Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 41): Morning Light and a Single Seedhead, Longwood Gardens

19 August 2019


Morning Light and a Single Seedhead,  Longwood Gardens; All Rights Reserved 2019 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this image. Prints are available upon request. 


The luminous gifts of nature often are unexpected. Spring and summer bring an abundance of jewels as animals awaken and the landscape rejuvenates. Here and there are bursts of what those seasons offer. Regardless of the usual glistening fare, there are always surprises that stagger senses and sensibilities.

And so a luminary can appear without anticipation. And results remain sealed in the mind for days, months even years. Because memory will hold tight to the moment of discovery.

On a trip to Longwood Gardens this month, the staff had incorporated a new design in the annual summer gardens. Interspersed within the rows of changing colors were seasonal grasses. Those additions gave the blend of the usual a fresh approach: leaf blades tall and wispy, leaf blades simmering in the glow of sunbeams. Seedheads caught the morning light and became points of intense interest, entertaining in various stages of unfurling.

Those native and non-native grasses are graceful and eye-catching, but they also serve as nesting and roosting places for bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators. Much is to be provided to the natural world in this one species; it’s ability to give lush presence and to give wildlife multiple advantages is at its height at the end of summer and through autumn and winter.

In one example the morning light illuminated the startling beauty of a single seedhead. I was dazzled and remain in that state of awe. That’s how nature can enliven an inhale and exhale; it can make all the difference in one’s state of mind as the world seems to be spinning out of control.



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22 Responses to Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 41): Morning Light and a Single Seedhead, Longwood Gardens

  1. Grass seems to be such a modest plant – or array of plants. But it’s often very beautiful upon closer examination. As you did with this lovely photograph.

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    Such a lovely photo – the detail and patterns astound. And the light has fallen beautifully on it.

  3. I love the light! and always your profound words!

  4. Amy says:

    Beautifully captured, Sally. Lighting is stunning! I haven’t seen many butterflies and bees this year…

  5. Gallivanta says:

    What a beautiful light catcher the seedhead is.

  6. restlessjo says:

    I love to see sunlight through grass, Sally. There are so many beautiful types. 🙂 🙂

  7. pattimoed says:

    The light and texture are wonderful here, Sally. Delicate and intricate. A beautiful momento of that moment at Longwood.

  8. I love natural grasses. We’ve also seen more butterflies this year, which makes me very happy. Your shot is beautifully delicate.


  9. I like this photo, Sally. It reminds me of a radar image of the eye of a hurricane. Seasonal grasses are making a comeback here in NorCal. Low maintenance and drought-resistant, they are cropping up in a lot of yards and planters. I have noticed an increase in bee and butterfly sightings this year in most gardens where the grasses grow. And, yes, the sunlight across the wispy seed-heads is gorgeous in the early/late light.

    • Allan, yes, low maintenance, except cutting the seedbeads so they will not produce zillions of babies. I have many native grasses and autumn will find me snipping seedbeds. Still, they are necessary for my garden designs and my spirit. There seems to be an increase in butterflies here this summer, which makes me ecstatic. Their populations have been low last few years. I’ve seen more monarchs than in five or so years. Thanks.

      • Gallivanta says:

        How lovely to have more butterflies this year.

      • Lovely to hear from you, and thanks. Yes, I continue to hear others in the US that have seen more.

      • Gallivanta says:

        That’s so encouraging. In New Zealand there has been wonderful success with the endangered kakapo programme. If we all do our bit we can make a change in our world for the better.

      • I agree that each of us most do our own part to provide wildlife habitats and develop habits that help sustain the planet. As important we need to talk about it and raise awareness. Thanks, the success of the project is an example. But also as you and I garden we provides some of the necessary components that nature needs to continue to be abundant. Humans have assaulted the planet in our need to tame the wild. Over devleopment and deforestation are two ways that have devastated the earth. Humans are greedy and selfish. The result is not going well.

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