Though I don’t know…

…what this is, I immediately thought:

An old-fashioned Christmas tree…with candles!

Unknown Beauty  Copyright 2012  http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com

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A few unique shots…

…of some beauties from last Thursday’s visit to the Lincoln Park Conservatory:

Hanging Lobster Claw  Copyright 2012  http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com

This is known in the botanical world as Heliconia rostrata.

Variegated Oak Leaf Basket Fern  Copyright 2012  http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com

Known by botanists a Drynaria quercifolia ‘pinto’

The Urn Plant  Copyright 2012  http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com

Otherwise known as a popular Bromeliad, Neorolegia flandria.

Pretty, aren’t they?

I received these mid-afternoon on Friday from a friend, along with birthday wishes.  I trimmed the stems and arranged them in one of my favorite vases.  That’s when the excessive coughing began.  I took a number of shots…and went to bed around 7:30, feeling exhausted…and got almost no sleep (coughing was almost constant); my exhales were overly-warm, something I had experienced years ago due to an allergic reaction to tetracycline, from which I almost died.  I’ve never been allergic to flowers, but these may have been sprayed with some sort of pesticide, which has totally irritated my throat and lungs.

The coughing remains a bit, and I was simply too exhausted from so little sleep to even care about blogging.  I left some of you  “Likes”, but no comments; don’t think I do not appreciate the work you all do…I was just so out of it!

I did visit the Lincoln Park Conservatory last Thursday for my birthday!

LPC-Stockton Drive Walkway

LPC-Lunch at the Conifer Garden, Stockton Drive

LPC-Lunch Close-up

LPC-The Great Garden and Panorama

LPC-Entrance/Vestibule

Here are a few “teaser” shots:

LPC-Sausage Tree

LPC-Palm Frond

LPC-Orchid Cactus

LPC-The Fern Room

Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Eli Bates Fountain in the Great Garden

Positioned near the shore of Lake Michigan, the Lincoln Park Conservatory (1.2 ha / 3 acres) is a conservatory and botanical garden in Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois. The conservatory is situated at 2391 North Stockton Drive just south of Fullerton Avenue, west of Lake Shore Drive, and part of the Lincoln Park, Chicago community area. The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool and the North Pond Nature Sanctuary are further to the north along Stockton Drive. Along with the Garfield Park Conservatory on Chicago’s west side, it provides significant horticultural collections, educational programs and community outreach efforts.  (Source)

To close this long night of memories…

…is a shot I took at just the right moment, straddling the trunk of a downed tree near the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

It is accompanied by this poem I wrote to deal with my dear Mother’s heroic fight against ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease.

NOVEMBER 1981

The Fiddler’s playing out of tune this year
As the woman sits nearly immobile
Awaiting Death and its unpleasant sting.

Living in the hive of Life
Is not without its problems, Dearie
Even the workers don’t survive.

When you’re a kid
Mom and Dad are
So much larger than Life.
Why do they seem to shrink?
The more you mature
The smaller they get.

Return to the cradle
Slumber in the soil.

Was that Life worth living?
Worth anything now?
Back to the wall, and it crumbles away.
No escape, only another wall.
And the waiting
Like a Girl Scout, always prepared.

Life must pass your eyes
A hundred times a day
As you ask yourself
What did I do wrong?

You lived.

And all you got was gristle and flux
The Prime went to someone else.
The leavings, the dregs
Are yours for the picking
At the catered Banquet of Life:
Rotting linen table cloths
Confusion in the ranks
The busboy is the Guest of Honor
The King is now the Queen.

Life sidles slowly up to Death, teasing
But it’s not time yet.
Death orgy, by invitation only
RSVP.

This must be the wrong party:
Just when it’s time to feel like Cinderella
The slipper won’t fit
Because the brace gets in the way
While the magnet of Death
Draws you down.

Peaceful slumber would be better
But you fear the fires of Hell
Kindled in your mind
By white-collar celibates.

Copyright 1981  http://www.anotherthousandwords.wordpress.com