Sunday, April 30, 2023

Spring Snowballs

 The days when a plant is just past its peak can be the most interesting. We've had a dramatic, but very localized snowfall this week when a Chinese Snowball Tree began dropping its petals. The floral precipitation covered the grass, resurrecting a childhood memory of waking up on an early-winter morning to discover that the first snowfall has left a half-hearted coat of white that not quite covered the grass. It raised our hopes of having sledding adventures. This snowfall predicts the green days of summer, perfect days to spend sitting outside with friends.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

White Clematis

 We are now fully into spring. Young vines are twirling and curling themselves around any helpful post, tree or shrub. Clematis is a perennial that comes in many colors and shapes. I've been watching the progress of this white one. The small, yellowest flower is a new bloom, still unfurling its petals with the awkwardness of a half-opened umbrella. The bloom above it still shows the green streaks of youth. When the youngsters reach peak bloom, their petals will grow rounder and whiter, all the better to show off an explosion of stamens. 

Sunday, April 16, 2023

A Building With An Identity Crisis

 Look closely and you can see at least four of the sets of lettering that has graced this facade. Being an old building, more have been entirely lost, leaving no more hints as to what this corner property was. There is something confusing but pleasing about the way the layers of letters combine. This is a look I strive to achieve when I use my gel plate to print layer upon layer on paper or fabric. Rarely do the colors and patterns meld as successfully as what time and weather have done on this busy corner.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Angels Are Everywhere

 The Church of San Maurizio owes much of its lavishly decorated interior to the women who resided there. Built in the 16th century, it was an important Benedictine convent. Many of the nuns were daughters of wealthy Milanese families. The fathers' donations helped fund the frescoes, carved and painted ceilings and statues that endure today. Much of this was off-limits to the nuns, who were cloistered in another part of the church. But their own chapel was almost as ornate. In one wide arch, hosts of angels hover overhead, a reminder of heaven, where the residents hoped to eventually meet those angels.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Haines Point Willow and Cherry Trees

 All seems right with the world on those glorious blue-sky days in spring. While most of the tourists headed north towards the Jefferson Memorial, I walked south, towards the tip of Haines Point. Rows of gnarled cherry trees held their pale blossoms skyward. A few boats floated up the Potomac. City noises faded, replaced by the breeze ruffling through an old willow and the occasional gravely hiss of bicycle tires zooming along the pavement. All is calm. All is bright.