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.

Bud

Bud

Open

Open

Bamboo Semaphore

Bamboo Semaphore

Channelling

Channelling

Feeling a Little Fuschia

Feeling a Little Fuschia

A Rising Asphalt Sea

Mostly empty, its parking lot free of cars, this suburban mall is in foreclosure. But do not worry. Plenty of money was made, and the risks and debt shifted off onto others.

And for the shoppers, the good news is that an even larger new mall will soon be built nearby, where another chunk of woods and wetlands will slip beneath the rising asphalt sea.

The Virus Spreads

The Virus Spreads

Ghosts from the Past

Ghosts from the Past

Papered Over

Papered Over

Suburban Wasteland

Suburban Wasteland

Mind Your Vegetables

As kids most of us were told, “eat your vegetables.” But was it ever suggested that we honor them, too? Offering respect and honoring the animal is not that unusual for hunters who personally kill what they plan to eat. Honoring our fruits and vegetables, not so much.

So try taking a moment to be mindful of your fruits and vegetables — their colors, textures, shapes, and their beauty — and thank them for being what they are before chopping them up and gobbling them down. Being mindful of what we eat may help connect us to the earth and even each other. In any case, it can’t hurt.

Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes

Golden Apricot Glow

Golden Apricot Glow

Nature's Velvet

Nature’s Velvet

Painted Carrots

Painted Carrots

Proud of Who They Are

This Pride parade was a true celebration — a celebration of pride, of diversity, and of the joy of being able to live life on your own terms.

Yes, these people are proud of who they are. See the smiles? It’s what freedom can look like.

Flag Runner

Flag Runner

On the Sidewalk - Proud of Who They Are

On the Sidewalk – Proud of Who They Are

The Drummers

The Drummers

Flaunting It

Flaunting It

Unicorns

Unicorns

Pride... and Joy

Pride… and Joy

Even the Bus Company

Even the Bus Company

Artfully Urban

The urban environment can be noisy, dirty, artless and unfriendly. But these images from Seattle suggest that there can also be whimsy and artfulness if you look for it.

Sometimes these qualities happen by accident and are fully in the eye of the beholder, as with the “Building Blocks” and “Waterfront Whimsy” below. In other cases creative people add whimsy on purpose, such as with the “Artful Fence” which stands in for chain link and barbed wire to make perimeter defense something more fanciful. And the installation of hanging laundry adds lightness to what might otherwise be a dull and confining alley.

Building Blocks of Downtown Seattle

Building Blocks

Waterfront Whimsy

Waterfront Whimsy

Artful Fence

Artful Fence

Art Installation in Seattle

Art Not Laundry

Industrial Counterpoint

Thousands of people travel to Southeast Alaska every year to experience the grandeur and wildness of its natural wonders. But getting to those wild places is itself a business of industrial scale — an industrial counterpoint to the experience of nature that is the goal of so much travel.

There is tension between the experience of nature and the means to achieve it. It is important to acknowledge that tension, while recognizing that the man-made and the natural environments each have their own rhythms, needs and contributions to make. Each can make room for the other.

Ships in Skagway Harbor

Crowding In

Intrusion

Intrusion

Skagway Harbor Tug

Skagway Harbor Tug

Distant Snowfield, Alaska

Distant Snowfield

Seattle Skyline

Seattle Skyline

Glacier Bay, Alaska

These images are from Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Southeast Alaska. Although accessible only by air and sea, a chance to visit the 3.3 million acre preserve should not be missed.

[See more in the Glacier Bay gallery.]

The day these were taken began with heavy fog and mist that lifted, shifted and settled back in again several times during the day. The mountains and even the sea would be fully shrouded for a while, and then the fog would gradually lift revealing perhaps just the ice scattered on the sea, or perhaps a mountainside and glacier before closing in again.

Bergy Bits and Growlers

Bergy Bits and Growlers

250 years ago, glaciers covered the entire bay, but now one must travel as much as 65 miles up to the head of the inlets to see the face of tidewater glaciers that barely touch the sea. The experience reset my sense of scale, of awe — and of loss.

Lamplugh Glacier, Alaska

Lamplugh Glacier

[See more in the Glacier Bay gallery.]

Things Seen Along the Bayfront

A recent proposal to bring a second war-themed statue to Sarasota’s Bayfront stimulated heated discussion about public art and the types of sculptures that are desirable and appropriate there. But throughout the discussion no one mentioned one of the biggest sculptures of them all — the tall blue glass monument to finance and commerce located just across the street. Whether or not you believe buildings can be art, this building’s scale, prominent location, and impenetrable reflectivity say something about the activities that take place within.

One Sarasota, on the Bayfront

Monument to Finance

At a more human scale, the object below was “just lying there” in the sand along the breakwater. You can make of it what you will. Regardless of what you see, its presence and the light were a reminder that sometimes meaning can be found just lying at our feet, needing no monument to be raised into the sky.

Just Lying There

It Was Just Lying There

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.

 

papaya

Still Green Papaya

 

sunflowers

Sunflowers

Sometimes the Light Is Everything

Sarasota High School

High School Doorway

I’ll admit it, the doorway to the old Sarasota High School doesn’t always look like this. But maybe it did just for moment as the afternoon light glanced off the stones — even though the doors are locked, the students elsewhere and the old building sits empty awaiting its destiny. That flash of light invites the question of how it looked to the generations of young students who walked under that graceful arch on their way to learning about life and becoming adults.

Sometimes the light is everything. In the late afternoon, low dark clouds began lifting off the horizon at Coquina Beach on the south end of Anna Maria Island. As the bright light from the sun first began to illuminate the Gulf, the green water shone like an emerald chasing away the dark.

Coquina Beach Anna Maria Island

Afternoon Clouds at Coquina Beach

%d bloggers like this: