A pungent sweetness pervades the air this morning as creamy-white blossoms adorn the Melaleucas or ‘paper barks’ near our balcony.
Rainbow Lorikeets chirp and chatter as they breakfast
on the beautiful blossoms.
Happily for photographers, there’s little camouflage
for Rainbow Lorikeets against the long, leathery leaves and
pale, brown branches of the massive, melaleuca.
‘The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere….’
John Muir reminds us…
and what better way
to start the day
than with a grand sunrise…
this one, over Beaver Lake, Ontario
Meanwhile, Ansel Adams points out that,
‘Both the grand and the intimate aspects of nature
can be revealed in the expressive photograph.’
Grand rock formations
in the North Dakota Badlands …
…and this grand rock
at a highway pull out,
in North Queensland,
invites us to touch the iron-red rock face,
and the fine, intimate grasses.
Then there’s the grand view…
from grandstand seats
and a grand vista…
of the horizon
where big sky
meets open spaces
of vast American prairies,
making us feel small and insignificent.
Or, as Jill Ker Conway says of an outback Australian horizon, ‘On the plains, the earth meets the sky in a sharp black line so regular that is seems as though drawn by a creator interested more in geometry…’ and where, ‘Human purposes are dwarfed by such a blank horizon.’
See here for more grand pictures…
Ker Conway, J. (1989). The Road from Coorain. William Heinemann Australia
If colours are the smiles of nature, as Leigh Hunt said,
then the tropics are all smiles.
Greens and blues of plants and skies.
Reds, pinks, yellows and oranges.
Bright reds of ‘flame’ trees
Hot pinks of hibiscus combine with delicate ivory underneath
Smiling, sunny yellows of yellow bells
and fiery orange heliconia sassy.
Light browns, dark browns
and every hue in between.
Then there are whites…
Stark whites (I daren’t say snow white!)
a cool, calm frangipanni
and gentle, ivory whites of variegated leaves
behind a bold, bright hibiscus.
Lots of smiles in the tropics…
After the rain…
the eloquent Iris is dripping and flagging…
whilst the crystal, clear raindrops magnify the ‘lines’ on her long, lissome leaf.
Did you know…
the name Iris means rainbow?
Iris is the flower of the Greek goddess Iris who is the messenger of Love?
in the language of flowers Iris symbolizes eloquence?
With thanks to ‘the flower expert’
“Spring had come once more to Green Gables – the beautiful, capricious, reluctant Canadian spring, lingering along through April and May in a succession of sweet, fresh, chilly days, with pink sunsets and miracles of resurrection and growth” wrote Lucy Maud Montgomery (1908, p. 160) in Anne of Green Gables – one of my favourite childhood books that I still read and enjoy today.
After a cool, capricious and certainly reluctant Canadian spring…
we now have Anne’s ’empurpled’ violets…
‘grass scattered with dandelions…’
apple trees ‘showered over with blossoms’
and one flower she doesn’t mention: the pretty purple-blue periwinkle.
Later in the book Montgomery says, “… and then, almost before Anne realized it, spring had come again to Green Gables and all the world was abloom once more” (p.246).
Happily, now, at the end of May, I can also say, “Spring has come once more…”
Montgomery, L. M. (1908). Anne of Green Gables. Toronto: McClelland
and Stewart-Bantam (Seal Books).
Two tall tulips
Two turtles talking, on a tyre
A sunny morning walk from a pond at the edge of a woods… across a gravel road… towards a lake, reveals spring contrasts and camouflage…
My dark, shiny shell contrasts with the grey/white gravel.
A tulip stands alone, in new,
green growth on the forest floor.
Bright, yellow daffodils dazzle midst old, brown cattails.
Green and white trilliums make a spectacular ground
cover in contrast to the brown earth and rotting leaves.
A motionless green and brown Leopard Frog is cleverly camouflaged
against old, beige grass of winter and new, green grass of spring .
I bask in warm, morning sun on an old, black tyre by a dock.
I stretch my neck as far as I can above the surface to see
if another Midland Painted turtle is nearby in the lake.
At the breakfast table, my husband looks at the book. It’s Mary O’Neill’s poems about colours, Hailstones and Halibut Bones (1961, Tadworth, Surrey: The World’s Work). I was reading it after a dull, rainy yesterday to remind myself of O’Neill’s ‘grey’ words.
He says, “It’s not a ‘good fit’ book for me.”
But, when he looks at the blurb on the back cover flap and starts reading, something changes. He stops. Re-reads. Reads the words aloud to me.
‘Never let a thought shrivel and die
For want of a way to say it…’
I stop in my tracks. He reads again. I listen. We savour her words, look at each other and wonder, “Why did it take so long for us to discover this?”
‘Never let a thought shrivel and die
For want of a way to say it,
For English is a wonderful game
And all of you can play it.
All that you do is match the words
To the brightest thoughts that come in your head
So that they come out clear and true
And handsomely groomed and fed –
For many of the loveliest things
Have never yet been said.”
(O’Neill, M. 1966. Words Words Words).
May you and your children enjoy these inspirational words to spur budding writers.