Weekly Photo Challenge: It Is Easy Being Green! Different shades, textures, and forms of green from the garden.
When I saw the theme of this week’s photo challenge–Motion–I immediately thought of this photo of a bird in silhouette, at just the moment it was taking flight. I happened upon the bird unexpectedly and managed to take only one photo before it flew off. I’m still not sure what type of bird it even was. But I like that this photo captures that split second before the bird became airborne.
The last time the weekly photo challenge was “Inside,” I ended up with a red pepper on my lap. This time, I was aiming for something more symbolic. Having spent all day yesterday inside (thanks to yet another snow storm), the theme of “inside, looking out” seemed apt. But inspiration failed to strike. So I instead turned to a photo from last summer, a hard-to-imagine time of warm weather and color in a garden humming with life. My choice is therefore symbolic of a deep yearning to be done with winter….
According to this week’s challenge, “So much of life happens inside something.” And that is never more true than when it comes to bees and flowers, partners in an intricate, reproductive dance that takes place inside the flower.
When I saw this challenge, I immediately thought of the Long Room at Trinity College Library in Dublin. It is a beautiful space, more than 200 ft long (hence the name). The high, barrel-vaulted wooden ceiling is truly awe inspiring, curving gracefully downward to the second-floor galleries holding some of the library’s oldest books. Standing in the room, your perspective changes completely depending on whether you are looking straight ahead, straight up, or tilting your head from side to side.
This week’s theme is “layers,” and of course, my thoughts turned to food–and specifically to onions, whose layers have been the subject of many quotes, mostly about hidden depths and weeping. In my case, I’d be weeping if I didn’t have any onions around. I realize it is probably quite shallow to only think of my stomach in lieu of other, more profound (or perhaps more pungent) observations about this revered member of the allium genus.
But here’s something. The red onion I cut open today had a particularly striking and almost glowing yellow core, so Cyrano de Bergerac’s philosophical musings struck a chord: “And in the Onion, the Germ is the little Sun of that little World, which vivifies and nourishes the vegetative Salt of that little mass.” As the onion itself adds life to so many dishes. I can’t imagine my kitchen without it.
This week’s theme is “fresh”– perfect for the dog days of summer we are experiencing here on the East Coast of the United States, a time of year when even the dogs don’t want to be outside.
When I think of “fresh,” I tend to think of water in some form or another: morning dew, mountain-fed streams, that spot in an ocean or lake that signals greater depth — a crisp cucumber, chilled watermelon, iced tea, and sorbet.
But to see the pure joy of freshness in motion, nothing quite beats the spray of water from a fountain. The droplets are momentarily suspended in the sun, sparkling with bits of color and beating a staccato on the surface of the water before gravity exerts its final pull.
Another photo challenge, and amazingly, I had another photo that might work for this week’s theme: Pattern. This is a close-up of the spiny bark of the Madagascar Palm (pachypodium lamerei), taken at the US Botanic Garden last month. It is not really a palm; it’s in the succulent/cactus family. When you look at the tree from afar, its spines are neatly splayed across the trunk in diagonal rows, forming a diamond-like pattern. But this pattern is best observed from afar–if the 2.5-inch spines don’t already say “keep away,” the fact that all parts of the tree are also poisonous (if ingested) reinforces the message.
WordPress, which is the platform that hosts this blog, offers a Weekly Photo Challenge through the Daily Post. Most weeks I don’t have anything quite compatible to offer, but this week the challenge was “From Above.” And coincidentally, I had recently taken a photo from above, of one my Alliums (Purple Sensation) that was just beginning to open. So here is a bird’s-eye view.