Sunday, July 31, 2011

Project 365 - Ferns

It seems unlikely.  Counterintuitive. But grow they do.  Green from rock. The ferns are unaffected by this miracle.  The trees unmoved.  I smile.

Project 365 - Curtains

Tiny fairy curtains hung
Out to dry
In the late afternoon

Project 365 - Frog Underwater

Katie and Maddie and I hiked down the bank and into the creek.  The flowing water of spring has diminished to half it's volume in the warm summer air.  The skunk cabbage has wilted and dried on what was the bank of the creek just weeks ago.  The ephemeral flowers are gone, replaced by sprigs of less dramatic shades of summer green.

Katie ran ahead.  Maddie picked her way on the drying creek bed, picking up a walking stick along the way.

I am disappointed.  I have lugged my camera equipment down the bank to find nothing that interested me.  But then, Maddie turns and quietly waves me over to her perch on a rock over a still pool of water.  I clank my way over in time to see a dart of green disappear under a rock.  Maddie patiently waded into the pool and gently reached under the rock.  Seconds later our beautiful green friend came out to play.

Project 365 - Night Yoga

A little golden frog sits in meditation in my garden. His mudra resting on his froggy knees.  At night I can see him from my bedroom window.  A little night yoga...

Project 365 - The Stewartia

About 10 years ago, my sister in law and I travelled to Virginia for Garden Week.  We planned our trip around some the most beautiful and historic gardens throughout the state.  One of our stops, and perhaps my favorite, was at Monticello.  There is a rather unremarkable area where you can purchase plants that have been cultivated on the grounds.  Some can be traced back to Thomas Jefferson's time.

There was no historic value to the 2 foot Stewartia sapling I purchased for next to nothing.  It rode for the remainder of of our trip and all the way home between my sister in law's feet.

When I got home I planted it.  It grew a bit, but was not happy in it's new home.  So I moved it one day to a sunny spot that allows me to see it from my family room window.  We were both happy.

Today it blooms with white purity in spring for up to 6 weeks.  In winter, it's multicolored mottled bark outside my window reminds me that spring is really not that far away.

Project 365 - Katie's Tree

Smack dab in the middle of my front yard stands a 50 year old Shag Bark Hickory tree.  It is home to and food source for a wide variety of birds and animals that my dog, Katie, finds objectionable.  They trespass daily.  Katie stands guard at the base of that tree.  A sentry of vim and vigor that will abandon her post for a piece of cheese and belly rub.

Project 365 - Sweet Bay Magnolia

I have never purchased and planted a tree that is over 6 feet tall.  I know how large a tree will fit in my little car.  So, 10 years ago when I planted this Sweet Bay Magnolia it met those specs.  I planted it right off the back deck.  It is nestled into a corner garden I created just for this tree.  When it blooms it's sweet lemony fragrance drifts through the late spring air.  When you open the back door it's beautiful blooms and fragrance greet you.

This tree is now 15 feet tall.  Mature and beautiful.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Project 365 - Rays of Gold

Wide open,
brown eyes,
encircled in rays of gold,
leaning close
on a warm summer

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Project 365 - Peas in a Pod

Like a crisp, green gift, each pea pod bursts open and reveals it's essence of sweetness and the life cycle of spring.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Project 365 - Busy Bees

I have two hives of Italian honey bees out at the edge of the grove of trees that stands between the road and the meadow.

Bees are creatures of habit and very task oriented.  There is a portion of the meadow that I mow that runs up into the grove near the hives.  As I mow, the bees continue their work of flying in and out of the hives in a bee line; a straight, unwaivering, line from point A to B.  They are not deterred by my presence. They bounce off of my head as I intersect their flight plan.

There are some bees whose job it is to guard the hive.  As I completed this shoot, one of these bees took their job a bit too seriously and chased me all the way across the meadow, over the driveway and into the circle garden before peeling off and heading home.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Project 365 - Up on the Roof

Simple line and shadow balanced on angles of gray.  An unexpected image caught in a skyward glance.

Project 365 - Daisy, Daisy...

My favorite flower. Long and lanky the joyful harbinger of the warm days of summer to come.  They stand in drifts, waving in perfect unison to longer, lazier barefoot days.  Rays of sunshine ring a golden promise of lightening bug evenings and naps on beds of cool, green grass.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Project 365 - Sedum Blooms

There; in tiny bits of green and yellow, weaving low to the ground, in and out of more vertical interests in my garden,  Sedum blooms.  Fairy sunshine brought to light by dryer ground and brilliant springtime days.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Project 365 - A Blur of Blue

As I sit in my rocking chair on the front porch, I am visited by my more colorful neighbors.  This gentleman came for an early lunch and stays for the afternoon.  He danced and dipped across the lawn, lighting on the shagbark hickory.  Every now and then he would fly off, only to return for some hapless insect or a grub that stirred beneath the green carpet of lawn.

And then, as the sun places it's last kiss on the evening sky, a blur of blue says goodnight.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Project 365 - Or Maybe Not

So,  maybe a spot of purple works too.

Project 365 - True Colors

I do not really garden for flowers.  I know it sounds counterintuitive, but, in truth, I find the color of life  in the foliage. The heart and soul of the garden caught in temperate green on green outlined in icy white for good measure.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Project 365 - Peonies

Out in my front yard is a stand of peonies.  There is nothing fancy about them.  No bright colors.  No hybridized versions of an heirloom.  Somethings just can not be improved on.

The first out are the white blooms.  Fluffy and clean with a peek of pink in the center.  They smell divine.  A soft rose-like fragrance that travels on a spring evening breeze.

And as they fade, they are replaced by pops of pink. Mop top fun. Their fragrance is subtle but spicy.  A little wink.

I did not plant these beauties. They are 70 years old or more.
I simply put them to bed every fall and wait on bated breath for their return every spring.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Project 365 - Buddha in My Garden

There was a spot in my garden that bothered me.  It was not a place that you might have noticed if you were just passing through.  It was much more subtle than that.  Tucked away under the Carolina Silverbell, just beyond the dry stream bed.  It needed...something...

I planted some scotch moss and a tiny campanula in an old enamel basin I had found in the woods one day.  I thought it might light this trouble spot with brilliant green and a bit of blue.  It was...nice.  I moved it the next day.

I found a sand colored Buddha at the garden center.  He seemed to want to come home with me and so I, thought, I might have a place for him.

I set him down just next to the planted basin in that spot that, by now, had become a sore spot.

He sat....and we waited.  And the tree dressed him in her snowy petals.  The garden knew all along.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Project 365 - New York Steps

...The first step is a doozy.

Project 365 - Crystal Palace

Outside this crystal palace, life carries on.  It is a warm day.  People have taken a moment to sit.. chatting, reading, resting.  You can catch whiff of a late afternoon lunch being served al fresco under the shelter of market umbrellas just out of sight to the left.  To the right, there will be a concert under the stars tonight.   But, none of this bothers those at rest.  Moments stolen from the bustle just out of frame.

Project 365 - Let Freedom Ring

..."This is our hope.... With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.  With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.  With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together...

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning, 'My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.  Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.'

And if America is to be a great nation this must be true.  So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.  Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.  Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.  Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado.  Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.  But, not only that, Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain Georgia.  Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.  Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.  From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free and last!  Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!' "

~Dr. Martin Luther King
  Washington DC 1964

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Project 365 - In the Right Place

Sometimes you are just in the right place at the right time.  A moment in time when the planets align and you are at the center.  Eyes and heart open and ready.

Doors open at these moments. The only question is, will you walk through it, or stand at the threshold and hesitate?

A moment later, and the light is gone, the clouds have shifted in the gentle evening breeze.  The shot is gone and the planets have rotated just a bit off center.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Project 365 - On the Rails

There is no train station in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.  You step off the train and there you are.  Pretty much nowhere.

I was born and raised not far from here. Growing up in a sleepy little town steeped in New England heritage and family history.  I left in 1978 and have lived in Pennsylvania ever since.  But, to me, this is still home.

A woman got off the train right behind me.  She spent some time pawing through her bag and eventually she pulled what looked like a map out.  She looked at it for a while. Eventually she turned to me and asked me if the bus came by here.  I paused. I was trying to be kind.  There has never been a bus anywhere near here.  She read my look and said she understood, I must not be from around here either. No, I said, I guess not.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Project 365 - Train Travel

Is there anything better than a train station?  Grand old houses gilded in gold.  Life moves in and out traveling home or away, napping on benches, running with baggage.  The clapping of destinations, tracks and time send  travelers scurrying like ants.  Ques form and empty down stairways.  Doors open and close. Trains glide away into the dark.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Project 365 - Downingtown

Villages like Downingtown, Pa. are a dying breed.  It is steeped in industry.  Mills and factories fueled this town.  Brick and mortar mixed with stucco and stone.  Homes were modest and often multi-family.  Families were raised here in the shadow of smoke stacks.  Histories lived.

Times have changed.  The farmlands surrounding Downingtown are now sprouting sub-divisions.  Spreading neighborhoods. One acre yards of grass replace stoop and block.  Most of the mills and factories are silent.  Their buildings filled now with trendy restaurants.

But, still, a whisper of history lingers.  It is in the air.  A whisp of twilight glow connects past to present.