The Lonely Volunteer   Leave a comment

Salvias are really great flowers.  They love Bakersfield — well, most of them do — and come in all kinds of colors, shapes, and sizes.  I featured Salvia guaranitica “Black and Blue” yesterday.  Today I was walking on the lawn, and in a section mostly devoted to doggy diggings, I noticed a lonely little volunteer.  It was blooming bravely, though barely six inches high.


This is Salvia coccinea “Coral Nymph”.  My book on Salvias says that it “will frequently self-sow in the garden”.  Boy, will it.  There’s hardly a pot on the patio that doesn’t have a few of these blooming in it.  Some are the usual Scarlet Sage; others are its cultivar, Coral Nymph.  It hasn’t wholly reverted to the red form, at least in this generation.

It’s one tough cookie.

Another volunteer — though an involuntary one — has been hanging around the last couple of days.  Somebody dropped off a chicken.  I haven’t seen it yet, but Billy says it’s a black hen.  People will drop off the oddest critters out here — one time it was a couple of potbelly pigs, another a bobwhite quail.  One never-to-be-forgotten episode involved a group of young wild boar, though at least those were dropped off upriver.  I suppose people kid themselves that they’ll find a home here, or survive in the wild.  They seldom last more than a few days — even the wild boar.  Between the dogs, the wild predators, and traffic on the road, they’ve got no chance at all.  This morning the dogs were chasing the chicken madly through the horse pens.  They didn’t catch her this time, but something will soon.  I’ll bet she was a laying hen who quit producing, and the owner didn’t want to turn her into chicken stew.  That might have been kinder.

I’ll be watching for her, and trying to think of a way to catch her.  She be smart enough to roost in a tree, or she wouldn’t have lasted even one night.

Chickens don’t naturalize as easily as salvias.  I guess that’s a good thing, if you’re not a chicken.

Posted September 18, 2014 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch

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