14 May 2018
Click onto each image to enlarge. Let me know which you prefer. Prints are available upon request.
As I passed the climbing hydrangea that has become a jewel on my front entrance, there was a dried flower from last autumn. That remainder from last year’s garden is a showy remnant. This native plant’s flowers are an apt example of how nature inspires human nature. The lace-like delicacy could easily encourage embroidery or lace work. The cluster of tiny flowers within the web-like flower spread outward with spaces for light to illuminate its design elements. It will be weeks before this year’s blooms appear in full regalia.
Meanwhile this one precious reminder will do. This climbing hydrangea quietly mesmerizes, and is one of few that will not harm the surface on which it clings. Its leaves are deep emerald and nearly heart shape. As a slow grower, it is manageable and easy to control and maintain. After six or more years it has spread as though wings opening the path to my home. It’s quite an emblem of Mother Nature’s presence.
That one leftover flower enchants and forecasts. In their full display they have tiny white flowers that are like a miniature winged bouquet. They cast a spell fresh or dried. Their resemblance to lace encourages the imagination. Even in their fragile appearance it survived a cold, cold winter to introduce this year’s spray of posies.
These signature florets of this native hydrangea is another symbol of spring’s verdant and continuous flourishing. Recent rain’s intermittent bathing of new and renewed life gives me pause. It lifts the cloud of political upheaval, and adds to spring’s many invigorating qualities, qualities that are ever-changing and evergreen.
While this hydrangea is eloquent in its dried state, it was not photogenic. No matter the effort to show what the mind interprets, it did not translate into a photograph. But it inspired me to revisit last week’s abstraction, and create another photomontage to show that while nature can be precise, she also has many sides that encourage circular responses.
Whimsy is just as cunning as an exact expression. So I offer you another impression of that reality, and with it I give you a way to see the hydrangea that floats through my thoughts. And in those imaginative moments it becomes a floral dream of Mother Nature’s extraordinary kaleidoscopic possibilities.
I’m waiting to receive the highly-praised book, The Overstory (2018), by Richard Powers. Its content bridges nature and human nature through the main protagonist: trees. You can read the review (“The Heroes of This Novel are Centuries Old and 300 Feet Tall” from The New York Times) that describes Powers as “a storyteller of such grand scope that Margaret Atwood was moved to ask: ‘If Powers were an American writer of the 19th century, which writer would he be? He’d probably be the Herman Melville of ‘Moby-Dick.’” If you have not heard of this novel, I urge you to read the review, especially if you are interested in nature’s mysterious and wondrous abilities. I cannot wait to dive into his storytelling that pays tribute to the natural world.