The Beauty of the Despised

About this time of year, as the euphoria of spring green wears off a little, I start getting picky. Well, yes, the garden is beautiful, but what is that weed doing there? Was that a mosquito already? Keep those deer away from my hosta! 

This year, when I unconsciously start sorting my environment into “good” and “bad”, I will try to take a step back. Really look. See the beauty, the complexity of these living beings before I pull, yank and swat.

fly drops

A fly is a fly, I guess—unless it’s gorgeously metallic green and perches among jewels.


Japanese beetle. So destructive. So beautiful.



Two weeds I loathe—Creeping Charlie and another one I don’t know the name of . . . it grows in spindly plumes and sticks to hands & clothing. Yet, Creeping Charlie has small, orchid-like blooms, and Sticky Plant (as I will call it) opens its symmetrical leaves in perfect hexagons.


Strange, tiny finger galls, made by mites on chokecherry leaves. Why can’t they attack the invasive buckthorn instead?


You all know this one. Look at those soft, gorgeous seed parachutes, ready for lift-off. A miracle of design.

And finally, here are a few that I am always delighted to see:


 . . .dragonflies (which eat mosquitoes) . . .


. . . butterflies of any kind, especially this yellow swallowtail . . .


. . . the lovely crepe blooms of the poppy . . .


. . . and its fuzzy pods. With flies on them.

  Copyright © Joyce Sidman 2006-2018.  All rights reserved.