I am not a girly-girl. I’ve never treated myself to a manicure, I have less interest in shoes than most men, and my blow dryer last saw action several months ago when I removed one those flashy stickers some companies like to plaster all over their products. And yet.

And yet I am all about rainbows and butterflies and chirping birds and, yes, flowers. Not on t-shirts or binders or anything plastic and decorative, you understand. Just in reality, in this dimension.

Which is why I’m loving this summer so very much. Flowers are everywhere, blatantly growing and spreading and blooming. Three volunteer rosebushes sprouted in my vegetable garden, globe mallows are sweeping up and down the hillsides, and wild irises are grinning like lunatics in the mountain sunshine. It’s an obscene rainbow of blossoms carpeting everything outside of town except the rocks and asphalt. It’s like the Disney Channel, except no princesses.

What’s great about flowers, beyond the fact that they are nice-looking and they usually smell good and they stand still when I try to take pictures of them, is that they make no pretense whatsoever. They are all about the pollination, their petals and perfumes and colors brashly yelling, “Come and get it!” to any passing insects. It’s hard not to admire such honesty, especially when packaged so prettily.

Alas (if one can use such a word in 2009) this year the ridiculous abundance that overtook the local flowership completely skipped every fruit tree I know and love. Our neighbor’s apricot, which hangs halfway into our backyard, always produces enough to make any self-respecting fruit-lover sick to her stomach. This year, though? Only leaves. The plum tree? Nothing. Peaches? Not a one.

Only the Bing cherry in our front yard deigned to bring forth anything remotely edible – lots and lots of gorgeous cherries, swinging merrily in the early summer breeze. No doubt they were delicious, too. I wouldn’t actually know, you see, since the birds cleaned off the branches exactly one day before I planned my harvest. They did look yummy, though, plump and juicy and deep, sweet red.

Hrm. Now that I think about it, I take back what I said above about liking birds. Greedy little suckers. Flowers, though. Those I still adore. And rainbows and butterflies, of course. And once our trees start making fruit the way God and the garden center that sold them intended, I’m sure I’ll start liking them again, too. Check back next July, and I’ll let you know.

Obligatory flower photo. This one's in our front yard.

Obligatory flower photo. This one’s in our front yard.