[Tweeters] Fallen Stars

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sat Sep 24 09:42:52 PDT 2016


Two weeks ago, in the later days of Summer, I noticed some bright purple Asters blooming in the nice neighbor lady's yard.It's a tall specimen of what is known to gardeners as a Michaelmas Daisy.


"Michaelmas, what's that?" I wondered, as it reminded me of Christmas, so I looked it up. As you might suspect, Michaelmas (September 29th) is a Christian holiday, celebrating Saint Michael. Amongst other things, Saint Michael has been made a patron saint of the sea, and maritime lands, of ships and boatmen.Given that, it seems to me that Port Townsend would be a good place to celebrate Michaelmas.


Michael was also the angel that tossed his fellow angel Lucifer out of heaven. Lucifer was brilliant, but had behavioral issues. Had to change or go. A fallen star. Aster is a late greek/latin word for star, and the stars are falling around town right now, and when you go on your next visit to a salt marsh verge, or moist area, look for native asters blooming (Aster used to be a large genus, now sliced and diced by the tiny knives of taxonomists into many little diverse bits, but they're still Asters).


Asters are a good thing for the Birds and the Bees. The flowers are visited by many bees and other bugs, and if you can restrain yourself from being an overly tidy gardener and let your asters go to seed, the seeds are enjoyed by many birds late in the year. You can cut them back when the birds are done with them.


Native aster's blooming now are a subtle thing compared to the gaudy Michaelmas Daisy , refined by gardeners over many years into quite the tower of flower power. Just starting to bloom when I left town for a couple of weeks ago for work in Mudville (aka Everett) , the nice neighbor lady's Aster is in full bloom now (and about 4ft tall) - should be in great shape for Michaelmas.


When I first noted the neighbors Aster several weeks ago, I immediately came up with two aster jokes. In the way my mind sometimes works, these jokes just fell out of my head, quick as drips, as I admired the plant:


1. What do you call an aster having a bad day? A Disaster.


2. What was the flower that killed the dinosaurs? The Asteroid.


OK, so these are pretty lame jokes, but the best (only ) aster jokes I know, and I had to invent them all by myself. The field for better aster jokes is pretty much open, I imagine.


Have a merry Michaelmas


Jeff Gibson

back in

Port Townsend Wa




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