Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Warblers and Wildflowers Along the Patuxent, May 7th

What: Warblers and Wildflowers Walk Along the Patuxent

When: Saturday, May 7th, starting at 8am (for warbler walk) and 10:30 am (for wildflower walk)

Join Howard County Bird Club and Maryland Native Plant Society to explore warblers and wildflowers and other native plants in one of the prettiest areas along the Patuxent, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s Pig Tail Recreation Area.

From 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Jeff Culler will be conducting the warbler hike. Last year, visitors saw 38 species. From 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Joe Metzger of Maryland Native Plant Society will be conducting the wildflower tour.

Pig Tail is noted as one of the best spots to see rare wildflowers.

Admission free. Meet at the parking lot at 5600 Green Bridge Road, Dayton, MD.

For more information, call Kim Knox at WSSC. Her phone number is 301-206-8233.

This Mother's Day, plant some memories

My mother loved gardening. So when Mother’s Day rolled around, I wouldn't pick up the phone and dial the local florist. I’d head out to a nursery and buy a new rose bush or a flat of annuals and head over to mom’s house to help her plant them.

No matter what the occasion, if you asked my mom what she wanted most for the holiday, it wasn't anything material. “I’d love to see you,” she’d say.

 What she wanted most was our time and our company. Spending time with her children was always my mother’s greatest pleasure.

 Don’t get me wrong. She loved getting flowers from out of state relatives. She would often have bouquets in her home from her sisters or my out of town siblings.

But for me, who always lived within driving distance of my mother, ordering her a cut bouquet to be delivered by someone else would seem as impersonal as having a Thanksgiving dinner delivered for her to sit and eat alone.

So I’d head to her house and borrow a pair of her gardening gloves and we’d go outside together and plant some memories. We’d share the time planning and digging and planting and for weeks or months or years (depending on the plants) those were always “our” plants. She would call me to rave about the beautiful blooms or we could sit and idly weed together on one of our weekly visits.

I have a lot of memories of my mother that are all wrapped up in gardening.

One of the earliest is when I was a very young child and had picked a bouquet of “wildflowers” and taken them to her when she was still in bed on Mother’s Day. My mother was always highly allergic, and my plant choices had her sneezing before she even got out of bed that day.

Another was when I went to pick her up from the airport after her own mother died. She came off the plane after grandma’s funeral holding a large plastic bag of coleus cuttings from grandma’s garden. "I thought it would help us to keep her alive in our thoughts,” she said.

The truth is that my mother is probably never far from my thoughts when I am in a garden (and its not just because I am usually wearing a pair of her old and well-used gardening gloves). Mom loved nature and gardening and she loved sharing that beauty with others, especially her kids. In fact, when I am outside digging in the dirt and idly weeding my flower-beds, I often think how lucky I am that I “inherited” that hobby from her.

So this mother’s day, before you drop a card in the mail or speed-dial a florist, think of what mom really wants. She really wants some of your time. Whether it’s a nice long call or a personal visit, take the time to plant some memories. Some day, on some future mother’s day, you’ll be glad you did.

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