Charting Fall Equinox 2016


Chart-ing Fall 2016

Fall & Love

The falling of palm trees and leaves fell with a thud this fall. I love the Winter Park Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. I’m an impulse buyer there as I am with most purchases. I don’t ask many questions or Google much about plants. I’ve only witnessed a non-Florida fall foliage a few times. I wrote the book “Lessons From A Falling Leaf” from one particularly inspiring trip.

About ten years ago, I planted neat rows of rich green leafy fantail palms in two beds on the border of my front lawn. Former Chart-ist and Master Gardener Susan Guch pointed out as she delivered oil paintings to me one day, “You know, those plants will be forty-feet tall in a few years.” I responded, “Great, that will give great privacy.” Well, the Chart art gallery left my house and office, but those fantail palms remained well established and towered exactly as Susan had warned.

J.C. the tree guy last trip said he couldn’t trim the brown stalks from the tops. He came to cut the trees down this week. The removal took two trips and filled two dump trucks of plant matter. Miracle Grow works.

As the chain saws buzzed in the background, I puttered around my yard. I prefer a beach, but when land bound, a garden is my second favorite fix for the energy of nature. I sprinkled marigolds for fall color in the flowerpots. I started to prune unruly confederate jasmine from an arbor. I was delighted to discover why the vines had been left untouched. A sweet surprise greeted me inside the arch. A small nest was constructed inside the wrought iron swirls. The mother bird decorated with hanging Spanish moss and wove a layer of plastic wrap to the exposed side of the nest not protected by the overgrown vines and leaves. So, what was discarded as no longer useful, the plastic sheet, became useful to the bird family. We are all connected. Ingenuity abounds in nature as the plants and animals in my garden adjust to the ever-changing environment and landscape. I am always grateful for their presence and beauty.

My inner questions are often quietly answered as I tinker outside. I feel a special connection to my little plot of land. After I travel cities and continents, after I return from my Palm Beach coastal retreat, as I feel the clicking of the historic brick streets beneath my tires, gliding under the protection of the giant canopy of oaks, I feel the sense of home. This time as I gingerly plucked around the nest, I agreed with the mother bird, “I love my Home, Tweet, Home.”

Happy Fall 2016 from Chart magazine! Wishing you much creative inspiration from the world around you.

— Chart Publisher Casey Tennyson

These birds nests by 2017 inspired the poem “The Rest”.

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