In the Garden

Three Chairs in the Garden

Three Chairs in the Garden - 2010

During a peaceful afternoon in a forest garden everyday scenes come alive. When the breeze blows, the dappled spots of sunlight and deep shadows swirl around the three chairs neatly arranged on the lawn under a large spreading tree, waiting for the guests to arrive.

And then there are the fallen leaves just under the surface of the water that has collected in the old copper across the yard. The bits of blue sky filtering down through the canopy of leaves above become shimmering flashes of light, like fireflies dancing across the surface.

leaves in water

Floating Leaves - 2010

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Smooth Banana and a Barbed Wire Bath

Smooth banana

A Smooth Banana - 2010

In the filtered light after a brief summer shower some things like these aging banana leaves take on a silken smoothness. Their texture, colors and folds give the illusion of fabric hanging from the stalk. However, most plants in the dry tropical bush are prickly and sharp, not smooth and silky. A little way along this same path there was an old bathtub draped with barbed wire — a still life of manmade objects emulating the thorny bush.

The illusion is of softness, while man made thorns block access to a symbol of the comfort and security of home.

Barbed wire and bath tub in the woods

Barbed Wire Bath - 2010

Bottled Sunlight Mixed with a Gentle Rain

Grapefruit - 2009

Grapefruit - 2009

Every July the local botanical garden sponsors the “Mango Melee” — a county fair-like event featuring dozens of varieties of local mangoes and other locally grown tropical fruit. This little pile of grapefruit was accented with one pink and one yellow fruit cut open to display the richly colored and textured interiors. If you could bottle sunlight mixed with a gentle rain, it might look like this.

Just Color!

Wood Shutter and Wall - 2009

Wood Shutter and Wall - 2009

An old wood shutter, black iron hinge and peeling paint on the stucco wall provided the raw material. These peeling and crumbling tropical facades are the subject of thousands of photos by tourists and pros alike. Still, I can’t resist adding just one more to the pile.

Black Pineapple

Black pineapple - 2009

Black pineapple - 2009

Narrow and tall with a dark green skin, the black pineapple is a Caribbean favorite. Topped with rust-tinged leaves, this one seems to glow with sweetness.

Left behind

Shard - 2009

Shard - 2009

This thick pale-blue piece of glass was laying on the broken green pavement of a long-abandoned and overgrown tennis court. While greens are not always my favorite color, this was like finding a jewel in the trash — a bit of beauty in what has been left behind.

A Ripe Tomato from the Caribbean

This started out as a ripe tomato from the local organic farm. So sweet and delicious, it’s just a distant relative to what can be bought in the store.

It’s one of those tomatoes that, even when perfectly ripe, is still a mix of brick-red and green. It had delicate rings of tan scar tissue — maybe tomato stretch marks? — and a cleavage from the stem down the back side. Only a tomato, but I think that’s where its magic lies.

Ripe tomato - 2009

Ripe tomato - 2009

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