Sunday Stills: Purple Flowers from Arizona, Australia and California

Terri from Second Wind Leisure chose purple as her Sunday Stills monthly color challenge. The pictures also work for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge. There are more #BrightSquares for Becky today. Finally, Sadje has asked this wonderful question, “Are you a good listener?” for her Poser #24. which I will try to weave into my flower pictures.

Are You a Good Listener?

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

Ernest Hemingway

As a cognitive coach for the County Office of Education, I learned and practiced the skills of good listening. Lean forward towards the person talking, mirror their movements like crossing and uncrossing arms and legs. If they are tense, lean back and give them space. When in doubt, repeat their words to validate them. Don’t offer an opinion or story. Listening is not about ME!

Why are you listening? Are you conducting a therapy session and you want to make your client better? Do you love the person you are listening to and want to validate them? Do you want information from them to use against them in a court of law? Are your trying to learn something for a test or gather material for your next novel? I would argue that everyone has a motive for listening.

Listening and remembering are two different skills, but one augments the other. If you can’t remember, what good does it do you to listen carefully? If you listen carefully, AND have a poor memory, then you should take steps to help your memory.

You may wonder how I tie listening to purple flowers.

Australian Florals

Agapanthus for Becky B;s #BrightSquare

Carol and I strolled through many gardens together. One of my favorites was the Treasury Garden in Melbourne. Everywhere we looked, Carol had more information for me – names of flowers, trees, buildings, birds, bodies of water, statues. I admit that sometimes my mind took a vacation, but my lapses always caught up with me and sold me short when I needed information.

She took some beautiful pictures of bird of paradise, then wandered off and found this agapanthus. But here is the problem. I kept notes, but not great ones, mostly pictorial. Now the only records I have are in my earlier posts about Australia. My posts were not precise about every item we saw. Why? Either I didn’t listen or didn’t retain what my Australian friends told me.

My Listening Score: 2.5 out of 5. I gave myself credit for writing it as a caption on my photo from 2016.

After Melbourne, we flew to Ballarat and visited the historical part of the city known as, Sovereign Hill. At one of the vintage houses we saw these beautiful “spikey purple plants,” as another blogger called them.

I may have asked Carol or her sister-in-law, what they were, but three months later when I wrote the first post about them, I did not know what they were. But the answer is in Google or Bing if you look hard enough. It was also right under my nose at the Woodlake Botanical Garden also on file in my WordPress media file.

My Listening Score: .5 out of 5. I gave myself little credit because if I did hear it, I didn’t write it down or look it up so I would remember it later.

Artichoke plant

My Listening Score to Manuel: 1 out of 5. I recognized the picture on Bing and knew I had an artichoke.

Purple in Prescott, AZ

Finally, back to the here and now in Prescott. My neighbor has been spraying what she calls “vincas” like they were invasive enemy #1. They might be. They are not like the vincas, also known as periwinkles, I remember from California. Bing had pictures of vinca major that look like my back yard where these pictures were taken.

Listening Score: 5 out of 5 So far both short-term memory and listening skills are working.

They seem too beautiful and delicate for be attacked as an invader.

California Purple Monsters

Violet, purple
California has it all
Not to be left out!

Morning Glory plants win the prize for both beauty and killing roses. Puppy Girl enjoys the shade provided by the Morning Glory tee pee built by Manuel Jimenez, the founder of the Botanical Garden in Woodlake

Listening Score to Manuel and my friend Sylvia who told me about Morning Glory 35 years ago: 5 out of 5.

I gave myself extra credit for remembering a factoid for over 35 years.

This picture also qualifies as a #BrightSquare

Another beautiful invasive species that I planted all over my yard in California is the Mexican Petunia. Even when you think they are dead sticks, they are working on their rhizomes, “a continuously growing horizontal underground stem which puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals.” Wikipedia. Our home buyers may love them, but if they don’t, it will be difficult to get rid of them.

Listening Score 3 out of 5. I still want to call them Mexican pansies.

Closing Comments

Have a great week and a good memory.

Healesville Sanctuary Blooms in December and January

May Dreams Gardens Garden Photo Challenge

Australia #12

There is nothing as pretty as some of the flowers I found at the Healesville Sanctuary when I went with Leanne, her friend Suzanne and Carol. I wish I knew the names to share with you, but maybe someone will slip in and rescue my ignorance.

Healesville flowers

Maybe I felt hot and this reminded me of snow. Or maybe it was like blowing on dandelions, which I did as a child. (My dad must have loved that!) I could actually draw some of these random patterns. I love the hazy, spider webby, x-ray quality of this photo.

Healesville flowers

These Australian gum nut gems have special stories about them, the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie series by May Gibbs.

Healesville flowers
grevillea

I love the calligraphy/centipede-style flower. Isn’t it stunning?

Healesville flowers These Australian fruits quickly dried and fell off in the warm summer weather. They look like raisins when dried, but these fruits do not look like grapes to me.

Healesville flowers
kangaroo paws

These brilliant leaf buds look like they are swimming in a watercolor sea.

Feel free to chime in if you know something about these. Which one is your favorite?

Related Australia Posts

Be sure to check out the two Photo challenges for more photos, May Dreams Gardens (no specific day)  Garden Photo Challenge (1st Sunday of each month)

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