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.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

"We Come In Peace"

 Huma Bhabha's monumental bronze sculpture stands near the steps to the Hirshhorn Museum’s Sculpture Garden. It's like an ancient totemic figure, worn by the ages, but also defaced by modern day graffiti. The woman staring at the figure resides on a gigantic scrim that covers the cylindrical facade of the Hirshhorn, which is under renovation. This is Nicholas Party's "Draw the Curtain," an 829 foot artwork-in-the-round. Stand in this particular spot and feel how these two beings, rooted in different ages and cultures, are linked, but also very alone, each in their own way.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Covid Flags, "In America: Remember"

This is just a small section of the flags spread out over many acres around the Washington Monument. Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg's installation illustrates the enormity of the continuing pandemic. To those who say "This Covid thing is exaggerated," to those who are sure they will not get sick, to those who refuse the scientifically proven vaccine, putting everyone around them in danger, I say this: Many who thought like you are now nothing but one of 600,000 white flags in a field. On the edge stands a sign board that continually updates the number of Covid deaths. Last Monday morning, that number was 673,484.


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.