Ode To Autumn.

The harvest is mostly in. CAMP helicopters have gone more-or-less quiet. The local hardware stores are sold out of turkey bags, mason jars, and rubbing alcohol. Fiskars are sticky, and folks around here won’t come up for a breath until Halloween. But oh, what a Halloween it will be.

The Courageous Local Gardeners I know called me on the phone and suggested I pay a visit to photograph one of the last plants in their patch.

I call this plant the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree of Pot Plants.

No one knows what variety this plant is - it's a true mutt. Another local grew it up from seed and then decided it was too runty for his patch, so he was going to toss it. The Courageous Local Gardeners rescued it and put it in the ground at the end of July – late, late, late.

Clearly, despite tons of TLC from its adoptive parents, this plant never developed into much, size-wise. But when it comes to sheer beauty, this girl is hard to beat. Look at the variegation and veining in her leaves. Look at the purpling! Look at the fall colors!!

The Courageous Local Gardeners agreed that this was the prettiest plant in the patch this harvest. Plus, it survived the mold that got everything this year, which is really something.

Emily Dickinson and cannabis probably have very little to do with one another. Except that if Dickinson had smoked cannabis, her poems might have been a little more cheerful.

Although come to think of it, Dickinson was an outcast recluse who spent most of her time indoors battling depression... Hmm...

Still, while Dickinson doesn't reference cannabis in the poem below, I have no doubt that she would have loved the festive autumn colors of The Little Pot Plant That Could. And when I see this beautiful little orphan plant all dressed in her purple and golds, I want to put on a trinket, too.


The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;

The berry's cheek is plumper,

The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,

The field a scarlet gown.

Lest I should be old-fashioned,

I'll put a trinket on.

Emily Dickinson [1830-1886]


  1. I've found that "mutts" are often the best survivors among plants and animals.

    This pretty little girl mutt deserves an award.

  2. Those industrial grow warehouses in Oakland may have the mold beat, but I bet they'd have a hard time growing something as pretty as this little girl without all of the sunshine, wind, fog, and Mendo love. I'm with Dave - this little stray plant should be the Harvest Queen!

  3. My boss once told me that almost every one of Emily Dickinson's poems can be sung to the tune of The Yellow Rose of Texas. Man, I hate that guy.