20 November 2017
Taken in Polamatic and edited in Snapseed, Pixlr and Stackables.
Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this photomontage. Prints are available upon request.
Life has rhythmic patterns in what we do, feel and see. Those repetitions can be especially prevalent in our senses: black and white, color, gray areas of our sensibilities and thoughts. Nature has a cunning way to lure us and emphasize these experiences, giving a particular point of view of life and its limitless possibilities.
While strolling through Longwood Gardens and its annual Chrysanthemum Festival, the notion of being entirely surrounded by floral enticement easily whisked me into a quiet and tranquil place. Whether single or multiple designs, the displays ignored any of the world’s ills. Yes, the woes of reality dissipated.
Forms, shapes and execution are one of the most engaging of the last few years. There was a definite leap in creativity and visual appeal. The Conservatory was aglow with blooms that cascade, spiral, stand upright, rise towards the light, or dance with one’s imagination. Hanging baskets were bursting with a variety of mums. One area had small brightly yellow loops of button chrysanthemums that stagger the senses. They would have made a lovely garland for any occasion.
Each display seem to guard against the outside world. I could barely ask for more.
The image in the Lens section represents my interpretation: two images that combine to become even more alive with sensuality and technicolor. There is a sense of disguise, hands lifted to cover one’s face. And that’s how I felt as though I could mask the outside, and at the same time become deeply appreciative of the salute to autumnal chrysanthemums.
********** The Festival ended yesterday, but you can amble through this world-class horticultural treasure here.
British falconer Helen MacDonald is widely known for her book, H is for Hawk (2014), which won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction 2014. After the publication of this rhythmic, riveting and seminal memoir about her response to her father’s sudden death, the book became a classic of nature writing. Even after I devoured the book, her additional work, which includes other books and articles, began to appear in The New York Times, and sealed my admiration. Through her strongly emotional and lyrical prose it’s clear that she reveres nature. H is for Hawk chronicles how she “fled from humanity” and raised a goshawk, who she named Mabel, to ease her loss. And now there is a video on PBS that covers her latest experience with a young goshawk. This time she says the training of this wild creature is “my wings to somewhere new.” Click here to view Macdonald’s latest step into falconry. Her story is a celebration of how nature can challenge and heal. These birds of prey become her hunting partners as well as companions. It’s an extraordinary peek into the wild, and the bond that can be created between nature and human nature.