Swamp Magic

I’ve often wondered what it is about Southwest Florida’s tropical landscape, its swamps and tropical foliage that gives its natural areas a feeling of mystery. Is it simply that the landscape is unfamiliar to those of us from other places? Or is it the density and lushness of so much life packed together — along with a sense of the things that lie hidden…

Messages from the Garden

There is so much to be learned from a garden — just by looking and listening. The swelling flower bud is ready to burst with life and color, the orchid invites us in, while the bamboo sends some symbolic message for us to take home to decipher. Each plant has it’s own voice and the messages change with the seasons.

Signs of Summer

The summer heat is here, and many other signs of summer are appearing now as the days lengthen and the rain brings explosive greening growth and brighter colors. Enjoy these signs of the riches nature offers each year.    

Seedpod

Two images, both inspired by natural forms. But more important, after a short hiatus to tend to other matters, perhaps the seeds for the next chapter. Stay tuned!

Sunburned Canoes

Myakka River State Park is just inland from Sarasota near the west coast of Florida. It is a wide and shallow river basin with two lakes, the river, and a large forested area. The forest is thick and can be dark and damp underfoot, with palms, oaks and a canopy made dense with spanish moss and other epiphytes clinging to the branches. In the…

Floral Expressions

The Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota, Florida has a world-renowned collection of epiphytes, including many species of the orchids and bromeliads that inspired these images. There were yellows, reds and greens in abundance on this warm spring day in March, and the dramatic showy inflorescecne of the bromeliads complemented the more delicate and complicated statements by the orchids. As the days pass and…

Bromeliad Beauties

These are two of over 3,000 species of bromeliads, a family that includes plants as diverse as spanish moss, the air plant well known by indoor gardeners, and the pineapple. Many, such as the spanish moss, are epiphytes that can subsist on nutrients in the air, rain and debris that fall around them, and do not need to be rooted to the ground. Others,…

A Walk in the Park

It all started as a simple walk in the park. But then a glowing blue screen appeared at the end of a path singing the siren song “come, look at me” as most blue screens do. I demurred, anxious about what might be lurking along the path and in the shadows under the ferns lining the way. Later, in the cool deep shade at…

Bromeli-eyed Inflorescence

People often anthropomorphize, sometimes seeing facial or other human features in plants or inanimate scenes, and often ascribing human feelings and emotions to pets, to wild animals, and even to important religious abstractions. This human tendency to anthropomorphize can provide comfort or cause unease, depending on the situation. The desire to find human attributes in the non-human may reflect our social nature and the…