Sunday, March 31, 2024

Quinceanera Dress

 While tourists enjoyed the flowering trees and tulips in the gardens behind the Smithsonian Castle, one fifteen-year-old had a different agenda. She was there for the photos that would announce her quinceanera, the big social event that marks her official transition from girlhood to womanhood. It took four people to tend to her hair and makeup, shoot the photos and wrangle the extravagantly pouffy dress. Whether or not you go in for such an extreme feminine archetype, this dress is probably something she dreamed about for years. To see her and the dress out among all us everyday folk in our sensible jackets, was akin to discovering an exotic zebra in the gardens.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Cherry Trees On The Golf Course

 The most famous cherry trees in the Washington DC area are undoubtedly the ones that circle the Tidal Basin. But cherry trees are in bloom right now all over the entire region. Even the golf courses are decorated with clusters of pale, fluffy blooms, their loose petals scattered over the less-than-pristine greens. This early in the year, the bermuda grass makes this scene look more like a farmer's field than a manicured course.  Soon enough, leaves replace petals and the trees must stand stoically, right in the line of badly hit golf balls.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Daffodils Along the Fence

 A streak of yellow daffodils have bloomed along the edge of the community garden. Some poke their heads through the chain link fence, facing out where dogs and toddlers stop to sniff and examine them. Lit from behind by the late afternoon sunlight, I see the striations radiating along each petal. Bare trees still reach skyward but the daffodils promise that soon all will turn green.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Pair Of Crocuses

 A shaft of morning sunlight angled its way through the bare trees and illuminated a clump of leaves. And there they were, two crocus buddies. They are the sturdier, more colorful kind that come after the first wave of delicate "lawn crocuses" have appeared and faded on yellowed front lawns. I marveled at the range of palest lavender tones shading to rich purple at the tips. Those brilliant yellow stamens complete the complementary pairing of colors that signifies spring. Nature teaches us the ins and outs of the color wheel

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Clouds Seen From the National Gallery

 For half of my life, I've spent a lot of time enjoying the museums, gardens and public buildings along the National Mall.  Once in a while the view takes me by surprise, thanks to an angle I never noticed or an unexpected change in the weather. On a late winter day, looking out from the National Gallery's West Wing I watched the sun pierce the roiling clouds. There, beyond the trees, was the silhouette of the Smithsonian Castle. Sunshine came and went. Art was all around me. The sun and clouds continued their dance.