Foto Friday: Rainbow

Sometimes it feels like our little farm here is at the middle of everything — as though all the different aspects of our lives, all the different things we do, meet somewhere in the heart of the orchard.

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I teach Greek language classes for kids at the Annunciation Greek School in Sacramento. The other day, a girl in my class asked me how to say “rainbow” in Greek. I’d never run across the word “rainbow,” so we looked it up: ουράνιο τόξο, ouránio tóxo — “sky arrow.” Isn’t that the loveliest picture?

Then, as I was out in the orchard yesterday, that word popped into my head — ouránio tóxo. And, looking closer at the grass around me, I saw that it was as though one had fallen to earth.

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Red in the peach blossoms, and in this sow-thistle stalk, where a tiny village of ants and aphids have made their home…

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Orange in the calendula flowers that spring up around the little house and the garden…

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Yellow in dandelion and mustard blossoms…

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Green everywhere! — but especially in the grass that the chickens are so fond of…

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…and in the cover crop of fava beans and vetch, scrambling across the dormant garden…

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…and have I mentioned how blue the sky is!

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Sky-blue here, too, reflected in the tiny blossoms of wild speedwell. My grandfather calls this flower by its Greek name, μάτια της Παναγίας: mátia tis Panagías, “eyes of the Virgin Mary.”

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And purple, of course. This is another of my favourite tiny flowers, the kind you have to look closely to see: henbit, a relative of both nettle and mint. The long-necked purple flowers have fantastically speckled tongues, and if you pluck one very carefully and blow air gently through it from the the end that was attached to the plant, it will emit a teeny, high-pitched whistle!

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Isn’t it marvelous how a question can lead to a word that can lead to a whole new way of looking at everything around you?

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3 Comments

Filed under around the farm, foto friday, orchard, spring

3 responses to “Foto Friday: Rainbow

  1. Don Sloan

    As an old farmer this brings back some wonderful memories. Thank you so much for putting these postings together. Mary has sent these to me and I really enjoy them. I lived in Placerville for a few years on a small pear ranch. The happyest time of my life.

  2. So many gorgeous photos here. I like the ‘sky arrow’ imagery too.

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