Five Photos Five Days Challenge – last day

Gulara at http://gulara nominated me some days ago to take part in this challenge. Her recent posts in this challenge have shown her appreciation for Nature which reminds her of the beauty in the world.

To conclude my part in it, I’m showing buds.

Anais Nin: And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom –

My gardener Wayne is here today pruning the roses inter alia. I took this photo this morning of the last remaining bud. It’s in a vase now on my desk with the last of the white roses.


My American friends were visiting some while back and gave us an air orchid which hangs on a branch of a tree up against the wall. When they visited several months after that, I was so pleased that it bloomed almost in anticipation of them arriving! I watch over it but it hasn’t bloomed in a while. But, it is showing two buds!
bud air orchid

Below is a picture of the air orchid

air orchid

 The orchid plant below was given many years ago – maybe 15 years ago – to my husband as a gift from a patient for whom he provides a pro deo service. It always bloomed prolifically and was truly a thing of beauty. We brought this large pot from our old home two years ago to the townhouse. Last year it didn’t flower, and I was concerned. Now I see 3 huge buds emerging and I am excited.

orchidSo, even though we’re in the depths of winter here in South Africa, and much looks tired and worn in my garden, there are signs of abundant life and a reminder to me that there are times that life must lie fallow and that the seeds will germinate and that this is how it is also in our own lives – cycles, wheels turning, ever changing, lying low for however long, yet ever seeking expression when the time is right –

I’ll be lying low for a while – I have a lot of work to do on the book that Susan Schwartz and I are collaborating on. Thank you for accompanying me on this 5 Day 5 photo challenge! I’ve enjoyed it very much!

I’m  nominating Samantha Mozart Delaware to continue (when she can). 

Rules for 5 photos, 5 days challenge:-

1) post a photo for each consecutive day

2) attach a story to the photo. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, a paragraph – all entirely up to you!

3) nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the nomination. This is fun, not a command performance!

55 Comments on Five Photos Five Days challenge Day 5

  1. To everything there is a season. Cycles are a necessary part of life. We all need them and they are extremely beneficial to us. Your flower at the top, and that part about being too painful not to bloom – such a grand statement that really makes me smile 🙂

  2. Even in winter a garden can be a joy. Nice that you captured the last rose bud. May it bloom indoors and scent your office with its fragrance, inspiring you as you work.

  3. Ah, our beautiful buds. I got home from a trip around 2 am and couldn’t resist visiting the flowers with my miner’s light. I love every bud. I never get tired of the Anais Nin quote. May you burst with creative beauty.

    • Thank you Elaine! I also went out last night in the light of the full moon to check on our garden here at our holiday home down at the sea – we arrived last night! May you continue to burst with creative beauty – thank you for your lovely message. The view from my balcony of the sea and mountains is at the moment urging me to go walking on the beach.

  4. Hi Samantha – my computer is vêry slow all of a sudden hence my belated reply (in part) … we’re down to Plett tomorrow for a week and I’ll ask Mike to help me put up yr proper domain .. I’m not doing good on that …

    • Thanks Samantha – Anaïs Nin – I jùst hold the letter down ōn which I want to add an ãccęnt and vôïlå – (although between you and me I’m not sure that Anais has any accents on her name. The diary of hers I am currently (re) reading does not show umlauts on her name).

      And, I’ve been battling to add the correct site. I’ll ask Mike when we’re in Plett which will be this coming weekend.

      • AnaÏs — There. Code alt+0207 on numeric keypad. I have a standard IBM-type keyboard — it’s my buttery (from eating popcorn while typing my stories) and it’s 20 years old and I love it. This code works for this keyboard and my Windows 8 I.E. Explorer. It’s amazing the stuff people post online available for research. When I hold down a key it simply repeeeeeeeeeeeeats. Yes, there’s an umlaut over the i in AnaÏs, commonly.

        Here I am being silly while you’re sleeeeeeeeeeeping. Thanks for trying to fix the link to my site. I’m appalled at what happens when you decide not to renew a domain name.

        Such beautiful photos, especially of that rose. Thanks again.

  5. Susan, thank you for the nomination. I am honored. I have been away from your site to work on my five posts. Now they are done, I have returned. Like you, I now need to devote time to other things gone unattended while producing these posts. So, I need to retreat and give myself quiet space in which to work for a while.

    Your photos here are beautiful. They make me miss my mother and Florida, although as the wheels turn I progress. Thanks for that reminder. Too, I remember the air orchids way up in the trees in the Florida forests; they look like birds’ nests. Also, was wondering and going to ask about your and Susan’s book. Good your working on it.

    One final thing of importance here: Down on your right sidebar under links you have me listed as Carol Child at Salmon Salad and That links leads to an awful and untrue message. Salmon Salad and Mozart no longer exists. Will you or Mike kindly change that to Samantha Mozart at Will be much appreciated. 🙂

    • Only a pleasure re the nomination Samantha. I’ve so enjoyed yours, learning a little more of slices of your life in various parts of the US and what touches you.

      Birds’ nests is a pretty accurate description of the air orchids. I can eyeball them. They were given to us by Susan and Frederic when they were visiting a few years back.

      Somehow I managed to remove the sidebar and you’re right it’s a ridiculous message there. I’m so sorry that it’s been like that for a long while. I will try to put up the correct one. Watch this space… and thank you for coming by 🙂

  6. That’s a lovely rose bud. Oh yes, buds to blooms is a painful though an exciting journey! Wishing you the very best as you write your next book. ♥

    • Thank you Shilpa! It is blooming in a vase on my desk so beautifully, so many petals still to unfurl. Thank you for your good wishes re the book! Much appreciated!

  7. Beautifully done, Susan. Now, that I’m almost done reading your wonderful book, I’ve gain new appreciation for your gardening stories as well as your storytelling ability in general. I am on the last essay, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and find myself slowing down to absorb the beautiful detail. I don’t want it to end, even if it sounds grueling, the process of the climb itself, yet I get the feeling it left you with an experience and memories unlike any other. Will have a review up as soon as I’m done. And thank you so much for your review and the kind words. Hugs.

  8. I have to laugh at the difference between your “depths of winter’ and mine! Suffice it to say that we couldn’t use the clothes-line in the middle of our winter because the snow was only a foot beneath it. Get it?
    Love your buds!

    • Thanks Jan for coming by! While it’s freezing cold here, the sun is shining and the clothes are damp in the washing line after hanging for 24 hrs. A lot better that the line almost touching the snow – 🙂

  9. I loved all the pictures Susan… the bud and the quote related to bud .. by nais Nin: And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful … is a very strong and power statement, quite inspiring, and thanks for sharing

  10. I like emerging blooms – buds. I always look for signs of life on my orchids after first bloom, but most don’t volunteer for Act 2 – ha!

    I may have mentioned this before, but the Anais Nin quote appears as an introduction to a short essay I wrote entitled “The Getaway Car” on leaving my comfort zone and family culture.

    • Ha Marian! Indeed! Act 2 sometimes falters. I’m pretty excited about these emerging buds. I’ve almost given up hope before with some of my plantings. Maybe they were being stubborn – just like me.

      I love that Anais Nin quote – is The Getaway Car accessible on your blog? Thank you for coming by Marian, always appreciated!

  11. to every thing, there is a season…we had an orchid that bloomed almost constantly for two years… nothing right now, but I am hopeful.

    • Be hopeful Beth! Maybe they halt for a season or two to get our attention. One that bloomed constantly for two years? Wow! Thanks for coming by!

  12. I am hugely impressed with your flowers, photos of these, and pots in which they flourish!

    I wish I knew more about flowering plants, especially orchids that have been frustrating me impatiently.

    I wonder if astrology could be of some help predicting the future of an orchid, beginning from the day of the first sign of a new bud. Do you know anybody who is curious about the horoscope of an orchid plant? I am at my wit’s end!

    • Thanks Joseph! I know that orchids frustrate many … No, I don’t know about any astrologers who could advise? Maybe try planting at new moon or full moon? And singing them a song? Maybe there’s a special song for orchids? 🙂

  13. I love your flower photos and the imagery of germinating, budding, and blooming in life.
    I germinate ideas that I hope flower on the page, but I don’t have much luck with actual flowers. 🙂

    I believe you’ve made a typo in the spelling for Samantha’s Web site. Is this what you meant? I Googled her:

    • Merril, thank you so much. I copied and pasted your website (using the edit function) for Samantha’s website and removed my first comment. Eish! (as we say here in South Africa) – somehow websites cause me grief a lot of the time. Yours is 100% functional. Sorry Samantha – and to any others who may have tried to check her wonderful website.

      May your germinating from ideas to the page take bloom. The hardest I find!

  14. Hi Susan – thanks for the info re the CD Vintage France music … by Putamayo .. a charitable organisation.

    Love the rose – and soon there will be fresh ones on new growth. I have to say I’ve never been keen on orchids – possibly because of the fact they were always meant to be so precious and I could certainly easily kill them .. but not now by the looks of it – with the varieties around … I do love the air orchids …

    Good luck with finishing up the book … and mind that cold, cold, cold Johannesburg air … cheers Hilary

    • Thanks Hilary! I know that many don’t do good with orchids. If I had a secret about them I would happily pass it along but believe me, I do nothing except admire them and tell them so. No extra food –

      Thanks for good luck wishes re book! And minding the freezing air!


    • Thank you Gillian and I am so not green fingered! I’ve been lucky – and also these were ones from our old home so that is extra fortunate!

  15. I love the beauty and stately lines of the orchid. You are fortunate to have such beauty around you. I also love the analogy that as individuals we will bloom in our own time as do the orchids. I have enjoyed your lovely posts, and I’m so excited for you that your son is now engaged. You have had a beautiful winter!

    • Thank you Gwynn! I am fortunate I know – walking about the suburbs is also a delight even though many of the trees are bare yet still stately! Believe me, today is freeeeezing!

  16. Wonderful idea and I’m glad I got in in time. I think nature never ceases to surprise, especially when it comes to flowers. At times I think they have personalities and minds of their own, so far as blooms and colors and timing.

    • Eli, thank you! Yours is in fact the first comment which is lovely! (I’m battling with Samantha’s website which is why I made a comment in my own post).

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