Sunday, August 25, 2019

Grungy Old Lamp Post

There are whole worlds in the surface of an old lamp post. I see the textures of tree bark or the surface of a planet. In the rust are stories about the seasons, years of sun and wind and rain. There are lessons in color theory, illustrated in shades of blue-green vibrating where it meets orangey rust. That delicious pumpkin color makes a split triad. Irregular shapes and aqua paint, the exact shade of oceans on globes of the world brings to mind illustrations of continents. Yes, there really is a world there in a lamp post.

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.