If you lived in Arizona, you’d know what I mean.
If you’re on the east coast, or somewhere up north, this image might not make sense, but today in Tucson it’s into the 90s, and the entire city is infused with the scent of citrus blossoms. It’s really wonderful. The Kids’ grandmother gave us a bag of lemons and we’ve already finished our first pitcher of lemonade of the season, spring in Tucson being more similar in disposition to summer in most of the country.
Knocked this one out in just under 4 1/2 hours; it’s much easier when there’s no text, and I think the image speaks for itself.
Maybe this year is the year that life will hand me sufficient lemons for a sizable recipe of lemonade.
If there was a technology that allowed photographs to capture smells, lemon blossoms would probably be up there with cat pictures in terms of popularity. In fact, if cat pictures smelled like cats, image of lemon blossoms might be more popular than cat macros. There are few scents in the world that compare to lemon flowers in the spring (it’s spring where I live). I had a Spanish teacher who once told us that there is a word in Spanish that means specifically the aroma of lemon flowers, but of course I don’t remember what it is.
I was happy to spend some time taking this pictures right up in the cloud of this delicious smell. Only later did I realize that the settings were all wrong for the light and the lens and everything else. But you can see it’s a lemon flower. There are probably 100s of them, although in my experience, 3/4 will fall off in a strong wind and 95 of the tiny lemons that result from the remaining flowers will die without explanation long before they reach maturity.
Most of this tree isn’t fruit-bearing: it’s whatever thorny, hardly rootstock they graft the lemony part to so it survives in this climate. I’m gradually pruning that back to give the good parts a chance to thrive but the thorny bit is the life support system and the only part high enough to get sun over the garden wall. The parts of my lemon tree that are fruit bearing are low-to-the-ground and a small percentage of the tree, but one day I know this tree will fulfill its destiny of being amazing.
Gratitude for air redolent with the esters of lemon flowers.
You might think it’s about you. But it’s not. It’s about me.
Radical self care. For me it tends to take the shape of being incredibly selfish. Sometimes it seems like something I don’t get to do very often, but on the other hand, drawing webcomics is incredibly selfish in many ways. It’s absolutely all about me. My art has always been all about me. The difference is, it used to be novels that a half dozen people read, and now it’s comics that 100s or 1000s of people read. But they’re still about me, my life, my experience, what I’m going through. Even if they seem political or altruistic, even when I do something like the Patricia Jabbeh Wesley comic the other day, or all those Bonnie Jo Campbell comics, I’m still in it. It’s still about me.
My brother told me yesterday that my comics were getting very dark. I say the world is getting dark. The comics just reflect my perception of it. But actually, I’ve been taking great care of myself since the election.
Not, of course, as good as my kitty, Lupin (pictured above). We could all take lessons on radical self care from cats.
You know what this means, right?
Winter broke the day before yesterday in Tucson. We had 2 80°+ days, and now we have rolling thunderstorms. I saw a rainbow this afternoon. Both the citrus trees are budding and Miss Kitty and I ate Sno-Cones in the park. Even though the rain brings the temperature down, spring returns to the desert; it always does in time for Valentine’s Day. Meanwhile, in national news, the judiciary and the intelligence communities seem to support the resistance.
Sorry for the low quality lemon photo. I should have taken pictures of the tiny purple lemon blossom buds but I never got the lighting right. But I’ve had this lemon tree for 6 years. Last year it made 4 lemons. This year, 1 lemon. Next year, who knows! At least I have a lemon tree. I have several trees. That’s something else to be grateful for.
As always I’m extra grateful to anyone buying my book, wearing my merch, or supporting my Patreon.
They are tasty fried. Although I will eat flowers however they’re served.
Presumably there was some real-world inspiration for this design, perhaps my next door neighbor’s garden, but that original motivation has been lost to time. Even though the page is mostly white and the axes of the mandala aren’t even approaching symmetrical, this still amuses me. Nine arms and no sense.
I have seen Star Wars. I have attended holiday parties. I have made impossible New Year’s resolutions. Yay, December.
If you look at them too closely, flowers are really obscene.
Wow! I survived this weekend. Tomorrow, my feet will hurt, but walking in the All Souls Procession is always worth it. This week I will finish the Portage Printing comic and create my holiday bulletin board and then next weekend is my birthday celebration with Tucson friends, since I won’t be in Tucson on my actual birthday. It works out like that a lot, if I go to my parents’ for Thanksgiving. However, this will be my very last Chicago Thanksgiving, since the folks are finally retiring, and I will never again have to freeze myself in the Windy City in order to spend time with my family. Most likely I will again have to spend 6 hours stranded in O’hare because the weather is awful, but at least I won’t have to go outside.
I mean, I like Chicago. Between May and September.
Back to the Portage Printing comic. The last page is the easiest for layout, but is taking forever due to the fact that I started it in a style that involved drawing really realistic versions of pieces of audio-visual equipment, and page 3 involved 3 large old-fashioned televisions. But the TVs are almost done, and the images of what’s being shown on the TVs should be much easier.
These items are still too big for daily use by ants.
My actual kitchen table is 50% kitchen table and 50% workbench/junk drawer/stuff The Man doesn’t know what to do with, but I can set some lovely miniature tables with dishes and fruit and vegetables. Last night, I made this cute bowl and a single lemon and 3 roses and a vase, all out of the little scraps of clay left over from other projects. I didn’t fire them last night because it was pretty late, here they are now. My tiny vase-making skills could use improvement, but I think I’ll try some other, more complicated kinds of flowers and fancier vases in the future.
Yesterday I sent what I believe to be the final files for the Bonnie Jo Campbell comic book to the printers. I can scarcely believe it, but they should exist as physical objects in meatspace within the next week or so. I’m terrified there’s a mistake somewhere, or that I could have made them better with more work. It’s a strange balance, since I started this blog with the intention of giving up the drive for perfection, but somehow, print seems more momentous than pixels.