“You have it in your power to make your days on Earth a path of flowers,
instead of a path of thorns.”
Sri Sathya Sai Baba
|Rosa 'Julia Child' hosting a bee|
'Julia Child' is covered with both thorns and flowers. Thorns, always, flowers in sporadic visual fragrant bursts. Afraid of bees as a child, I have come to admire how they prioritize, focus and go about life. As Archbishop of Constantinople, Saint John Chrysostom ( 347-407) noted
The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors,
but because she labors for others."
|Sparrow bobbing on bougainvillea branch|
The bougainvillea grows leggier than fashionable. It would be nice to say this is out of respect for the thorny thicket providing cover from predators for sparrows and wrens. Honestly, it is as as much about needing to dress like a beekeeper tending hives in a den of rattlesnakes. Bougainvillea is living barbed wire disguised in bright bracts to seduce thier way into the home garden. Once established, their arms will move and sway with the ease of an octopus dressed in porcupine spines.
Before wrestling the quintessential enchantress of Southern California, armour yourself up in chaps and gauntlets, boots and face mask. Have band aids and Neosporin®, by the sink as bougainvillea is an accomplished and experienced warrior.
Be it with tea, water of wine- I like to toast the Lord above for making flowers so beautiful that they make thorns not just bearable- but welcome.
|Washington Hills Paradise Peak Late Harvest Riesling |
Gerry is custom building a Walnut wine cabinet for our son and his betrothed- he needed a larger bottle than I stock here to finalize the dimensions of the "wine cubicles" in the center section. So I made an afternoon run to Total Wine in nearby Brea.
There I discovered their limited hours, weekend- only 10 cent wine tasting. Of the 5 samplings, far and away my favorite was the Washington Hills Paradise Peak Late Harvest Riesling. Style-wise, it is what I call a "Girlfriend Wine. "
Girlfriend wines are that delightful group that taste of sunshine. They are versatile enough that one wine will go with every course served alfresco (when the weather is more reliably warm than it has been the past couple weeks). Slightly sweet in presentation, it tastes innocent. With touches of apple or maybe honeyed melon, chill a couple bottles in ice to serve with lighter fare favored by the sex eternally on a diet since puberty- a fruit tray starter followed by Chinese chicken or Waldorf salads- maybe a lemony tart for dessert.