Friday, July 30, 2010

Urban Transplant: My Confused Relationship with Nature & Wildlife

I'll just confess this right off. I'm an urban transplant, and I have a confused (perhaps disturbed?) relationship with nature and wildlife. I grew up in the Chicago area and well knew bricks and billboards, rats and railroad tracks, alleys and used car lots. That was the extent of my wilderness adventures, nature, and wildlife.

But I live in a fairly rural area of the country now, with 9.3 people per square mile. (I have yet to see any of those .3 people!) When I grew up, there were 9 of us humans in a 2 bedroom flat! That means that here, there are plenty of opportunities for critters and nature to make there presence known, and mostly, they're baffling to me. You've heard of some of them: there were the bird events that happened around my house, and now the pumpkins planted by squirrels invading our stairs--(Remind me to talk to the paper carrier about an alternate route to my front door--like maybe a parachute drop!)

And I've mentioned in the past how this plant:

came to live in my office from another office, creeping in through the wall along the ceiling, and stretching across my ceiling, then dying in the neighboring office! I plopped its end-parts into a pot, and it's been living happily in my office ever since.

Now it's doing this:

It's going to bloom! I've only seen it bloom once before in the past 20 years! And once it blooms, it has these large allium-like blossom with the most dazzling fragrance that permeates the whole office. But again, there's that troubled relationship: I have to watch the blossoms like a hawk. . . It may bloom for months and months, but each blossom has it's own "expiration" date, and suddenly drops from the ceiling, usually on some startled Unsuspecting's head. And the blossoms themselves break apart into hundreds of little pieces, all with this sticky, gooey, "I-want-to-glue-myself-to-your-soil_and-Propagate!" substance.

I'll keep my camera handy, to show you the progress of the Invaders across my front steps, and the Invaders across my ceiling!


pat said...

Oh my gosh! Is that a wax plant??? I used to have an enormous one that bloomed several times, but it didn't survive one of our cross-country moves. I LOVE LOVE the fragrance of the blossoms, but yes, they are sticky and icky. Inhale a few times for me when the buds open.

Maria said...

My relationship with nature is, not only confused, but downright suspicious . . . I don't trust the little surprises that Nature tends to bring, while Nature doesn't trust me to take care of its needs (like water the plants). Still, it tends to forgive me anyway and give me wonderful blooms (or maybe it's giving them to Lee who I think must have been a farmer in a previous life). I can't wait to see this flower bloom!

Julie said...

Beautiful plant.

Barb said...

That plant is amazing.