greenhouse

when i was a child, my family would drive down the gravel road to the greenhouse at the start of every summer. stepping inside the tent was like stumbling upon my own narnia, where it’s always june instead of perpetually winter. the perfume of so many flowers mingled together in the humid air. puddles on the floor reflected back the rainbow of blooms. bugs flitted from plant to plant. the atmosphere made it easy to pretend that i was the goddess demeter and the growing beauty all around me was my own handiwork.

my father would tell my brother and i that we could each pick one plant to bring home. my brother always chose something spiky and blossom-less, such as a serrated-edged, deep purple persian shield or a dark succulent. time after time, i was drawn to the romantic array of cherry, fuchsia, punch-pink, and candy cane geraniums. i always bought one and my brother always got a plant as sharp as his personality. some things are as predictable as the sunrise, and our greenhouse habits are no exception.

when my brother and i placed our special flowers on the counter beside my dad’s box of purchases, the worker would adjust her sin sifter and let us pick out a free marigold. there was a box of fiery blooms in the windowsill, straining for the sun. my brother would claim an orange one and i would choose yellow, and we would hold them in our laps on the ride home and plant them side by side in the yard.

my brother doesn’t care for flowers anymore. our family goes to the greenhouse without him, and i’m allowed as many plants as i would like. the woman behind the counter no longer offers me a marigold.

if we went early enough in the summer, there would be a cage around the back of the greenhouse where they kept easter bunnies. i cupped them in my hands one by one, trembling pompoms with a heartbeat, watching their bubblegum noses twitch and their fur flit around in the breeze. i begged my parents for one — promised that i would make its life heaven on earth, read every book about taking care of rabbits that i could get my hands on — but they never agreed. it’s too much responsibility for you, they said. the cats wouldn’t like them. bunnies are mean, anyway. so i never got a rabbit, and at some point, they got rid of the cages and i never held another easter bunny.

a year or two ago, i went on a walk one dusty, golden evening, and my feet led me down the gravel road to the greenhouse. i paused by the sign announcing the valley’s favorite greenhouse and stared out across the soy fields. birds rustled and sang from the crops and danced duets in the pale sky. the sun-warmed rocks beneath my bare, callused feet became too intense as i stood there, absorbing a picturesque summer sunset in the country, so i scooted off into the grass beside the road. wild strawberries poked up around my toes. a gemstone beetle crawled across a daisy as it continued its steady journey back home.

i have only known creekside junes and julys, spent hunting water snakes on slippery rocks, staining my lips and fingertips with blackberries, biking by myself through corn fields, burning marshmallows in the backyard while watching a shooting star overhead. the ache of every perfect summer i will never experience is eating me alive.

xo apollo

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aphrodite

blossoms from emily’s tree.

a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (romeo and juliet)

roses in pennsylvania.

i’ll send you the sunset i love the most. (tokyo // owl city)

roses at a downtown café.

i am beginning to think
that i am a liar
i can’t open my mouth
without crooked words tumbling
over crooked teeth
like when i shrugged and said
we’re kids
we can’t love each other yet
and i felt aphrodite
dewy rose petals caught in her
dark dripping curls
twist her bruised lips in sorrow
because what is young love
but praying you’ll make it
while reaching for sweaty
shaky hands in the dusk

xo apollo

another adventure | photography

my mom dragged me to a campground last week for a nature journaling club (basically a convention of old ladies who thought they were hilarious). i’ve been there many times before, with ahg and cub scouts, and for a renaissance fair and jousting tournament.

i roamed around the campground and hiked up to an overlook while my mom was at the club. i am in love with wandering off by myself and just thinking. i think there’s a word for that: solivagant. it’s a nice word. i wish i sounded like it. 

my mom is an artist. she’s kind of ok, i guess.

i found a dying bouquet by the base of the cliffs. it made me sad. that might be one of the worst kinds of sadness: seeing something that makes you ache, but not knowing why it makes you feel that way.

there’s a tiny cave in one of the cliffs. there were enormous crickets on the ceiling. gross.

people have scratched words into the rocks up at the lookout. i like searching for things other than initials.

because if you’re going to deface nature, you may as well be polite about it.

while i was hiking up to the outlook, a group of girls with a puppy passed by. it was chubby and white and basically a puffball of light and joy. it was one of the softest things i’ve ever touched.

yellow flowers are a gift. thanks, God.

it was getting pretty hot, so i made my way over to the river, planning to wade. but the river was gone?? somehow?? so i took pictures of the wildflowers growing on the bank instead.

i’ve had my converse for almost two years and they’re falling apart. i need new ones. they’re not as bad as my last pair yet (i could peel back half of the sole on those ones), but they’re getting there. i’ve managed to rip a hole in the heel because i got one shoe stuck in a door, the laces are fraying, the rubber on the sides are coming off, and they’re stained red from the mud at my camp‘s shooting range.

these tiny daises are one of my favorite flowers.

idk what this means, but i like it.

i’m still angry about my river disappearing. it’s like part of my childhood evaporated. darn you, water cycle.

i have good memories of this place: murder in the dark in the rain, muddy ultimate frisbee, guitar around the campfire, splashing around in the river, biking through enormous puddles, playing cards with my best friend in our tent. it’s rained literally every time i’ve gone camping there, but i don’t really mind.

nostalgia tints everything gold.

xo apollo

rainy days are rad days

« post idea from mason‘s rad blog. songs in bold are explicit. »


21 questions // waterparks

ghost on the dance floor // blink-182

HELP // the front bottoms

whatsername // green day

royal // waterparks

freckles and constellations // dodie

lipstick covered magnet // the front bottoms

disappear // dear evan hansen

bulletproof love // pierce the veil

stupid for you // waterparks

my mood’s dictated by our conversations, and if you don’t text i get too frustrated. i want you all to myself this time. (21 questions)

i’m gonna get on my knees, would you kick me in the face, please? it’ll make whatever i say sound like poetry. (lipstick covered magnet)

i’m color-coding my moods. you’re yellow, i’m natural blue. let’s get together and be green like my insides. (stupid for you)

i’m scared i’m gonna die as lonely as i feel right now. (lipstick covered magnet)

it’s like the universe has left me without a place to go. (ghost on the dance floor)

even if you’re somebody who can’t escape the feeling that the world’s passed you by, you still matter. (disappear)

i fall in love with everything that wants nothing to do with me. (royal)

this isn’t fair! no, don’t you try to blame this on me. my love for you was bulletproof, but you’re the one who shot me. (bulletproof love)

thought i ran into you down on the street. then it turned out to only be a dream. (whatsername)

i saw your ghost tonight, the moment felt so real. if your eyes stay right on mine, my wounds would start to heal. (ghost on the dance floor)

i’ll be your new favorite tune, i’ll be your black cloud by june, but only when you miss the rain like i miss you. (stupid for you)

i’ll forget you if you need me to, like nothing ever happened. my sun still sets without you, like nothing ever happened. (21 questions)


two of my favorite things to photograph are my friends when they are in love with life, and the way the world looks when the sky has cried on it.

i think i’m just going to talk now, so if that doesn’t interest you, you can leave.

school has started for me (which means having at least one mental breakdown a day). i’ve only been at public school four times so far and i have already witnessed lots of drama and become known as “that odd homeschool kid who can pronounce spanish words really well and guYS, LOOK, SHE CAN DRAW!! PLEASE DRAW ME!!” pal, i will draw you six feet under if you keep doing this.

i have a book of some of edgar allan poe’s work. i like it quite a lot, although it’s pretty disturbing. i’ve read the tell-tale heart, the cask of amontillado, the raven, the black cat, and the masque of the red death. speaking of books, i have a goodreads account now!! so that’s cool. you can follow me on there, if you’d like.

i got contacts today!! i can see leaves and all the wrinkles on my mom’s forehead!! i’ve been singing a whole new world in my head all day. i also got some free sunglasses. they’re dark enough that i can stare at people in public, but they won’t know because my eyes aren’t visible. if you’re a stalker, you need to get some of those shades. take it from an expert.

i hope you enjoy looking at pictures of flowers and wet things, because that’s pretty much all this post is. sorry about that. have a good day, my friends. :)

xo apollo

swimming hole

salutations. :) my mom took den mother and me to neat swimming hole on thursday. i brought my camera, of course. here are the pictures, in a more or less random order.

there’s something sad and lovely about dying flowers.

butterfly fren. :)

there was a rope swing, and you had to climb up the face of the rocks to reach it. i was too short to grab ahold of the rope, so we had to find a stick for me to use as an arm extension. what we really needed was a tall person to use as a ladder.

my mom thinks that the rocks at the swimming hole look like animals. she found one last year that has an uncanny resemblance to a trout. b and i poked around for a bit and found this one, who is apparently a giraffe. his name is jeffrey the giraffe and he is the love of my life.

my name’s blurryface and i care what you think.

we were trying to be artsy and it totally failed. we should just stick to being losers.

skipping stones.

this is a rock and his name is gloria.

i tried to find a rock that matched her eyes.

we were having a competition to see who could make the biggest splash with a rock. i was planning on cheating and throwing her in.

she was writing a love note in the dirt. :)

the sun made tiger stripes on the rocks.

we were trying to cross one spot of the river, and we came up with some creative ways of doing it. originally, the plan was to stand on a large piece of bark and paddle/pull ourselves across with a stick. then we tried making a bridge. finally, b offered to give me a piggyback ride so i wouldn’t have to get my feet wet (yes, i’m aware that i’m a loser). it was only when we were crossing the river the second time that we realized we could both just walk across.


the sun was shining the entire drive to the swimming hole, but once we got there, a bunch of clouds popped up out of nowhere. waiting for the sun to come back out, we wandered around and photographed the wildflowers. once it had warmed up a little, we got into the swimming hole, which was absolutely f r e e z i n g. we found a couple of warm spots and huddled there until the current moved them elsewhere. we were comparing “tans” (which is in quotation marks because we are both extremely pale), and my shinguard tan is amazingly striking when underwater. my thighs are kind of tan, but everything below that is incredibly freaking white. shinguard tans are probably the worst thing about soccer. and we did this race, where instead of swimming or running, we bounced along the river on our butts.

we are not the most mature people.

i had seen pictures of the rope swing online, and that’s how i knew it was there. the swimming hole was kind of shallow that day, so jumping into it on a fraying rope tied to a dead branch was probably not the smartest thing i could have done, but i’m an idiot, so i did it anyway.

i didn’t wear a bathing suit (another brilliant idea, apollo!), so even after we had been out of the water for awhile, i was still damp and shivering. while i was looking through the pictures b took of me, i realized that a) my lips were nearly blue, and b) i look like gollum when my hair is wet.

my mom set up a picnic (because she’s a genius), and i got some very  interesting pictures of b kissing a skittles bag. i might post them some time, but she has a lot of blackmail on me, so that might not be the safest thing to do with said pictures. but i definitely won’t delete them. :)

after we ate, b gave me a piggyback ride across the river, where we tried to skip stones and complained about the lack of tall people. really, though, most of my friends are scarcely more than five feet. it would be funny if i weren’t 5’2″ myself.

i’d love to go back to the swimming hole sometime, preferably when it’s hotter, so i don’t spend the whole time freezing. i need to remember to pack a tall person next time, so they can reach the rope swing for me.


a not-very-funny joke told many times that day:

b: why is it so cold here?!

me: because of your heart.


xo apollo

it’s called ukulele screamo and it’s art

because you’re clearly not a real twenty one pilots fan until you post pictures of your ukulele on your blog.

and, yes, i did pick wildflowers and cover the ukulele with them just for these photos.

i can’t even play the ukulele. yet. i’m trying to figure it out, but i’m not very good at playing instruments. i get frustrated too easily. but i’m going to try to learn it over the summer, since i don’t have much else to do. i want to be able to play the only exception by paramore, stomach tied in knots by sleeping with sirens, and can’t help falling in love (a song that has grown to mean the world to me. thanks, n.).

i’ve been playing it for a little bit each day, and my fingers already hurt like heck. i don’t know how people who play string instruments exist. they have too much endurance for one person. i know that i’ll get calluses on my fingertips if i play enough, but it hurts right now and i am in so much pain. (i’m being a little bit dramatic, but that’s just how i keep my life from being incredibly boring. also, i’ve been in one play and two musicals, so that gives me the right to be dramatic, yeah? i’m being sarcastic, by the way.)

i’m just going to talk about my awful music teachers now.

mrs. t

so. i always wanted to play the flute. and one year, my mom decided that my brother and i should learn to play an instrument, as part of our school. i, of course, chose flute, and my brother picked drums. we found an old homeschool mom who knew how to play pretty much every instrument invented, and we took lessons from her once a week. her name was mrs. t. this was a  m i s t a k e, let me tell you.

when we arrived at her house for the first time, her two sons were playing basketball in the driveway. there was a dilapidated playhouse which was being claimed by the wild. we went into her house, and there was this really distinct and overwhelming smell. it was kind of like homemade spaghetti sauce with way too many fresh herbs in it. mrs. t was a plump lady with white hair that looked like a bunch of cotton balls glued to her head, and she had this slightly evil, strained smile. the only good thing was that she had lots of cats, and they would walk into the room while i took my music lesson and lay on the sheet music.

my brother’s lesson was first, so my mom and i spread out a blanket in the shade and did school until it was my turn. it was nearly impossible to focus, though, because of the racket my brother was making. he was pretty awful, honestly — hesitant taps, unsteady rhythm, etc. the worst part was that he thought he was really good, because he finished his book of sheet music way before i finished mine. but he didn’t need to learn notes and fingering and how to breathe properly.

anyway, my first lesson was incredibly awkward. i barely talked at all, because i hated how her house smelled and i didn’t want to breathe it in if i could help it. well, breathing is kind of important when playing a wind instrument, i’m not sure if you guys knew that.

mrs. t spent the first lesson teaching me how to put the flute together, how to clean and hold it, and how to get a crisp sound to come out of it. the flute smelled like my grandma’s nasty little schnauzer dog, by the way.

i realized a few things after that first lesson: flute is a lot harder than it looks, i would never be able to eat homemade spaghetti sauce again, and i really did not like mrs. t.

my mom made us stick with our instruments of choice for a year. by the time i got to quit flute lessons, the most impressive thing i could play was two lines of camptown races. i was very happy to quit, and although i still have my flute, i have barely touched it since then.

mrs. u

the two other music teachers i can remember were both from my co-op: mrs. u and mrs. c. mrs. u wasn’t a bad teacher, just a little too enthusiastic. she directed the musical that our co-op performed every other year, and i got the main role the first year i was old enough to audition. i played zoe (originally zach), the star of the basketball team who twisted her ankle before the big game. i had a fair amount of lines (snarky responses to other characters), but i mostly just got to sit there and look annoyed while everyone sang at me (i remember mckenna dancing around with a bible and basically telling me to change my attitude). the only song i got to sing in was the last one, after i had had a change of heart or whatever, and to this day, i will start singing it whenever someone says “everyday.”

mrs. c

mrs. c was a different story, though. she wrote the musical herself, and i don’t want to say that it was bad, but . . . i could have written a much better one. pup was one of the main characters for that musical. i was only part of the first act, so the practices were really quite boring for me. the only good things about that musical were that i got to laugh a lot with q and n during the practices, even though we got in trouble for it a few times. i also got to see n in a lot of dark eyeliner, which still stands as one of the most amusing things i’ve ever witnessed. i have lots more to say about this . . . slightly lacking musical, but that would be enough for a whole other post. i could write that, if you guys would be interested.

so, that pretty much sums up my experience with music classes. for someone who listens to music so much, it’s probably a bit surprising that i can’t play anything very well. hopefully i can become a little more than “absolute trash, seriously, why are you even trying” when it comes to ukulele.

i want to know about your awful teachers, because i’m sort of a bad person, i guess. so go ahead and rant about them in the comments, i won’t mind. 

xo apollo