Sunday, November 21, 2021

Golden Afternoon


 This week, we had two perfect autumn days with bright blue skies.  Rain and strong winds had prematurely stripped many of the red and orange leaves off of the maples, leaving the yellows of the beeches, tulip poplars, and ginkos. I scuffed along the path and looked up. The afternoon sun came out from behind a cloud, turning the tree canopy golden. The leaves made shivery sounds in the breeze.  It was a day I will remember when we are in the midst of the grays and browns of winter.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Beauty Berry


 Beauty berry lives up to its name. Such a striking plant would be noticed at any season, but it's especially welcome right now, when flowers have faded and gardens look a little tired. The berries are so shiny that they look like plastic beads. Their satiny orchid-lavender sheen contrasts nicely with the chartreuse leaves. Those leaves will turn yellow any day now. The leaves will fall but the berries will remain, spreading their beauty for a while longer.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Jack-O-Lanterns


 Last year, our neighborhood dreamed up ways for families to celebrate Halloween safely. Kids collected candy already bagged and clipped to fences. Others sent it down tubes made into candy chutes. One of the highlights was a wall of jack-o-lanterns. Last year, the lights only said "VOTE" but this time there was a reminder to get vaccinated, something the younger kids are actually looking forward to doing very soon. I shot this at dusk on October 30. By Halloween evening, the wall was complete, with magic and joy multiplying throughout the neighborhood via a congregation of jack-o-lanterns.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Halloween Nightmare House


 On a street known for great Halloween displays, this one takes the...uh...fun size candy bar. Every spooky scenario, mysterious gathering or terrifying nightmare you dare to imagine is crammed onto this property. That car with the broken windshield is an old hearse with an open casket in back. Notice the license plate. The mourners at the porch funeral pay no heed to the goings-on in the rest of the yard. It’s creepy, scary and magnificent in every detail. But I would never go up on that porch alone at night.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Sea Oats

A beam of late afternoon light illuminated the grasses that spilled over onto the street. The ripening seed heads shivered in the breeze. Sea oats have gained popularity among those who want to replace a traditionally tidy garden with a more naturalized haven for birds and insects, perhaps even a mini-meadow. They remind me of the illustrations on my antique Thanksgiving postcards, which often include sheaves of wheat and other grains along with apples, grapes and pumpkins. This is a different bounty, intended to help sustain our winged friends.

 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Celiosa and Bumblebee


 The hot pinks and magentas of the celiosa drew me over to the rows of plants at the garden center.  In the afternoon sun, they lived up to their name, which comes from a Greek word for flame. A steady hum rose up as I stepped closer. Dozens of bumblebees and honeybees flew around and within the masses of blooms. I watched a bumblebee, the B-52 of the bee family, hover and then land on one especially promising specimen. Look carefully and you can see the pollen clinging to the bee. The bee was too busy to care about me.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Painting The Human Figure"


 A popular art fair sets up activity stations for kids. This year, one featured a man in a hazmat suit standing on a drop cloth while kids squirted paint onto brushes, spatulas or their hands. They smeared it on the man, who turned, stuck out legs or arms, and at one point suggested that other colors be added to the large splat of silver on his belly. Some kids thought carefully about the colors and their placement. Others just enjoyed the chance to smear paint on an adult. There are books titled "Painting the Human Figure." I doubt if this method is included in any of them.