Doesn't look quite real, does it? But it is, this clerodendron growing beside my parents' driveway. I don't know a lot about plants, though I look the names up often--for translations, for poems, for no good reason. Wikipedia tells me clerodendron's common names include "glorybower," "bagflower," and "bleeding-heart," which don't seem real, either. Seem, at least, insufficient.
Here in the northwest, it's still green in the winter, and gray. We have two flowers blooming in the garden, both bright pink. The bergenia seems to be having its best December ever, tall and emphatically belled. And up on the slope, a rhododendron my uncle propagated years ago has two precocious (or deluded) blooms. I wonder what it will do in the spring, or if it gets really cold. Last winter's wet snow pulled the flowering currants right out of the ground, though I propped them up and cut them back and they seemed to survive the indignity.
I don't know if any of this is what I'm supposed to be noticing, what I need to notice. Some days it's enough just to list, and name, and reconsider. Those blue fruits in their hot pink skirting: robin's egg or midnight? Ocean or sky? December into January: a little of both.
Wishing all good noticing--good reading and writing--in 2013!