What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

W.H. Davies (1911)


I do a lot of standing and staring these days, but not enough.

For me it isn’t enough to just admire a flower, for example. I want to categorize it. What is it called? What information is there about it?


I am a foolish collector of information. At this stage of my life, any new stuff I cram into my disorganized mind only has room to go there if something else is squeezed out.

Still, I wonder what that star-shaped purple flower is. Is there an app for that?


26 comments on “Leisure

  1. I remember this poem from my childhood, Bill.


  2. Wonderful share of poem Bill, one I remember well of learning by heart at school..
    I enjoy sitting and staring.. πŸ˜‰ and do a lot of that these days.. Between our gardening bouts Nature I never tire of watching her.. As she unfolds her precious gifts.. Hugs your way to you and yours Bill.


  3. shoreacres says:

    Of course there’s an app for that! It’s called iNaturalist, and there are dozens of experts, self-appointed experts, and wannabe experts just waiting to identify your purple, star-shaped beauty for you. Honestly, most people on the site are extremely knowledgeable, and posting isn’t the horror that you might imagine. If someone gets snarky, just brush it off — you know how the internet it!

    Together with BugGuide, the iNaturalist folks have made being out and about much more enjoyable for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Looks like a phlox to me. I too like to know the names of things in nature. But you’ve made me feel better about my favorite activity– leaning on a shovel.


    • Bill says:

      I’m always impressed by people who know both the popular and Latin names. I often call things by the names I learned as a child, which are often totally wrong.


      • No Bill, Common names for plants are not “wrong”, just different in different places – and often dependant upon where your parents/ancestors came from… That’s why botanical names are used; )
        But don’t be fooled by the “high-falutin'” Latin either… There’s still
        LOTS of controversy and multi-terminology confusion with botanical designations too!: )


  5. Annie says:

    So sweet a tiny flower. It may be venus lookng glass but can’t be 100% positive.


  6. Laurie Graves says:

    Lovely poem! And so true. Can’t help you with the flower. We humans always seem to want to name and categorize things, don’t we? πŸ˜‰


  7. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, I’m not sure that I stand and stare but how about sit and enjoy. Most of my brilliant …. or not so brilliant ideas are born while resting and gazing at Terra Nova Gardens. I’m into try number two design change for the gravity feed irrigation at Terra Nova Gardens. I have to get it perfected before I leave for 10 days.

    I’m not much help for flower identification. Flowers are not in my garden yet but I’m working on it. I do like blue and purple flowers through.

    Have a great stand and stare day.


    • Bill says:

      I’m no good at flower identification. I enjoy them, but not nearly as much as I enjoy fruits and veggies. Quite a few flowers in our gardens these days as the hot weather has the spring crops bolting. πŸ™‚


  8. “I am a foolish collector…” Sorry Bill, but – being another “collector of information” – can’t have you using that particular adjective! As it fits snugly with, whomever said “small things amuse small minds”


    • Sorry! Abruptly ended myself in my indignance(if there is such a word; ) Just think of all those “small minds” whose mental wanderings came up with existence of molecular structures or quirks and quarks; )
      Having (taking) the time to set one’s mind free to go a’rambling is a precious resource and not to be disparaged! (I find this happens most often when gardening; )

      Liked by 2 people

    • Bill says:

      Of course I was only referring to myself Deb. When and whether the collection of information rises to the level of foolishness is subjective.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Peggy and I were out hiking yesterday and I was reminded that it is time to brush up on my flowers again. If I don’t they escape me. πŸ™‚ Had an old friend along on many of my early backpacking trips who was an absolute whiz when it came to flowers. One time we asked him what a particular yellow flower was and he told us a DYC. We were content with that. Laughing later, he told us that a DYC is a damn yellow composite. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Except when you are out in the woods, far beyond any internet service. πŸ™‚


  11. tori says:

    The purple star-shaped flower. Might it be this?
    Campanula poscharskyana: A low-growing evergreen herbaceous plant, this lovely little Harebell spreads very rapidly to form a very good cover in a sunny position. The mild-flavoured leaves can be harvested all year round to be used in salads. C. portenschlagiana can be used similarly, we do not yet know if this species is deciduous or evergreen. Here is the source:


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