Then yesterday and the two days before, the big reward came -- first sightings in years of a hummingbird busily attending to the petunias. Flying backwards as they miraculously do, hovering at a terrific rate, just there for a few seconds. But I was out loafing and reading at the time and that's how I caught sight of her. Three days in a row. No pix, no time!
Then today, in the midst of turning out the kitchen, thinning out pots and pans for freecycling, washing the shelfy things that have been there years, amazing how much they needed doing, heavy labor, I found cachepots and thought I should check if they needed occupants.
Anyway, I took a break and wandered outside in case I needed to bring any houseplants to occupy them yet, fall seeming to be rushing in, and there, after three years of tlc, the dieffenbachia has thrown a flower!
I didn't even realize they could. Noticed yesterday what I thought was a new leaf, but here it is opened up, and it's a lovely surprise of a flower.