Sunday, October 18, 2020

Aute Directions


 Partway up a Swiss mountain, we came to an intersection. The preferred direction was clearly marked. Our friends humored me when I jumped out to photograph the sign. We spent a lovely afternoon up near the top of La Dole, with cows ambling along the road. I still wonder what we would have found if we had turned in the other direction. Now, years later, when we are lost or come across a confusing road sign, my husband and I will say, in unison "Autre Directions!"

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Red Door, New York City

Today I am dreaming about my next trip to New York. When that day comes, there are sure to be visits to more than one museum. The entire city is my museum. Let me wander up and down a few of the less glamorous streets and I will happily spend an hour studying brickwork, stone cherubs and fire escapes. Neglected doors are canvases for those with no gallery representation.  They are group efforts, tagged, stenciled, stickered and scraped. Artists work for years to develop a similar multi-layered look. In a city, it happens organically.

 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Globe Amaranth


 The summer perennials are almost bloomed out and the annuals are tired, opening fewer and fewer flowers each day. This is when the globe amaranth really shines in a garden. Let's be honest, those bright globes are like a lady in a loud dress at the party where everyone else wears boring black. A native of Central America, the plants can be cooked and eaten or made into a tea that has medicinal properties. Gardeners will be harvesting some of the blooms to dry, then add to wreaths or bouquets. That bright color will cheer us through the coming winter.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Catalpa Leaves


 The weather is still warm but the catalpa in our yard is telling us that we are moving into autumn. Those big leaves are losing chlorophyl. A map of bright green veins remain, showing how the leaves nourish themselves. This brief time is when they look the most beautiful. Our catalpa does not make a graceful and colorful transition into winter. Instead, those very large leaves shrivel, turn brown from the edges in, then drop, leaving a tangle of bare spreading branches. But for a few more days, we will have those bright green veins.  

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Morning Glories On The Fence


Late this summer, I noticed that the curling stem of a morning glory vine was climbing up my side fence. It's an accidental gift, a sister of the vines that live in my neighbor's yard. I am thrilled! Every part of the morning glory is a source of inspiration; color that changes as the day lengthens, heart-shaped leaves, starry centers in the blossoms and those wildly undulating tendrils. So now I am hoping for a mild autumn and more time to enjoy my new floral friend.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Ceiling, Uffizi Gallery


 Today I am visiting Florence's Uffizi Gallery. I'm making the trip in my mind, walking down the corridors, looking up at the frescoed ceilings. My neck is getting sore from this, so I've decided to lie down on the polished wood floor and study the figures from mythology surrounded by colorful, fanciful creatures. Originally, these were offices. I'm imagining a 16th century accountant taking a break, pacing up and down the corridor. Hopefully he stopped to study the dragons and mermaids.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Monarch On Asters


When I am outside, I look for the monarchs. They are sadly and worryingly rare this year. The milkweed pods have not yet opened but the asters are blooming. I watched this monarch for a good long time, fluttering from flower to flower, with no companions in sight. Thank goodness for those who plant sustenance for the butterflies. Perhaps their efforts will help the monarch population to grow.