when, instead of planting bluegrass that requires irrigation and a lawnmower and fertilizer and weedkiller, you encourage your yard to do what it adapted to on the foothill of the mountain, you find, as i did this morning, an array of wildflowers.
top row: yellow composites
second row down: red penstemons and sweet vetch
third row: wild roses and the very first open blossom of Palmer’s penstemon
fourth row: goat’s beard and flax
fifth row: paintbrush and bluebells
sixth row: death camas (the white flower) and blue penstemon
About Scott Abbott
I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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I just listened to a special program on the radio about lawns (it’s a holiday weekend here, the traditional launch of summer and almost always wet and cold). In the city a lawn like yours would not be greeted gladly. Mine faces north and bears five 60-foot spruce trees, so precious little lawn like survives. I find it a relief, mowing is rarely required. The back yard, south facing, is another matter…
the spruce trees must be magnificent.
did i ever ask you whether you knew david albahari when he was living in calgary?
he’s one of my favorite authors and a friend of my friend zarko radakovic.
No, I don’t know any authors and precious few people that even read here. I did pick up Globetrotter some time ago by chance, but for years now my reading inspiration/ community/contact has come from online spaces and he likely would not have been on my radar. The one blessing of suddenly finding myself on leave from work has been the opportunity to expand my reading and focus on writing. Won’t last forever though, sadly.