WPC: Vibrant

January 29, 2016 vibrant 009

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“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing?

Can one really explain this? no.

Just as one can never learn how to paint.”

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Pablo Picasso

This week’s photo challenge topic is just what I needed today:

“This week, share a photo of something vibrant.
Vivid colors, a lively portrait, or perhaps a delightfully colorful landscape, if you’re in a warmer climate.
Let’s wash the web with a rainbow of colors to keep the winter gloom at bay.”

What a wonderful idea!  We could all use some rainbow colors right about now, as January melts away into February.

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Sunset Wednesday evening along the James River. When I saw the colors in the sky reflected in the river, I just had to stop and try to capture it in a photo.

Sunset Wednesday evening along the James River. When I saw the colors in the sky reflected in the river, I just had to stop and try to capture it in a photo.

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“Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colours;

let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow.”

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Kahlil Gibran

There hasn’t been a great deal of color outside, lately, and I miss it.  Snow still blankets parts of the garden.  Other parts remain cloaked in wet brown leaves.  Bright moss peaks out here and there, but nature’s range of color has shrunk into winter neutrals.

But this photo challenge inspired me to go on a treasure hunt today, searching for glorious vibrant colors in the garden.  I was amazed to find how quickly many of our plants have recovered from last weekend’s winter storm, and regained their color and vitality.

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January 29, 2016 vibrant 004

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“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning,

and unallied with definite form,

can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ”

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Oscar Wilde

This color speaks to me of the miraculous power in the life force of plants.  These cabbage leaves froze last night, and spent several days under a dome of frozen snow.  Yet what color!  These leaves survived, and the plant is steadily growing new ones from its heart.  I had to observe closely, but was able to find gold and red, purple, green, pink and orange; living colors in the midst of winter.

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Yes, this dandelion is blooming in our garden today like a tiny sun ....

Yes, this dandelion is blooming in our garden today like a tiny sun, blazing with energy and optimism ….

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“The beauty and mystery of this world

only emerges through affection, attention,

interest and compassion . . .

open your eyes wide and actually see

this world by attending

to its colors, details and irony.”

.

Orhan Pamuk

Robin, at Breezes at Dawn, has been participating in the Three Day Quote Challenge.  She was invited by our mutual friend, Eliza.  Both have  issued a general invitation for any of their followers to join in.  Robin published a quotation today from one of my long time favorite authors, Benjamin Hoff.

How can I resist?  Robin and Eliza, I am joining your challenge, and inviting my other blogging friends to join us as well.

The rules are simple:  Post an inspirational, uplifting quote for three consecutive days, and invite three other bloggers to join you.  If you are reading this, please consider yourself invited.

~

We adopted this lovely Yucca 'Color Guard' from Brent and Becky's shop in Gloucester late last summer. It seems to be holding its own through the cold.

We adopted this lovely Yucca ‘Color Guard’ from Brent and Becky’s shop in Gloucester late last summer. It seems to be holding its own through the cold.

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Just as ‘… two colors, put one next to the other sing…’ ;  this is often true with people, too.  We find a harmony together, and each brings out the best in the other.

I feel this way about Eliza and Robin, and the conversations we have with one another and the inspiration we offer one another through our presence in our blogs.  If you’ve not met them yet, I hope you’ll follow these links to find their beautiful photos and thoughtful quotations from the quotation challenge.

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Purple Sage, still growing despite the cold.

Purple Sage, still growing despite the cold.

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It takes a little more energy and effort to remain vibrant through the winter months.  But what beauty shines now, for those who seek it out.

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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant

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January 27, 2016 Parkway 040

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Woodland Gnome 2016

 

Portrait: Yucca filamentosa

July 1, 2015 garden at dusk 042

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“Every man walks his own path,

and every path has its fair share of locked doors.

You never know who holds the key

to a door you’ll need to open one day,

so you best treat people

as if they are all key holders.”

.

A.J. Darkholme

~

July 1, 2015 garden at dusk 041

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“Life is a house with millions of doors.

Here is a good strategy of life:

Open the doors, open as much as you can,

open as much as possible,

open the doors!”

.

Mehmet Murat ildan

~

July 1, 2015 garden at dusk 039

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“Doors to beautiful things do not remain open forever.

Be fast to enter inside!”

.

Mehmet Murat ildan

~

July 1, 2015 garden at dusk 038

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge: Door

WPC: Rainbow Light

June 25, 2015 orbs 005~

Life is such a mystery.  There is the unknown, and there is the unknowable.

And our awareness sways back and forth between what we don’t yet know, and what we believe we can not know, throughout our lives.

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June 25, 2015 orbs 006~

Life is vibrating energy. 

And most of us come to understand that energy expresses itself as light.

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The rainbow light of living beings was understood many thousands of years ago, and some preserve that knowledge, still.

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Day to day, we may not think about it too much.

There’s coffee to brew, weeds to pull, pots to water, friends to call and meals to prepare.  The TV may hypnotize us.  We get lost in our thoughts while navigating traffic.

Yet the mystery remains, always there, like the sea.

~

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Waves of light roll across us continually; our vision often limited by our consciousness.  We may feel it, we may see it; we may not consciously recognize it at all.

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But a digital camera can capture what our eye may miss.  I noticed first one orb, and then another on the screen of my little Nikon today.

My eye could not see them unaided, though I felt them gathering there.

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June 25, 2015 orbs 020~

Such exquisite beauty.  Such soft and silent energy gathering, revealing themselves little by little.

These light beings gathered around our Adam’s Needle, Yucca filamentosa, as I was working around this little garden space this morning.

When I stopped to capture the beauty of the Yucca’s unfolding flowers, I saw the hint of the first at the bottom of that photo.  I took a total of 17 photos over the space of a little more than ten minutes.

From a single orb in the first photo, there are more than a dozen towards the end.

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A rainbow mystery; a gathering of light.

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge: ROY G. BIV

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2105

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“Faith and love are apt to be spasmodic in the best minds.

Men live the brink of mysteries and harmonies

into which they never enter,

and with their hands on the door-latch

they die outside.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

One Word Photo Challenge: White

White,

All colors of light

Joined together in clear unity.

Yucca in bloom

Yucca in bloom

Reflective, cool, at peace with itself;

Serene white beckons

with a promise of rest and respite.

Oregano, Kent's Beauty

Oregano, Kent’s Beauty

 

Bleached and clean,

Crisp or crinkled,

White linen putting a good face on

whatever may live  beneath.

June 14, 2014 trees 018

Creamy white ice cream melting on pie,

Creamy white paint on porches,

June 14, 2014 trees 002

Cream swirls in Cappuccino and Gazpatcho;

Creme fraiche on chocolate Creme brulee.

May 20, 2014 Garden 004

White shells ornament the sands of memory

Like bright white stars piercing an indigo sky,

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Time travelers from other worlds;

Messengers of possibilities unknown.

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Great white brothers and sisters

Offering Pleaidian promises of

Eventual evolution and peace.

Queen Anne's  Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace

-White-

 

Lacecap Hydrangea

Lacecap Hydrangea

 

Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

With Thanks to Jennifer Nichole Wells for her One World Photo Challenge:  White

Adam’s Needle In Bloom

Yucca filamentosa, or Adam’s Needle, is native to the Southeastern United States.

This very tough, evergreen, drought tolerant plant tolerates a variety of soils.  It can grow in full sun or partial shade in Zones 5-9.   This plant can even be found growing in very sandy soils closer to the coast.

Large, sculptural, and dramatic, the spines on its leaves ensures that it gets the space it needs to grow. Mature plants may be 8′ tall when in bloom.

These plants were growing in the garden when we arrived, and are well established.

With no special care, they treat us to this beautiful display each summer.

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

Photo Challenge: Glow In The Dark

 

Hosta growing in a friends' garden.

Hosta growing in a friends’ garden.

 Shade is “The Dark” in a forest garden. 

A flower stalk of Adam's Needle, a variety of Yucca, will open with white flowers in this very shady spot beneath trees.

A flower stalk of Adam’s Needle, a variety of Yucca, will open with white flowers in this very shady spot beneath trees.

Forest Gardeners work with varying degrees of shade as the sun moves across the sky each day, animating shadows as they dance across our gardens from dawn until last light.

 

Tiarella growing in the display gardens at Forest Lane Botanicals.

Tiarella growing in the display gardens at Forest Lane Botanicals.

As the hardwood trees and shrubs leaf out and begin to grow, areas illuminated by the sun all winter and into early spring disappear into cave like darkness.

 

Ferns and Lamium grow in one of the shadiest areas of our garden, below a stand of Hazel trees.

Ferns, Creeping Jenny, and Lamium “Orchid Frost” grow in one of the shadiest areas of our garden, below a stand of Hazel trees.

Grottos appear in deep shadow cast by surrounding trees.

 

May 25, 2014 garden 056

So we light up the darkness with variegated shade loving plants which enjoy the moist, cool, shadows.

 

Begonia grown by Wendy Wubbels at Forest Lane Botanicals.

Begonia grown by Wendy Wubbels at Forest Lane Botanicals.

We celebrate the contrast of light and shadow with brightly patterned, foliage, but few flowers.

 

Tiarella blooms in partial shade.  Used here at Forest Lane Botanicals in the shadow of mature Azaleas.

Strawberry Begonia,  Saxifraga stolonifera, blooms in partial shade. Used here at Forest Lane Botanicals in the shadow of mature Azaleas.

 

Bits of chartreuse,  creamy white, pink and silvery grey reflect what little light may be; illuminating our shade gardens and “glowing in the summer ‘s darkness.”

 

New growth begins at the base of a fig tree, in deep shade.

New growth begins at the base of a fig tree, in deep shade.

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

With appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Wells for her 

One Word Photo Challenge:  Glow In the Dark

 

May 19, 2014 new raised bed fern garden 008

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