End of summer flowers, fruit, and promises

(Updated October 5, 2015:  I am happy to announce that today Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s End of Life Option Act, which now becomes law!  See note below.)

Last month, our newly acquired Peruvian Apple Cactus cutting surprised us with a spectacular bloom, as seen in my last post, A Peruvian Apple Cactus interlude.  A few weeks later we were delighted to see an explosion of blooms on its sister cutting across the pond.

DSC_0439 Three more cactus blooms

DSC_0204 Cactus blooms across the pond

The blooms slowly opened in the late afternoon, revealing its many stamens that will yield pollen from its anthers, which will hopefully pollinate the style’s stigma.

DSC_0214 Stamens and style

DSC_0469 Anthers and stamens

The flowers burst fully open after the sun set, bringing a magical feeling to our backyard!

DSC_0229 Night bloom by pond

DSC_0223 Peruvian Apple Cactus bloom

Meanwhile, the festivities continued again when our Pitahaya cactus, Hylocereus undatus, (seen in my posting, A pitahaya summer interlude) sent up four gorgeous flower buds.

DSC_0385 Pitahaya bloom

This time the bees came* and the flower was successfully pollinated!

DSC_0397 Pitahaya pollinating bee

DSC_0351 Pollination by bee

DSC_0422 Pitahaya pollination bee

The pollen has reached the ovary and the promise of glorious Indian summer fruit is being realized and hopefully ready for harvesting by September’s Full Harvest Moon,* which occurs this year on September 27, along with a Super Blood Moon eclipse!

DSC_0530 Pitahaya fruit

As this fruit has been ripening, I’ve been doing my end of summer reading with a focus on Joe Biden’s memoir, Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics, a riveting and moving account of the author’s life up to the beginning of his 2008 presidential campaign when his wife Jill said during a family meeting, “We think you can unite the country… We think you’re the best person to pull the country together.”  In the Prologue, Joe fondly recalls his father, Joseph Robinette Biden Sr.,** “He didn’t judge a man by how many times he got knocked down but by how fast he got up…  Get up! That was his phrase, and it has echoed through my life.”  The book ends with another quote from Jill, “You’re going to give it your best shot… And you’re going to go out there and run for the right reasons, and tell people why you should be president… and we’ll be okay.” ***

DSC_0155 Joe Biden, Promises To Keep

*This is a YouTube video.

**This is a CBS News video.

***Promises To Keep: On Life and Politics, Joe Biden, Random House Trade Paperback Edition, New York, 2008

Author’s note:

Please see my latest update in my post, “Spring flowers, leaves and end of life options,” about the End of Life Option Act and its passage through the California Legislature and signature into law by Governor Brow on Monday, October 5, 2016.

Compassion & Choices says:

“California is now the fifth U.S. state to authorize aid in dying, and by far the biggest and most influential. This achievement will resonate throughout our country, and inspire other states to follow suit.

At the foundation of this remarkable moment is the support of you and other C&C donors. People from all walks of life have joined together to transform our nation’s understanding of death with dignity, and have raised the ruckus necessary to break down barriers that have kept options from so many.

While we celebrate, we also recognize the fight is far from over. Our opponents are furious at their loss and will use every trick in the book to overturn the will of the people. We need your support today to defend this law, and our movement, with every ounce of our considerable strength.”

Additional information can be seen on Compassion & Choices’ California webpage.

About Bill D.

Bill is a retired RN who has enjoyed working as a docent in a well-known historic house museum, and now is a proud volunteer in San Diego's newest state-of-the-art hospital, Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center. He enjoys reading, writing, and meditating, especially about mindfulness as discussed by Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh. (Photo credit: Jokie Tolentino)
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