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.
Always the same.
A daily, minute by minute
Evidence of miracles.
Spring enters with revelry. Passover and Easter are the religious celebrations of “new” and “born again”. This Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia caraiba) seems to shout out to any passer-bys that renewal is happening in nature once again. Hope for us all.
For some this seems very hoaky I’m sure. But yesterday I spent six and a half hours at the Bonnet House’s lovely enclosed courtyard working on my second painting. I chose, as my subject, a photograph I took a few years back of one of my garden Japanese Anemones. I can easily say I was exhausted when I got home; my brain was worn out.
I literally spent the day thinking, studying this tiny flower. Every petal, every shadow, every curve and curl was studied and mentally dissected for detail. The leaves in the background were studied just as intently for color and light/shadow. My teacher showed me how to make the other buds and blooms fade out of focus. Hours were spent on each petals. The flower showed pollen spilling onto the pedals; it would soon be time for it to enter it’s next stage of life as a seedhead.
As I spent this time I appreciated the beauty, the gracefulness of this creation. It is one of the last of season’s blooms in Chicago along with the Asters. The Japanese Anemone is an agressive plant requiring me to tame it’s appearance in my garden to places of my design. Over the years I removed many “volunteers” that tried entering other areas of the garden. But the quiet beauty, the graceful elegance of the flowers always overcame any bad aspects of the plants.
I no longer have a private garden; we downsized to a lovely condominium. Fortunately Chicago’s Lincoln Park includes Japanese Anemone in it’s mix of perennials.
While I sit here in Florida gazing at this Japanese Anemone I still a drawn to it’s subtle, simple, design. Evidence of one more miracle. The painting has elements of being done by a beginner. For me the joy was the process of creation, trying to capture it’s natural beauty and specialness.
A blessed Passover and Easter to all.
Soft red, fuzzy Chenille Plant (Plumbago auriculata) blooms are all male. The female blooms are inconspicuous. Perhaps more interesting, the male blooms have no petals! So to be pollinated the plant uses male attractiveness to spread pollen while the female does the work of seed production. This seems more like birds and other animal kingdom members than plants’ design.
Chenille is a favorite material for warm winter robes and these plants’ blooms do resemble it’s namesake.
These unique Egyptian Geese (Alpochen aegyptiaca) birds were considered sacred by Eyptians. Americans imported them as decor for Golf Courses. Were our own wildlife too ugly or boring? Some have now vacated the golf courses for the wild.
This family was at the animal rescue facilities of Flamingo Gardens in Davie Florida. They are in the Rookery section which is open so they could wander if wanted. Many of their birds are not able to be released because of injury or “imprinting” (taming by people), so would not survive in the wild. Any animal that does recover is released as soon as it’s health returns.
I never tire of seeing new miracles of God’s designs. So amazing.
This was an act of patience and luck! It is unmanipulated. A new favorite of mine.
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!
Once again, I am awed by nature. This morning walking on the beach I saw this lovely little purple snail shell; during my walk I found about six more of them. They seemed to be blowing bubbles?! I did try to remove/pop bubbles on one, but it was clearly attached to the dear slug inside the shell, so I left it alone, except for placing it at the edge of the tide. Turns out that these Common Purple Snails live on Men of War as predators. However, when a situation arises where they detach from the Men of War then it automatically secretes a foamy pillow as a floatation device. Wow! So simple and so effective! I am humbled and impressed.
See one of my favorite reference books: Florida’s Living Beaches by Witherington, for more information.
May your days be
full of miracles,
large and small.
I wish you faith, hope and love.
May you have faith as
You set hope-filled goals which
Love for yourself and
Love for others.