Those that have read my blog for a while know that Snowball flowers are one of my favorite since childhood. In my garden I had a Snowball Shrub (Viburnum plicatum). The Snowballs I observe in abundance now are Snowball Hydrangea (Handrangea arborescens), a shrub with a lower profile and native to the United States of unlike the Viburnum species. Thier intricate, delicate, complicated design is truly the work of higher being.
The Cantonese name for this tree is a fitting descriptor. Looking into the sky at this otherwise bare tree one sees it’s namesake flower, “gaai daan fa” meaning “egg yolk flower”. Plumeria is the more common name of this tropical favorite, named after a French botanist and explorer, Charles Plumber.
Always the same.
A daily, minute by minute
Evidence of miracles.
Spotted this on the beach near one of the Common Purple Snails shown the other day to you. Looked at first like a shell on top of some dark sand. Moving to the side so that I didn’t cast a shadow on it I saw the vertical clear “sail” on top. It is a By-The-Wind-Sailor (Velella, aka Sea Raft. It makes sense that I saw it near one of its predators, the Common Purple Snail. The By-the-wind-sailor is related to the Men of War. This one was only a couple of inches in size; not sure how large they can become. I continued to be amazed and humbled by nature’s designs. Brand new miracle found (witnessed?) this morning!
Stay safe everyone in Irma’s path. Midwesterners are credited with strong health and stamina because they deal with multiple seasons and weather events. But those that live on a sea coast are the most determined to be resilient against nature’s energetic presence. Prayers for wisdom and calm as you deal with Irma’s invasion.
These images share the subtle beauty along Florida’s seashore.
Chicago is FLAT unless you include concrete overpasses and underpasses. Starved Rock State Park is a short two-hour drive west from my hometown flatland. The change in environment is extreme and refreshing. Also, it is exhausting for Chicagoans’ muscles used to walking flatland. So, while I rest my arthritic knee and other stressed body parts, I will share some this area’s splendor. My aches are welcome remnants of time well spent; my body will heal and my memories will last for ages.
Some images are from the nearby Matthiessen State Park which we visited as well thanks to the strong recommendation of our daughter. Both Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks in Illinois are results of glacial movement south and then melting and retreat. These parks are witness to natures’ strength and constant change.
Nature is the original creator of designs and patterns. Some aid survival such as camouflage. Other patterns change by the moment such as these images of the ocean. Sunlight, clouds and winds are part of nature’s toolbox used to form these passing conceptions. God’s artistry inspires and challenges our limited imaginations.
New public lessons for Lincoln Park Zoo’s polar bears. Makes them look harmless except for audience instructions to stay quiet and behind the rope. Very cool; pun intended!
They practice being touched, opening their mouth and doing different poses so that vets can check their health. They are behind a grid-like gate, but are able to touch the trainer.
My favorite Hydrangea is the “snow ball”, it brings out the kid in me. But these are wonderful too: Oak Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). Multi-blossom flowers in one bloom are one of God’s awesome miracles; layers and layers of exquisiteness.
Took a walk this morning and was stopped still by these blossoms. They appear to be the treasured tuber-growing Dahlias. Their dainty charm requires that tubers be dug and preserved carefully during cold winters and replanted in the warming spring days.
The Dahlia you brought to our isle
Your praises forever shall speak
‘Mid gardens as sweet as your smile
And colour as bright as your cheek.
–Lord Holland (1773–1840)