Readers may recall past posts about the tenacious and often surprising marigolds that add a touch of beauty to our front yard. Every spring (or summer, if I’m getting a late start) I arm myself with seeds from a previous year’s blooms and my trusty spade and go to work. Even though our neighborhood birds must be watching and, as soon as I am out of sight, invite their friends and relatives for a feast, they always leave at least a few uneaten. (And, when it comes to this project, I always have more seeds and a lot of patience–or is it determination that the avian diners won’t leave me marigoldless?)
This year was no exception. On Marigold Day, I planted more seeds that I cared to count, lovingly covered them with soil, and provided the new plantings with a generous helping of water. As usual, the feathered feasters enjoyed their repast–and fewer than a dozen baby marigolds made an appearance. Wondering why our local birds seem to target our yard more in recent years, I rejoiced when the hardy survivors presented us with blossoms. But the joy was short-lived. A gardener who has worked for us on a number of occasions came to practice his craft–and PULLED UP MY MARIGOLDS! His reasons made no sense, but the deed was done. As summer was on the wane, it appeared that we would have no marigolds to grace our yard this autumn. We would not have the pleasure of seeing flowers bloom into December and provide us with seeds to be planted as soon as four months down the road.
However, the marigolds had other ideas. Autumn was in full swing when my husband and I noticed tiny seedlings that looked tantalizingly familiar growing in a neat row. First two, then three, then four, then five. Did we dare hope for flowers? We dared. And were rewarded.
Speaking of November, I would indeed be remiss if I neglected to mention a special commemoration that occurs this month. This has nothing to do with harvest celebrations or turkeys (unless we are thinking about books on these topics). Picture Book Month celebrates this vital literary form and those who create these treasures.
Crunch is a food-loving guinea pig. When the roly-poly rodent meets a friendly–and hungry–mouse named Cheddar and refuses to share his food with the newcomer, the little fellow sadly leaves. Crunch finishes his meal and, plagued by fears of what might befall the mouse, begins a fruitless search for Cheddar. The sorrowful guinea pig returns home where, to his surprise, a full-tummied Cheddar is enjoying a carrot. The very satisfying ending to a delectable story makes Crunch! a picture book that deserves to be shared again and again.
To quote myself: “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture book is priceless.”