns), Ft. Pickens, Pensacola by Kevin Songer
These photos here were taken on the ocean front walls of the old brick Fort Pickens in Pensacola, Florida, US.

Old forts and other relic structures that have been in existence over time are plant laboratories, experiments in drought, heat, wind and salt tolerance.

Florida Living Wall & Green Roof Plants Nature Selected, Ft. Pickens, Pensacola by Kevin Songer
Another fort, Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida as been surveyed by biologists and the limestone walls found to grow over fifty different species of plants. 

Although in reality most green roof and living wall designers do not use these specific plants typically found growing across structures, the knowledge gained from examining wild roof and wall plants is invaluable.

Identifying and classifying these found plants as to their Genus and Family classifications can help select other related but more suitable to vertical landscape plants.

Florida Living Wall & Green Roof Plants Nature Selected, Ft. Pickens, Pensacola by Kevin Songer
Moreover, understanding the C3, C4 and CAM photosynthesis pathways evolved by these plants provides a solid basis for green roof and living wall design.  

Examine those plants you seeing growing downtown when you are out and about.  Nature has so much more to teach us than the most detailed scientific manuals!

Florida Nature Fun Poetry - Haiku for Thursday, Feathers, Wind and a Seagull

Florida Nature Fun Poetry - Haiku for Thursday, Feathers, Wind and a Seagull
Florida Haiku, Feather, Wind and Seagull by Kevin Songer
stout wind today
pull feather from the sand and

out pops a seagull

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Florida Wildflower Haiku & Art, Lyre Leaf Sage, Salvia lyrata

Florida Wildflower Haiku & Art, Lyre Leaf Sage, Salvia lyrata
Florida Wildflower Haiku & Art, Lyre Leaf Sage, Salvia lyrata by Kevin Songer
native purple blooms
hummingbirds steal a sip and
chase off butterflies

Lyre-leaf sage is a Florida native and drought tolerant wildflower I see growing across lawns, along roadsides, in fields, meadows and under the forest canopy.

Lyre-leaf sage leaves are lyre-like in shape with deep purple and green colorings. Their light blue flowers provide nectar for hummers and butterflies. The over-lapping leaves of adjacent lyre leaf sage plants keep other weeds down and provide a neat, well-cropped perennial native ground cover appearance. Lyre leaf sage has been one of my favorite and most reliable green roof plants.

Lyre leaf sage has also been used traditionally as a cancer cure. This healing practice was based on a theory that because the plant quickly spread, creating densely populated patches, it must be a natural cure for likewise rapidly spreading cancers. 

Lyre leaf sage is an amazing Florida native perennial, landscape or green roof plant superb in its attraction to pollinators, hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Florida Wildflower Haiku & Nature Art, Seaside Oxeye Daisy, Borrichia frutescens

Florida Wildflower Haiku- short verse for Tuesday, Seaside Oxeye Daisy, Borrichia frutescens
Florida Haiku & Nature Art, Seaside Ox-eye, Borrichia frutescens

sometimes cant tell if
sun bleached oxeye masses or
winged southern whites

Seaside oxeye daisy is relatively salt tolerant and often grows along brackish channels near the coast. Seaside oxeye daisy faithfully produces scores of yellow aster type flowers that attract many butterflies but especially kaleidoscopes of winged southern whites. I usually find seaside oxeye daisy grown side by side with black mangroves. Wildlife will utilize this plant’s leaves and flower heads for forage when food becomes scarce.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Florida Wildflower Art & Haiku (Senryu), Marsh Rose Gentian, Sabatia dodecandra

Florida Wildflower Art & Haiku (Senryu), Marsh Rose Gentian, Sabatia dodecandra
Florida Wildflower Haiku, Marsh Rose Gentian, Sabatia dodecandra by Kevin Songer
limestone rock croppings
bees butterflies skipper art
rose gentian drawn

Tarkiln Bayou State Park, Marsh Rose Gentian, Sabatia dodecandra by Kevin Songer

Rose gentian has about a dozen different species found throughout Florida (Sabatia spp.). 

Tarkiln Bayou State Park, Marsh Rose Gentian, Sabatia dodecandra by Kevin Songer
Rose gentian’s flowers are rich in purple and pink hues. When in full summer bloom, Sabatia can fill a roadside drainage swale with incredible swaths of pink and purple. 

Tarkiln Bayou State Park, Marsh Rose Gentian, Sabatia dodecandra by Kevin Songer

Some accounts may exist where early settlers dried Sabatia root and then brewed a chicory-like coffee with the plant parts. This may be a historical carry over from traditions in Europe where the same was practiced with great yellow gentian, Gentiana lutea.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Florida Wildflower Haiku - Short Verse for Sunday, Wild petunia, Ruellia caroliniensis

Florida Wildflower Haiku - Short Verse for Sunday, Wild petunia, Ruellia caroliniensis

Florida Wildflower Haiku - Short Verse & Art, Wild Petunia, Ruellia caroliniensis by Kevin Songer
purple bloom nectar
attracts pollinators all,
far into scrub woods

Wild petunia is always a surprise to discover growing in the woods as the plant and flower brings an aura of nice-neat cultivation to rough and ramble undergrowth. Wild petunia is a cousin of the more invasive Mexican petunia yet wild petunia is a prized Florida native wildflower and does not grow in an invasive manner. The common buckeye and white peacock butterflies seek out wild petunia as larval host plant.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Florida haiku - senryu for first fall Saturday morning; Seaside goldenrod and Mangrove buckeye.

Florida haiku - senryu for first fall Saturday morning; Seaside goldenrod and Mangrove buckeye.
Florida Nature Poetry, Seaside Goldenrod, Mangrove Buckeye by Kevin Songer
harvest goldenrod
mangrove buckeye both bargain,
anticipate first frost

Friday, September 27, 2019

Florida Nature Poetry - Senryu for Friday! Snowy Egrets & Sanibel

Florida Nature Poetry - Senryu for Friday! Snowy Egrets & Sanibel
Florida Poetry, Haiku - Senryu, Sanibel & Snowy Egrets by Kevin Songer 
sanibel traffic
hit the causeway early for
best picnic table

Florida Native Plant Art & Poetry (Green Roof Plant too!), Shiny Blueberry, Vaccinium myrsinites

Florida Nature Haiku for Friday morning, Shiny blueberry, Vaccinium myrsinites
Florida Haiku, Shiny blueberry, Vaccinium myrsinites by Kevin Songer


I always wondered
bout shiny blueberry’s taste,
rabbit got there first
Shiny blueberry is a diminutive member of the blueberry family offering winter seasonal beauty with its namesake bright and shiny red and green leaves. During the growing season shiny blueberry is usually obscured by taller growing plants. Shiny blueberry produces large amounts of fruits sought after by small mammals, birds and other foragers. I see shiny blueberry growing along most trails hiked.

Shiny blueberry makes a good evergreen & salt tolerant green roof & landscape plant too!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Florida Nature Haiku, Gulf Seashore

gulf seashore haiku
Florida haiku, Gulf seashore by Kevin Songer...

gulf's cool waters crash
drowning out all other sounds
but for seagull's cry

Florida Nature Art & Poetry, Annona glabra, Pond Apple

Florida nature poetry and art; Pond apple, Annona glabra.

alligator grunts
gobbling down a couple
meh tasting green fruits

Pond apple trees, like pop ash and black gum grow up out of the deep and dark swamp depths, producing apple-like fruits eaten by alligators and other wildlife. I would describe pond apple fruit’s taste as more ‘blah-bland’ than tasty, but some do make jellies and jams from the fruit. Pond apple provides habitat for wildlife, birds, orchids and bromeliads. Fort Myers' Six Mile Cypress boardwalk is a great place to experience pond apple up close.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Florida Nature Poetry & Art, Candyroot, Polygala nana

Florida nature senryu - haiku for mid week, Candyroot, Polygala nana.
Florida Wildflower Poetry, Haiku, Senryu, Candyroot, Polygala nana by Kevin Songer
I know I shouldn’t
pull plant and sniff candyroot,
but no one’s looking

Candyroot calls to everyone who has ever pulled up the plant to experience the strong aromatic spicy scent of the roots. Interestingly, candyroot requires ants to collect the plant’s seeds for the
 food value of the seed's coating. Once underground, the seeds then germinate up through the ant's bed. Candyroot’s yellow flowers sit atop stalks rising from a basal rosette of succulent-like leaves.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Florida Green Roof and Living Wall Plants, Salt Tolerance Lessons from Mother Nature Ferns

One of the greatest learning centers of #greenroof and #livingwall knowledge can be found on and across the buildings in any local downtown, urban core area.

Ferns growing unattended on old brick adjacent downtown ocean pier, Kevin Songer 
Every living wall and green roof designer, as well as landscape designers and botanists should carry a 'found plant' journal to record information when they come across such resilient plants as those growing in the cracks and crevices of building walls and roofs, without soil media or added irrigation.

Ferns growing unattended on old brick adjacent downtown ocean pier, Kevin Songer 
Looking back across the decades, this is how I learned what I did concerning shallow root growing systems, nature irrigation and plants suitable for hot, windy, salty environs.

Ferns growing unattended on old brick adjacent downtown ocean pier, Kevin Songer 
These ferns are growing on a wall adjacent the downtown pier in Pensacola, exposed to desiccating winds and a barrage of salty mist.  And they seem to be thriving.

Always keep an eye out for those free lessons from Mother Nature about living wall and green roof plants!

Florida Nature Poetry, Senryu, Haiku, Paths of Lover's Key

Florida nature haiku - short verse for Tuesday, another verse about 'paths'.
Florida Nature Poetry, Haiku, Senryu, Lover's Key by Kevin Songer
today's trail was full
of ancient stardust turned to
sand, leaves and me
Lover's Key, Fort Myers, Florida

Florida Nature Haiku, Senryu, Perdido Key

Florida nature senryu for Tuesday, Perdido Key Beach and Life Paths,
Perdido Key, Kevin Songer
sometimes backward path
is our path forward, yet wind
and waves erase both

Monday, September 23, 2019

Florida Poetry, Bunche Beach, Mullet and Sand Gnats, Haiku, Senryu

Florida Nature Senryu for Monday, Sand Gnats and Bunche Beach,
Bunche Beach Flats at Sunset, Kevin Songer
gonna go fishing
bunche beach mullet schools
sand gnats chase us home

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Florida Wildflower Haiku & Nature Art, Asclepias humistrata, Sandhill Milkweed

Florida Nature Poetry for Sunday, Sandhill Milkweed, Asclepias humistrata
Florida Wildflower Haiku, Sandhill Milkweed, Asclepias humistrata by Kevin Songer
dunes' brilliant hot white
blooms adorn blinding sands
pollinators feast

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Saturday Morning Florida Nature Haiku, 'Hummer Across the Dunes'

Wildflower Haiku for Florida Saturday morn.  'Hummer Across Beach Dunes'.
Florida Wildflower and Wildlife Haiku by Kevin Songer
Gaillardia, Helianthus, Coral Bean & wayward Green Violetear on the dunes


peaceful sand dunes
bees buzz, gulls cry, waves crash and 
hummer’s roar startles

Friday, September 20, 2019

Inspiration Found; Ginkgo Walks, Wildflowers, Haiku and Green Roofs

Inspiration found is always welcomed, and today there are so many sources of insight and revelation. One though outshines all others for insight and illumination.  That source is Nature. 

Florida Green Roof and Wildflower Haiku plant, Coral Bean, Erythrina herbacea
Drought, salt and heat tolerant.  Hummingbird plant
Hands down Nature teaches me more about color, texture, geometry, sustainability, art, music, light, green roofs, haiku, life and the cosmos than any YouTube video, internet site, book or podcast.

Florida Green Roof and Wildflower Haiku plant, Prickly Pear Cactus, Opuntia humifusa
Very drought tolerant, great coastal green roof plant for habitat and pollinators
For millennia, haiku poets have used the term 'Ginkgo Walks' for inspiration found when walking with Nature.

Florida Green Roof and Wildflower Haiku plant, Fleabane, Erigeron app.
Tolerates wet and dry soils, wind and heat tolerant, excellent pollinator plant
A Ginkgo Walk is a stroll through the yard or local park.  A Ginkgo Walk can be a hike into the swamp, forest, glades, beach or even along a landscaped avenue.   The point of a Ginkgo Walk is open our ears, eyes and senses to ever changing muses Mother Nature is sharing with us.

Florida Green Roof and Wildflower Haiku plant, Blanketflower, Gaillardia puchella
Amazing hardy green roof plant, tolerating salt, wind, heat and other environmental challenges
I've designed successful drought and salt tolerant green roofs around the world and the reference I first turn to for plant selection are local Ginkgo Walks around the construction site and surrounding landscapes.
Florida Green Roof and Wildflower Haiku plant, Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea
Hardy, drought tolerant green roof plant that pollinators LOVE!
Ginkgo Walks are also my primary haiku, senryu and poetry inspiration.  Mother Nature, acompained by breezes, bees and birds, sweetly sings out verse as I walk under sun and clouds.

Ginkgo Walks are not only valuable for inspiration but too provide mental and physical healing, clearing clutter from our minds and muscles.

Looking for inspiration for a sustainability project, poem or whatever your life needs?  Ginkgo Walks can provide you with amazing awakenings!

Florida Green Roof and Wildflower Haiku plant, Black Eye Susan, Rudbeckia hirta
Stunning rooftop bloomer that will flower all summer and call pollinators for miles around

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Haiku - Senryu Poetry, Florida Wildflowers, Purple False Foxglove, Agalinis purpurea

Florida Wildflower Poetry, False Foxglove Senryu, Agalinis purpurea
Florida Wildflower Haiku - Senryu Short Verse Art, False Foxglove by Kevin Songer

false foxglove marsh
ruby throated hummingbird charm
break sonic sound barrier

False foxglove's mauve blooms in mass covering a wet field are truly a spectacular sight in color and texture.  

False foxglove (Agalinis spp.) can be seen growing along roadsides, in cleared or disturbed lots and pastures or fields.  The plant prefers slightly damp, sandy soils.

 As with other trumpet shaped flowers, False foxglove’s blooms are sought out by hummingbirds.  Did you know a group of hummingbirds is called a 'charm'.  Charming!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Wednesday Native Plant & Wildflower Poetry - Haiku (Senryu), Smilax spp.

Wednesday Florida native plant & wildflower haiku (short verse), Smilax spp.
Florida Haiku, Wildflowers & Native Plant Art, Smilax spp.
by Kevin Songer

wily cat brier
scampers up tall long leaf pine
hold tight sharp tip thorns

Catbrier provides the hungry hiker a quick energizing snack with its tender, tasty vine tips. Some sauté the green vine ends in butter and say the flavor resembles asparagus. 

Catbrier’s vines are loaded with thorns, making the mature, thickly vining plant a veritable evergreen barrier and providing wildlife with protected communal habitat.

Though a bit on the rambling side, many Smilax species make great green roof and living wall plants as they are drought tolerant and grow well in full sun (think of the beach dunes where they grow lush and thick).

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tuesday Florida Native Plant & Wildflower Poetry, Purple Muhly Grass

Tuesday morning Florida native plant and wildflower haiku, Purple Muhly Grass
Florida Wildflower Poetry & Art, Purple Muhly grass, Mulenbergia spp. by Kevin Songer

sweetgrass baskets
muhly and pine needles weave
art of carrying rice

Purple muhly grass lines the median of many native plant landscaped downtown streets in Florida. During late summer the blooms form a cloud-like top to the grass in brilliant white, purple and pink shades. This grass gives important communal habitat to birds and small mammals and once established is extremely drought tolerant. Muhly grass has a long history of ethnobotanical uses by native Americans and early settlers.  Woven from plant leaf blades, early plantation workers carried rice and other goods up from the fields in muhly grass baskets and satchels.

Muhly grass is a great green roof plant choice too (think C4 photosynthesis).

Monday, September 16, 2019

Florida Native Plant Haiku, Gallberry (aka Inkberry), Ilex glabra for Monday

Gallberry-Inkberry, Ilex glabra
Gallberry (aka Inkberry) Ilex glabra by Kevin Songer

munch inkberry drupes

old turkey, possum and deer sport

smeared purple lips

Gallberry is also known as inkberry, and its dark black juice filled berries have been used by peoples over generations as ink. Birds and wildlife relish the berries for forage. Early settlers and indigenous peoples have made a tea similar to yaupon tea from gallberry’s leaves (see Appalachian tea). Interestingly, gallbladder is a holly like yaupon however gallberry’s leaves do not contain the significant amount of caffeine that yaupon leaves possess. Gallberry’s flowers attract bees from afar. Gallberry honey is highly prized by many.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Friday Wildflower Art & Short Verse, Rayless Sunflower, Helianthus radula

Wildflower Haiku, Rayless sunflower, Helianthus radula
Floria Wildflower Haiku Art, Rayless Sunflower, Helianthus radula by Kevin Songer

wet ditch oddity
deep maroon pyres reach high
swallowtails alight

Rayless sunflower is a bit of an oddity standing erect like black eyed Susans and echinacea but lacking petals. Rayless sunflower’s head is composed of a collection of small brown florets and the plant is a member of the Helianthus (sunflower) genus. I usually see rayless sunflower growing alongside of wet drainage ditches and along the margins of shallow sloping ponds. Despite a lack of petals, rayless sunflower attracts many different pollinators.  I find the plant’s stark structural appearance to be an interesting addition to a wet area landscape and an inspiration for nature art.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Wildflowers, Haiku and Impermanence (Change)

Always too much of a hurry I'm in.  The rush towards finish line and next project contributed largely in part to my aortic dissection (along with genetic tendencies).

Haiku and Wildflowers, both are forever evolving, Kevin Songer
Being present in the moment and Zen are practices I am still learning of, wanting to tap into their health benefits.  Health practitioners speak of cardiovascular, mental and life quality gains to be had through focusing on breathing and the here and now.

And so writing short verse opens doors leading to an understanding of life's meaning.  Being still and knowing the cosmos are magically penultimate. 

I use the word 'magically' to mean 'ever changing, not-constant and unknowable.

Life is refined daily through natural selection processes.  Nature does this.  Humans do this too with hybrid crops and domestic animals.

Perfection doesn't exist.  There is always an unfolding.

My haiku, or short verse also teaches me about constant change.  It is hard to imagine seventeen syllables would have any relation to infinity, eternity and constant change.  But they do.

First of all my wildflower short verse poems have deep roots.  I generally spend a couple days researching each plant's botany, medicinal uses, growing requirements, wildlife value and historical references.  This is after I've familiarized myself with the plant while out on my nature hikes.  I mean how can I seriously write about something I'm not truly familiar with?

Once I've assembled several pages of research scribble summaries the wildflower information can be distilled into a number of 'tags'.  Simply put 'tags' are phrases describing interesting wildflower thoughts.

Tags form the basis of each haiku line.  Some are suitable for five syllable lines, others for seven syllable patterns.

Once seventeen syllables (plus or minus) are compiled the natural selection process begins.  As I read and reread the short verse I am also constantly substituting and rearranging words to refine the one breath poetry into the meaning I am trying to convey.

When the haiku sounds 'ok' it is set aside until the next day.  Day two sees more changes as do all the days over the next weeks, months and years.

It is so interesting to see how short verse grows in beauty with time and reflection.  Like plant and wildflower natural selection, haiku's existence blooms in charm over time through refinement.

And like life, my haiku never reaches perfection.

Heraclitus' saying, 'there is nothing permanent but change', perfectly describes the birth, life and transformation of my haiku, wildflowers, life and the cosmos.

I can read a haiku written two years ago and experience the lightbulb moment where a new word or phrase seems to best convey meaning.  Then the next day another phrase appears to be more suitable.  Over time and with change the verse reads smoother and conveys vivid thoughts. 

Wildflowers (and all life) evolve in the same way.  One gaillardia seed may randomly produce a color array with more attraction qualities to pollinators.  With the seasons this hybrid is more suitable for continued existence.

But neither haiku nor wildflower stay as they are.  They always change.  And this is life.  And this is good because it is.

There is no permanence.  There is only change.

And so when I read my haiku, poetry and short verse I don't flinch when I see a need for change.

For this is my verse following the ways of the cosmos.

Florida Wildflower Haiku, Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa

Florida wildflower haiku for Thursday; Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa
Florida wildflower haiku, Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa by Kevin Songer

milkweeds toxin sap
eaten by Monarch larvae
hungry birds disdain

Butterfly weed (also known as 'milkweed') provides nectar for many pollinators, including butterflies and hummingbirds. Butterfly weed likes to grow in sandy soils and is a larval host plant for the Queen and Monarch butterflies. Interestingly, milkweed contains sap substances that are sometimes toxic to birds. Some butterflies have taken advantage of this toxicity by laying eggs on milkweed in order for the hungry larvae to ingest leaves full of these toxins, which fill their body with a taste predator birds disdain ultimately providing the larvae and young butterflies with much needed protection.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Florida Nature Poetry, Sea Oats

Florida native plant short verse for Wednesday. Sea oats, Uniola paniculata

Florida Nature Haiku, Sea Oats, Kevin Songer
mice, birds and bunnies
tasty seeds eat, summer grub
when no chips are around

Sea oats are a protected grass found growing along the Gulf and Atlantic seashores, primarily across the sand dunes. Sea oats provide important forage for beach mice and shorebirds as well as shelter. Their roots help stabilize dunes, preventing erosion. As a child I always possessed a strong desire to grab a handful of seeds off the plant and I’m not sure if this was because I was always told not to pick them or because it looked like a fun thing to do. Sea oats are some of the only native plants to grow in the harsh salt laden environment, close to water's edge and as such provide important communal and foraging habitat to wildlife.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Florida Short Verse Poetry, Winged Sumac

Winged sumac, Rhus copallinum

pucker up those lips
Florida lemonade stand
sour cracker cool-aide 
Luna moth prefers winged sumac as a larval host plant, Kevin Songer, Florida Nature Art
Winged sumac is also known as Florida lemonade due to the sour berries found growing in clusters on the shrub.  Traditionally these berries, high in vitamin C, were used to make a tasty drink.  Late summer winged sumac turn a green roadside to flaming orange and red.  Luna moths use winged sumac as a larval host plant.  Winged sumac is a fast growing native shrub great for landscaping and wildlife habitat.

Life Betterment Through Beauty, Wildflowers, Garden Foods, Green Roofs and Rambling Sunday Morning Words

Watching wildflowers grow in the garden and on Green Roofs can be pure bliss, not only to my senses but to wildlife, pollinators and local environmental health.

Rosemary in our coastal front yard garden, mandala by Kevin Songer
Some life forms are evolving in ways I call, 'Betterment Through Beauty'.

Many times we are told survival of the fittest involves the concept of 'eat or be eaten'; trample on your competition, subdue your enemies, just be a general, overall jerk.

What I've learned from nature and years of botany work is another maxim.  Wildflowers teach bootstrap through beauty and quid pro quo.

Organic produce from Judy's garden
One of the ways I manage aortic dissection is through foods Judy grows in our yard.  The basil and okra are among the many blooming and fruiting plants out front, each packed full of healthy phytochemicals. So yesterday I admired their lovely blooms (both have lovely flowers), shooing away the bees and pollinators as I harvested a basket of okra pods and broad, bright green basil leaves.

Chopping okra for tuna burgers
In the kitchen the organic yummy was washed, chopped and mixed with walnuts, tuna, stone ground mustard, farmer's market eggs and a couple jalapeños then pressed into tuna burgers for grilling.  Chopped lemon added a bit of tasty zest to the tuna burger mix.

Zest for tuna burgers
We tend to the plants for the bounty they provide.  Flowers attract pollinators through beauty of senses and once fertilized make seeds.  This is survival through the good for the whole.  Same way with green roofs and living walls; we tend the plants and they provide cooling, cleaning, purification, habitat and beauty functions.

Slow organic cooking, tuna burgers ready to be made into patties
Wildflowers have refined beneficial quid pro quo techniques to an amazing art.  Their essence, aura, color, hues, tastes and nutritive qualities seduce other life forms into a symbiotic union.
Plant Quid Pro Quo, tuna burgers on the grill

In other words, it really is easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar.

Wouldn't the world be an awesome place if, like most wildflowers, humans had evolved into life beings who practiced 'quid pulchrun pro quo'.

Nothing earth shattering, just a wildflower observation for Sunday morning.

'Betterment Through Beauty', I like it.