Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Grackle Dance

Every spring they return to entertain us. They strut about the lawn giving  Zoe the "Beady Eye" as my aunt called it, but paying no attention to us or the camera, unlike my crows who are so camera shy. I love their iridescent neck, their air of purpose. They look like politicians, walking about with their arms behind their backs and rather self important.
A Grackle poem in 3 lines
Beady Eye, 2004, mixed media

Monday, May 28, 2012

Our Evening Walk With Zoe

Every night we walk Zoe up to the Turnaround Tree, or she walks us. This was Saturday night about 8 pm. and there were fireflies later.

Starting down to Romeo's road.
Past Sophia's bench. You can see the road and Mt Sutton in the distance
Looking up Romeo's road to Mt. Sutton with the Turnaround Tree, the big pine on the right.
On the bridge, looking west
On the bridge, looking east
And up to the Turnaround Tree
Zoe leading us home
View to the studios
The studios
Looking up at the Tree Temple, Hawthorns and Salix " hakuro nishiki" in bloom
Back past Sophia's bench and we're home.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Pleasure of the Iris

Yesterday was a treat. Wandering about the garden early, I noticed that one of my favourite iris had shed it's paper skin and was about to bloom. A few hours later it was starting to unfold. So every 2 or 3 hours I would take another shot as I watched her open. What was also so thrilling was how the color changed through out the day. Hard to believe this is the same plant, just the light has changed, as she moves through purple to deep periwinkle to more magenta and back to purple. A great day.

Watching the iris

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Beginning To End

Yesterday was the last day of my tulip fever. As they say it's time to move on. Azaleas are in bloom, rhododendron starting. Scent fills the air; lilac and honeysuckle wafting by. Jack and Pauline are busy cutting down 5 elm that we have lost to Dutch elm disease. So change is all about. Parts of the garden need to be rethought as the elm were part of the shade garden which is now a far sunnier place. I always find it a blow to loose trees. There is a part of me that thinks trees are eternal.

Tulip petal
Last day 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

To Hot To Do Much

30 + degrees C. or over 90 degrees F. for the past few days, and I don't do heat well. I slow down, I doze. So I tend to garden early in the day and late in the day and the rest of the time has been spent on the sofa reading one of the best books I have come across this year, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. It's wonderful. I can't bear to miss a word. I haven't read any historical fiction for years and I kept putting off reading this. Well what a gem. I may have to go out and buy the hardcover of her newest Bringing Up The Bodies, a continuation of the story and the swift downfall of Anne Boleyn. One of the fun parts of the book is that Holbein is in and out of Cromwells' house working on a portrait of him. Cromwell was not created Earl of Essex until 1540, so I don't know if this is the portrait talked about in the book or not. Maybe the title was added later. A fascinating man and a deeply pleasurable read.

Thomas Cromwell, Hans Holbein

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tulip Requiem, Part 3

The tulip that I scanned the other day now sits in her glass of water in the window; sill catching my eye each time I walk through the kitchen. The petals have become so transparent that I can see the screen of the window through them. They have started to curl back on themselves, exposing the heart. Utterly beautiful.
A fellow artist, Denise Pelletier [link here] mentioned the Faure Requiem in a comment about the Tulip Requiem, and so this is for you Denise, the Pie Jesu with Cecilia Bartoli. [Link here]. I find it utterly beautiful too.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Queen of the Night /Tulip Requiem Part 2

I have tulip fever. Only having 2 makes them very precious. I love their shape, the stems, the petals, the colors. But what really has me captivated is the shape of the petals. As they age they become voluptuous, Rubenisque [if that is a word] in their fleshy form. Irresistible. This one is called Queen of the Night. Appropriate, I would say.

Portrait of Queen of the Night

Queen of the Night, with the moon.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Moles, Voles and Tulips

A few years ago I planted 60 purple tulips in the front bed. Along with the same number of purple alliums thinking the allium, a member of the garlic family would keep the moles away. Plus I thought the combination of the blue purple [allium] and magenta purple [tulips] would be wonderful. The first year was a great success. Every year since there were fewer and fewer tulips. Even the allium numbers were down. This year there are 2 tulips left. Final score, moles / voles 58, tulips / Liz 2. So this is The Tulip Requiem.

2 Tulips or the Tulip Requiem

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's That Time Of The Year

For dandelions. The so called grass is covered with them, our neighbours field is covered with them. I think it's a glorious sight. We drink our coffee watching the sun warm them until they open those yellow heads once again. "Hello World" they shout. "I'm here." A few days pass and those once bright yellow heads have turned to a silvery gray puff ball waiting for the wind the blow the seeds all about and start the whole dance again.

Hello world, I'm here

Seed Head

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Tough Year

Every year the weather is perfect for certain plants and not so kind for others. This year it seems one of the younger trees, my Sorbus Aria Lutescens, is having a tough time. Really hot weather in March meant she started to bud out, but of course this was followed by nasty cold, snow and wind. She is taking her time recovering. I have written about her before [Link here] and her wondrous silvery leaves but when I was out photographing the leaves yesterday [I would hate to know how many photos of her leaves I already have] it struck me again how similar the leaf shape and structure is to the trees shape and structure. Mind you, she is looking a little bit like a new baby with sprouts of buds here and there.

Sorbus, structure, leaf

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Watching Things Grow

I spent the whole day in the garden, my idea of heaven, pruning roses, weeding, trimming. I hate having to miss a day there as growth happens so quickly . The daffs are almost finished, the scilla making their seed heads, the cotoneaster needs a trim, so does the dogwood. The path around the pond needs to be widened, and the ferns are unfolding for the second time. [Link to the frost and ferns]

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Back to The Garden

The world is closing in. The woods are leafing out, and day by day the see-through views of winter change to the soft green halos of growth. Horizons are in a state of flux. Fields have gone into hiding, the forest fleshing out. Magenta is creeping up the mountain slopes, our valley is green. Walking Zoe last night we marveled and John reminded me to stake the peonies.

Horizons are in a state of flux

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Narcissus Poeticus

Every spring I fall in love with these beauties. I love their name, I love their slender stock that folds as the flower head emerges, I love how tenderly the flower head is wrapped, I love their simple shape and I love their perfume.

Narcissus poeticus

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Frost and Ferns

Last weekend was all frost, snow and blustery winds, and I found the ferns, which had been about 8 or 9 inches high, shriveled to brown and laying on the ground. By yesterday new fiddleheads had not only emerged, they were already several inches high. Such instinctive knowing awes me. If we get another hard frost will they do it again? To see the ferns at a better size just click on the image.

Fiddleheads, after the frost and snow

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart

A friend and I were talking the other day about how our work had changed over the years. And how many of our preoccupations in the work had not. But for me the size and scale of work has changed radically. Maybe it's age where you don't have the same energy, but we were hoping it was ego. That perhaps we weren't trying so hard to impress people, to make a dent in the art scene, that big statement. Look at me, look at me. Whatever it is, I must say I am also hoping there is some hard found wisdom here. I am enthralled with what I used to consider the small, the insignificant, the mundane. There seems to be whole worlds to discover, to notice, to savour.

Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart