Weekly Photo Challenge: (More) Signs

October 3, 2014 mushrooms 086

This photo challenge brings back a familiar soundtrack from my childhood:

“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”

by The Five Man Electrical Band.

MIlkweed pods bursting to release their downy seeds is a sure sign of October in Virginia.

MIlkweed pods bursting to release their downy seeds is a sure sign of October in Virginia.

 

Perhaps that ’60s childhood, living for a while on the safer fringes of “hippie culture” near VCU in Richmond, left me with a prejudice against too many signs.

 

Wild mushrooms form a signal along the roadside.  What might they be trying to say?

Wild mushrooms form a signal along the roadside. What might they be trying to say?

And so I look to the natural world for  “signs.”

 

Ripened chive seeds burst from their pods.

Ripened chive seeds burst from their pods.

 

Yes, I, too, appreciate that large “restroom” sign on the wall of the grocery store.  And I almost appreciate the fast food and gas directional signs at interstate exit ramps.

 

Virginia Creeper, full of ripe berries, has turned scarlet.

Virginia Creeper, full of ripe berries, has turned scarlet.

 

And yes, super-sized street signs and stop signs make driving much nicer.

But I always cringe at the huge political placards which sprout in late summer from lawns and roadsides.

 

"The Devil's Walking Stick" berries ripen at the end of summer.

“The Devil’s Walking Stick” Aralia spinosa

 

The best display I’ve seen this season featured all of the signs hung upside-down.

 

October 3, 2014 mushrooms 123

 

And the huge, neon, animated  billboards towering over some interstate highways are way over the top.

 

Poison ivy

Poison ivy

 

I prefer the visual peace and quiet of trees and waterways; lawns and medians filled with wild flowers.

I even prefer a high concrete sound barrier, softened with vines, to the assault of hundreds of competing signs.

 

Mushrooms grow where the soil is moist and fertile.

Mushrooms grow where the soil is moist and fertile.

 

Perhaps I’m simply  looking for information which won’t turn up on signs printed by man.

Let the signs in nature alert me to changes in the weather, and the progress of the seasons.

 

October 3, 2014 mushrooms 008

Dogwood berries entice the birds. Do you see the female cardinal in the tree?

 

Let the rustling wings and calls of birds tell me the sun is up for another day, and the color of the soil tell me whether to spend my morning watering the garden or chatting with a friend.

 

Our trees filled with hundreds of black birds this morning, all calling to one another as they searched for ripe berries.

Our trees filled with hundreds of black birds this morning, all calling to one another as they searched for ripe berries.

 

Let the color of the sky tell me whether to bring a jacket or umbrella, and the color of a fig’s skin give testament to its sweetness.

 

October 3, 2014 mushrooms 046

 

These are the signs which speak to me, and the signs I watch for in the ever-rushing stream of time.

 

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Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

 

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Signs

 

 

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

18 responses to “Weekly Photo Challenge: (More) Signs

  1. Pingback: Signs | Blogged With Words

  2. I loved this post, Elizabeth – esp. your intertwining the man-made signs with nature’s, very clever! Lots of great photos – the peach rose is so beautiful! I didn’t see a female cardinal in your photo, but I did see an immature male rose-breasted grosbeak! 🙂

    • Thank you, Eliza 😉 So happy when you enjoy the post. So it was a grosbeak? Interesting. They visit us from time to time. We have several mated pairs of cardinals here all of the time. Glad you saw the difference 😉 The grosbeaks are always here to enjoy the Pyracantha berries as they ripen. We had hundreds of birds flocking and fueling up yesterday, probably preparing to move further south ahead of this cold front. Best wishes, WG

  3. Another beautiful post, WG. I always thought billboards were bad enough, but the flashing billboards are even worse. You found some great signs in nature. 🙂

  4. Ha! You have to take a peek at my “signs” post. You’ll see that great minds think alike. And nature sure does give us signs of changes to come, doesn’t she?

    • Thanks for a great laugh to start the morning, Barbara! What a weirdly wonderful collection of signs. Just have to ask, is that McDonalds on a back road in Amelia somewhere? Looks like it might fit in some parts of the county I remember….

      Yes, we were on the same track with the tunes 😉 Please enjoy the weekend, WG

  5. Good points and poignant pics, WG! 🙂 I like the touch of flair in your last few lines. Very classy.

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