WPC: Transient

~

“The only way to make sense out of change

is to plunge into it, move with it,

and join the dance.”

.

Alan W. Watts

~

~

“Nothing endures but change.”

.

Heraclitus

~

~

“If a beautiful thing were to remain

beautiful for all eternity, I’d be glad,

but all the same I’d look

at it with a colder eye.

I’d say to myself: You can look

at it any time, it doesn’t have to be today.”

.

Hermann Hesse

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

.

“It is in changing that we find purpose.”

.

Heraclitus

~

Clematis ‘Violet Elizabeth’

~

For The Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Transient

~

Summer Garden: Shifting Focus

~

“The beauty of that June day was almost staggering.

After the wet spring, everything that could turn green

had outdone itself in greenness

and everything that could even dream of blooming

or blossoming was in bloom and blossom.

The sunlight was a benediction.”

.

Dan Simmons

~

Allium

~

“And so with the sunshine

and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees,

just as things grow in fast movies,

I had that familiar conviction

that life was beginning over again

with the summer.”

.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

~

~

“There’s this magical sense of possibility

that stretches like a bridge

between June and August.

A sense that anything can happen.”

.

Aimee Friedman

~

Carrot flower and Coreopsis

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

Clematis

~

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

.

Oscar Wilde

* * *

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Focus

WPC: In Focus, Or Not….

~
“When I fully enter time’s swift current,
enter into the current moment
with the weight of all my attention,
I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here.”
.
Ann Voskamp
~
~
“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
~
~
“Listen to the trees as they sway in the wind.
Their leaves are telling secrets.
Their bark sings songs of olden days
as it grows around the trunks.
And their roots give names to all things.
Their language has been lost.
But not the gestures.”
.
Vera Nazarian
~
~
“Pay attention to the intricate patterns of your existence
that you take for granted.”
.
Doug Dillon
~
~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~
“Attention is a resource as abundant as sunlight.
It streams outward all day long
whether we choose to tap into it or not.
By developing conscious focus of our attention,
we learn to harness one of the greatest creative powers
available to humankind,
one that happens to be freely available
within ourselves at all times.”
.
Scott Edmund Miller
~

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Focus

~
~
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

Sunday Dinner: Discovery

~

“From so high above it,

the world seems ordered and deliberate.

But I know it’s more than that.

And less.

It is structured and chaotic.

Beautiful and strange.”

.

Nicola Yoon

~

~

“Our real discoveries come from chaos,

from going to the place that looks wrong

and stupid and foolish.”

.

Chuck Palahniuk

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

(parsley flowers and fennel leaves, after the rain)

.  .  .

For the Daily Post’s 

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Order

~

 

Sunday Dinner: Observers

~

“To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.”

.

Paul Valéry

~

~

“Chaos is peaceful

when you stand quietly & watch –

we are eternal observers,

reflecting both tiny & vast,

singing infinitely within.”

.

Jay Woodman

~

~

“Observation is, at its core, an expression of love

which doesn’t get caught up in sentiment.”

.

Takashi Hiraide

~

~

“Keep your eyes open

and you’ll see more than you ever dreamed of.”

.

Marty Rubin

~

~

“Learn to see what you are looking at.”

.

Christopher Paolini

~

~

“The world was beautiful

when looked at in this way—

without any seeking, so simple, so childlike.”

.

Hermann Hesse

.

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

 

 

Living With Reality

~

The Real World we each live in daily, sometimes feels like a living tutorial in ‘Chaos Theory.’  As much as we might admire integrity, neatness, organization and beauty; it proves elusive.

It takes enormous vigilance to maintain, especially without staff.  It requires action and attention to pick up every discarded newspaper, wash every empty cup, dead head every spent blossom, discard every outdated idea, and eliminate every errant weed.

~

~

Have you ever watched a cooking show, and wondered how the host’s kitchen remains so spotless?  Have you ever watched a gardening show, and wondered how every path and plant remains so pristine?

I grew up watching movies and sit-coms , wondering why our home wasn’t as neat and elegant as the ones inhabited by TV families.  Was something wrong with us?

~

~

We still consume the day’s media messages, peering through electronic windows into some else’s seemingly perfect world, wondering why we can’t live that way, too.

Or, maybe we watch the day’s news, and know that things aren’t unfolding in the world as they should.  We feel a visceral disconnect between how we know things should be, and how they currently are. 

~

~

The hard truth remains that we all live in the midst of some measure of chaos and disorder.  We live surrounded by that which we can’t control, which constantly surprises us and throws new challenges our way.   And there is an art in knowing how to stage things for the photograph.

~

~

“Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable.
It teaches us to expect the unexpected.”  
The Fractal Foundation

~

~

We somehow figure out how to take control of those things that we reasonably can.  We plan ahead. We do our due diligence. We have high expectations for ourselves.  But despite our best efforts, perfection remains elusive.

And that is where we somehow learn to shift our focus.  None of us lives in a photograph or a bit of video.  We don’t have producers, set designers and make-up artists on hand to stage some imagined image of how things should be.  We can’t freeze time to capture that fleeting perfect moment.

~

… unless we also happen to be photographers….

~

Rather, we live in a dynamic and chaotic system.  Our lives play out and our gardens grow in the midst of many competing forces that we simply can’t control.

We eventually learn to expect the unexpected and flow with the living dynamic of our moment.

~

~

But we each still hold great power.  When we add our energy to any system, we change it, for better or for worse.  Our personal influence and expectation might prove the tipping point of change.

~

~

The choices we make in every moment, shape our future.  A small decision can forever change our lives, in ways we don’t even anticipate.

~

~

“Chaos is not simply disorder.
Chaos explores the transitions between order and disorder,
which often occur in surprising ways.”
The Fractal Foundation

~

~

Reality will always challenge our own ideas of how things should be.

The question remains, have we the courage to explore and understand the reality of what is? And once we begin to understand, to work within the flow?

~

~

Can we find a way to ride the waves of our lives so that we live with joy, find the beauty in everything, and abide in love?

~

~

Recognizing the chaotic, fractal nature of our world
can give us new insight, power, and wisdom.
The Fractal Foundation

~

~

Woodland Gnome 2017
~

Wednesday Vignette: Vision

~

“The truth.” Dumbledore sighed.

“It is a beautiful and terrible thing,

and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

  .

J.K. Rowling

~

~

“I believe in everything until it’s disproved.

So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons.

It all exists, even if it’s in your mind.

Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares

aren’t as real as the here and now?”

.

John Lennon

~

~

“Facts do not cease to exist

because they are ignored.”

.

Aldous Huxley

~

~

“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”

.

Pablo Picasso

~

~

“In a time of deceit

telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

.

George Orwell

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

*

“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

.

Oscar Wilde

~

~

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Reflecting

Sunday Dinner: Water Is Life

~

“Brushing the clouds away from my eyes,

I see clarity in the raindrop

and beauty in the first ray of morning sun… 

Life is strange and wondrous…”

.

Virginia Alison

~

~

“On the fifth day, which was a Sunday,

it rained very hard.

I like it when it rains hard.

It sounds like white noise everywhere,

which is like silence but not empty.”

.

Mark Haddon

~

~

“The sky mingled with the Earth infinitely

in the tenderness of rain drops.”

.

Meeta Ahluwalia

~

~

“Sometimes enlightenment descends upon you

when you least expect it…”

.

Dean Koontz

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

“Mist to mist, drops to drops.

For water thou art,

and unto water shalt thou return.”

.

Kamand Kojouri

WPC: Surprise

Athyrium niponicum ‘Joy Ride’

~

The Daily Post’s Photo Challenge this week invites us to explore the often overlooked details in form.  A ‘macro-lens view’ opens up new worlds of beauty.

Often, in the hurry of our daily lives, we glance around us and take the world into consciousness in chunks of meaning.  We register the traffic moving around us, the child moving towards us, the inventory of our fridge. Even in the garden, we register our landscape in chunks of form and color.

~

~

It takes undistracted time to focus the lens of our mind on the tiniest of details, like the uncurling fronds opening on our ferns this week.  This annual springtime show might otherwise be overlooked as the garden explodes in color and fragrance.

~

Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’

~

Who can pass a fragrant Iris to contemplate a tiny fern?  Only the child or the gardener!  Our eyes train on those tiniest of details as we pace the paths of our garden each day, documenting what changes have unfolded since our last visit.

~

Fiddlehead of Brilliance autumn fern

~

I had a few minutes to wander this morning, camera in hand, as I waited for a friend’s arrival.  And although I couldn’t pass the Iris without capturing another shot or two, I also spent time with several of our ferns.

Jen kindly crafted a challenge this week especially for us craven gardeners, who must photograph our flowers in minute detail.  But because that was the model she set, I decided to leave flowers to others this time, (well, almost….) and instead focus on the elegant and fascinating details found only in the leaves of ferns.

~

~

The Japanese Painted ferns, Athyrium niponicum, have just emerged from their winter dormancy.  Their fragile fronds disappear after a heavy frost each autumn, to reappear quite suddenly and surprisingly some warm spring day.

They are one of the most beautiful surprises our garden offers us each spring.  I realized today, in sharing our garden with friends, that we have something of a collection now of Athyrium niponicum cultivars.

~

Athyrium ‘Branford Beauty’

~

Not that I intended to make a collection of them, I simply like them and wanted to watch some of the different varieties grow out.  I have ordered a few, like A. ‘Joy Ride’, A. ‘Branford Beauty,’ and A. ‘Burgundy Lace’ from Plant Delights Nursery near Raleigh, NC, in years past.  They carry a staggering and surprisingly wonderful variety of ferns and other unusual perennials which do well in our Zone 7 climate.

~

~

I am still lusting after A. ‘Lemon Cream,’ A. ‘Godzilla’ and A. ‘Thrill Seeker.’  And that lust will go unrequited for the foreseeable future, it seems, as their shipping charges just keep climbing each year.  Now that the minimum shipping charge is nearly $30, I am seeking out these wonderful cultivars locally, and asking our nearby nurseries to consider stocking these beautiful new varieties.

I was absolutely thrilled to find a beautiful pot of A. ‘Ghost’ at Green Planters, Inc., in Gloucester earlier this week.  I will be returning, as they carry a satisfying selection of native ferns in addition to their various Japanese Painted ferns and other cultivars.

~

~

The best ferns in our garden, year round, are our Autumn Brilliance, Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’.  Their tough, but graceful fronds weather sun, rain, drought wind and winter.  Who could ask for more?

~

~

These sturdy clumps expand a bit each year, and each new year’s fronds seem a few inches taller than the last.  We’re not talking tree ferns, of course, but the older ferns make a substantial presence.  What I admire in these ferns is their wonderful bronze color as  new fronds emerge each spring.

~

~

As each frond unfolds, the hairy brown fiddleheads relax into soft, shiny fresh rose-gold leaves.  It is quite a show and goes on for several weeks.  By mid-summer, each leaf will have relaxed further into a soft medium green.  It’s not until winter that the same fiddlehead brown begins to frost the edges of the mature fronds once again.

~

~

It is the surprising beauty of leaves which carries our garden through the seasons.  Flowers come and go all too quickly.  They may delight with a bold color or enticing scent.  But flowers prove ephemeral by nature.

They are only there long enough to lure a bee, butterfly or hummingbird to pollinate them. so they can get down to their real business of seed production.  Even the hybrids seem confused on this point, and fade far too quickly despite their sterility.  Like kids gone off to college, what is left behind is none too pleasant to look at, oftentimes….

~

~

But leaves prove their worth and loyalty; offering sum and substance, color, drama and incredible detail.

*

Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Surprise!

 

Wednesday Vignette: Meditations

Columbine, Aquilegia vulgaris

~

“The soul becomes dyed

with the colour of its thoughts.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“Accept the things to which fate binds you,

and love the people with whom fate

brings you together,

but do so with all your heart.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority,

but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.

The second is to look things in the face

and know them for what they are.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“Very little is needed to make a happy life;

it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

“Do not act

as if you were going to live ten thousand years.

Death hangs over you.

While you live, while it is in your power,

be good.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

quotations from The Meditations

 

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