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my life in a cabinet of curiosities

frog-on-buddha-1I OFTEN FEEL LIKE I LIVE IN A CABINET of curiosities; you know, those Renaissance-era rooms full of oddities (a vintage image follows), many of them nature-inspired, that in time evolved into an actual piece of furniture filled with the most fascinating mix of stuff? That’s my life here these days. Curious.

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OK, so maybe it isn’t exactly like the vintage image from Wikipedia. But there’s a female wasp with a “tail” several inches long drilling holes into trees to lay eggs; puffed-up frogboys fighting each afternoon at 2, rain or shine, as you saw last week; snakes galore posing on every surface; a cat who collects weasel tails and sticks his tongue out at me when I object (and oh, the endless rain…). So this week I offer up a slideshow of Margaret’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

Happy holiday weekend to all, and may your summer, and all your days, be filled with curiosities, too.

(Click the first thumbnail to start the show, then toggle form slide to slide by using the arrows alongside each caption. Enjoy!)

  1. Keith Alexander says:

    How cool. This is by far my favorite tour of your place to date. “Curiouser and curiouser!”

    The oddities and eccentricities, even the flaws, of our homes and gardens are the most interesting to me. Unbridled beauty and order motivates and drives me, but the curiosities inspire me.

  2. Bobster says:

    Loved every single photo! Jack pawing a photo of your papa?! Daily?! What’s that about?

    Big green boy whispering into the ear of buddha for an hour. The sad beauty of the broken Cooper’s Hawk. Even the snakes basking on the rocks.

    Wow….Beautiful shots!

    One my favorite slideshows as well. Love seeing this side of your garden. A garden is so much more than just plants!

  3. Country Gardener says:

    Wow, loved the slide show. This is first I heard of someone else’s pet’s paws smelling like popcorn. That’s the precise thing I love about my dog Toby’s paws – that popcorn smell. So weird and endearing.

  4. Brian G. says:

    I have to agree with Keith and Bobster, your best slide show yet.

    Hmmm, are you sure that’s popcorn you’re smelling on his paws? I’m just sayin’.

  5. Jill-O says:

    Those are great photos and stories to go with the pictures. I love the yellow frog decorated with the green bits. A contrast in color. Do you think the frog on Buddha’s shoulder was searching for enlightenment?

  6. Johanna says:

    It’s amazing when you can take a breath and observe the garden, just how much goes on out there every day. I am so glad that the frogboys search out spiritual enrichment from the Buddha — all that fighting had me a bit worried.

    Thanks.

  7. Susan says:

    I do not know which of these are my favorites, I will revisit them again. The frog kissing Buddha is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your wacky world. This is the best slide show you have done. Bravo!!!!!

  8. Margaret says:

    I am so glad to awaken and have my tea to the sounds of your encouragement. Thank you all. Lately (as you have noticed) I feel like breaking out of pure-horticulture mode (I think it’s all the cooped-up days of rain!) and just having some fun.

    As for popcorn-feet, I think Jack has a microwave in his cabin and is zapping bags of Newman’s (salt AND butter) when I am out. That’s my explanation. His electric bill keeps going up, so that must be it.

    As for the frog and the Buddha…in Sanskrit, bheka means frog, and Bhekasana is the asana or posture of the frog (my favorite one of course). I think he is doing some kind of meditation of his own, perhaps to try to counterbalance all my frogs who as you know are doing warrior poses nonstop (Virabhadrasana). I think this frog is the local ambassador of peace. :)

  9. Catherine says:

    Brilliant shots – every one of them…the fascinating thrum of life. Makes your gardens all the more intriguing and beautiful.

  10. Walter says:

    I was feeling a little down this morning, as my 8 month old retriever made her second trip to the Vet emergency center last night. (This time for ingesting grapes; the first was eating part of a sweatshirt resulting a abdominal surgery.)
    The frog on Budda was a relief, and perhaps a good omen.
    Thanks.

  11. dawn says:

    This is one of my favorite sites, gardening or otherwise. Often blown away by your thoughtful insights and great photography. Loved the cat paw!

    I can’t spend too much time here as i’m supposed to be, umm, hard at work.

  12. Margaret says:

    Welcome, Walter. That is some hungry (and fearless) retriever. We all wish him well (and of course he is the complement to all those frog poses and warrior poses…right now the down dog, but soon the up dog, here’s hoping). See you soon again, and thank you for your very kind words.

    @Dawn: Get back to work, you bad girl. :)

  13. Diana says:

    I enjoyed this so much Margaret! We always say our dogs’ paws smell like corn chips…don’t think I’ve ever noticed the cats’ paws smelling like much. Here in Oklahoma we have skinks that sun themselves on the low stone windowsills behind the shrubs, at the perfect height for the cats to sit and watch from inside. If they were allowed out, I’m sure we’d have a collection of skink tails like Jack’s weasel tails (especially since the tails break off when caught)!

  14. Linley says:

    I’ve always thought my dog’s paws smell like Doritos so the popcorn reference made me laugh!

    I too have come across more snakes than usual this year, probably because I am spreading a lot of hay in my half acre vegetable garden in Maryland. I often find snakes like to sleep within and between the bales.

  15. Kathy says:

    Fantastic! I should be working too, but I’m going back for a second look. It is going to be hard to top this tour.

  16. Christine Linder says:

    This collection of images is a wonderful way to start my holiday weekend, thankyou for these lovely moments in time. Your blog is a daily must for me. Christine

  17. Margaret says:

    Welcome, Andrew’s Mother. Are you *the* Andrew’s mother, as in the Michigan-based one with a special event coming up? Happy birthday, Shirley, and I am glad you said hello. You made my day. I just called *him* and he could not stop laughing that Shirley and Margaret are now conspiring online.

    Welcome, Diana. I think we have some skinks, too, but I haven’t seen them except in books. (Skunks, yes, but Jack and I both avoid their tail ends.) And yes, you could say corn chips (Linley, who commented just after you, thinks Dorito’s, so apparently you think alike).

    Welcome, Christine. How sweet of you to visit regularly and say such nice things. Yes, moments in time: We miss so many of them, but this last year or so I am trying to pay attention a little more closely. Happy to share.

  18. TexasDeb says:

    Thank you for the curiosity tour. I keep laughing – these very nurturing images coming from a computer screen of all places…..

    I can only imagine the secrets frogboy and Buddha might have shared. My family teases me over what a hard time I have deleting almost anything I snap a shot of out around our garden beds. I do love to linger and look. Now I will pretend I am taking pictures to “share with Margaret”.

  19. Deborah says:

    A rich visual symphony and such divine nourishment for heart, mind and soul. Frog on the buddha is like a zen koan. In gratitude and awe, Namaste.

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