I had the most amazing surprise on one recent evening. I went out to water my mandevilla plants, which are in pots at the end of my driveway. The plants have beautiful, large red blossoms that I love and have religiously tended to all summer. Nestled in two of the blossoms were four monarch butterflies that I thought had gotten stuck. It was getting dark so I left them alone, thinking they would wiggle out during the night. The next morning I went out to get the paper at about 6, and found that two of the butterflies had fluttered off, leaving behind the still-snuggled duo. I was really worried about them, so I went back out several minutes later and found the two resting on the edge of the planter. Off they took, on their way to winter somewhere much farther south. I guess they had come a long way, and my flowers were a welcome spot to dine and rest. I found it rather magical.
I love dictionaries. My mother has one she keeps open on a table in her living room. The dictionary belonged to my grandfather and is more than 100 years old. It is a constant source of entertainment. The Oxford English Dictionary, or the OED, was last printed in 1989 and contains 20 volumes. In 10 years, the third edition is expected to be ready to go to press and will cost $995, which I consider to be a bargain. But the problem is storage. The OED powers-that-be are considering putting the entire works on the Internet. I know our friend Neil Bruce, a graduate of Oxford University, must be spinning in his grave. After dinner and several Scotches, he loved nothing more than to send us off in a tizzy to look up an obscure word in the dictionary. Some things should not be fiddled with.
If you want to get down and dirty, local experts from the Lowcountry Master Gardener Association will be on hand at the group's annual tour of gardens this October. During the garden tour, they will be selling plants, used gardening equipment and a gardening CD/DVD at Hilton Head Island High School. There will be seven gardens to visit, and a master gardener will be available to answer any questions. Proceeds from the tour support the many projects the association has going on. The Lowcountry Master Gardener Association is a nonprofit group of volunteers who promote agrarian pursuits throughout our community. The tour is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 16. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the tour. Lunch will be served at 11:30. Call 843-681-2618 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The bloodmobile will be at the Bluffton Farmers Market from 2 to 7 p.m. Thursday on Calhoun Street. So make a note to stop by and donate.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.