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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

2018 A - Z Challenge - O

O     Things We Appreciate

Although National Orchid Day actually fell on N Day, I’m using it today as an excuse to unabashedly brag that I have managed to bring two lovely Orchid flowers to bloom! Since a couple of well-meaning horticulture connoisseurs were less than Optimistic in my ability to accomplish this, I am Overjoyed

Right about now there will be flowers beginning to bloom (for only one night before closing next morning, mid-day) in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which encompasses a 517-mile area of both southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Named for their resemblance to pipe organs, these spiny giants can grow to 20ft high with a base as broad as 12ft. and also produce fruit which is said to be sweeter than watermelon and can be eaten as is (once spines are removed, of course) made into jelly, or fermented for beverages.

Known by many other names such as Coachwhip, Candlewood, and Jacob’s Staff, the Ocotillo has much to offer by way of uses, including living fencing and walking sticks. In addition, its crimson flowers make a tangy salad garnish - or can cauterize a wound, according to Native Americans who’ve long subscribed to the medicinal uses of its bark as well.

Great Northern Owl
And onward, deep in the darkness of a pre-summer night, the desert is a lively place well until the old moon takes a bow, and Owls are but a few of the prowlers. Optimizing their natural attributes in night- vision and hearing, Owls put unsuspecting prey quite at risk as a soft second layer of wing feathers allows them to strike without sound. 

In addition to pot-holders, what kitchen would be complete without an Oven Mitt? I consider it a bonus that they are made to be used with either hand ;-)

French Oak may have revolutionized the usage of the barrel for California vintners, but it’s nothing but the best, new (due to the many years spent aging) white Oak Barrels for “America’s only native spirit,” Kentucky Bourbon.

In closing, is there anything more acceptable than Omissible words when you’re already over your limit? ;-)
 Happy O Day!

Any thoughts? Can you add to the list of things we appreciate that begin with the letter O?


  1. Hi, diedre!

    Your Orchids are beautiful, dear friend. A few years ago Mrs. Shady's daughter gave Mrs. S an orchid for her birthday. Knowing that I am the one with the green thumb for growing containerized plants indoors, Mrs. S asked me to care for it. I managed to keep the Orchid growing and blooming several years.

    I love those organ pipe cacti. On our trip out west in 2014 we saw mile after mile of them. We spotted many clumps of Ocotillo, too. Ever since the late 80s when I first caught cactus fever I have kept a good number of columnar cactus species in my collection. It is very difficult to get them to bloom indoors.

    Owls inhabit the woods around our house. At night, by the light of the street lamps, I watch the spooky birds swoop down from trees to catch mice and lizards. I enjoy listening to their hooting, especially when they become excited.

    Mrs. Shady spends a great deal of her time at the stove and has gone through several pairs of oven mitts over the years. In the 70s I frequented a sports bar called Barrels. It was decorated with oak barrels and featured oak barrel tables.

    You must be omniscient, dear friend diedre. You touched on some of my favorite "O" things today. See you tomorrow!

    1. Hi Shady!

      I'm still in awe about the orchids, myself ;-) In fact, before the blooms, I'd forgotten what kind of plant it was - gads.
      Funny you should say "spooky" in reference to Owls. A Great Northern once stopped by and for the duration of his visit not a single other bird was in the vicinity. It was one of those "Here's your hat" moments - ha!

      I've always associated barrels with old world elegance. And Pirates (:

      Omniscient? Probably not, but what an outstanding word, dear Shady!
      See you tomorrow!

  2. These are all great O things. I have managed to keep orchids alive on occasion, and I have seen ocotillo in bloom. I do wish I had more owls around my neighborhood. They're fascinating.

    1. Hi Jenny!

      I've never had a plant actually bloom before, so maybe this is an Omen ;-)
      When an Owl looks at you it's difficult to look away, and they are nearly impossible to sneak up on.

  3. Hi Diedre ... I'd go for orangerie and oranges ... but lots of Os I'm sure - cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary!

      I'll have to look up orangerie ;-) But you did make me think of an Orange 50-50 Bar, for which I'd chase the Ice Cream truck half-way down the street as a kid!

  4. That reminds me--I need to buy a new set of oven mitts. The two pair I have now have worn spots and I keep getting burned using them.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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