My tree peony started blooming on the weekend. It's my only poofy-flowered plant, and I might not have planted it in the first place had I known the extent of its poofiness, but over the years I have become quite fond of it. Its flowering signals the ramping up of the growing season. It also coincides with the first big wave of warblers and migrant sparrows. It is a signal of good things long awaited.
The peony is planted at the front of the lot, near the sidewalk. Again, had I known the extent of its poofiness, I would have planted it somewhere else.
Those big red flowers are just too tempting to those who feel no shame in stealing from another's garden. Today's (would be) thief was obviously an amateur, unaware of the fibrous toughness of a tree peony. He/she just left the bloom hanging there on a mangled stem.