Hidden potential

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Lettuce flowers

We often grow plants for their leaves–for example lettuce, spinach, basil and parsley yield delicious salad greens and herbs.  In a typical growth cycle leaves and stems appear and then flowers, seeds, and sometimes fruit. Yet, when plants cultivated for leaves mature, we say they are ‘bolting’. For us, they are running out of control—in reality, they are bolting to their natural destiny.

This summer a few lettuce plants in my garden bolted so I decided to leave them to see what would happen. Oval green buds formed until one day little yellow flowers appeared. A quick internet search informed me that lettuce is a member of the Daisy family!  Who knew? Here are a couple of haiku on the topic:

Salad shoots

to golden starlets—

Talent shines.

Potential unleashed

Slender stems grow tender buds—

bursting daisy stars.

©2016, Ontheland.wordpress.com

The current theme of TJ’s Household Haiku, posted every Saturday, is ‘Bud’.



Tiny frogs

Mulch startles,

lifts,then falls silent,

tiny frog.


Pebbled brown,

in stones and clover,

tender life.

©2016, ontheland.wordpress.com

Two recent prompts from Carpe Diem fit perfectly with a recent garden observation and a spring photo.  I am linking to Carpe Diem #1049: Fish and Frogs and Carpe Diem #1048: Stones.

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is the place to be if you like to write and share haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry forms such as choka and kikobun. It’s a warmhearted family of haiku poets created by Chèvrefeuille, a Dutch haiku poet. Japanese poetry is the poetry of nature and it gives an impression of a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water.

Limestone tower endures

Shoal Tower, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Drawn by the water reflection, I took this photo last year from the docks of Confederation Basin Marina in downtown Kingston.  I have since learned that this is a Martello tower, one of four built along the St Lawrence River, to defend Kingston and the entrance to the Rideau Canal leading to the capital city (Ottawa).  Back in 1847 there were still border tensions. Martellos were small armed forts built by the British to defend their interests around the world.  Pointed roofs were not typical but were added to Canadian towers for snow protection.

Limestone construction is a common sight in Kingston, a city steeped in history.  Needless to say, Shoal Tower is a National Historic Site.

Of another time

limestone cannon house remains

a haunting presence.

Life flows on

in presence of past


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Beyond the shadows

a sunny sanctuary

yet it’s cooler here.

©2016, all rights reserved by ontheland.wordpress.com

Postscript: This week I took many photos of scenes framed by trees or grasses in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: ‘Frame’—and have been enjoying seeing photos of framed views taken by other challenge participants.

Mullein plants prevail


Seeded swords soar high,

slash radiance, touch soft clouds,

joining earth with sky.

This year mullein plants have taken center stage in my backyard. Despite the drought they haven’t yet turned brown.  The haiku following my  August 18 photo is inspired by  ‘cut’ from TJ’s Household Haiku.

©2016, all rights reserved by ontheland.wordpress.com







In cool forest shade,

Steps away from hot pavement,

I gaze up, pause, hope.

Yesterday I was drawn to stop on a county road to search for purple flowers that I have been seeing along roadways.  The coolness was a pleasant relief–though the ground was bone dry and there were signs of dead leaves and grass starved for moisture.  I love looking up into a forest canopy dappled by sunlight.  So I directed my camera upwards to share the experience.

Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge #109: hope & up

©2016, all rights reserved by ontheland.wordpress.com