Sunday, August 18, 2019

Morning Glories Climbing a Tree

My favorite flower is not universally loved. Although they are easy to grow, morning glories also tend to reseed themselves, and not always in the spot where they were planted. They are not particular about their friends, hobnobbing with english ivy or thriving in the same neglected spaces as poison ivy. To me, they are the essence of Art Nouveau--all curving stems and winding tendrils. They live up to their name, losing stamina and closing up by midday when the sun is out. Late risers may still find them in  shadier spots, like this old tree, where, as the day lengthens, their original sky blue blossoms deepen and take on a purple cast.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Rest Stop Porto-Potty

I am confused. Could someone please explain this to me? We are in the midst of vacation season. Families driving from here to there along the highways occasionally need to pull into a rest stop. Park yourself here. Stay as long as you need to, day or night.

Sunday, August 4, 2019


A fine border of smartweed edges a driveway in my neighborhood. I've been watching it grow all summer. The blooms, which look more like berries or unopened buds, are the same color as those of a nearby crape myrtle.  Who determines what is a weed? In earlier times, people used this bitter and acidic plant to treat  coughs, colds and kidney stones. Poultices of smartweed were recommended for hemorrhoids. Smartweed's  more ancient names indicate both its taste and its uses: water pepper, bitey tongue and smartass. It will dye cloth yellow. Unwelcome in our present-day lawns and gardens, perhaps smartweed is underappreciated these days.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Eye Contact

Every two years, Sacred Threads presents a group of beautiful and thought provoking quilts. This time, a special exhibit added another dimension. The call went out for small quilts in a specific size portraying eyes. Viewed together, they are a lesson in how a gathering of similar items emphasizes their differences. Like so many of us, I am acutely aware of the masses of humans around me looking at their phones. We are not engaging in those fleeting meetings of our eyes that were once the connecting fiber of daily life. As the exhibit's curator, Barbara Hollinger writes, "Lift up your head, gaze into someone’s eyes and make a connection."

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Bubble Boys

Two little boys played on the patio one level below me. Each was armed with one of those "bubble guns" that holds a full container of bubble liquid. They ran back and forth, trailing streams of transparent spheres that would have made Lawrence Welk proud. They took great delight in sending them off into the trees, watching them pop as they met a leaf or branch. A few caught the breeze and drifted up to me, rainbow colors swirling on their fragile surfaces. So simple, so fascinating, no matter what your age.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Dog At the Butcher

If you are a dog on a hot day, where would you choose to stop for a rest? In the doorway of the butcher shop, of course. After a ramble around the farmers market, this guy headed straight to the door and flopped down. His humans just laughed and waited for a while. They said that this is his favorite spot. Dogs don't need to read the sign on the door. The cool tiles and delicious scents speak for themselves. Customers came and went, while he enjoyed the moment.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Installation At the Arts Center

The Arlington Arts Center is wrapped in fabric until July 21, 2019. Pieced like a very long quilt top, the red brick walls of the old Maury Elementary School are a counterpoint to the draped fabric, which billows slightly in the breeze. Brooklyn artist Amanda Browder creates large scale installations. She sets out to engage the community, asking for fabric donations and help with the sewing. The monumental scale of her art extinguishes the traditional assumptions that anything made from fabric is craft rather than art. There is also a more than a bit of whimsy. How can you not smile at the sight of this?