Autumn weeds.

Colors just happen in the fall.

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Abundance of don’t-forget-to-touch-mes,

 but calming now, no longer explosive.

Truth, beauty, decay.

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Sumac works through orange

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into its final reds.

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Spent and pulling back, residue of bloom.

Quiet all summer, the chimney rose seizes the day.

Still just a scatter, it’s early days.

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Weeds are flowers

you don’t have to cultivate.

Sometimes the best colors

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aren’t hardly colors at all.

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Transition signs.

Through shot.

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Thirteen bales, first cut in June, just three in September
after one of the driest summers on record, our record.
There was areal rain that kept sliding by.

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The garden slows, but is not done.

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A visit from Esmerelda and the twins

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bulking up.

For winter is coming.

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Sidewalk sales.

The day of the recent rally
a couple guys in a big ol’ red pickup
set up their sales station.

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Hundreds of Made-in-China “Make America” hats
in red and white and blue
plus a dozen cases of t-shirts and banners rolled up.

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When they first arrived the wind was perfect,
all four banners pulled out straight south down Haywood Street:

Trump/Pence
Don’t Tread on Me
Old Glory
and the Battle Banner of the Late Failed Secession.

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Then the wind shifted ever which way
and they all went a little twitchy.

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American democracy
in all its grandeur
history itself
at the curb.

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Fallen into dance.

Fall into Dance

The Asheville Ballet’s annual free performance in the park.

3-400 people watched and, if clapping and hooting count,
they enjoyed what they saw.

Photos are from last night’s performance (Friday, 23 Sept 2016).

One more show, tonight, Saturday, at 7:30 pm.

8 dances from 6 choreographers using 15 dancers,
beautiful work with poised and professional dancing.

Well-done tech — lights  and recorded sound and live music
— wonderful venue, perfect weather.

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Don’t miss tonight’s show, bring friends and family, maybe folding chairs.

Performance details at the Asheville Ballet website.

 

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Deadheads.

Four pictures of the same

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heap of discarded flowerheads.

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You have to pull the finished flowers

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so the next generation of buds

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will have nutrients and space enough to bloom.

The jumble of fading stems and petals
like a heap of exhausted partygoers
collapsed after the champaign’s gone
caught by the rising sun.

They’d make a lovely jigsaw puzzle.

 

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Final fruits.

Fewer peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes each time you check,

the last big mess of beans,

the last full tray of romas,

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one perfect unexploded chestnut,

and, after a little rain,

the blooms from below

visit us briefly

in the air up here.

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Working blooms.

The bees are in it for the hive,

they load their knees and carry the pollen home.

Butterflies are voracious

but work alone.

They light upon their dinner

and feast


with no interest or concern

for the ghostly gardener

who set their table months before.

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Table flowers.

They’re not that far from where they grew,

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cut and brought inside,

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gathered into splendor

in a vase,

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perched above the edge

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of my screen

 to watch as I puzzle out my mystery.

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Flower surround.

One quick turn around the house,

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all the usual suspects

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in quiet riot,

swaying in the soft summer afternoon,

having done everything they need to do,

flush with pollen.

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Easy living, flora.

The tall flowers, all at once.

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A rose leaning languorously on the wire.

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Everything is full out.

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The day lilies go

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on

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and on

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in an almost silly abundance.

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Hydrangea row

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shows no signs of slacking off

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in any of the varieties.

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On and on.

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The timid little flowers in the rail pot have filled out.

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The under story is at maximum,
from the ground reaching up among the low branches of the trees,
all the little weeds, all the middle weeds, all the giant weeds.

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And this, of course, is the first sign of the end of summer
the fullness before the finish.

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Fauna & fungi, living easy.

Not much, but the bit of rain,
got the suspended droplets and the light just right,

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shined up the ornament in the grass,
of cloudy crystal quartz,

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and awakened the giants underground,

to upthrust their sort-of flowers here and there,

sharing sometimes with a bird

some seeming prematurely aged,

scarlet and stark whites,

with accidental happy faces,

and with delicious detail.

While, on a different scale, walking on the grass,
the lone doe, Bones, feasts warily on bird-scattered seeds.

Later, down the lawn, shy Esmeralda and her still-spotted twins
from a finch eye view.

After nightfall, on the counter, yes, katydid,
she thought my camera might be a snack.

Outside, the affable ongoing everyday pillage of the feeders.

Our neighbor was sure he saw a bear’s butt slip into the brush
about halfway between our house and his,
a little fellow, 150 pounds max.

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Typing to the end.

When the scarves are completed, the weft packed into the shifting sheds of the warp,
the whole cloth cut from the loom, soaped and agitated, washer-dryer finish,
cut and hemmed, imperfections clipped and made right,
only then is the trademark and care label sewn on.

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A novel at the end — The End — well, there are similarities to a pile of new scarves.
Checking for broken threads, keeping tension up as long as possible.
And an editor’s like a washing machine, I suppose.
But all those plates spinning on their sticks
events unfolding because the characters are themselves,
so many ways of falling short,
the finish is never so conclusive as a scarf.

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Work space, with roses red and gold.

Luckiest man.

 

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Free for the discriminating reader.

If you’re curious about life, and death,

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don’t let gravity take you down.

¡GET RED HOT EBOOKS FOR FREE!

from the Ellen and Geoffrey Fletcher Mystery series

for five days in July 2016, the 7th to the 11th, Thursday through Monday

free from Amazon.com (the cover pictures below are links), available only in Kindle format

If you haven’t got a Kindle Device, one will be prepared for you.
Amazon will send one of their drones to your home (they know when you are sleeping)
which upgrades your dishwasher and installs Kindle-reader aps on all your computers, tablets,
and mobile phones (totally free of charge).
This modest incursion opens access to hundreds thousands of titles, not just to mine.

Kindle Direct Publishing invites authors on their platform to trade income for exposure and offer their books for free every few months. It’s a simultaneous worldwide deal on all the Amazon stores (US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, India, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Brazil). People take a chance on free stuff who wouldn’t pay for a book from an unknown author.

Give either or both a try and let me know what you think.
Comment here, or email me at mystery@budcrawford.com.

FitToCurve

The Asheville Story.

Heart Attack

The Williamsburg Story.

Here are a few clips from readers,
from favorable reviews on Amazon
.

    Fit to Curve is a skillfully written mystery with complex characters and such a fascinating plot that I’m way behind on my chores.

    This series is a favorite with interesting plots and wonderfully drawn characters. Wish the author would write more of them. The type of book you don’t want to end.

    A bed and breakfast mystery. Super characters, well developed. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. A mouth-watering, good read. Love the old lady with the sharp wit. I’d like the recipes, too.

    The plot builds very slowly. But once I got into it, I was hooked. I liked the characters, and you get a lot of insight into them.

    This is too fine a novel to be mired in the mystery/suspense ghetto. It’s a good mystery, with a complex plot, all the mystery trappings, but the characters are rounded and attractive. The theme seems to me to be a consideration of morality – not just sexual morality (or immorality), though there’s some of that too, for those who like to read such descriptions, but all kinds of morality: for how high a price might you sell your soul?

    Heart Attack is a great read!

    This couple are a great addition to the mystery genre. Sharp and interesting with a bit of humor and spice.

    Snappy dialog. Geoff and Ellen are a great team. He has a definite intuitive method of assessing info and arriving at conclusions that baffle and irk his cohorts. Ellen is more conventional and together are a great team. Unusual mystery not easily solved.

 

COMING SOON:

Ghost Walk sample                                                                                                                                                                                     Little Fishes sample

GhostWalk

The Charleston Story: seeking agent.

 

Little Fishes

The Atlanta Story, editor ready.

 

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Walk on the tame side.

Clamoring against the hog wire at the bottom of the herb garden

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a forest of daylilies.

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Most of the hydrangeas (3 of 5) were burned by the final frost,

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but one, spectacularly, was not.

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The yellow clusters swell and turn blue by stages.

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Cousin of the giant corsage blooms
there’s the nobblier cluster clump variety.

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Weeds cut close simulate a lawn and frame
the peripheral plantings and the visitors
(rabbit at 12 o’clock).

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The new planters half the way towards
thrillers and spillers and fillers.

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Between the leaf canopy and the marigold companions,
five jalapenos growing shoulders.

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Pretty is as

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pretty is.

 

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Blooming yard.

walkabout, this afternoon, to find deep red with busy bee,

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pale red with kanji characters,

poppy world full of self,

rising from a bed thought lost,

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while yellow bush roses,

and blue fingers, which our maidens know by a grosser name,

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showing some purple shared, in the same pot

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or shared with satiny iridescence

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shimmering around a black hole,

in purple waves

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and glitter,


while at rows end, marigold companions


and almost a blooming leaf, twinning stacks climb orthogonally towards sun


and a tannish leaf kind of flowerish

all of which have names that are common
and the uncommon names are all scientific

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Rows to hoe.

Food, in process here, uses the instructions coded in the seeds


with water and nutrients pulled from soil,

drawing gasses from the air and photosynthetic magic from the sun

transubstantiates through the leaves, to become
tomatos and potatos and cucumbers and eggplant and peppers and peas.

Watching from below, a volunteer stand of fennel, seven feet high,
hunkers by the swamp and wonders about its own lush abandon.

The basil is table-ready.

While, stepping carefully down the steps in the herb garden

or rock garden, or perennial garden,
steeper than it looks,

you meet a hundred varieties of flower and herb

ground cover, moss and lichen putting on their summer dress,
and waiting appreciation, weeding and water.

Another variety of long-row work, when the wrens had stolen all
the strands of shredded coconut for their nests
from the sister of this pot,

the wool yarn left from a dozen projects was knit big
and felted small enough to snug into the basket.

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While indoors, at the keyboard, I hoe my own long row, the WIP,
graced by, nourished by, the roses set beside me

by that gardener, and knitter, and 43-year companion of my heart.

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Yard work and yellow wort.

Creeping buttercup is an invasive species,
not so much as we are,
but in the universe where a yard, a lawn,
must be grass blades only,
and also when it chokes
your flowers, herbs, or vegetables.

It is unfazed by mower blades.

Golden ragwort may be
discouraged by a mower,
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and prefers  to make its stand
just out of reach.

Finally, the queen of lawn ornamentals
can only be controlled by broadleaf defoliants.
When we have absorbed enough toxicity from herbicides
to end our term here,
the ultimate yellow yard wort
— dandelion —
will roar back, thriving on our ashes.

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At the edges, over the lawn line
the compositions of bloom and native grasses

are free to make and keep what friends they can.
We leave them be
beyond the perimeter of encroachment.

Our rapprochement.

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Tra la.

Clematis clings and climbs up its arbor
clutching at the chimlee.
Almost … 

… and all the way open.

Azealia bumper bloom this year, in red.

so red,
and pink,

and whatever color this is
from the new bush down the lawn.
Calycanthus has too many common names:

carolina allspice, strawberry-bush,

 sweet bubby, sweet betsy, and spicebush.

Money plant is one common name for a dozen little bushes,
mostly succulents,
that produce some sort of coin shape from the flowers.
This version makes translucent papery discs
later in the summer.
Now it’s purely purple blooms.

Cucumber magnolia flowers,
ten feet to sixty up the tree,
the first bloom are big enough for salad.
Another month, big enough to make a dinner plate.

A new-sprouted dahlia, beginning the long climb
up the flower cage.

Comfrey accidentally thriving in its own
little village of native weeds.

 A lovely composition to which our contribution
was the not cutting down.

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Blooms and bird calls.

Spring overwhelms, reeling from so much at once.

A blurred yellow cartoon appears across the room,

fluffed out double size,

reverts to goldfinch when the preening is done
and I’ve stepped too close.

Behind the dense butt of Mr. Tom,
testing the grass, Lady Claudia Cardinal.

I’m not where they think I am.

Hornbeam fully leafed out, just in time for the hummingbird nests
of the first dozen or sixteen who’ve settled in this week.

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Sugar maple seeds shower in astonishing profusion, likewise pinecones.
As every seed is sacred, we must plant them all.

Hawksbeard everywhere, a bumper bloom.

Money plants, in the pre-currency, violet phase.

Azelea not distressed at all by last week’s frost.

17 of the 20 blueberry bushes we planted 40 years ago
still flower and bear fruit.
This year we will implement some simple sharing rules
with the jays and crows and turkeys.

Dogwoods have become scarce, since the blight,
but a few young trees hang on.

Leaves ascending to the ridge.
By next week, an apparent mass of solid green,

but in the hundred shades of spring yellow greens
gradually coalescing into the grayer summer palette
of fewer darker hues.
And that will sign the end of spring.

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Surge.

Here and there, the business of spring getting done.

New arbor for the remote rose,

replacing the rotting and crumbled wooden slats
with a mosaic firefly top.

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The glassy glint from the gravel under foot,
was a thumb-sized hunk of mica
that sheared into a hundred pieces at a touch.

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The older bloom of the kitchen amaryllis.

The new bloom.

Little violets in the grass, in patches here and there.

The queen of weeds, ruling a million sister blooms.

Plum gnarly.

Several human spirits are trapped under the bark,
rather lumpy spirits.

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