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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

Tulips 2006 for Gran ellengwallace's Tulips 2006 for Gran photoset

Friday, April 14, 2006

Blogging dirt around the world

All the dirt means our gardens

[updated at 12:41pm]

Sorry if you've come here looking for gossip, based on the heading. This is about how gardening + blogging with friends around the world keeps me grounded.

This morning it is glorious out, and I think Spring might finally really be here. The first bug we see in Spring is the gardening bug, and we've spotted it, replete with gloves torn last November when racing against frost to cover up prickly plants and rip out weeds that shouldn't winter over.

On days like this I try to remember to look up, rather than just down at the dirt. So here is the view today:

Rhone valley, best viewed large (on Flickr)

I also try to think further afield, and blogging plus Flickr for sharing photos helps with this.

Here are the places I've visited and the people I've seen there, in the past 24 hours. Charlie Tan, aka charliebrown8989, lives in California, or maybe he's in Honk Kong. He struck up a conversation with me on Flickr, where we both post flower photos. His are magnificent. He also has a set of wonderful photos of China, so I looked at those. They inspired me to start posting some of my photos from 2004 in China, which resulted in an ebook (feel free to buy it :)). He then showed me how to use Picasa, which I had heard of but was unfamiliar with, and there he suggested changes to one of my photos:

Charlie's snazzier version

My original of Long Tan Lake in the center of Beijing, with old boats and dragon bridges and a backdrop of skyscrapers being built at the ring roads.

I visited Christopher's web site in Hawaii (see my links here: Tropical embellishments) and saw the amazingly lush plants he offers for sale in his nursery there - hard to get my Swiss-based mind, still looking at snow, around that. I went from there to Don's blog, An Iowa Garden (also under blog links here), where he wrote beautifully about waiting for a tornado to arrive, and the destruction it causes when it does. He ends up where he started, with small flowers bursting forth in his garden.

From there it was back to Kong Kong to visit a new blog written by a friend of a friend. Linda Sunshine is a writer in Los Angeles who is spending some weeks in Hong Kong writing about a movie being made there and her blog is the diary of that time. She talks about the DVD that will be made about the making of the movie - I've always wondered how that happens. She talks about fried food in Hong Kong. She wonders why she had to fly 8,000 miles to have the best margarita she's ever had, something she can get around the corner at home in L.A.

I then read Maki's food blog, from Zurich, and she talks about the wonder of rhubarb this time of year. That sent me out to study mine in the garden, not very far along, but always impressive in terms of speed of growth. I expect it to double in size today. Maki has started a blogging food event called "Food Destinations" where you write about your favorite food place around the world, little or big, but just plain good. Check it out.

[update: And just in - here is friend Mary's fantastic aloe plant in Arizona, where she is visiting it, from New York]

And then I looked at my site stats for this blog. It is not read by millions or even thousands, but there is a steady stream of visitors from all over - in the past 24 hours from 6-7 countries and as many states in the U.S. You can check it out, too, by scrolling to the end of my pages and clickin gon "site meter" - you'll find yourself there.

The world is great, the world is large, and my garden is one patch in it, and I am only one of so many creatures in that patch. Time to go peer at the dirt, and remind myself that we need to look out, and to look in as well, to keep things in perspective. Time to take a deep breath of that fresh Spring air.


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