The Sabine Report: Penjing has a new companion!

Here is the latest from The Sabine Farm.

The weather has been gorgeous and there was a wonderful heavy rain in the early morning.  There is nothing quite as satisfying as waking up to rain on the eves knowing that it is needed.

The garden is thriving.  I will be putting some more of my herbs and tomatoes out of the green house and into the ground soon.

We did put out the Vatican flag for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, as all should.

The birds are changing their patterns.  I don’t see as many of the old regulars.  I think there must still be some nesting and growing with some species.  But I have caught sight of a few new comers I haven’t yet identified.

For example:

And the vistas around the place are lovely.

The amazing irises are finished, however.

And my favorites.

And the columbine is wonderful.

And there are some amazing dragon flies around right now.

However, Mr. UPS and Mr. FedEx both made treks to my door today.

Mr. UPS brought me books, both from JN of FL.  Dove Descending: A Journey into T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets by Thomas Howard and The Early Papacy: To the Synod of Chalcedon in 451 by Adrian Fortescue.  These were from my wish list.

Mr. FedEx brought rather more exotic package.

Allow me to introduce to you Acer palmatum arakawa, a type of Japanese Maple, which in Japanese is irohamomiji

You can see that Irohamomiji is quite a bit larger than Penjing (Carmona microphylla) and a bit more dramatic, though Penjing flowers.

This new addition, sent by LB of MT, again from the amazon wish list, will be a puzzle for a while, but a fine addition to the Sabine land and house-scape.

Thanks to all!  Many thanks also to those of you who have used the donation button of late.  I won’t be going to the Ireland conference, as I had hoped, but there is the Oxford meeting at the end July which I still have a fighting chance to get to.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Deusdonat says:

    Ah, nature! Father Z, those pictures are so beautiful and lively, that I feel a bout of hay-fever coming on just looking at them.

    Seriously, enjoy your respite.

  2. Atlanta says:

    Wow, thanks for that post. It is very refreshing, reminds one of the important things in life.

  3. michael says:

    Gray catbird — Dumetella carolinensis

  4. mao now says:

    amazing pictures Father! My favorites were the ones of the iris. Being A native of louisiana I can tell you, that during the month of April. the Marshes here Are in full bloom with our native “fleur de lis” I wish you could see them someday! truly A stunning sight. They are A light blue, and are in A classic stylized shape. ethereal, to say the least!
    God Bless

  5. Father Z livin’ the good life!

  6. Working my backside too. Two interviews today, an article, and correction of two other articles.

  7. Father Z,

    I didn’t mean it in a bad way. I love your posts about the Sabine Farm. In fact, I love them so much I will send a donation now.

  8. Jason says:

    I agree, Fr. Lovely images. and yes, I would say your newcomer is a catbird.

    I recognized it immediately because when we were camping on Assateague Island, I was able to get one of them to eat from my hand. That was very cool.

  9. Aaron says:

    Fortescue’s Early Papacy is superb. My folks bought it for me in my late teens.

  10. deb says:

    What lovely photos of flowers!

  11. Harold says:

    Father –

    Might one ask where this beautiful farm is? Thanks! God bless and keep up the good work.

  12. Terry says:

    With all this bird watching stuff – the good taste in food and just about everything else, the bonsai, oh, and the nice farm – you are a very nice man.

  13. Caecilia says:

    But Father, but Father… Surely the Vatican Flag is square, and not rectangular?

    A Swiss, proud that her country owns the world’s only other square shaped flag, and currently rather upset because on occasion of the recent European football championship (in which we did dismally bad) many of her countrymen have been flying rectangular Swiss flags.

  14. Guy Power says:

    Irohamomiji – ?????

    ?? – Momiji. This is the common name for maple. The first kanji, ?, is kou/aka/mo and means red. The second kanji, ha/ba/ji/yo means leaf. Its alternate name — using the same kanji but applying Onyomi — “Chinese reading,” is Kouyo

    ??? Iroha – is a Japanese poem, written in a syllabary called hiragana, that uses each of the 47 basic syllabary exactly once. Because of that fact, iroha became the hiragana “ABC/alphabet;” and, it is used as a method of counting or dictionary order-listing similar to: 123 and ABC.

    Dunno why this particular plant is called “ABC Maple;” perhaps in allusion to the flowery language of the actual poem? [Segue….]

    The poem Iroha contains six lines of seven hiragana, and one line of five hiragana:








    i ro ha ni ho he to
    chi ri nu ru wo wa ka
    yo ta re so tsu ne na
    ra mu u wi no o ku
    ya ma ke fu ko e te
    a sa ki yu me mi shi
    we hi mo se su

    Although its scent still lingers on
    the form of a flower has scattered away
    For whom will the glory
    of this world remain unchanged?
    Arriving today at the yonder side
    of the deep mountains of evanescent existence
    We shall never allow ourselves to drift away
    intoxicated, in the world of shallow dreams

    See Wiki for more:

    Sayonara, Shinpu-sama [Father]

  15. Guy Power says:

    Sorry about all the ?????? in my previous message; they represent Japanese kanji and hiragana …. which apparently cannot be displayed in the comment box; although they showed perfectly when I previewed the text before submitting.

    Warukatta desu
    [I was bad]

  16. Supertradmom says:

    How serene. We live in downtown in a very urban setting and these photos are like rain in the desert.

    Thank you, Father Z. Do you have a little Franciscan touch?

  17. Chris says:

    Father, for those of us who know little more than the farm is in Minn., can you tell us, is this your farm, your parents’ farm?

    I know you spend a great deal of time in Rome, but who maintains the farm when you’re away?

  18. fortradition says:

    Father, I love all the beautiful photos; keep them coming. Where can we get a Vatican flag? I would love to have one to display on the special feasts of St. Peter.

  19. Padre Steve says:

    Those are some very beautiful pictures! God bless you!

  20. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Thanks for the pictures Father. Lovely. Makes me miss my former garden [sob!!]. Don’t you ever sleep??? Feeding birds, tending plants, cooking well, doing the blog, writing, being a priest. SHEESH!!

  21. Geoffrey says:

    What is the proper etiquette regarding the hanging of the papal flag? I’m guessing there is nothing official, as there is for national flags, but what are some thoughts or ideas? Hang it on papal “feasts” (anniversary of birth, election, “coronation”, etc.) and the feast of Saints Peter & Paul. Any others? For how long? Nine days prior (novena) or eight days after (octave)?

  22. Maureen says:

    A page in English, from Japan, about Japanese maple varieties. The illustration of the autumn foliage of the different kinds of maples is very pretty.

  23. Guy Power says:

    Maureen, thanks for the link. The irohamomiji leafs are the second pair from the left, top row. Here is the image from the site you furnished:


  24. Isnt the flag upside down? Get a pole and fly it daily. That is what an old farmer I used to know did.

  25. Coletta says:

    Awwww. I love the dragonflies. Thank you, Father.

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