Sunday, January 23, 2022

Banyan Roots


 A type of fig native to India and Southeast Asia, banyan trees are a prized novelty in the tropical regions of the US. Sometimes called strangler figs, the nickname illustrates its method of propagation; seeds germinate within the branches of a host tree and eventually kill off the host. There is something spooky about the way banyans send down roots that eventually develop into a network of trunks, like a room with way too many columns. The smooth bark and gracefully curving roots give banyans a dripping "art nouveauish" look. I have never seen an illustration of a banyan from that time period, but I'm guessing that Hector Guimard, Victor Horta and Aubrey Beardley would have been entranced by a banyan.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Kids On the Beach


 It's that time of winter when those who are tired of shoveling snow begin to dream of a  sunny beach.  A beach is a reminder that it takes very little to keep a child busy. Toddlers scream and jump with delight each time a wave rolls over their toes then recedes, leaving bubbles on the surface of the sand. There are birds to chase and never catch, horseshoe crabs and bits of flotsam to examine.  A shovel and some plastic take-out containers are enough to keep Sand Architects building castles and fortifications until the tides change. I am a shell person, not knowledgeable, but always scanning the sand for something pretty, a souvenir of my time in the sunshine.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Snowy Tree


 On Monday, it snowed for most of the day with big quiet flakes that clung to everything they touched. For a while, the view from my window narrowed down to a hundred shades of white and gray. When the snow stopped, I heard the first scraping sounds of shoveling. Then a county truck rumbled along the street, adding a deeper-toned scraping, accompanied by the faint clatter of salt hitting pavement. Then the afternoon sun came out, bathing the tree across the street in warmer tones, beautiful but ephemeral.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Love In Lights


 A talented neighbor created this heart cutout. The colors of the lights change according to the season. Sometimes the neon word has been HOPE and, leading up to the election, VOTE. Now the heart's lights are still in Christmas mode, complementing the bright rainbow of lights edging the fence and roofline. LOVE is the word of this season. LOVE makes sense for Valentine‚Äôs Day. LOVE makes sense as the word of choice for the entire year. I will remember that on days when anger and frustration bring other words to mind. Let's choose love instead.