Sunday, March 26, 2023

An Unexpected Color For Spring

 Spring is traditionally the time of pastels with gardens full of pink magnolia and cherry blossoms or carpets of yellow daffodils.  Look up into the taller trees. Even before the smallest green tree leaflets unfurl, there is an autumnal-colored haze. The reddish clusters are the samaras holding the seeds of red maples. They look almost like russet flowers among the branches.  Soon they will detach from the trees and travel on breezes in dizzying flights downward. Depending on where you grew up, you know these double-winged seed vehicles as helicopters, whirligigs, twisters or whirlers. When they start to twirl off the trees this year, why not stop for a minute, pretend you are a kid, and chase after them?

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Spring Awakening

 We are at that point in early spring when every living thing begins to wake up. Trees are blooming, shoots poke up in the garden. Lines of soft, velvety moss always grow on the bricks protecting a row of front gardens. Right now, the moss is very hairy. Mosses have no stems. They don't develop pistils with pollen. Instead, they send spores into the wind. These lively, hair-like structures are the female equivalent. Backlit in the afternoon sun, this bit of moss has transformed into a tiny, fabulous creature, crawling down the brick. It is actually spreading, but at a pace way too slow for us to see. The truth of nature may be slow, but it's still magical.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

At the Renwick Gallery

 The Renwick is one of the rare museums that presents craft as, Right now, "This Present Moment” fills the grand old building with thought-provoking examples of the various media that usually get corralled into the category of craft. "Facing the Unexpected" by Polly Adams Sutton feels to me like a group of living beings. Woven primarily from red cedar bark and copper wire, the undulating curves and general slouchiness radiate an open, peaceful quality. One aspect of successful art is that it makes you feel something. This piece definitely does that for me.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Tall Hellebores

 Hellebores, also known as lenten roses, strike me to be introverts. They are happy in less-noticed corners of gardens, partly protected by a shrub or half hidden along a fence. Their drooping blossoms are best appreciated at the level of a robin searching for a worm. My friend has a fine crop of a newer, taller-stemmed variety. They still don't turn their faces up to the sun, but it's easier to admire the petals and examine the complex, decorative centers. I will return soon to enjoy them, along with their shyer cousins, before the days lengthen and the blooms disappear.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Pods On The Tree

 It was a nice day for a walk. On an unfamiliar street, a breeze picked up. I heard an odd rattling sound over my head. It came from the tree on the edge of the sidewalk. Clusters of dried seed pods clung to leafless branches, reflecting the sunshine, rippled as old washboards. If a thesaurus held recordings instead of just printed words, the seeds rattling within those pods would be the sound to illustrate the section for "desiccated." Soon the pods will lose their grip and be replaced by new leaves. The cycle will start over. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Teacups and Townhouses

 On a sunny afternoon, I paused to look at the row of Victorian-era teacups in the window of an antiques shop. The delicate patterns of hand painted blossoms became confused with the image of the townhouses and lacy branches reflected in the window. It struck me that a long-ago resident could have offered tea in those teacups to a guest at the time when the teacups were brand new. Now they sit across the street from each other, separated, but also connected by a pane of glass.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Hanging Hearts

 It was the way the hearts drifted in the breeze that caught my attention. They complimented the wreath on the door. Perhaps that wreath, and the lights wrapped around the shrubs were left over from Christmas. Does it matter? We are on to another holiday. If there is a way to surprise and delight strangers as they pass by your home, I am all for it.