Tag Archives: plant

Winter Life

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If you count Stuart and Pauline’s mom, Mary Beth, who likes everyone, it’s a love octagon.

Loneliness, or fear of loneliness, is probably the number one reason people make regrettable choices when it comes to marriage. People like Mary Beth figure that out, and accept the loneliness rather than make the same mistake twice. People like Harold double down on their mistakes, try not to think about it, and commit ever more intently to a course of action. Harold knows that he will never leave Trisha, even though she’s a sloppy drunk who’s in love with his best friend, even though there’s a girl who loves him more and is probably better for him waiting at the farm store. He’s made his choice and he won’t hurt Trisha. And then there are the Trishas of the world, marrying in haste, repenting at leisure, and not really having any degree of self-reflection about it.

And Pauline, of course, will probably always be lonely. Why didn’t she say something to Harold before he married Trisha? Fear of rejection, right?

For a while I had trouble pulling visual symbols out of the story; I didn’t want to draw Harold and Pauline kissing in the farm store. The best image is the memory of Harold and Pauline walking home in the blizzard, holding hands and still wearing their skates. Lucky me, I didn’t read the passage correctly the first time and spent quite a while drawing their skated slung over their shoulders. But they wore their skates back to Pauline’s house, where Harold has been living because his dad is not OK, and took them off in the mudroom. Ultimately, the story is called “Winter Life” and all Harold is thinking about is the spring, even though for Pauline the most important moment was the winter. But Harold loves his garden the most, he can’t wait for growing season to begin, and this year he’s going to get a jump on it with cold frames. He’s shopping for ice melt. What happens in winter stays in winter.

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Axillary Buds

 

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Garlic: an allium for all seasons. (Click here for full size version.)

This particular batch of Costco garlic just seemed most photogenic. There was one with brilliant red stripes, and some with particularly twisted scapes, and ones where the skin remained like a protective bubble after all the cloves had been plucked, so I took them to their very own macro photo shoot in and impromptu photo studio made of black construction paper and a lamp and was medium-pleased with the results. This is my favorite one of the batch, although it was hard to choose a favorite from such disparate details.

Axillary buds seems like a funny name to me, probably because the axillary part on a human is the armpit, but I’m pretty sure that’s what you’d call the thing we’re looking at here. I also think they look like pumpkin seeds.

Speaking of things that look like other things, the next day I pulled another set of images off my camera, and when the app that does that opened, it flashed all the thumbnails of my last gallery and I was like, “Whoa, who put all this hardcore porn on my computer?” But really, it was just the thumbnails of the garlic. Full size you can see it’s a blurry picture of a plant. but a fast glance at a small image makes it seem like something less appropriate for general consumption.

There are a couple more I might upload later. There’s still some writing to be done tonight.

Dotty Mandala and Macrophotography

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It’s a bit spotty, isn’t it?

That was another breakneck weekend. And now it’s over.

This mandala is stark and cold, like the snow icing the mountains, making the desert look like Denver. It being somewhat threadbare, here is some macrophotography to fill in any gaps the white space may have left in your visual pleasure receptors.

Humans have visual pleasure receptors, right? Feast your eyes on this:

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What else are you missing?

This is the bud of an aloe flower. Tiny and pretty!

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Twisty!

This is a detail of a small garden sculpture my mother bought me at a street fair. It happens to be the curly hair of a little fairy, a very specific fairy, in fact: the first year dance fairy. You can tell by how she holds her feet. It’s a long story. But a small detail.

There ya go. Happy Monday.

These Things Happen

What? It's not like we don't share the same kingdom.

What? It’s not like we don’t share the same kingdom.

Just a silly little comic. The teddy bear thing was a *bit* off color; it may come around a bit later. But here’s a small sketch of a blossoming friendship based on mutual interests.

We have a little date tree like this in the front yard and the dates are getting closer to harvest time. They’re really better if you go in early in the spring and cut half the dates off; it allows the other dates to get bigger. Otherwise you end up with a million tiny dates that are 90% pit. Maybe tomorrow I’ll cull some of them. They need to be dried for a bit after harvesting, but fortunately, the desert atmosphere is perfect for this. You can just lay the strands of dates down on the porch and eat new dates in a few days.

So Alive: A Green Mandala

Plant symmetry is affected by environmental factors.

Plant symmetry is affected by environmental factors.

This vibrant, playful Thursday mandala features a verdant, blossoming design and fresh, vernal color palette. It’s reminiscent of water lilies and suggest the persistent quality of nature, the drive of life to continue living, to move away from the source in an effort to spread life.

Life is on my mind on my 40th birthday. Not the meaning of life, or my purpose in it, since I believe those questions were settled to my satisfaction long ago, but the simple state of being alive. How much wonder and beauty and possibility are┬ápacked into this fortunate experience called life, how lucky we are to have the option to choose. Even if you can’t choose your circumstances, you can still choose your reaction. You can still choose what’s inside your head.

The Desert Explodes in Glorious Technicolor

For ten years, I’ve lived in the Sonoran Desert, where we enjoy 330 days of sunshine every year. It may be hot, but it is also beautiful, full of sharp contrasts and luscious details.

This agave had reached the end of its life cycle. After sending up the shoot and flowering, the plant will die, but for a brief, breathtaking moment, it resembles a flaming torch.

If all else fails, you can always make tequila.

If all else fails, you can always make tequila.

This drawing is based on a photograph I took over the summer; I had a 2-day window in which this plant exhibited these gorgeous colors. In fact, I wanted to paint a hibiscus today, but I couldn’t lay my hands on the right reference image.

This lovely design is available for purchased on a variety of fine products in my shop.