Umbrella in the Sun
As I was walking down the street one sultry summer day
My umbrella shaded me from the sunny rays.
I held it straight above my head, a shadow it did make
But then I stopped and looked awhile, and said "for heaven's sake!"
I saw a white umbrella too,
but it was upside down
The top was flat, the bottom small
and it was nice and round.
I wondered why it stood right up
and opened to the sky
Instead of pointing to the ground,
it stood so straight and high!
And when I took a closer look
I saw more and more
Teeny tiny umbellets
blooming by the score!
I gazed at this pretty plant
So delicate and white
And then I heard a little voice
So sweet and so polite...
"My family of lady bugs we land here every day
To take a rest and sit awhile after morning play.
You hold your umbrella down
to shade you from the sun
But this umbrella opens wide,
there's room for everyone!
For butterflies and honeybees
and praying mantis too
For ladybugs and dragonflies
with their wings of blue!
"Other plants have umbels too, like celery and dill
Coriander, parsley green, give us quite a thrill!
And then there is the fennel plant
that tastes like licorice sweet
Yarrow flowers, elder too are quite the summer treat!
We love the umbel family, the flowers and the weeds
For resting and for feeding on the teeny tiny seeds!"
I thought about the carrot wild
and the seeds they made
And how umbrellas can be used
for rain or sun or shade!
Thank you dearest lady bug,
you tiny lady bird
For teaching me about the plant,
and the "umbel" word!
written by Christine Summerfield © July 19, 2018
Jewel in the Crown
A field full of weeds
as the summer sun burns...
The old ones recede
and the new take their turns...
Blossoming now on the warm summer stage
Enters the King as we turn the page...
Standing tall with scepter of thorns
His purple flowers await to be born.
Filling his crown with flowers bright
Like amethyst jewels they shine in the light.
With his prickles sharp, no one comes near
Instilling respect and a wee bit of fear!
But the winged ones know of his royal treasures
They dig for his gold with fervor and pleasure!
For his flowers are softer to the touch
The bees and the butterflies like them so much!
And when the jewels fade away from the crown
They change to brittle, dry rusty brown
But the gold finch knows of the treasures inside
Quickly she lands and knows where they hide.
She mines all day in a cloudy white puff
Filling her beak with seeds from the fluff!
After the seeds from the rusty old crown
The last gift remains, the gift of the down.
Silky and soft, the gentlest of all
Will line the nests of the finches so small.
As I was digging up the weeds with my trusty trowel
I saw something flitter by and then I heard a howl.
“Ouch!” I heard, “please do stop! and leave us all alone
You almost knocked me off of my shiny golden throne!”
I looked and bent down on my knee and who did I see?
A tiny little fairy boy looking up at me.
He stood up tall amidst the grass of polka dotted yellow
He was not afraid of me, this brave and jolly fellow.
His jacket gold had buttons brown, with edges rough and ragged
His collar green it zigged and zagged and it was kind of jagged.
His buttery hair of curly locks was scriffy and a scruffy
His scepter tall of tiny seeds was round and kind of puffy.
He smiled at me and bid ‘bonjour’ with his eyes of blue
They twinkled in the morning sun and even sparkled too.
But best of were his green tights with yellow polka dots
They were fun to look at and I liked them quite a lot!
He told me of his kingdom bright, this little fairy boy
Of dandelions in the grass, his noble pride and joy.
“Oh yes, my name is Dandy Boy, I am the Golden King
Of this dandelion patch in the time of spring!
My name it comes from the French, 'Dent de Lion' you see
Its meaning is the 'Lion’s Tooth', like jagged leaves of green.
Like the Lion is the king of the jungle land
I am ruler of this field, it is at my command.
All kinds of creatures greet me and my flowers all the day
The ladybugs and honeybees and beetles black and grey.
The caterpillars and the birds also like to feast
While rabbits like to nibble on the young and tender leaves.
So please don’t dig the dandelions or mow them all away
Leave them in the grass to grow and let my creatures play!”
I thanked the little Dandy Boy, the sunny, yellow King
For caring for his kingdom bright in the months of spring.
And now when I see the polka dotted field of gold
I take a moment and think about that royal kingdom bold.
I put my trusty trowel away and watch with wondrous eyes
Honeybees and caterpillars and the butterflies.
I smile at they gather round these little blossoms yellow
And visit with the Dandy Boy, that jolly little fellow.
written by Christine Summerfield, May 5, 2018
Every night I walk along the same old path so dear
There's always something new to see in seasons of the year.
In the winter the dirty field is quiet, brown and rough
The plants are dry and brittle then, they look kind of tough.
The field is full of tall brown stalks that stand so quietly
Like candlesticks in churches from my childhood memory.
It seems like there's not much to see in this quiet time
But patiently I walk each night to look for living signs.
And sure enough in the spring, I see new leaves abound
Sagey-greeny, big and wide, they circle round and round.
It's as if they're asking me to give a little touch
They're soft and fuzzy on my skin, I like it very much!
I wonder what will come of them, these leaves so bright and new?
With faithfulness I walk each night to see what they will do.
And gradually as springtime light gives way to summer sun
I watch their leaves with open eyes to see what they have done.
The stalks have grown and soared with might reaching to the sky
Like cathedral domes of old with their ceilings high.
And then the very best of all is waiting to unfold
A multitude of flowers bright, shining yellow and gold!
It's as if God came down and lit each candle bright
While I slept in darkness in the hours of the night.
A meadow now has come alive with birds and bugs and bees
Color, music, fragrance too, a wonder for all to see!
As I stood in nature's church enraptured by it all
I heard a tiny buzzing sound, a faint little call....
A honey bee she flew to me with her wings of gold
Her legs were full of pollen rich, a story to me she told...
"Now the candlesticks are lit, each flowers shining bright
All our sisters travel here in the summer light.
To the Mullein plants so tall, Verbascum its Latin name
The herbalists of ancient lore knew of its fame.
To you, these look like olden weeds, but we know value true
A treasure trove of pollen gold for honey for me and you!
And when the Mulleins go to sleep in the autumn time
They share their seeds with all the birds in the fall sunshine.
So please don't ever mow them down or throw them all away
They are rich and meaningful each and every day.
Grow them in your gardens too or leave them in the wild
They are friendly to the touch, especially a child."
I thanked the bee for telling me of the noble weed
With its flowers for the bees and its precious seed.
And now when I walk along in evenings before dark
I thank it as it comes to life, my beloved Candlestick Park!
written by Christine Summerfield, April 19, 2018