Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hydrangea paniculata

This mature Pee Gee Hydrangea tree (Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora') beside an old farmhouse in Wells, Maine is an heirloom favorite. The enormous, creamy white, conical flowers bloom in mid- to late summer and become pink as they age. As autumn progresses and the nights become colder, the flowers turn the color of tea-stained linen. Click on the photos for details.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Awakening to Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace in mid-September

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."

~Carl Jung

Click on the photo to view interesting details.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Language of Flowers

Victorian hydrangea wallpaper

Antique hydrangeas

I recently stayed in a room called Patience, named after the daughter of a sea captain and former owner of the Cape Cod antique home that is now an inn. I chose the room for the hydrangea wallpaper, which struck me as very soothing, and it was.

In addition to a much needed change of scenery, the serenity of that room offered some solace after weeks of grieving, and I slept more soundly than I had in some time. In the language of flowers, hydrangeas mean "thank you for understanding." Hydrangeas also stand for perseverance.

As nights become cooler hydrangea colors intensify. Cultivars in shades of pale blue-lavender, mauve-pink and linen are much sought after for drying and sold as "Antique" hydrangeas. They last a very long time. The ones pictured above are a year old.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September Ferns

This is the path I'll never tread
These are the dreams I'll dream instead
This is the joy that's seldom spread
These are the tears...
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head...

~"Why" by Annie Lennox

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Otter Man

I had a ton of nicknames for my beloved Maine Coon cat Rachmaninoff and "Otter Man" is one that I remember fondly. Not only did Rock have the long, strong neck of an otter and liked to curl up in playful, otter-like positions, he also possessed their keen intelligence and fun-loving disposition.

I have been thinking of him a great deal this week and shedding more tears than usual. The eight-year anniversary of 9/11 put me in a somber mood as well. Rock became ill around this time last year. His scent has all but faded from his collar and last night I dreamed that he was there to greet me when I came home from work.

I try my best to remember him before he got sick, as my steadfast companion in the garden, “helping” me stack wood for the woodstove and watching wild turkeys forage among the fallen leaves. But all of these recollections lead to the same place of sadness.

I miss my Otter Man so.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rubus occidentalis

Wild Black Raspberries (Rubus occidentalis)

"We can hold back neither the coming of the flowers
nor the downward rush of the stream;
sooner or later, everything comes to its fruition."

~ Loy Ching-Yuen

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Late Summer Beauty

"Never underestimate
the healing effects of beauty."

~Florence Nightingale