more birthday

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Despite having a bit of a meditative birthday overall, I still managed to rake in some pretty nice birthday awesomeness. Love can, after all, take the form of cool shit to cackle over. GB got me a dream of an antique brass birdcage, on it’s own beautiful stand, it’s just gorgeous and just dying to host a long trailing vine or a starry flowering plant…if Emmett can be persuaded that he shouldn’t a) swing on it and b) try to fit into it. I got money from my folks and a gift card from my bestie, all of which, especially now that I am financially independent and on a budget, allows me to splurge happily on the new Coldplay album and some new cute running clothes.

And from my work colleagues, cake pops from Starbucks (salted caramel!) and a beautiful rose-mauve orchid; and a field trip.

IMG_20140612_193552The Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan are just a hop, skip, and a jump from our office, and, in addition to the usual spectacular gardens, plants and flowers (including bonsai, above)  there is a once-in-a-lifetime botanical event occurring. The century plant, an Agave that has been in the collection since the 1930’s, began the process of flowering this spring. Over the course of the last couple of months, it has shot up a 25-foot stalk that forced the conservatory to remove a pane of glass from it’s ceiling to allow it to grow out the roof! At its most rapid pace, it was growing 6-7 inches a day before it began sending out side stems and buds, and slowed its upward rate. The century plant will bloom once, set seed, and die, and the fact that it is doing this at over 80 years old is pretty remarkable.

So, with a sack of Greek takeout – grape leaves, pita, salads, and fattoush – we set out for a lunchtime field trip, a picnic under warm and windy, cloud-gathering spring skies, and a peek at the century plant. Although my colleague promised me that it would burst into flower the moment I stepped my magical birthday ass into the conservatory, it’s not blooming yet, so hopefully I can get back again for another photograph when that occurs.

All in all, a pretty nice birthday, and a lucky girl.

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