“A little Cyclops, with one eye
Staring to threaten and defy . . . ”
— William Wordsworth, from “To the Daisy”

“English for day’s eye is daisy, the flower whose petals open at dawn and close at twilight.”
— Diane Ackerman, Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day

Blue-eyed African Daisy

African Daisies, Woodland Park Rose Garden

I am captivated by the shocking blue eyes of these African daisies, osteospermum, that I saw at the Woodland Park Rose Garden.  There were a few plants with unusual spoon-shaped petals.  Interesting flowers!

Spoon-shaped petals of African daisies

Looks like a time-lapse photo of a pebble dropped in strawberry milk!

African daisies

Watercolor and ink sketch of daisies

Peacock, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

“And so it is that most people have no idea how beautiful the world is and how much magnificence is revealed in the tiniest things, in some flower, in a stone, in tree bark, or in a birch leaf. The grown-ups, going about their business and worries, and tormenting themselves with all kinds of details, gradually lose the perspective for these riches that children, when they are attentive and good, soon notice and love with their whole heart. And yet the greatest beauty would be achieved if everyone remained in this regard always like attentive and good children, simple and pious in sensitivities, and if people did not lose the capacity for taking pleasure as intensely in a birch leaf or a peacock’s feather or the wing of a hooded crow as in a mighty mountain or a splendid palace. What is small is not small in itself, just as that which is great is not—great. A great and eternal beauty passes through the whole world, and it is distributed fairly over that which is small and that which is large; for in such important and essential matters, no injustice is to be found on earth.”
     — Rainer Maria Rilke, letter to Helmut Westhoff, Nov. 12, 1901

The magnificent peacock my friend Carol and I saw this past weekend at the Point Defiance Zoo is worthy of a post of its own.  We were so fortunate to be in the right place at the very moment the peacock spread its fan, shaking out its long feathers a bit, before it strutted and preened and posed as we oohed and aahed.   It was a spectacular show, surpassing anything you see on Project Runway.


Detail, peacock feathers

Iridescent feathers, shimmering eyes

Patterns of eyes


Proud as a peacock


The rear end of the peacock has its own beauty.

Iridescent Eyes

August 27, 2009

The eye on a peacock feather (photo 2008)

The eye on a peacock feather (photo 2008)

“The peacock has a score of eyes,
With which he cannot see. . .”
     — Christina Rossetti

peerless in your elegance. . .”
     — Rainier Maria Rilke

Detail of peacock feathers

Detail of peacock feathers (photo 2008)

Peacock (photo 2008)

Peacock (photo 2008)

Peacock chick (photo 2008)

Peacock chick (photo 2008)

Peacock (photo 2008)

Peacock (photo 2008)