Grateful Praise #1: Queen Anne’s Lace

Bug walking tightrope is NOT a chigger.

I really enjoyed doing Thirty Days of Grateful Praise, and some of you seemed to fancy it as well.  So I’ve decided to make it a regular feature (called simply “Grateful Praise”), except this time, I’ll take it one day at the time. :-)  I don’t find it difficult at all to find things I’m grateful for—-every single day, it seems, I see something ordinary with fresh eyes and recognize how blessed I am.

It’s been a wonderful year here at the Doublewide Ranch for Queen Anne’s Lace.  I’ve always loved this commonplace flower (which some unenlightened souls call a weed), but have taken particular notice this year of all the lovely forms it takes throughout its long growing season. It’s been a delightful distraction in my daily walk down the driveway to fetch the mail.  It’s pretty obvious from my pictures, I suppose,  why some call it “bird’s nest.”  Growing up, I heard folks call it “chigger weed” because they claimed it was chock-full of chiggers, but I think as long as you don’t loll about in a large field of Queen Anne’s Lace, you’ll be okay.

When looking for poems about Queen Anne’s Lace, I found a poem that wasn’t specifically about the flower, but I liked it so much that I decided to include it here.   It could almost be a poem about me, except for the “long after midnight” part.  I’m an “early-to-rise” girl, for certain, up at the crack of dawn. But the part about “walking up the walk Like a woman in a dream”(people used to call me a “dreamy” child and I don’t think they meant it as a compliment) and leaving the clover and Queen Anne’s Lace standing when mowing…well, I’m afraid that’s right on target. :-)

PORTRAIT BY A NEIGHBOR

Before she has her floor swept
Or her dishes done,
Any day you’ll find her
A-sunning in the sun!

It’s long after midnight
Her key’s in the lock,
And you never see her chimney smoke
Till past ten o’clock!

She digs in her garden
With a shovel and a spoon,
She weeds her lazy lettuce
By the light of the moon.

She walks up the walk                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Like a woman in a dream.
She forgets she borrowed butter
And pays you back in cream!

Her lawn looks like a meadow,
And if she mows the place
She leaves the clover standing
And the Queen Anne’s lace!

Edna St. Vincent Millay

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16 Responses to “Grateful Praise #1: Queen Anne’s Lace”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Oh Beth, this has made my day! And given that my day began at 5:30 a.m. with a colonoscopy, that’s saying a LOT!!! LOL! I’ll take your days of Grateful Praise whenever you post them. They always seems to provide a moment of inspiration and devotion for me. I remember well my mother hollering at my sister and I to stay out of the “chigger-weed” and I always thought it was so pretty!

  2. CountryDew Says:

    Beautiful shots and lovely poem to go with them. We used to call QA lace chigger weed, too. I think it is lovely and enjoy looking at it. Plus you can eat the roots, which I did not know until recently!

    I was wondering if you would email me – afirebaugh@gmail.com – just so I would have your email. There have been times I’ve wanted to drop you a note but don’t have your contact info.

    Glad you have decided to do this. I love your grateful praise.

  3. Brenda Besch Says:

    I think it looks beautiful and I love the poem. I am that night owl….I don’t do mornings. Have a blessed day.

  4. Bonnie Jacobs Says:

    I’m a night owl, but I do morning when necessary. Now that I’m retired, I can enjoy the peace and quiet of night time, when the neighbors are asleep and everything is peaceful. I know Queen Anne’s Lace when it’s in full bloom, but I didn’t know this is what they look like before opening up. They are beautiful at this stage. In the next-to-last photo, they seem to be using their multiple hands to cover their faces, like they’re shy or something.

  5. Plowing Through Life (Martha) Says:

    Well, I used to be a night owl, but now I’m a morning person. Like you, I’m up at the crack of dawn. Actually, I’m up while it’s still dark outside; even the birds aren’t up yet. I love that quiet time when everyone is still asleep and the world is quiet.

    These are beautiful photos and the poem is lovely. I am so happy you are writing up some ‘Grateful Praise’ posts. I truly enjoy them.

  6. Bikbik & Roro Says:

    O wonderful, I love your Grateful Praise series! Queen Anne’s Lace is pretty, so exquisitely formed; I remember even drawing it in my diary when I was like 10 years old :)

  7. Jayne Says:

    Funny, but as a kid that’s all I remember about them. My mama said, “Stay away from those, they’re full of chiggers!” :c) And the negative connotation has remained to this day. But, they are pretty and dainty I must confess. Glad to see you back here and sharing your gratefulness my friend.

  8. Kay G. Says:

    Leave the clover and the Queen Anne’s Lace…and the blazing star too, if you have it!
    Very grateful for all the flowers, thank you for this post.

  9. Jeff Says:

    I’ll bet there are a whole lot of educated people who have never heard of Edna St. Vincent Millay …

    There is more information at this website about Queen Anne’s Lace than you ever wanted to know. Very interesting.

  10. Betsy Adams Says:

    Love it, Beth, and I am so glad that you are doing this again… We truly ALL have so much to be thankful for —and we need to express that often….

    Love that poem… I’m a night owl –and hate to get up really early in the mornings… SO–that poem is also about me!!!!!

    Queen Anne’s Lace is so pretty –in all stages of its life. You got some fabulous photos of it. Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

  11. eemilla Says:

    I’ve never liked Queen Anne’s lace because my neighbor as a kid told me the chigger lie, but you’re photos make it look much more pretty and interesting. I love the poem too!

  12. Ana Says:

    wow, the photos look stunning. I am glad you made think about all the things I have to be thankful for.

  13. Debi Kelly Van Cleave Says:

    I often wonder why we don’t appreciate some “weeds.” We’re so picky! I was recently admiring my Queen Anne’s Lace. It reminds me of snowflakes.

  14. Benjamin Says:

    It is a very hardy flower. The flowers captured here even have some red in them, something I’ve never noticed before.

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