Friday, September 6, 2013

Blues in the Mornnig



Outside our bedroom window this morning large blue blossoms from the morning glory vine wave their friendly sky-tinted faces in a faint late summer breeze. If they are trying to attract our attention they’ve succeeded.
Or perhaps they are trying to get inside, wake us up and say, “Look out your window, we’re here.” They may also be saying, “For god’s sake don’t miss us today. We may never be this good again.”
I go out and count ten blossoms, all the big sky-blue variety, possibly from the same plant. We may have a September photo here.
Morning glories are an annual plant. Every year we plant them in a collection of pots. The vines climb up a series of improvised trellises we made a few years ago out of extra pieces of crisscrossed battens that enclose the lower part of the front porch. I have repressed the exact nature of the dodges I used to attach these slight assemblages of flimsy wood to our wall. Well, actually, I seem to recall it involved nailing (or tacking) the trellises to a couple of window boxes given us by a fiend, so they are not actually attached to the wall of the house. They just sort of stand next to it and manage (so far) not to fall over.
Every year since then we remember to buy the seedlings, though on occasion when I can find them I plant seeds in the pots and work with the emerging vines. Either way we have to dig up a collection of plastic pots, find enough dirt somewhere to fill them, transplant the seedlings (or thin the seeds), and remember to keep the pots watered. The plants grow thin vines and heart-shaped leaves. Then we wait. Some time around mid-summer a few flowers appear, low key, casual, off-handed flowers, not promising any great things, not telling us to get our hopes up. They tend to be small whites ones with red stripes, or some pastel monotone. We never know what colors to expect because the act of keeping the seed packs or the seedling tags falls off the back shelf of the mind; just too much plant information to keep track of this time of year. 
These flowers last a day, disappear, and are replaced by no-flowers. They are the outliers. Then another month goes by.
By September, if we’re lucky, we start getting a good run of blossoms. The vines never truly thicken to the extent you see elsewhere because ours grow on the back of the house, facing northerly. The front is the sunny side of the street. So we’re happy with what we get. But this year the bedroom window, the one place on the house's back wall that draws an hour or two of direct, unimpeded morning light — in between heavy tree cover to one side and the shadow of houses to the other -- has tempted the vines strongly upward. 
It’s the one place where morning glories, living up to their name, draw the energy to take off their hats and put on a big, blue morning show.
There’s a song, a children’s song I believe, that goes: “Oh, we’ll all sing glory to the mountain, the mountain is so high, it reaches to the sky. And it’s one, two, three, follow me, etc. ….” I would change a few words: “Oh, we’ll all sing glory to the flowers. The flowers reach so high/ they’re bluer than the sky…” And it was one, two, three…. all the way up to ten this morning. That’s a pretty good way to start the day.