Spring Awakening – Me and my Cloud

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Sunrise into the Moon – Soergel Orchards – Wexford, PA – Sorry I haven’t been writing much lately… It was a rough winter… Not much inspiration around these parts…

Just me and my cloud… Together at last…
Sailing the seven seas to heavens so vast…
Under the bright moon we toast to the stars…
Venus is to the west… In the north floats Mars…

Next to me sits a naked tree occupied by a crow…
Listening to the sounds of life stutter and grow…
Tree blossoms swell as the days grow longer…
The sun in the spring makes my broken soul stronger…

Above the earth floats a waning crescent moon…
Floating across calm waters we watch a single loon…
We watch the stars fall from the early morning sky…
Nature silence broken when the mourning doves cry…

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Soldiers in the Sunrise – Soergel Orchards – Wexford, PA – These photographs are from the morning of March 17th… The sun was just beginning to rise into the sky… I hopped on a farm buggy and shot to the top of the hill… My arrival was just in time to witness a small sliver of the moon holding on to the sky…

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McIntosh Sunrise – Soergel Orchards – Wexford, PA – I will write more as the spring months get under way… Much of what I do on this blog depends on nature… So I am considdering this the start of my 2015… I will be taking photographs daily and will also write daily… So heres to a wonderful 2015…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Memories in Orange – Yellow and Blue

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“Yellow Skeletons on Distant Blue” – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Standing on the side of a mountain… Photograph of the trees…

Excuse me while I slip out the door…

Memories… Memories of another time…
Memories of my darkest hours… Days… Weeks… Years…

I have been to the end before… A land of perpetual night…
Even in the darkness we must strive to see the light…
Self inflicted pain hangs from an orange extension cord…
Surrounded by needles… Surrounded by rotting boards…

Fate is an excuse we blame when life has got us down…
Heaven is alternative to our souls rotting in the ground…
Experience is relative… Darkness is a state of mind…
Walk across the dirty water and you are who you’ll find…

Blood in the water… Muddy sewers mainline to nowhere…
Mind like a pantry… Shelves empty and the fridge is bare…
Alone in this nightmare because no one knows the lie…
If a junky dies in the city… Does anyone care if he cries…

Orange street light reminder of the places I have been…
When you fight a dragon choose a sword over a pen…
Frost falls on the minds of those who lay out in the cold…
Every one of us dreams about the rainbows promised gold…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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World War 501c3 – I am a Non-Prophet

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I’m grouping these two poems together… They are a touch negative and representative of a past mood that has now passed… Enjoy…

I am a non-prophet… I will make you cry…
I will make the stars fall like rain from the sky…
I choose my battles based on what I believe…
Honesty is by far the best way to deceive…

I can already hear the distant bulldozers rumble…
Soon the tall trees will fall and tumble…
Public parks are a publicly funded resource…
Nonprofits dictate with little recourse…

Can’t see the forests for the piles of cash…
Soon the trees will be a toxic pile of ash……
They see us as the poorest and ask for a fee…
Soon we will all fight in world war 501c3…

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There is something wrong with the non-profit culture…
White wigs rain from the mouths of corporate vultures…
The rich get richer and the poor are asked to volunteer…
We hoist them to the penthouse… Then we carry their gear…

The pen is mightier than the sword… At least it’s lighter…
A charity is only as strong as their best grant writer…
501c3 designation is a flat out disgrace…
To working class folks with sweat on their face…

So fuck the nonprofits… Fuck the cash burning whores…
Quit buying garbage from their minimum wage stores…
They take million dollar salaries with no real explanation…
Volunteering is more valuable than your financial donation…

World wars in the future fought for financial return…
Soldiers will be nothing more than unpaid interns…
We will kill each other over our wasted environment…
Non-profit status doesn’t make you a government…

Charity status is a gift from the people… For the people…
It is not an offering to be used for lies… Deceit… Or evil…
It means you are required to do the job you said you would do…
Your job is to help the majority… Instead of paying the few…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Shelter from the Storm

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“Sunset through the Alder” – Keystone State Park – Westmoreland County, PA

Seeking shelter from the relentless rain…
Hiding my soul to alleviate the pain…
Salvation lies in the pure forest green…
Seeking silence… Seek the serene…

In the near distance… Audible from afar…
The sound of gravel under a creeping car…
Distant highways relentless thunder…
The sky is dark and turning under…

Gray clouds crumble… Light shows through…
Jet liners rumble obscured from view…
Train whistles blowing across the land…
My light is shining and always grand…

My flame is but a candle to the sun…
You and I together will burn as one…
Our minds combined can move the moon…
We sing off-key but we think in tune…

Clouds are about to clear the horizon…
Blue sky fades to the orange sun rising…
Morning is just a few moments away…
Together as one we take on this day…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Every Day is Arbor Day

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 51 – Aster

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“Aster Minibus” – Late Summer 2013 – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

In my mind… Asters are one of the floral jewels of the autumn landscape… They grow everywhere… I have found them deep in the woods… And I have found them in urban alleys… Asters really aren’t picky plants… They will grow in almost any condition you can throw at them… I find most people pull them early in the year… Mistaken for a weed… This is due to the fact that it is an autumn blooming plant… It doesn’t even start to bud until late August or early September…

Asters are a bomb proof plant… They do not need watered… Transplanting is as easy as popping it out of the ground and cutting the root-ball into pieces… This is best done while the plant is dormant… But like I said… It is bombproof… I have ripped them out of the ground with my bare hands in the middle of the growing period… After realizing what I had just done… And looking around to make sure no one was watching… I threw it back in the hole and stomped it in with my foot… A few weeks later I noticed the plant was getting ready to bloom… A few weeks later than the undisturbed asters… But still blooming… Last summer it resumed a normal flowering schedule…

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Asters require s little work to keep looking good… Asters grow among tall grasses when in nature… Because of this… The plant has evolved to be rather tall… If left alone… Asters can grow 4′ to 6′ – tall depending on the height of the plants growing around it… The way we deal with this in the garden is by regular pruning… I do mine twice a year… In early june I drop the plant down to about 10″ tall… The plant will branch at each leaf node below the cut… Around mid July… The plant will have grown considerably… I now cut each branch down to 3 or 4″ above my early season cut… Doing this in mid to late July allows the plant enough time to recover before going into the bloom cycle… If done properly… Your Aster will not get tall… Lanky… And finally flop over and look bad… It will be short and sexy… Like me… I mean mine…

It is currently 10 degrees outside… We are expecting some snow later on this evening… It has been a long time since Pittsburgh has experienced a winter like this… It sucks… But as always I am finding a bright spot in the situation… This spring will give me an opportunity to observe plants that have been “winter damaged” to a degree I have not experienced before… To clarify… I have experienced rough winters before… This is Pittsburgh after all… But I now observe plants and nature to a different degree than I did before… i.e. I pay attention now… It is an exciting opportunity that may not come again for a long time… Fingers crossed…

I spent a while taking photographs yesterday… I may post a gallery soon…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aster_(genus)

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 50 – Oregano

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“Early Morning Busy Bee Just Like Little Old Me” – Spring/Summer 2012 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA – I am a coffee lover… Well… I’m a cream and sugar lover… But I like a little coffee in it for kick… I prefer to drink mine under the sun of summer… Though I sit on the steps of my front portico alone… I am not alone… I am surrounded by friendly bees… Beeing friendly simply beecause I give a damn… Beecause I care… Bees notice those of us that grow flowers… If you grow them… They will notice you too…

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Oregano… I used to think there was only one variety… Lanky and Floppy… OK… I mean Greek… You know the variety I’m talking about… Long stems growing from a crown… Sparsely leaved and tends to flop out from the center… I don’t consider  Greek Oregano a display quality plant…The flowers are nice… But the size and generally scruffy look of the plant make it better suited for low-traffic areas in your yard… That’s just my opinion at least…

Luckily… Oregano comes in more varieties than just one… Some of my favorites include “Hot and Spicy”, “Italian”, “Variegated”, “Dittany of Crete” (my favorite), and Compact Creeping” (photographed)… I have all of these but the variegated variety… I grow the creeping as a groundcover in my front yard… It grows into convenient little stepping pads that I have trained the young kids to use when they are cutting through my garden during play time… I originally tried to stop them… I quickly realized that was not going to be possible… Sometimes it is easier to redirect an issue than it is to stop an issue… I find that is typically the case with kids…

As far as fruit tree guilds are concerned… Oregano is one of those plants that I would consider a “power tool”… All varieties have really long bloom periods… Each stem produces hundreds of flowers so it is a safe bet there will always be enough pollen and nectar to go around… Oregano also has the added benefit of not exactly being a tasty snack to many garden pests… I won’t go as far as saying it will literally repel pests… But I will say it would seem they will avoid the general area of a sizeable oregano plant…

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“Frost Kiss” – Fall 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

I hope everyone has a great Friday… I have to write 40 tweets (140 characters) relating to fruit trees for my plant guild Q&A on #gardenchat… This is happening on Valentines Day… February 14th @ 2:00 PM EST… I’m nervous and the only thing that will make me feel better is to prepare…

In other news… I have been writing a lot of poetry lately… I hope to post some in the next couple of days…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregano

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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