Radical Amazement

April 27, 2016



“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement . . . get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted.  Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually.  To be spiritual is to be amazed.”
— A. J. Heschel, rabbi and scholar




Watercolor sketch of rhododendron

Watercolor sketch of rhododendron
















Looking down the sidewalk in front of my house this morning

Looking down the sidewalk in front of my house this morning

I carried my camera with me as I ran some last-minute errands this morning.  I wasn’t planning on doing another post today, but I want to show you what I am leaving behind for one month.  (Am I crazy for taking a vacation in April when it is so beautiful here??)  I’m consoling myself, knowing I can look back at this blog post from the road whenever I feel homesick.


IMG_0287 IMG_0286 IMG_0284 IMG_0278 IMG_0273 IMG_0272 IMG_0270 IMG_0269 IMG_0267 IMG_0265 IMG_0264 IMG_0262 IMG_0260 IMG_0253IMG_0275

Spring All in a Rush

May 5, 2012

Flowers at the University District Farmers Market

“The first days of May bring spring all in a rush.”
— Elisabeth Luard, A Cook’s Year in a Welsh Farmhouse

My camera is getting a workout every time I step outside my door.  Here is a sampling of the Spring “rush” seen through my camera lens.

Buying fresh produce at a farmers market

Jugs of juice, University District Farmers Market

Ladyfern fiddleheads, University District Farmers Market

Bright yellow flowers growing in a parking strip

Delicate, blushing-pink maple helicopters (not from my “adopted” trees)

Rhododendron blossoms

Tulips growing horizontally along the ground!

Tulip with falling petal

Rhododendron Buds

March 3, 2012

These rhododendron buds are quite beautiful, I think.

Rhododendron bud on a pedestal of leaves

Rhododendron buds

Watercolor sketch of rhododendron buds

Fan of red rhododendron leaves amidst the green

My eyes catch the odd flash of red from an early turning leaf.  It’s not quite autumn, but there are hints of the fall season all around, a few early-bird leaves already changing color.  We are on the cusp of change.

“The maples and the mountain ashes and the spindles and all the lovely autumn things swell and burgeon and expand, making the most alluring promises of what they will be doing when the frosts come, and dropping, from time to time, a little hint in the shape of a single scarlet leaf that has dressed up too soon, having made a mistake in the date of the party.”
     — Beverley Nichols, Merry Hall

Pretty in Pink

April 13, 2010

The world outside is in the pink!

Pink tulip on green grass

Detail, pink tulip

Pink rhododendron bud

Pink rhododendron

Pink blossoms

Pink bleeding heart

Bleeding heart

A profusion of pink blossoms

More pink blossoms

Exotic pink bloom, Volunteer Park Conservatory

Pink flower, Volunteer Park Conservatory

More pink -- Two-page spread in Bulb by Anna Pavord

Inspired by Gardens

May 18, 2009



Rhododendron at Rhododendron Species Garden

Rhododendron at Rhododendron Species Garden

Fern rolled in a tidy package

Fern rolled in a tidy package

Like green lace and white butterflies against the sky

Like green lace and white butterflies against the sky

“If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”
     — Vincent Van Gogh

It’s easy to find inspiration in a public garden.  These are a few photographs from Friday’s day trip to the Rhododendron Species Garden on the Weyerhauser campus.    The rhododendron is the Washington state flower, and it is a ubiquitous shrub on Seattle lawns and gardens.

“It is only necessary to behold the least fact or phenomenon, however familiar, from a point a hair’s breadth aside from our habitual path or routine, to be overcome, enchanted by its beauty and significance … To perceive freshly, with fresh senses is to be inspired.”
     — Henry David Thoreau

Blue Poppy

May 16, 2009

Himalayan Blue Poppy

Himalayan Blue Poppy

Blue Poppy
Blue Poppy

“… and perhaps this is all that a person can try to put into each of her days:  attention to the radiance, a rise to the full chase of beauty.”
     — Ellen Meloy, The Anthropology of Turquoise

Yesterday my friend Carol and I made a day-trip to Tacoma to see a new glass installation, Fluent Steps, at the Museum of Glass.  Along the way we stopped at the Weyerhauser Rhododendron Species Garden (http://www.rhodygarden.org/visitus.html).  Neither of us had been there before.  And it was a real feast for the eyes and soul. 

The sighting of this blue poppy was worth the price of admission.  I’d never before seen such a rare color in a poppy.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.