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Sunday Stills: Purple Flowers from Arizona, Australia and California

Terri from Second Wind Leisure chose purple as her Sunday Stills monthly color challenge. The pictures also work for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge. There are more #BrightSquares for Becky today. Finally, Sadje has asked this wonderful question, “Are you a good listener?” for her Poser #24. which I will try to weave into my flower pictures.

Are You a Good Listener?

โ€œWhen people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.โ€

Ernest Hemingway

As a cognitive coach for the County Office of Education, I learned and practiced the skills of good listening. Lean forward towards the person talking, mirror their movements like crossing and uncrossing arms and legs. If they are tense, lean back and give them space. When in doubt, repeat their words to validate them. Don’t offer an opinion or story. Listening is not about ME!

Why are you listening? Are you conducting a therapy session and you want to make your client better? Do you love the person you are listening to and want to validate them? Do you want information from them to use against them in a court of law? Are your trying to learn something for a test or gather material for your next novel? I would argue that everyone has a motive for listening.

Listening and remembering are two different skills, but one augments the other. If you can’t remember, what good does it do you to listen carefully? If you listen carefully, AND have a poor memory, then you should take steps to help your memory.

You may wonder how I tie listening to purple flowers.

Australian Florals

Agapanthus for Becky B;s #BrightSquare

Carol and I strolled through many gardens together. One of my favorites was the Treasury Garden in Melbourne. Everywhere we looked, Carol had more information for me – names of flowers, trees, buildings, birds, bodies of water, statues. I admit that sometimes my mind took a vacation, but my lapses always caught up with me and sold me short when I needed information.

She took some beautiful pictures of bird of paradise, then wandered off and found this agapanthus. But here is the problem. I kept notes, but not great ones, mostly pictorial. Now the only records I have are in my earlier posts about Australia. My posts were not precise about every item we saw. Why? Either I didn’t listen or didn’t retain what my Australian friends told me.

My Listening Score: 2.5 out of 5. I gave myself credit for writing it as a caption on my photo from 2016.

After Melbourne, we flew to Ballarat and visited the historical part of the city known as, Sovereign Hill. At one of the vintage houses we saw these beautiful “spikey purple plants,” as another blogger called them.

I may have asked Carol or her sister-in-law, what they were, but three months later when I wrote the first post about them, I did not know what they were. But the answer is in Google or Bing if you look hard enough. It was also right under my nose at the Woodlake Botanical Garden also on file in my WordPress media file.

My Listening Score: .5 out of 5. I gave myself little credit because if I did hear it, I didn’t write it down or look it up so I would remember it later.

Artichoke plant

My Listening Score to Manuel: 1 out of 5. I recognized the picture on Bing and knew I had an artichoke.

Purple in Prescott, AZ

Finally, back to the here and now in Prescott. My neighbor has been spraying what she calls “vincas” like they were invasive enemy #1. They might be. They are not like the vincas, also known as periwinkles, I remember from California. Bing had pictures of vinca major that look like my back yard where these pictures were taken.

Listening Score: 5 out of 5 So far both short-term memory and listening skills are working.

They seem too beautiful and delicate for be attacked as an invader.

California Purple Monsters

Violet, purple
California has it all
Not to be left out!

Morning Glory plants win the prize for both beauty and killing roses. Puppy Girl enjoys the shade provided by the Morning Glory tee pee built by Manuel Jimenez, the founder of the Botanical Garden in Woodlake

Listening Score to Manuel and my friend Sylvia who told me about Morning Glory 35 years ago: 5 out of 5.

I gave myself extra credit for remembering a factoid for over 35 years.

This picture also qualifies as a #BrightSquare

Another beautiful invasive species that I planted all over my yard in California is the Mexican Petunia. Even when you think they are dead sticks, they are working on their rhizomes, “a continuously growing horizontal underground stem which puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals.” Wikipedia. Our home buyers may love them, but if they don’t, it will be difficult to get rid of them.

Listening Score 3 out of 5. I still want to call them Mexican pansies.

Closing Comments

Have a great week and a good memory.

84 replies »

  1. Oh my, I love the way you tied listening in! I am guilty of lots of “not enough note taking” and, let’s face it my memory isn’t getting any better. I’m going through my travel shots and listing, if nothing else, where and when. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • That helps, then at least you can look them up, both your own files and information on the internet. It’s hard to remember on the spot what all you saw, and reading about it afterwards makes more sense as you tie your impressions and vague memories to facts. Thanks for the comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love purple – these are all wonderful, Marsha! And different. Artichokes are great, but don’t go that well over here. A good listener – well, I think I am. Having teaching as a profession for many years I have to be good at listening too. What I find difficult is listening to the meningless babble going on during election time. Some politicians just cannot, or will not, stick to facts and what is of importance. Wishing you a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, as a teacher, we have to be good listeners for hours on end and it’s a good time to teach children to speak up and speak clearly and to listen to each other. I agree with you on listening to meaningless babble. Blah, blah, blah. I just turn them off. Thanks for visiting Leya. I’ve been so swamped this month, hosting Sunday Stills for three weeks, participating in Becky’s Squares every day, hosting Story Chat and Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays and having my computer out for over a week! I think I will be back on my regular routine in a week. I wish you the best week ever. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. You are surely one busy woman Marsha! Loved your purples today. I was amazed when I visited Australia at how different their flowers are versus ours. Those protea were among the prettiest things I’ve ever seen! Thanks for the mention this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blogging can consume me sometimes. I am trying to find some good flight photos. Your post is lovely as it always is. Your posts are always as deep as they are beautiful. I admire that in photographers. It’s part of my photo-journalism background.


  4. ah but there were so many others things to remember on your travels – and I think to remember where you were and who you were with is a huge plus. So maybe it is more about remembering than listening

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL. At the time, I had a live encyclopedia sitting across from me who could answer all my questions. Now, four years later, she’s 14 hours away! I don’t know what happened to my journal in the move. I’m sick about it. All that vocabulary! Actually most of the vocabulary I’ve internalized, but not the names of stuff. So I get a 5 out of 5 on Aussie words! Thank goodness for Google for the plants. ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank goodness I took pictures of signs along the way. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know how to listen, Sadje. Meetings frustrate me when one person hogs the conversation. Sometimes that person is me, and that is super embarrassing. I get antsy and interrupt if I get excited about a topic. If I’m bored during a meeting, then I tend not to listen. Teachers and administrators typically go to a lot of meetings. That’s one reason I like writing and blogging because if I have an idea about a topic, I can spell it out uninterrupted. Then if someone wants to read it, great. If not, they don’t have to sit through my boring monologue. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love how you tied listening skills into your violet ๐Ÿ’œ florals, Marsha! When traveling it is important to take notes in some way to remember the details in images. But when you’re having fun with people, this doesn’t happens much. When I walked around the Hawaiian botanical gardens with Graham in Hilo, I was lucky to snap the signs next to each floral and grab a brochure. I bet you listened to the fun conversations you were having though. Those vincas are pretty, reminds me of my mom ๐Ÿ’œ

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are so right. I did take notes, and I can’t find my journal. I haven’t looked in Google Docs, but I had a physical journal that I took notes in. GONE! Like poor Lisa’s 2,000 photos on her card! That would make me sick beyond belief.

      Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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