Sunday, September 19, 2021

Pizza Tree

 It has been a rainy month. Mushrooms of varying sizes and colors have popped up in yards. A tree on my walking route has grown a series of fungi that look like slices of pizza. I stopped to marvel at it, ignoring the barking dog whose job it is to announce the arrival of every person who walks by. Caught up in a fantasy of a tree that dispenses conveniently sliced pieces of pizza, I wondered where the slot would be for the money. But why does this look like pizza with crumbled sausage? Wouldn't mushroom pizza make more sense?

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Lamb's Ears

 Who can resist touching such velvety leaves? Lamb's ears justify their name. Small children are delighted to touch and carefully pet the plant. At the end of summer, when other flowers have gone to seed, their silvery tones add a nice texture and color. A member of the mint family, lamb's ears have antiseptic and antibacterial qualities. In earlier times they were used as bandages. I wonder if a five-year-old would forego the usual Mickey Mouse Band Aid for the novelty of a lamb's ear leaf laid on a scrape or cut. 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Frog With Umbrella

 What’s your opinion about "yard art?" Is it fun, whimsical, tacky, or simply unnecessary in your view? This guy stared at me from the steps of a somewhat neglected house. Never mind that frogs live in the water. He was dressed appropriately for this past month of unusually prolific rainstorms capped off with a dousing from the edge of Hurricane Ida.  If he stands there long enough, he will also be ready for the first snow. That's the beauty of red Wellies, even ones in extra-wide for webbed feet.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

29 Beaumont Street

 I love to walk around city neighborhoods, enjoying the architectural details that go by too fast in a car. This fine building stands at an oddly shaped intersection in London. The accoutrements of a gracious home are still here: wrought iron doors and numbers plus a brass doorbell and letterbox, all set within an entryway of terra cotta bricks. Let's stop a moment and imagine what it might have been like in the nineteenth century to ring that bell and be ushered inside.  This is my little postcard to you, with a reminder to slow down and enjoy the street-level views.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Parking Lot

 A square of hexagon mesh languished in the street. "What is that?" I wondered, and looked around. It had escaped from a gravel parking lot. Apparently, they no longer simply dump loads of gravel all over an empty lot and hope for the best. First they lay down grids to stabilize and even out the surface. The lot was in need of more gravel. Exposed squares formed a fascinating pattern that appeared and disappeared across the surface of the lot. I took many photos, but resisted the urge to walk off with one of the mesh squares. My suitcase was already packed.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Fading Coneflowers

 Yes, here I am with more coneflowers. Weeds have crept into gardens and many flowers have lost their enthusiasm for putting on a show. But this patch of coneflowers makes my heart sing. Their colors are changing; some are darkening, some have taken on a more complex tone. They offer a gentler palette of soft, faded Victorian colors. Those who mix paints or dyes will recognize that they are the colors you get when you mix in a little bit of a complement. It's a lesson in color mixing, offered gratis by Mother Nature on a hot day.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Hobbit House

 Well before Tolkien wrote about hobbits and elves, someone built a handful of homes that are fantastical interpretations of the houses that can be found in an the English village. Instead of a thatched roof, skillfully placed shingles ripple and curve like the scales of Smaug the dragon. Arched windows echo the roof.  Carefully chosen stones add color (and more of an American Arts and Crafts flavor) to this facade. Last year, we happened to drive past one of the other similar homes just as workers were ripping off the roof. I do not have the nerve to check on that house. Who has the skills or the cash to replicate those curving shingles? Instead, for now, I will find joy in this still-intact architectural gem.