Wednesday Vignettes

July 27, 2015 Parkway 029

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Pickerelweed, Phragmites, cattails, wildflowers and grasses populate this briny marsh along one of the many creeks in our area. 

The scene changes continuously as tides rise and fall and the seasons melt one into another.  For months of the year, we see mostly mud here.  It is a cause to celebrate each spring when the marshes green with their first growth.  Now, despite abundant rain this summer, some of the plants have already begun to yellow and fade.

Soon, summer’s greens will melt into shades of yellow and brown with autumn’s approach.

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July 27, 2015 Parkway 021

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This sun-baked marsh contains a rich ecosystem of birds and all manner of flying insects, small crabs, fish, shellfish, frogs and muskrats.  It is always dinner time here, and it remains alive with activity from before sunrise until after the light fades from the sky each evening.

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July 27, 2015 Parkway 013~

Some folks may look at this land and consider it wasted acreage.  There are always developers looking to build something new to turn a profit, especially in James City County these days.  There is the constant conversation between those seeking permits for ecological destruction and “economic  development,” and those working hard to preserve our natural resources; including the marshlands.

The truth is, that all of these marshes drain into the Chesapeake Bay.  Every creek, pond, bay and marsh in our area drain into one of our three major rivers, which feed fresh water into the Chesapeake Bay.  And so there are laws at every level of government now to regulate land use, in the interest of preserving water quality in the Bay. 

If you are interested, please enjoy the interesting and informative presentation our county has assembled here.  This is a .pdf file presentation with all sorts of useful and interesting information.  James City County was actually the first locality in Virginia to adopt a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance, in 1990.

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July 27, 2015 Parkway 023

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Today’s vignettes celebrate the natural landscapes of the marshes in our area.  These photos were all taken within the Colonial National Historical Park, along the Colonial Parkway.  I love to study nature’s hand at planting, even knowing I could never recreate beauty on this scale in my own garden.

Thank you to Anna at Flutter and Hum for hosting the Wednesday Vignette each week.  I hope you will visit her today to enjoy her lovely “Green on Green” planting.  How can we not celebrate all of the lovely greens living in our landscapes now?

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July 27, 2015 Parkway 027

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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July 27, 2015 Parkway 026

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The Red, White, and Blue

Bee Balm, Monarda, blooming in our garden today.

Bee Balm, Monarda, blooming in our garden today.

Red for valor, hardiness, and sacrifice.

It reminds us our freedoms were won, and are maintained, through blood shed for our ideals.

Magnolia

Magnolia

White for purity of intent and a fresh beginning.

Eagles flying in the clearing sky this morning.

Eagles flying in the clearing sky this morning.

 

White is also the color of radiant light from heaven; the brilliant stars shining in the night sky.

 

Morning Glory on a pruned rose cane.

Morning Glory on a pruned rose cane.

 

Blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

 

Ripening blackberries grow all along the Colonial Parkway in early July.

Ripening blackberries grow all along the Colonial Parkway in early July.

 

It is interesting to consider that the colors chosen for the Colonial flags during the American Revolution,  and for the flags of our new country; are the same red, white and blue of Great Britain’s Union Jack.

 

Wildflowers in a marsh on Jamestown Island.

Wildflowers in a marsh on Jamestown Island.

 

The  French also chose red, white and blue as the colors for their flag at the time of the French Revolution in 1790.

 

July 4, 2014 After Arthur 052

Blue is for liberty, White for equality, and Red for fraternity.   There are many other meanings to these colors in French society, which do not necessarily have meaning in the United States.

 

Rose of Sharon, or tree Hibiscus.

Rose of Sharon, or tree Hibiscus.

 

We find these same symbolic colors again and again around us every day.

Ageratum and Lavender with Dusty Miller.

Ageratum and Lavender with Dusty Miller.

In the United States, many of us regularly wear blue denim clothing.

Blue Salvia growing with Comphrey

Blue Salvia growing with Comphrey

Denim, originally a sturdy fabric for work clothing; has become a symbol of our relaxed, egalitarian, and informal way of life here.

It has been adopted by people around the world since the social revolutions of the 1960s.

Canna

Canna and scarlet sage

White, the color of purity and cleanliness, is also a part of our daily lives.  

Many of us prefer white shirts, white china, white walls, white painted wood in our gardens, white cars, and white linens.  We  grow white flowers in our gardens because they glow in the moonlight.

 

Cedar with berries

Cedar with berries

Red is the color of boldness and energy. 

We admire red sports cars.

Red product logos and red street signs demand our attention.  We wear shiny red shoes, bright red lipstick, and give red roses as symbols of our passion for life and living.

Caladium and Begonias

Caladium and Begonias  Can you spot the bumblebee?

 

Color speaks a language of its own. 

Every layer of meaning we uncover teaches us more about this world we’ve inherited, and what it means to participate in the stream of history.

Happy Independence Day!

May the Red, White, and Blue have meaning for you today, and every day.

 

July 4, 2014 After Arthur 148

Rosa, “John Paul II”

Photos by Woodland Gnome, 2014

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