Twice-steeped Tea and Other Economies

It has been a fine May in Clutchpen.  I offer you a small drawing of Miss Flibberty Ribbit greeting a cordial specimen of Aquilegia canadensis.  Please linger over a cup of tea!

Flibberty and columbine

The wild red columbine

I met while I was hiking,

I introduced it to myself

And found it to my liking

I first encountered this wildflower while hiking in the mountains.  It was a woodland wisp, competing for sun and soil.  I, having never seen the showy blossoms before, was completely taken with it.  Luckily, it grows freely in this corner of Clutchpen.


Flibberty and Columbine (pencil)


Here is the above drawing, before color.  Please forgive any lack of botanical accuracy.  I captured the columbine’s friendly expression as well as I was able.




Flibberty and Columbine (original)


When I thought of illustrating my flower ditty, inspiration struck on the back of a note card.





Bits of scrap paper and card, and the odd used envelope are some of my favorite sketching surfaces.  Pocket-sized drawing pads are excellent, too.  There are three reasons I like to work in these little spaces:

  • It allows an economy of precious art supplies.
  • It allows an economy of pocket-sized scraps of free time.
  • The private nature of small work allows unfettered creativity.


Now, on to the flowers of Clutchpen!  Here are some discoveries from a recent “expotition” as Christopher Robin says:

Native Miami Mist (Phacelia purshii) has made a good and welcome showing this year.  More flowers on this annual mean more seeds for next year’s crop!  The fringed petals resemble a frayed cloth edge.  Bees like them, and my Reader’s Digest North American Wildlife book says, charmingly, that Phacelias “yield a flavorsome honey.”


We have daisies galore!  There is the European Oxeye (Leucanthemum vulgare) and the more petite native Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron linearis).  You may spot pink fleabanes amongst the white.

Oxeye Daisy and Fleabane


The glamorous Blue-Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium augustifolium) is not a grass at all, but a dainty member of the iris family.  A sweetly harmless hoverfly takes its fill of nectar.

Blue-Eyed Grass

I could go on all day about flowers, but there is another economy which I should mind, and that is an economy of words!  One recently penned poem and I’m off.

O Sprightly May

She slips away

But faithfully returns

To bring each year

Some flowery cheer

And frolics ‘mid the ferns


O May so bright

She takes her flight

But softly back she creeps

To grace the dew

With sparkling hue

And night, with trills and peeps


O May you jewel

You fleeting fool

Please ever do come home

To place a flower

In every hour

And fireflies, in the gloam


Write a good one!



Twice-steeped Tea and Other Economies — 19 Comments

    • Miss Flibberty Ribbit prefers to limit her public appearances at this time, as she can be shy. However, she does show signs of warming to all the new attention.

    • Do you recall teaching us to tame hover flies? When they land on me to lick sweat I am a good hostess. Sweat bees, on the other hand…

      • I remember taming (what we always called) Tassle Flies (the next county over says Tossle Flies). Whatever ya wanna call ’em, it was pretty neat!

        • You’re right. I chose to use their predominant common name after discovering that hoverflies / syrphid flies are beneficial pollinators & aphid predators, whereas the cornsilk fly (from which tassel and tossel may originate) is a corn pest. I’m just looking out for their reputation!

  1. Such delicate beauty appearing on it’s own…. What a lovely world we live in! So glad you decided to pen those wonderfully descriptive words too. Enjoying your observations a lot. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mama, yes! You taught me to appreciate “volunteer” flowers. You also imparted your entomology knowledge, i.e. stick insects and thoraxes, which taught me to observe nature closely.

  2. What a sweet and delightful gift to greet after a beleaguering weekend! Thanks Holly. This is wonderment and joy. I was especially tickled by “the economy of pocket-sized scraps of free time”, but graced throughout by every other detail of flowers and rhymes. Give the reclusive Miss Flibberty Ribbit my regards.

    • Art, that is just what I hoped! There is succor to be found in Clutchpen. Miss Flibberty Ribbit sends you a curtsy.

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