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Seduction

April 7, 2014

National Poetry Month.7

Forsythia

Forsythia

What to write about? What to draw or paint?

“What we regard must seduce us, and we it, if we are to continue looking.”
— Jane Hirshfield, “The World is Large and Full of Noises:  Thoughts on Translation,”  Nine Gates Entering the Mind of Poetry

“Suffer yourself to be attracted.  It is vain to work on chosen themes.  We must wait till they have kindled a flame in our minds.  There must be the generating force of love behind every effort destined to be successful.”
— Henry David Thoreau, from Winter: The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol 8, January 30, 1852

I think that what draws us in, what captivates our interest and attention, is something of a mystery.  The challenge for me, after photographing each season’s offerings for over five years now, is to keep looking with “new” eyes, to look closely enough for a fresh angle.

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Forsythia blossoms strung like beads on a necklace

Forsythia blossoms strung like beads on a necklace

Yoshino cherry trees in bloom on the University of Washington campus

Yoshino cherry trees in bloom on the University of Washington campus

“Since every variety of tree and plant comes into bloom in its own time in one of the four seasons, we prize the timeliness and rarity of the blooming of each. . . . Now what we call hana or ‘flowering,’ what we call ‘interesting,’ and what we call ‘rarity’ are not three separate things but really one and the same.  But all flowers eventually are scattered, none stays in bloom.  And it is precisely because it blooms and perishes that a flower holds our interest as something rare. . . . to know the flowering is first of all to know that nothing abides.”
— Zeami, from Kadensho, translated by William LaFleur

“Death is the mother of Beauty.”
— Wallace Stevens

Mother and child, cherry blossom viewing

Mother and child, cherry blossom viewing

Cherry blossom viewing carries with it a Japanese sensibility, the awareness of the ephemeral.  It is heartening to see such a diverse group of people enjoying the magnificent blooming cherry trees on the University of Washington campus.  These Yoshino cherry trees are a natural wonder.

The Quad at the University of Washington

The Quad at the University of Washington

Blossoms shimmer in the sunlight

Blossoms shimmer in the sunlight

Gnarly bark

Gnarly bark

Photographing a fallen blossom

Photographing a fallen blossom

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Another blossoming tree on the U of W campus

Another blossoming tree on the U of W campus

 

 

Too Much Too Fast

March 25, 2014

Forsythia branches

Forsythia branches

“March brings too much too fast.”
— Hazel Heckman, Island Year

Yes, I am finding that March is bringing too much too fast.  I am feeling behind, and as much as I’d love to sit down and paint some flowers, I can’t find the time.  Here is a small sample of what’s bursting into bloom right now.  I took all of these photos this morning in my neighborhood.

Camellias

Camellias

Daffodil

Daffodil

Hyacinth

Hyacinth

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Forsythia

Forsythia

Grape hyacinth

Grape hyacinth

 

Jello mold with rabbit

Jello mold with rabbit

While I was out driving in the country north of Seattle, I stopped by Jello Mold Farm to walk in the flower fields.  The beds are still awaking from winter dormancy.  A few more warm days, and this will be a totally different landscape.  Right now, the farm holds just the promise of blooms.

Here are some photos:

Bundled twine in readiness for planting

Bundled twine in readiness for planting

Forsythia

Forsythia

Yellow against gray -- forsythia

Yellow against gray — forsythia

Pussy willow and catkin

Pussy willow and catkin

“I have a little pussy,
And her coat is silver gray;
She lives in a great wide meadow
And she never runs away.
She always is a pussy,
She’ll never be a cat
Because — she’s a pussy willow!
Now what do you think of that!
— author Unknown

Winter bed

Winter bed

Seed head

Seed head

New buds

New buds

Old seed cases

Old seed cases

Single dangling chestnut

Single dangling chestnut

Fallen chestnuts

Fallen chestnuts

Net over peony beds

Net over peony beds

Blossom

Blossom

Last season's hydrangea bed

Last season’s hydrangea bed

Dried hydrangea

Dried hydrangea

Wheelbarrows at rest

Wheelbarrows at rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forsythia: Golden Stars

March 19, 2012

“Tomorrow the twigs of forsythia will be sprinkled all over with golden stars . . .”
— Karel Capek, The Gardener’s Year

Forsythia in bloom

Sprightly branches of forsythia

Detail of forsythia branches

Early blossoms, forsythia

“Forsythia is pure joy.  There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia.  Pure, undiluted, untouched joy.”
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Watercolor sketch of forsythia

Another watercolor sketch of forsythia

 

Nature is waking up!  Every spot of color is welcome to my eyes.  And bits of color are popping up all over.

Early daffodil

Crocuses

Dew-spotted crocuses

Purple and white striped crocus bud ready to bloom

Camellia

Vine-wrapped tree trunk

Forsythia blooms reflected in a window

First Buds

February 10, 2010

So many trees are already starting to bud.  Blossoms are not far behind.  I’ve already seen my first robin.  Can it really be spring this early?

Pink buds

A few early blossoms

Leaf buds like prongs on a zipper

More pink buds (possibly flowering plum tree?)

Buds line a mossy branch

Early forsythia blossoms

Pink blossom

A profusion of buds tinge the trees a deep pink

Winter
by Annette Wynne
 
WINTER is the flower’s pause,
A pause for breath to begin again,
Winter for a little while—
Only to make spring better,
Only to make spring surer,
Then, O, for the rapture again—
Buds and life running over!
.