Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Spider Lilies 'Neath My Window

For some reason the blooming of the spider lilies always catch me by surprise.  It’s CAN’T be this late in summer, I always grumble.  But the calendar never lies. 

These spider lilies are special to me.   Three lonely bulbs were tucked beneath the bedroom window when we arrived here so many years ago.  

 I say lonely because it was a barren landscape in those days.  It wasn't even true to say we had gardens. 

But these lilies were fertile little spirits and after dividing them again and again and again, I’ve managed to nurture such massive plantings that by the end of each August, they’re adorning the farm like new-fallen snow.

What I love about spider lilies is their make-up—their composition.  A homely little bulb puts forth such strong, formidable leaves which are full of life.  Towering high and verdant green, spider lily alone leaves are home to many tiny creatures worth following, which of course I try to do. 

Today, there are itty-bitty baby tree frogs catching food and water.  They spring across the lily leaves as I look outside my window.  A pair of tree snails crawls up a leaf and eventually out of view, though at a much slower pace than their pals the tree frogs. 

Between the plum tree and the lily leaves, a banana spider has spun a web to catch her breakfast.   

A small moth traveling from a nearby bottlebrush veers too close to the lilies and becomes entangled.  

She’s no snail, this banana spider.  She races down to snare her prey and envelops the moth in a sarcophagus of silk in just a matter of seconds. 

Lily leaves harbor more than the lightweights.  A large yellow locust makes the lily beds his home, as does the occasional garden snake.  These robust leaves handle larger creatures without even bowing to their more substantial presence.  While not as pretty as the ornamentals, the leaves of the lily use their common beauty to provide solace to many of the smallest wonders of my gardens.

Venture further, beneath the leaves; look onto the bulbs and roots of this lily.  Here, too, she provides  shelter to those around her.   

Spider lilies crowd themselves to gain strength, and grow strong and healthy in the company of their offshoots.   

Deep into their common hills are where the armadillos, opossum, and perhaps the occasional skunk may choose to build a den. 

Now, as late August arrives, my spider lilies send out the most delicately designed flowers.  Dainty   blossoms are large in size, but small in area.  Blooms appear as intricately conceived creations bursting forth full of life and imagination from this most utilitarian plant.  There's inspiration in the refined qualities which give spider lilies their distinction. 

A spider lily’s splendor is not the showiness of the rose.  

Its loveliness lies in its strength; its ability to harbor other souls; its well-honed uniqueness.   

Not a cut flower, my lily; but a beautiful blossom rooted firmly in her ground.
Here’s to all the lilies out there….

- Sanne Collins
   From the Ranch in Florida

What’s Been Keeping Me Busy Lately

Love Those Wide Open Spaces is a blog designed to follow my daily life as a freelance writer and rancher.  It’s a life full of constant change and a wide scope of interests.

Freelance writing, by its definition, requires the ability to write on a variety of subjects, to juggle many assignments during the times of plenty, and to fill the void when checks are slow.   That said, I’m always writing.

Much of my work is done for others such as corporations, websites, or articles penned under another’s name.  I’ve sold the rights to these works, so they can’t be shared. 

However, many of my projects are available under my own name and can be read right here on the web.    

You can click on either the site or the story below to see them.

Check out what’s been keeping me busy lately!

Rural Florida Living 
Travel Florida: Learn to Blacksmith at Panhandle Pioneer Settlement 
FWC to Discuss Invasive Aquatic Plants in Largest Lakes  
Travel Florida: Big Shoals - The Largest Whitewater Rapids in Florida  
How to Become a Nuisance Alligator Trapper in Florida 
Florida Honey Bee College and the Art of Beekeeping
Famous Floridian Friday - Stepin Fetchit, the Original Black Movie Star 
NW Florida Office of FWC Seeks Volunteers for their Bear Management Program  
Florida Outdoors - What You Can See in August 
The Ozello Trail - Let's Do Some Driving! 

Mosquitoes in Florida

Florida's Honeymoon Island State Park - Unspoiled Gulf Coast Barrier Island Beach

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