Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Save America With Poetry! Day Two.

And the campaign continues with . . . 
well it could be a credible explanation for the state of the world; an easily distracted creator simply forgot to give the world justice.

We don't choose to deny it to the weak and vulnerable among us. Right?

One of the reasons totalitarian regimes come after poets in the beginning of their reigns of terror and generally refuse to let up, is that poets force us to look at the uncomfortable and ugly truths we like to keep hidden.

God’s Justice
 - Anne Carson

In the beginning there were days set aside for various tasks.
On the day He was to create justice
God got involved in making a dragonfly

and lost track of time.
It was about two inches long
with turquoise dots all down its back like Lauren Bacall.

God watched it bend its tiny wire elbows
as it set about cleaning the transparent case of its head.
The eye globes mounted on the case

rotated this way and that
as it polished every angle.
Inside the case

which was glassy black like the windows of a downtown bank
God could see the machinery humming
and He watched the hum

travel all the way down turquoise dots to the end of the tail
and breathe off as light.
Its black wings vibrated in and out.

from: Glass, Irony and God.

Imagining a renewed role for poetry in the national discourse, and a new canon.
by Tony Hoagland.

Here are TONY HOAGLAND’S twenty poems: Twenty-First. Night. Monday., by Anna Akhmatova God’s Justice, by Anne Carson memory, by Lucille Clifton A Man and a Woman, by Alan Feldman America, by Allen Ginsberg Bamboo and a Bird, by Linda Gregg A Sick Child, by Randall Jarrell Black People & White People Were Said, by Kerry Johannsen Topography, by Sharon Olds Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver Written in Pencil in the Sealed Railway-Car, by Dan Pagis Merengue, by Mary Ruefle Ballad of Orange and Grape, by Muriel Rukeyser Waiting for Icarus, by Muriel Rukeyser American Classic, by Louis Simpson The Geraniums, by Genevieve Taggard Song of Speaks-Fluently, by Speaks-Fluently Traveling Through The Dark, by William Stafford When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer, by Walt Whitman Our Dust, by C. D. Wright

Book Reviews. Sort Of.

I finally got around to getting a library card for my Nook. It wasn't quite as easy as I thought it would be. I set up my account on line, downloaded the audio/eBook app, then set about downloading books to my Nook. Or so I thought.

Next came phone calls and more online fun. It seems that for hard copy books all the libraries in our system share like the good friends they are. But once you go electronic, they get a little possessive. Each library in the system has its own account and you must have a card with every library from which you want to download electronic books.

What does this mean for my anxiously waiting Nook? Well, what it all boils down to is that while I only need one card to cover all the libraries in the system, my Nook needs a card for each one.

It's still free, but . . .

1st to Die (audiobook) - James Patterson   

The first library audio book listened to on my Nook. Pro: Now I can read while I do other things! Con: Since it is my Nook, I am tethered by headphones and can't really do that much more than I did before.

But what about the book? I'm glad you asked. This was my first James Patterson book and I had high expectations. After all, Richard Castle wouldn't play poker with hacks. Would he?

It did have a number of twists and turns, but like a senior citizen with his turn signal on for fifteen miles, each twist was obvious loooooong before it actually happened.

So as to give Mr. Patterson a fair chance, I do plan to read at least the next book in the series.

The Sherlockian (audiobook) - Graham Moore   

Interesting. Two stories interwoven: past & present.

Although this novel is much better than many stories that aim to continue or explicate the Holmes saga, the ending leaves me unsatisfied and I'm not quite sure why.

It's a very meta book, as at the end the author explains his choices, even touching some of on my concerns.

But still, I maintain a yearning unfulfilled.

The Red Signal (audiobook) - Agatha Christie   

You may think you know how things will play out for you, but you would be mistaken.

A bit of light watering and a mystery! What a great way to start a day.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames (audiobook) - David Sedaris

Can I sue David Sedaris? Wait. Wait. Wait. Hear me out.

My experiment with audiobooks has enabled me to 'read' while I accomplish something. (Or should I say, actually accomplish something while I read?)

Anyway, I strap my headphones on, slip my Nook into a little pouch slung over my shoulder, and set to work. That, my friend, is where it turns ugly.

The strange looks I get when I erupt into spasms of laughter while wandering through my garden . . . watering, weeding, harvesting,  . . . It doesn't matter that I'm being a productive and responsible neighbor. He's damaging my reputation in my community!

Yes, my neighbors already think I'm a bit odd, but that is way beside the point.

I needed to temper my dad’s enthusiasm a bit, and so I announced that I would be majoring in patricide. The Princeton program was very strong back then, the best in the country, but it wasn’t the sort of thing your father could get too worked up about. Or, at least, most fathers wouldn’t. Mine was over the moon. “Killed by a Princeton graduate!” he said. “And my own son, no less.”

My mom was actually jealous. “So what’s wrong with matricide?” she asked. “What, I’m not good enough to murder?”

They started bickering, so in order to make peace I promised to consider a double major.
What do you think? Do I have a case?

The Stonehenge Legacy (audiobook) - Sam Christer   
Just as the greatest magicians fool us by distraction, so do the gods.
I've made an interesting discovery about audiobooks.

I can read much faster than I can listen.  . . . So a book which would have taken me just a couple of hours to read, takes several days to listen to.

I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Witness for the Prosecution (audiobook) - Agatha Christie  

People like to say that if you are innocent, you have nothing to fear.

Not. True.

But . . .

Does the medium make a difference? 
Do those of you who go back and forth between audio and print see a difference
 in how you understand and/or relate to a story?

The Best Mysteries of Isaac Asimov (library) - Guess Who 

Mr. Asimov had an interesting philosophy of mystery writing. The stories are intellectual puzzles: no violence at all and if a murder absolutely must happen it must be offstage.

. . . and intellectually challenging.

I like that.

Puzzles of the Black Widowers (library) - Issac Asimov  

More puzzles.

My brain hurts.

I have always prided myself on my ability to puzzle out mysteries, but some of these are extremely challenging.

. . . and not a car chase, love scene, or blood bath in the lot.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Save America With Poetry Campaign! Day One.

Imagining a renewed role for poetry in the national discourse, and a new canon.

by Tony Hoagland.
If anthologies were structured to represent the way that most of us actually learn, they would begin in the present and “progress” into the past. I read Lawrence Ferlinghetti before I read D. H. Lawrence before I read Thomas Wyatt. Once the literate appetite is whetted, it will keep turning to new tastes. A reader who first falls in love with Billy Collins or Mary Oliver is likely then to drift into an anthology that includes Emily Dickinson and Thomas Hardy.

The second part of the fix is rather more complicated: in addition to rebooting the American poetic canon as a whole, we must establish a kind of national core curriculum, a set of poems held in common by our students and so by our citizens. In the spirit of boosterism, I have selected twenty works I believe worthy of inclusion in this curriculum — works I believe could empower us with a common vocabulary of stories, values, points of reference. The brief explications and justifications I offer for nine of these poems are not meant to foreclose the interpretive possibilities that are part of a good poem’s life force. Rather, I hope they will point to areas worthy of cultivation in that mysterious inner space, the American mind. ...
I am only waiting for the president to give me the go ahead. Perhaps twenty other experienced readers of poetry might come up with twenty other lists of poems that might similarly serve, poems that could be smuggled into twenty-first-century life as amulets and beatitudes to guide, map, empower, and console.
(Well worth reading; 
just click on the title to be magically whisked to the article's internet realm.)

What do you think? Can poetry save America? In a time when our elected representatives work against our best interests,  our press is more interested in sensationalism than elucidation, and we turn on each other in our fear and frustration . . . can poetry save us?

black kitten on green grass with small American flag
I've decided to do two things (poetically speaking, that is). I am posting one of Mr. Hoagland's poems daily, beginning with today. 

Call it my Save America With Poetry Campaign!

If you happen by, take a moment and tell me what the poem says to you and if you think it could contribute changing society and saving America - or even the world. (There is also the argument to be made that America doesn't need saving, but everyone needs a little help now and then, right?)

I am also giving serious thought to which poems I think belong in such an anthology. If poetry could save America, which ones and why? And at the end of this little exercise I will post my own list. If you have any suggestions I will post yours as well (with due credit, of course). It would be so interesting find out which poems you all feel would be most influential. 

First up is a poem by a poet who was no stranger to censorship, persecution, and grief: Anna Akhmatova, widely regarded as one of Russia's greatest poets. She pulls no punches.

Twenty-First. Night. Monday

Twenty-first. Night. Monday.
Silhouette of the capitol in darkness.
Some good-for-nothing -- who knows why--
made up the tale that love exists on earth.

People believe it, maybe from laziness
or boredom, and live accordingly:
they wait eagerly for meetings, fear parting,
and when they sing, they sing about love.

But the secret reveals itself to some,
and on them silence settles down...
I found this out by accident
and now it seems I'm sick all the time.

Here are TONY HOAGLAND’S twenty poems: Twenty-First. Night. Monday., by Anna Akhmatova God’s Justice, by Anne Carson memory, by Lucille Clifton A Man and a Woman, by Alan Feldman America, by Allen Ginsberg Bamboo and a Bird, by Linda Gregg A Sick Child, by Randall Jarrell Black People & White People Were Said, by Kerry Johannsen Topography, by Sharon Olds Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver Written in Pencil in the Sealed Railway-Car, by Dan Pagis Merengue, by Mary Ruefle Ballad of Orange and Grape, by Muriel Rukeyser Waiting for Icarus, by Muriel Rukeyser American Classic, by Louis Simpson The Geraniums, by Genevieve Taggard Song of Speaks-Fluently, by Speaks-Fluently Traveling Through The Dark, by William Stafford When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer, by Walt Whitman Our Dust, by C. D. Wright

Monday, July 29, 2013

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so .   .  .  rough, hard, difficult.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ah! Smells Like Sunday.

There's Been a Death in the Opposite House

- Emily Dickinson
There's been a death in the opposite house
As lately as to-day.
I know it by the numb look
Such houses have alway.

The neighbors rustle in and out,
The doctor drives away.
A window opens like a pod,
Abrupt, mechanically;

Somebody flings a mattress out,--
The children hurry by;
They wonder if It died on that,--
I used to when a boy.

The minister goes stiffly in
As if the house were his,
And he owned all the mourners now,
And little boys besides;

And then the milliner, and the man
Of the appalling trade,
To take the measure of the house.
There'll be that dark parade

Of tassels and of coaches soon;
It's easy as a sign,--
The intuition of the news
In just a country town.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Farmer's Market - Herbs

Created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and now hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

UPDATE from last week:

My chamomile is all but lost this year. The plants are browning fast and have only a few tiny flowers on them. I tried cutting them back to give them another chance, but no change. I really should just pull them up to keep disease from getting a foothold in the garden, but I keep hoping that they'll finally turn around.

Last year was my best year ever, with five harvests filling a good sized jar. Funny how I've worried over the years about how much water to give my plants, and whether they're getting enough sunlight and nutrients, but this year the heat is killing properly hydrated, fed, and lit plants. I never realized that my plants could have as much trouble with the heat as I do. (They don't whine quite as much, though.)

I don't really miss the blackberries; you don't miss something you never had. But I will be missing the chamomile a great deal. I grow it for tea and if any is left over come spring, I use it in sachets and then replace it with the new crop.

Oh well, maybe I'll have better luck next year . . . 

Herb Garden
- Timothy Steele

"And these, small, unobserved . . . " - Janet Lewis

The lizard, an exemplar of the small,
Spreads fine, adhesive digits to perform
Vertical push-ups on a sunny wall;
Bees grapple spikes of lavender, or swarm
The dill's gold umbels and low clumps of thyme.
Bored with its trellis, a resourceful rose
Has found a nearby cedar tree to climb
And to festoon with floral furbelows.

Though the great, heat-stunned sunflower looks half-dead
The way it, shepherd's crook-like, hangs its head,
The herbs maintain their modest self-command:
Their fragrances and colors warmly mix
While, quarrying between the pathway’s bricks,
Ants build minute volcanoes out of sand.

The core of my garden (and oldest part) is my little herb patch. It expands slowly as I find intriguing new possibilities. I experiment with new plants as I find them; sometimes successfully, sometimes not.  

You could say that my herb garden is my happy place. It combines working in the garden with aroma therapy, and the plants seem somehow less demanding than their floral, prima donna, cousins.

The stores around here don't offer many unique plants. The big box, 'only what everyone else has,' mentality is everywhere. I have to scour farmer's markets, small nurseries, and occasional web sites for new plants.

I have herbs for cooking, herbs for tea, herbs for healing . . . I'm still considering a theme garden. You know, like a Shakespeare garden, a biblical garden, medieval garden, medicinal garden, bee garden, tea garden, pizza garden . . . 

. . . Wait! Pizza? From the garden? Now that would save money, wouldn't it?
  Anyone know where I can get a pepperoni plant?
What kind of theme do you find appealing?

Oh! Oh! Oh! For those of you into container gardening, here is a site with over 50 creative & imaginative container ideas. These days container gardening is not just something you do because you have no yard. It's an art form. See! You guys were artists and didn't even realize it! (That's you, Chris & Lu & all the rest - You know who you are!)

Would you call this a croc pot?

But there are some things I know for certain: always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can.
 –Sally Owens,  Practical Magic.

One of my favorite herbs.  It adds such good flavor to so many things.

I actually have two, English & Lemon (this pic).

This sweetheart weathered frost after frost without even a nip.

Garden Sage
My neighbor likes to muddle this in her black tea.

Pineapple Sage
Mmmm. Wonderful smell. Wonderful flavor.

Upright Rosemary
Keeping it near the front door is said to bring love & good fortune to the household.

Nummy in lots of things. 

My daughter got this for me because it is supposed to be good for migraines.
I haven't tried it yet.

Vietnamese Cilantro
A perennial alternative to its more familiar namesake.
(I can't keep cilantro from bolting no matter what I do.)

Lemon Balm
Planted along the walkway, it releases a wonderful aroma when someone walks by.

Trailing Rosemary
A gift from a departing neighbor. 

Spearmint, Chocolate mint, Peppermint, Cat mint
These little guys are in pots in the ground to help keep them corralled.

I have two culinary varieties; 'munstead' (top pic) & 'grosso' (bottom pic) from the local Farmer's Market.

Bay Laurel
This plucky little one, poorly when I found it, is coming back great.

Friday, July 26, 2013


child standing on a pile of books to see over a brick wall to the worlds beyond

Electrical Storm

- Mary Oliver

large lightning strike in purple night sky
Dawn an unsympathetic yellow.
Cra-aack! – dry and light.
The house was really struck.
Crack! A tinny sound, like a dropped tumbler.
Tobias jumped in the window, got in bed -
silent, his eyes bleached white, his fur on end.
Personal and spiteful as a neighbor’s child,
thunder began to bang and bump the roof.
One pink flash;
then hail, the biggest size of artificial pearls.
Dead-white, wax-white, cold -
diplomats’ wives’ favors
from an old moon party -
they lay in melting windrows
on the red ground until well after sunrise.
We got up to find the wiring fused,
no lights, a smell of saltpetre,
and the telephone dead.
The cat stayed in the warm sheets.
The Lent trees  had shed all their petals:
wet, stuck, purple, among the dead-eye pearls.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


 - W. S. Merwin
close up of fingers sewn with red thread 
     Your absence has gone through me   
     Like thread through a needle.
     Everything I do is stitched with its color.

                                   from: Poetry. Copyright 1962.
                                   Photo source.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Just Because.

clown smiley face with rainbow hair

Good Advice!


 - Philip Larkin
I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.   
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.   
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.   
Till then I see what’s really always there:   
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,   
Making all thought impossible but how   
And where and when I shall myself die.   
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse   
—The good not done, the love not given, time   
Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because   
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;   
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,   
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound,   
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,   
Nothing to love or link with,
The anaesthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,   
A small unfocused blur, a standing chill   
That slows each impulse down to indecision.   
Most things may never happen: this one will,   
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without   
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave   
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.   
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,   
Have always known, know that we can’t escape,   
Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring   
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
from: Collected Poems. Copyright 2001. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hearing your words and not a word among them

- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Hearing your words, and not a word among them
Tuned to my liking, on a salty day
When inland woods were pushed by winds that flung them
Hissing to leeward like a ton of spray,
I thought how off Matinicus the tide
Came pounding in, came running though the Gut,
While from the Rock the warning whistle cried,
And children whimpered and the doors blew shut;
There in the autumn when the men go forth,
With slapping skirts the island women stand
In gardens stripped and scattered, peering north,
With dahlia tubers dripping from the hand:
The wind of their endurance, driving south,
Flattened your words against your speaking mouth.

from: Collected Poems. Copyright 1958.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so .   .  .  rough, hard, difficult.

from: Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out

- Richard Siken
painting of red heart with stitches and bandaid

Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently
                     we have had our difficulties and there are many things
                                                                                                  I want to ask you.
I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again,
             years later, in the chlorinated pool.
                                      I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have
             these luxuries.
I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together.
                                                            We clutch our bellies and roll on the floor . . .
             When I say this, it should mean laughter,
not poison.
                  I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes.
Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you.
                                                  Quit milling around the yard and come inside.

from: Crush. Copyright 2006.
I found this at Poetry Foundation.
Image Source.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Never to Dream of Spiders

Time collapses between the lips of strangers   
my days collapse into a hollow tube
soon implodes against now
like an iron wall
my eyes are blocked with rubble
a smear of perspectives
blurring each horizon
in the breathless precision of silence
one word is made.

Once the renegade flesh was gone   
fall air lay against my face
sharp and blue as a needle
but the rain fell through October   
and death lay    a condemnation   
within my blood.

The smell of your neck in August   
a fine gold wire bejeweling war   
all the rest lies
illusive as a farmhouse
on the other side of a valley
vanishing in the afternoon.

Day three    day four    day ten   
the seventh step
a veiled door leading to my golden anniversary   
flameproofed free-paper shredded   
in the teeth of a pillaging dog   
never to dream of spiders   
and when they turned the hoses upon me
a burst of light.

from: The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde. Copyright 1997.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday Farmer's Market - Odds & Ends

Created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and now hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

UPDATE from last week:    

I haven't had time for much beyond the basics in the garden this week. Busy. Busy. Busy. Among other thing, I'm looking for a new job.

I actually find myself dreading the thought of being successful in my job hunt, but working part time for half the year is just not supporting all our vices. We're particularly concerned about our addictions to eating regularly and living indoors. Indulgent, I know, but what can I say?

How will I possibly survive without my mornings in the garden? It's just too painful to contemplate. Don't mind me; I'll be fine. I think I'll sit in my garden rocker now and have a cup of tea.  . . .


Look! This is our younger daughter, Petunia, looking pensive. (She's adopted, but looks remarkably like my husband.) Isn't she just the most precious little angel?

We find her much more appreciative and loving than her older siblings, and are amending our wills accordingly.

Petunia is a full blooded Boxer and came to us by way of a rescue shelter. Besides the general shelters, there is a rescue for just about any breed you can think of. With so many little sweethearts in need of loving homes, there is just no reason to patronize breeders and the like. We also have an Australian Shepherd who was a rescue dog, and they have both been wonderful additions to our family.

If you're looking for someone to love you unconditionally, 
(Sorry for the commercial, but I do feel strongly about this.)

You know what else I've learned? Boxers never grow up! Imagine a 70 pound puppy - forever. She's my baby and likes to sleep in my lap while I read or watch TV. With my legs outstretched on a stool, she fills my entire lap - to my toes. In the winter she's kind of like a full body heating pad. She's been with us for a year and a half now, and It's hard to remember life before her. (And no, that's not senility talking!)


Oh! Oh! Oh! We've started seeing Monarch butterflies in the garden. It has been such a long time. My commitment to not using poison is paying off beautifully. Yes, I have had to learn to put up with pests, and find imaginative ways of dealing with them instead of eradicating them. But the variety of amazing living things enjoying and nurturing my garden with me has exploded, too. We're like a little co-op. A strange little co-op. We all do our part, and we all reap rewards.

Lucinda Matlock
- Edgar Lee Masters

I went to the dances at Chandlerville,
And played snap-out at Winchester.
One time we changed partners,
Driving home in the moonlight of middle June,
And then I found Davis.
We were married and lived together for seventy years,
Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children,
Eight of whom we lost
Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick,
I made the garden, and for holiday
Rambled over the fields where sang the larks,
And by Spoon River gathering many a shell,
And many a flower and medicinal weed--
Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all,
And passed to a sweet repose.
What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,
Anger, discontent and drooping hopes?
Degenerate sons and daughters,
Life is too strong for you--
It takes life to love Life.

I wish I had a better quality camera. Or maybe It's just me. If you were to ask the camera, I'm sure that would be its story.

This is the bed between the house and the drive way. I expanded it from the small area where an old climbing rose bush grew next to the house. The heat this year has taken quite a toll on the bush; it's usually big enough to fill in the background of this picture. This year, not so much.

Last fall my husband found a small Japanese Maple on clearance. It had been trimmed to look like a lollipop, but it was still fairly healthy so he brought it home. Through the fall and winter it's leaves were a beautiful crimson color. The canopy has filled out nicely and it looks quite happy.

This little lump is a red azalea. It dropped it's flowers during the heat wave, but still has some new growth. I have it at the back of this bed as it will eventually end up being much more than a lump.

It's hard to tell from the photo, but this is a Pieris Japonica, sometimes called a Lilly of the Valley bush. In full bloom it is a mass of little white flowers. When I planted it this spring its flowers were starting to fade, but it put on lots of bright, new growth. And now it is covered with brand new bracts for a beautifully full rebloom. (If the heat doesn't have other ideas.)

A big half barrel in the center of the bed holds golden colored mums and, in the spring, huge yellow daffodils. I didn't get a picture of its first bloom, when it was a beautiful golden mass. I'm hoping to get something tall to put in the center, but I just can't decide what to put there. It needs to be something eye catching, but can't grow too big or too fast.

The purple flowers around the base of all these plants are verbena, and they're filling up the empty space nicely.

This bed also contains my 'nursery.' Here's where I keep my pots and the plants that are having difficulty.

In this picture are two lemon grass plants, a tiny bay laurel, a scotch broom, and a holly.

Here you can see all the new growth on my poor jade plant. This winter was hard on it, but it's coming back well.

And . . . a couple of my garden tenants, both hiding (or trying to) in the Japanese Maple. 

It looks like a grasshopper, but I'm not sure. This is the first one I've seen in the garden.

And if you look real close, you can see a praying mantis.

As always, you can click on any of the pictures to embiggen them.