Sunday, May 15, 2022

Venetian Glass

 The exhibit featured examples of the most exquisitely done Venetian glass arts. I peered into the vitrine displaying a trio of perfectly-blown wine goblets.  Enameled birds and hunting dogs chase in and out of colorful vines. They are as crisp and perfect as the day the master craftsperson painted them and set them in the glass oven to bake. The shadow of each goblet spreads across the base of the vitrine, a replica in light and shade that makes it easy to appreciate the designs. It takes great skill for museum lighting experts to illuminate an object so beautifully. They do their jobs, then leave it to us to enjoy and appreciate their addition to the art.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Stay Awhile

 The metal plaque on the gate says "Stay Awhile."  I always slow my pace, wondering who lives in the small Edwardian-era house with the white picket fence. Did  the plaque come with the house or was it installed by the current owners? We have gone through a time of isolation, when inviting people into your home could be dangerous. During the dark days before vaccines became available, the words on that gate seemed like words of hope. Now I can see them as homey and welcoming.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Expanded Present

 The Smithsonian's Arts & Industries Building is currently open for "Futures," an exhibit that shows pieces from the various museums and looks towards the future. Artist Soo Sunny Park has enveloped the entrance in a fantastical structure that twinkles and changes colors in the sunlight. Looking like a cross between a cloud and dramatically overgrown bushes, she created it from thousands of dichroic glass squares wired into a steel frame. How appropriate that this type of glass was developed by NASA. The iridescent glass changes colors depending on the sun’s angle and where you stand. It’s a magical sight, inviting visitors inside to explore what our futures might hold.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Bubble Tea Truck

 On the first truly warm, sunny day of spring, a full rainbow's-worth of food trucks lined the edge of the Mall in Washington, DC. This was more than a gathering of hot dog purveyors. Tacos, gyros, ice cream, Mexican roasted corn, donuts, dumpling---so many choices. I was pleased to see that a few trucks offering bubble tea have joined the convoy. This one had the longest line of thirsty customers. Is it the best bubble tea? Or is the truck just so alluringly colorful that it is irresistible? I will return on another fine day to find out for myself.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Tulips and Pansies

 Nature has a way of echoing itself. Pointy-petalled tulips open wide on our first very warm day. They look up at the sky, where, later that night, the stars gaze down upon the star-shaped tulips. This gardener knows her color wheel well. Blue pansies are the perfect complement to those sunny almost-orange tulips. Spring is here. Let's all go out and enjoy it.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Bluebells On the Corner

 The oaks and maples have barely begun to form leaf buds, but the bluebells spread among the roots are at their peak. I've always dreamed of walking through an English woodland carpeted in bluebells but my visits have been too early or too late. Honestly though, Virginia bluebells, with their curved stems and gracefully drooping clusters are more elegant than their stiffer British cousins. The bells sway silently in the breeze and their color mirrors the sky. I don’t miss that English woodland after all.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Two Camellias

 Gardeners often want plants that are not ideal for their climate, their soil or the amount of sun in their garden. Who can resist camellias, in full bloom while most flowers have barely poked up green shoots? In "borderline" gardening zones, people try to lessen the risk by planting a camellia on the southern side of the house. Some place it near the dryer vent which provides some warm air. My friend’s camellia grows in a protected spot against a wall. The spring winds are chilly but the fluttering camellia blossoms prove that warmer days are coming soon.