I had planned to continue on with the next installment of Finn McSpool’s Beastie Tales of Ireland, but a couple weeks ago, as I was sifting through my Traffic Donkey photos, I noticed Tammie Beastie was missing. She’s easy to overlook since she’s kind of quiet and generally keeps to herself, but since we have a lot of hawks in the neighborhood, I thought I better go make sure this wee Me Beastie was okay.
After a quick search around the house, no Tammie Beastie. Then the (horribly intense, hellishly blaring) sun glinted off a head of blonde
yarn hair. Oh, and excuse the nudity in this post…it’s been pretty toasty here in Portland lately.
-Hey, Me Beastie, whatcha doing?
-Just making a sketch.
-Oh good, at least one of us being artistic since all my creative time is being sucked up by writing. So, what are you drawing?
This question prompted an impressive show of those infamous Beastie climbing skills.
-Look at this! Can you believe it!!!??
At first I thought, big deal, more leaves. The plant under close Beastie scrutiny is a plumeria. About five years ago on a trip to Kauai, Hawaii, I bought this thing that looked like a 10-inch long stick. Supposedly if you crammed this stick into a pot of soil and kept it warm and in a sunny spot, one day you would have a plumeria tree.
Let’s just say with a house that hovers around 60 degrees (16 C) most of the year and is in a mostly shady situation (“shady” as in light quality, not “shady” as in potential illegal), buying this ugly little stick was a complete show of egotistical confidence in my gardening skills.
I brought it home, stuck it in the soil, and I did (eventually) get leaves. Lots of leaves. My ugly stick got taller, dropped its leaves, grew new ones, and did this over and over for the past few years, but that was it even though the instructions said it would bloom after the first year of growth.
Well, my house must be in some sort of strange wormhole/timewarp and I should call in the astrophysicists because apparently that one year spread across five years (unfortunately this seems to only be a botanical phenomenon and doesn’t apply to my body’s aging process, nor my writing time), because as Tammie Beastie snarkily pointed out….
-Those aren’t leaf buds, you idiot human! Those are flower buds!!!! Sheesh, maybe they ought to revoke your biology degree.
After this bit of Beastie shaming, I put on my science hat and every couple days Me Beastie and Real Me went out to make our observations. I think Tammie Beastie might need her eyes checked since she seemed to have to get awfully close to make her observations as the buds grew….
And then a few petals started to open.
And the next day, a little bit more…
And sure, plumeria flowers are pretty, but the best thing about them is their scent. Tammie Beastie could almost feel the tropical breezes as she took a deep sniff.
Wooly head full of the floral perfume of the tropics, Tammie Beastie was ready for an island getaway. She stole David Beastie’s Hawaiian shirt, donned a plumeria bloom, packed her bag for Hawaii, and started asking how to make a Mai Tai.
Of course, with all this attention being lavished on Tammie Beastie and a mere stick, Finn McSpool wanted in on the action and began insisting he had something to show off as well.
-Okay Finn, what is it?
-I have to admit those are pretty cute.
This display turned into a floral one-upmanship (one-up-beast-ship?). David Beastie, having gotten his shirt back, then said HE had something to show me. Sigh. This is why I get no writing done.
-Alright, let’s have a look. Whoa, David Beastie! You realize you’re not waterproof, right? Won’t Finn share his scuba gear?
-He said Beasties float.
Beasties do NOT float (without scuba gear) and David Beastie was quickly being pulled under the surface of Mr Husband’s pond. Just before I snatched him from a potentially watery grave or from being eaten alive by the pond’s giant goldfish, I was able to snap a shot of the water lily he’d been trying to show me.
What surprises are blooming in your garden this summer? Next week, Finn will have his way and we’ll get back to his trip to Ireland with another day on Inishmore. And I’ll be back next Wednesday with book cover news and more. See you then!!
And if you haven’t done so already, PLEASE be sure to cast your vote for my next book cover!! The one-question survey only takes a minute and I’d really appreciate your input.