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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Blooms of Christmas

We were fortunate enough to spend several days recently in Brevard County, Florida, in a sweet 1960’s motel right on the Atlantic Ocean (which happened to have such erratic wifi that I decided to abandon the computer for a few days and just enjoy being, for a change). We left two inches of snow on the ground and arrived to temperatures in the low seventies that rose to an eighty-degree afternoon on our last day in the area. After what had felt like weeks (but was actually only a few days) of cold grayness in Toledo and Parkersburg, I at least was ready for warmth and sun. Brevard County delivered.

That warmth and sun mean that some flowers bloom through the winter, even though we were above Florida’s frost line and not in the tropics. Genuinely tender things were done for the year, and deciduous trees had lost their leaves, but the blooms of Christmas were there for the enjoying. Some were exotic to my northern eyes, like this Chinese hibiscus growing in my in-laws' yard. While I know that they really provide no benefits to wildlife, it is difficult to resist the allure of something this outrageously gorgeous.

Also in bloom were familiar summer annuals long frozen out in our area, like this morning glory




and this pentas, blooming at the botanical gardens of the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.

Our beachside motel was landscaped with sand-tolerant succulents. I had never seen aloe in bloom and had no idea that the familiar kitchen burn remedy is likely a hummingbird magnet. 


And while there were agaves at the beach when I grew up,


















I had no idea that their flower spikes are taller than any house in which I have ever lived.
Of course, the area boasts more common, close-to-the-ground things. Sand marigolds were everywhere, providing nectar for the butterflies that were still fluttering around, even at the close of the year. 

 I know that winter's just arrived, but spring can't come soon enough for me.







3 comments:

Linda Needham said...

Beautiful! I am enjoying 50 degrees and some flowers still in bloom here in Virginia. I love it here!

Linda Needham said...

Beautiful! I am enjoying 50 degrees and some flowers still in bloom here in Virginia. I love it here!

Rebecca said...

We have snow and freezing rain here in the Mid-Ohio Valley.