Sunday Dinner: Seeing What There Is to See

~

“Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book
which ever is before our eyes –
– I mean the universe –
– but we cannot understand it
if we do not first learn the language
and grasp the symbols in which it is written.
The book is written in mathematical language,
and the symbols are triangles,
circles and other geometrical figures,
without whose help it is impossible to comprehend
a single word of it;
without which one wanders in vain
through a dark labyrinth.”
.
Galileo Galilei

~

~

“In the various arts,
and above all in that of writing,
the shortest distance between two points,
even if close to each other,
has never been and never will be,
nor is it now, what is known as a straight line,
never, never, to put it strongly
and emphatically in response to any doubts,
to silence them once and for all.”
.
Jose Saramago

~

~

“His way had therefore come full circle,
or rather had taken the form of an ellipse or a spiral,
following as ever no straight unbroken line,
for the rectilinear belongs only to Geometry
and not to Nature and Life.”
.
Hermann Hesse,
~
~
“The brain does not own any direct copies
of stuff in the world.
There is no library of forms and ideas
against which to compare the images of perception.
Information is stored in a plastic way,
allowing fantastic juxtapositions and leaps of imagination.
Some chaos exists out there,
and the brain seems to have more flexibility
than classical physics
in finding the order in it.”
.
James Gleick

~

~

“Give me a place to stand,
a lever long enough and a fulcrum.
and I can move the Earth”
.
Archimedes

~

~

“The pits and tangles are more
than blemishes distorting the classic shapes
of Euclidian geometry.
They are often the keys
to the essence of a thing”
.
James Gleick

~

~

“Maths is at only one remove from magic.”
.
Neel Burton

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019
~
“That’s the thing about magic;
you’ve got to know it’s still here,
all around us,
or it just stays invisible for you.”
.
Charles de Lint

~

 

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Sunday Dinner: Harmony

~

“That is where my dearest

and brightest dreams have ranged —

to hear for the duration of a heartbeat

the universe and the totality of life

in its mysterious, innate harmony.”

.

Hermann Hesse

~

~

“Peace is more than the absence of war.

Peace is accord.

Harmony.”

.

Laini Taylor

~

~

“If there is righteousness in the heart,

there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,

there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,

there will be order in the nations.
When there is order in the nations,

there will peace in the world.”

.

Confucius

~

~

“Digressions are part of harmony, deviations too.”

.

Dejan Stojanovic

~

~

“Instead of railing against hate, we focus on love;

instead of judging the angry,

we offer them our peaceful presence;

instead of warning against a dystopian future,

we provide a hopeful vision.”

.

Gudjon Bergmann

~

~

“The happy man needs nothing and no one.

Not that he holds himself aloof,

for indeed he is in harmony

with everything and everyone;

everything is “in him”;

nothing can happen to him.

The same may also be said

for the contemplative person;

he needs himself alone; he lacks nothing.”

.

Josef Pieper

~

~

“Out of clutter, find simplicity.”

.

Albert Einstein

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019

~

~

“Through our eyes,

the universe is perceiving itself.

Through our ears,

the universe is listening to its harmonies.

We are the witnesses

through which the universe

becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”

.

Alan Wilson Watts

~

Sunday Dinner: Renewal

~

“What’s wonderful about life is you always have to start over.
No many how many meals you’ve eaten,
words you’ve spoken, breaths, you’ve taken,
you always have to start over.”
.
Marty Rubin

~

~

“Miracles… seem to me to rest
not so much upon… healing power
coming suddenly near us from afar
but upon our perceptions being made finer,
so that, for a moment,
our eyes can see and our ears can hear
what is there around us always.”
.
Willa Cather

~

~

“It is always quietly thrilling
to find yourself looking at a world
you know well
but have never seen
from such an angle before.”
.
Bill Bryson

~

~

“Whether we know it or not,
our lives are acts of imagination
and the world is continually re-imagined
through us.”
.
Michael Meade

~

~

“Everything you can imagine is real.”
.
Pablo Picasso

~

~

“I realized, it is not the time that heals,
but what we do within that time
that creates positive change.”
.
Diane Dettmann

~

~

“We do not need magic to change the world,
we carry all the power we need
inside ourselves already:
we have the power to imagine better.”
.
J.K. Rowling

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019

~

~

 

“There is the strange power we have
of changing facts
by the force of the imagination.”
.
Virginia Woolf

~

~

“As I leave the garden
I take with me a renewed view,
And a quiet soul.”
.
Jessica Coupe

~

Still Learning How To See

~

“I keep drawing the trees, the rocks, the river,
I’m still learning how to see them;
I’m still discovering how to render their forms.
I will spend a lifetime doing that.
Maybe someday I’ll get it right.”
.
Alan Lee

~

~

“In a forest of a hundred thousand trees,
no two leaves are alike.
And no two journeys
along the same path are alike.”
.
Paulo Coelho

~

~

“There is life and death in all forest,
the life will bring you beauty
and the dead will bring you new life!”
.
Roland Kemler

~

~

“One moment the world is as it is.
The next, it is something entirely different.
Something it has never been before.”
.
Anne Rice

~

~

“So many hues in nature
and yet nothing remained the same,
every day, every season
a work of genius, a free gift
from the Artist of artists.”
.
E.A. Bucchianeri

~

~

 

“This is why children can see Angels, touch spirits,
hear the songs of the trees, and talk to the animals.
Quite simply, they acknowledge the magic.”
.
Elizabeth Eiler

~

~

At first glance, it was just another wet and chilly February day.  The sounds of wind and rain had awakened me in the night, another storm passing over swelling creeks and spongy ground.  Heavy clouds still roiled across the sky, blocking all of the golden from the cold, grey light that reached us.

It was still a day worth using, and so we set out to have a look at the river after brunch and before busy-ness.

~

~

There is beauty and grace, even in February.  There is the halo of faint color around the latticework of limbs, clothed in swelling buds.  There is the wake left by a passing work boat, and moss glowing thick and green through the gloom. There is the delicate etching of branches stretching for the sky; the living nearly indistinguishable from the dead.

I paused to consider that after a life-time of looking, I’m really still learning how to see….

Woodland Gnome 2019

~

~

“Everything has beauty,
but not everyone sees it.”
.
Confucious

Sunday Dinner: Imagination

Caladium ‘Peppermint’

~

“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.”
.
Jonathan Swift

~

Begonia

~

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge.
That myth is more potent than history.
That dreams are more powerful than facts.
That hope always triumphs over experience.
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death.”
.
Robert Fulghum

~

Begonias with Caladium ‘Moonlight’

~

“Imagination does not become great
until human beings, given the courage and the strength,
use it to create.”
.
Maria Montessori

~

Caladium ‘Berries and Burgundy’

~

“Logic will get you from A to Z;
imagination will get you everywhere.”
.
Albert Einstein

~

Begonia ‘Flamingo’

~

“Consciousness, unprovable by scientific standards,
is forever, then, the impossible phantom
in the predictable biologic machine,
and your every thought a genuine supernatural event.
Your every thought is a ghost, dancing.”
.
Alan Moore

~

Caladium ‘Sangria’

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2018  
*  *  *
“Everything you can imagine is real.”
.
Pablo Picasso

~

~

“An idea is salvation by imagination”
.
Frank Lloyd Wright

~

Caladium ‘Summer Breeze’

~

“When I start a new seminar
I tell my students that I will undoubtedly contradict myself,
and that I will mean both things.
But an acceptance of contradiction is no excuse for fuzzy thinking.
We do have to use our minds as far as they will take us,
yet acknowledge that they cannot take us
all the way.”
.
Madeleine L’Engle

~

Begonia

 

Sunday Dinner: Juxtaposed

~

“Because you don’t notice the light without a bit of shadow.
Everything has both dark and light.
You have to play with it
till you get it exactly right.”
.
Libba Bray

~

~

“You couldn’t have strength without weakness,
you couldn’t have light without dark,
you couldn’t have love
without loss”
.
Jodi Picoult

~

~

“Red was ruby, green was fluorescent,
yellow was simply incandescent.
Color was life.
Color was everything.
Color, you see,
was the universal sign of magic.”
.
Tahereh Mafi

~

~

“Hygge is our awareness of the scale of our existence
in contrast to the immensity of life.
It is our sense of intimacy
and encounter with each other
and with the creaturely world around us.
It is the presence of nature
calling us back to the present moment,
calling us home.”
.
Louisa Thomsen Brits

~

~

“Yes, contrast teaches us a great many things
and there is purpose for it.
Yet it is time to transcend your everyday dramas
that are but drops in an ocean.
Cease focusing on your droplets of water and look around you.
Everything you say and touch and do
sets into motion ripples
that either heal and create
or curse and destroy.
Let me repeat: Everything.”
.
Alaric Hutchinson

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2018
*
“…the basic stuff of the universe, at its core,
is looking like a kind of pure energy
that is malleable to human intention and expectation
in a way that defies our old mechanistic model of the universe-
-as though our expectation itself
causes our energy to flow out into the world
and affect other energy systems.”
.
James Redfield

~

~

“A warrior has to believe,
otherwise he cannot activate his intent positively.”
.
Théun Mares
~

Sunday Dinner: Knowledge

~

“The beginning of knowledge

is the discovery of something

we do not understand.”

.

Frank Herbert

~

~

“Proper teaching is recognized with ease.

You can know it without fail

because it awakens within you that sensation

which tells you this is something

you have always known.”

.

Frank Herbert

~

~

“A process cannot be understood by stopping it.

Understanding must move with the flow of the process,

must join it and flow with it.”

.

Frank Herbert

~

~

“Without change something sleeps inside us,

and seldom awakens.

The sleeper must awaken.”

.

Frank Herber

~

~

“The future remains uncertain and so it should,

for it is the canvas upon which we paint our desires.

Thus always the human condition

faces a beautifully empty canvas.

We possess only this moment

in which to dedicate ourselves continuously

to the sacred presence

which we share and create.”

.
Frank Herbert

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2018

~

~

“If you need something to worship, then worship life –

all life, every last crawling bit of it!

We’re all in this beauty together!”

.

Frank Herbert

~

~

“When a wise man does not understand, he says: “I do not understand.”
The fool and the uncultured are ashamed of their ignorance.
They remain silent
when a question could bring them wisdom.”
.
Frank Herbert
*

 

Sunday Dinner: Precisely

~

“Philosophy [nature] is written
in that great book which ever is before our eyes –
– I mean the universe –
– but we cannot understand it
if we do not first learn the language
and grasp the symbols in which it is written.
The book is written in mathematical language,
and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures,
without whose help it is impossible
to comprehend a single word of it;
without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.”
.
Galileo Galilei

~

~

“Billions of years ago
there were just blobs of protoplasm;
now billions of years later
here we are.
So information has been created
and stored in our structure.
In the development of one person’s mind from childhood,
information is clearly not just accumulated
but also generated—created from connections
that were not there before”
.
James Gleick

~

~

“His way had therefore come full circle,
or rather had taken the form of an ellipse or a spiral,
following as ever no straight unbroken line,
for the rectilinear belongs only to Geometry
and not to Nature and Life.”
.
Hermann Hesse

~

~

“sacred knowledge of the cosmos
seems to be hidden within our souls
and is shown within our artwork and creative expressions.”
.
Nikki Shiva

~

~

“What if Loves are analogous to math?
First, arithmetic, then geometry and algebra,
then trig and quadratics…”
.
J. Earp

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2018

All but the first photo are from the woodland walk at the Williamsburg Botanical Garden.   The first photo is from our Forest Garden.

*
“the pattern appears so ethereally,
that it is hard to remember that the shape is an attractor.
It is not just any trajectory of a dynamical system.
It is the trajectory toward which
all other trajectories converge.”
.
James Gleick

~

~

“The geometry of the things around us
creates coincidences, intersections.”
.
Erri De Luca
~
~
“If the human mind can understand the universe,
it means the human mind is fundamentally
of the same order as the divine mind.
If the human mind is of the same order as the divine mind,
then everything that appeared rational to God
as he constructed the universe,
it’s “geometry,” can also be made to appear rational
to the human understanding,
and so if we search and think hard enough,
we can find a rational explanation and underpinning for everything.
This is the fundamental proposition of science.”

.
Robert Zubrin

Crazy (For) Ferns

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum  ‘Applecourt’

~

Who would dare find ferns boring?  Ferns are some of the craziest and most bodacious plants you’ll ever grow!  You just need an idea of which ones to choose.

~

Native maidenhair fern, Adiantum x mairisii

~

I enjoy all ferns, to be perfectly honest.  Even the relatively ‘plain Jane’ native Christmas ferns grow with a certain peaceful confidence that I admire.

~

Polystichum acrostichoides, our native Christmas fern, earned its name because it remains green and beautiful past Christmas and into the winter months. This is a very hardy (zones 3-9), dependable fern that can tolerate a fair amount of sun, once established, and will survive a our hot, dry summers.

~

And I am sure that there are those fern lovers who prefer these for their neat, regular, evenly green fronds.

~

Sensitive fern. Onoclea sensibilis, peeks out from around a clump of native Mayapples.  This deciduous fern is very sensitive to cold weather, and dies back each autumn with the first frost.  Not to worry, because each year it spreads and gets a bit better in the garden.

~

And that is all fine, but I am partial to ferns with interesting colors and forms.  I enjoy ferns that are a bit variable from frond to frond and plant to plant; full of surprises, you might say!

~

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum

~

The Japanese painted ferns fill the bill on both counts.  A hybrid of the ‘Lady Ferns,’ it interbreeds with other ferns fairly easily to produce some very interesting color patterns and beautifully ruffled and crested fronds.

~

Athyrium filix-femina ‘Lady in Red’

~

Growing from just a few inches to more than several feet tall, these wonderfully surprising ferns can fill many different garden niches.

~

~

There are lots of crazy ferns on the market these days.  There are ruffled ferns, footed ferns, staghorn ferns, hart’s tongue ferns, and even a hybrid named A. ‘Godzilla.’

I found and planted A. ‘Godzilla’ last summer, and I’m keeping a close eye on it.   It has not yet grown into its gargantuan potential.  It’s still sinking its roots and trying to feel at home in the garden.

But believe, me, when it does begin to grow crazy-big, I’ll post a photo for you.

Woodland Gnome 2018
~

 

Blossom XXXIX: Hydrangea

Oakleaf Hydrangea ‘Snow Queen’

~

Watching the Hydrangeas bloom can keep me entertained for a long time.  This is a slow-motion feast for the eyes as the flowers unfold and subtly change over a period of weeks each spring.

~

Oakleaf Hydrangea ‘Ruby Slippers’ is a smaller shrub, and its flowers turn a rosy dusky pink in summer.

~

The flowers are barely noticeable as they begin to appear, small, tight and creamy green against the shrub’s large leaves.

~

H. quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’ four years on from planting.

~

As the panicles lengthen and swell, the buds open, one by one,  into pure white flowers.

~

~

Even as they open, the flowers remain subtle in early summer, allowing the shrub’s beautiful leaves to garner equal admiration.

~

~

Texture remains more interesting than color in these early stages of the oakleaf Hydrangea’s annual show.

As the flowers mature, they will become more noticeably white before fading to shades of cream, pink, mauve, and finally caramel.  By October, the leaves will still command our attention as they turn scarlet.

~

~

But in May, these beautiful native Hydrangeas emerge lush and green, blending into the lush, leafy enveloping green of our early summer garden.

~

~

Woodland Gnome 2018
*
“Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally.
Make it the object of pursuit,
and it leads us a wild-goose chase,
and is never attained.”
.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

~

~

“At last came the golden month of the wild folk-
– honey-sweet May,
when the birds come back, and the flowers come out,
and the air is full of the sunrise scents and songs
of the dawning year.”
.
Samuel Scoville Jr.

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