Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Butterfly Dreams

I have a serious love-hate relationship going on at the moment. It is to the point of being all-consuming as such passionate relationships tend to be. A groundhog, affectionately known as Petunia (last year that seemed to be his main diet), has moved right into the middle of my cottage garden. Petunia used to live in the area of our property known as Amazonia which we left purposely wild so he and others like him could find refuge. Perhaps underground family accommodations got tight and Petunia this year moved to the suburbs.

When Petunia lived in Amazonia, sure he would nibble occassionally in my perennial beds, but there was a respectful restrain to his munching. My coneflowers and bachelor buttons and Petunia all co-existed at the expense of a basket or 2 of petunias. And when I caught a glimpse through the kitchen window of Petunia sunning himself belly-up on the hot asphalt of the driveway, I could only smile.

I really miss my coneflowers and the visitors they attracted. I got to see some of the most beautiful butterflies because of their presence in my garden. I had no idea how much I missed them until this morning when I finally finished a textile design that has been pestering me to emerge. When I finally leaned back and took in what I had been working, I realized what was the nature of the longing that had fuel it.

I'm calling this fabric design "Butterfly Dreams" because that is precisely what it is. And I must thank Petunia also, I guess.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pasque Flower

In January 2008, I bought a 105mm micro-Nikkor lens for macro photography. Marta McDowell and I had embarked on a new exciting but what seems at times quixotic project: Orchidaceous. I do not live with many orchids. Not for lack of desire. Rather for lack of real estate and suitable conditions to nurture them. So when given the chance to be in the company of blooming orchids I was finding it imperative to have my photographic skills sharply honed.
This lens turned out to be quite challenging, more in the nature of point-and-reshoot-and-reshoot-and-reshoot. I'm by no means yet able to say in all honesty that I know how to use this lens but I'm a bit less baffled than 6 months ago.
And I have had a few delightful visual rewards along the way. Like today's close-up of the seed head of the pasque flower. The pasque is one of the earliest bloomers in my garden. In 2007 it even managed to have its' first bloom appear on Easter Sunday. (This year it gave no heed whatsoever to the liturgical calendar appearing a few weeks later than the Easter bonnets.)
So I find it fitting that it too will be the first to bloom (and seed!) in my newly planted garden blog.