Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020
This is the first post from poet Miriam Hurdle and this week Miriam shares her wonderful garden and its abundance of fruit trees and other bee friendly and colourful bushes.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Tree Stories by Miriam Hurdle
This week Ann-Christine gave us the theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Trees.
Here are some of my tree stories.
I’m thankful for having many trees in our front yard and the garden in the back of the house.
Our county is named Orange County known for the orange groves. In 1948, a vast forest of five million Valencia orange trees grew on 67,000 acres. The postwar population boom triggered an almost wholesale conversation of farmland to suburbia.
Our home was built before 1948 with an orange tree planted in the backyard. The Valencia tree produces two crops a year yielding several hundreds of oranges each crop. The juice we squeeze and freeze from each crop lasts for four months.
I planted two plum trees in my garden several years ago. The plum blossoms start earlier than any flowers. In 2017, when the trees were mature and started having full blossoms, I worried there were no bee attracting flowers to pollinate the plum blossoms. Well, I said there were no bee attracting flowers around, it was not entirely true. There were clovers with yellow flowers but yellow was not my favorite color of flowers. To one person is flower, to another person is weed. I consider clovers weed and always pulled them to give room for planting other flowers. That year, after I pulled two handful from the slope blanketed with clovers, I spotted bees. I was surprised and happy, but sorry for what I did. I quickly plugged the clovers back to the soil. Ever since then, I leave a large area on the slope for clovers.
This year, with five months of winter rain, both plum blossoms and clovers grow wild. There are several hundreds of plums on each tree.
(Note: The heavy rain throughout the winter boosted the growth of the plums. When they started ripening. For the sake of curiosity, I tallied as I picked them. From June 16 to July 15, 2019, one thousand and one hundred plums (1100) were picked. What a year!)
Without giving too much thought on many kinds of apples, I planted a Granny Smith apple tree several years ago. It turned out that Granny Smith apples were too sour for me to eat. My friends recommended to use them to make apple pies. We don’t eat pies too much for health reason. I ended up chopping down the tree and planted a Red Delicious apple tree. The tree is three years old with thin branches, but with the help of heavy rain this year, there are a couple hundreds of apples. I had to use heavy sticks to pop up the weighed down branches.
Cypress trees require little water to grow to a maximum of 100 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Many homes use them as natural fence for privacy or border of the property. We grow them for privacy reason. The home on the hill on the top of our slope has the backyard facing our second story. Even though people don’t purposely intrude other people’s homes, we wanted to have the added beauty of the trees and privacy.
There are three Hibiscus trees, two in the garden in the back of the house and one in the side yard. Hibiscus tree has gorgeous flowers without requiring too much water. I used to water them the same way I did for other trees and flowers. Then I noticed white flies growing from the back of the leaves. My gardener asked me to rinse the leaves with soapy water. I got rid of the white flies with soapy water, but I decided not to water the trees at all. Since the roots of the trees are deep and draw water from the deep soil, the trees grow beautifully with dark green leaves and bright color flowers.
©Images Miriam Hurdle
About Miriam Hurdle
Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.
Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.
Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.
She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.
About Songs of Heartstrings
Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.
This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.
One of the recent reviews for the collection
I downloaded Songs of Heartstrings in my Kindle almost half a year ago. Selfishly, I’ve been reading it a little at a time, because I like to dig deep into a poem, savor it. let it simmer within me, then re-read it days or even weeks later. There is SO MUCH in Miriam’s verse and prose. All of her nature poems – trees, flowers, plants, insects – are lovely and speak to the human in us even while describing the flower or the butterfly. The poems she wrote during/about her cancer treatments are so deep and intense – through reading the poems, I experienced what Miriam felt as she dealt with chemo and worry and wonder. The poem about finding her “balance” yogic pose after recovering from chemo was amazing – I believe she is writing not only about balancing on one foot, but finding balance in her life as she recovers. Hurdle’s poetry is relatable to us all.
Read the reviews and buy the collection also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US
And: Amazon UK
Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads
Connect to Miriam
My thanks to Miriam for permitting me to share her posts and thank you very much for dropping in today and I know that Miriam would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.