Thursday, June 30, 2022

The mighty oak

Each of us carries an inherent responsibility to preserve the quality of earth's ecosystems. When we leave the responsibility to a few experts...the rest of us remain largely ignorant of earth stewardship and how to practice it. The conservation of Earth's resources, including its living biological systems, must become part of the everyday culture of us all, worldwide.
~Douglas W. Tallamy

My friend Wendy gave me "Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard" by Douglas Tallamy last year for my birthday and I devoured it. The book is a call for action to "revolutionize the way people garden and landscape to benefit wildlife and communities."

In the U.S.? If you'd like to look up the best native plants in your area to attract butterflies and moths and support birds and other fauna, here's the Native Plant Finder.

I didn't realize it when I decided to focus on oaks for Art Thursday, but Tallamy followed up "Natures Best Hope" with "The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees."

I give you, the Oak:

The Mighty Oak
Nikolay Dubovskoy

La Normandie
par M. Jules Janin

Old Oaks in Surrey, circa 1890
Jan Toorop

Oak frieze in "skønvirke" style, 1911
Knud Larsen

Tree (red oak), Dülmen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Dietmar Rabich

Young Man in front of a Great Oak

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

How to Plant an Acorn and Grow an Oak Tree

Thursday, June 23, 2022

This blaze of growing

One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.
~Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

I wanted to write a byr a thoddaid for today but then I was (still) busy as a pig in a pie-eating contest. So instead I'm going to share a poem by D.H. Lawrence that I almost love, and suggest that it could be a great mentor poem for writing about summer. (Why do I *almost* love it? Because the ending is too much of a downer for me.)

The Enkindled Spring
By D. H. Lawrence

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that's gone astray, and is lost.


Reading to the Core has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Catherine!

Friday morning P.S. Expand the Court!


I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.
~Emily Dickinson

For Summer Solstice Week Art Thursday, celebrating light when you need it:

A Japanese Lantern
by Oda Krohg 1886

Avenue de Clichy
by Louis Anquetin

The Shepherd in a Mist
published in 'The Dial' No 2 (1892) Lithograph
Ricketts records that the lithograph 'was done from a pastel exhibited in the Grosvenor Gallery'

Miner with lantern
by Enrico Butti

Monday, June 20, 2022

If I had a dime

I think I coulda landed on a dime. I really do.
~Evel Knievel, stunt performer

For Music Monday, David Ryan Harris and John Mayer with "If I had a Dime":

(John Mayer talks for the first minute. Skip the beginning if kids are with you and you want to avoid PG cuss words. I liked hearing about their friendship and, as a former resident of Atlanta, found the Atlanta connection interesting!)

Thursday, June 16, 2022

High Dangerous

The color of hydrangeas, except for white hydrangeas, depends on the acidity of the soil. You can make pink hydrangeas turn blue by increasing the acidity of your soil.

Happy Poetry Friday, y'all! I was hoping I could turn a ridiculous, but lyrical, passage in Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome into a poem but I ran short on time. I've been busy as a moth in a mitten.

Looking forward to Father's Day this weekend! Also a baby shower for our neighbor. Today's poem gives a peek into a parent's heart.

High Dangerous
by Catherine Pierce

is what my sons call the flowers—
purple, white, electric blue—

pom-pomming bushes all along
the beach town streets.

I can’t correct them into
hydrangeas, or I won’t.

Bees ricochet in and out
of the clustered petals,

and my sons panic and dash
and I tell them about good...

read the rest here


Michelle Kogan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!

Moon magic

The Moon is always there. A half blink of shadow, a crescent of an eyelash, opulent in fullness, spellbound in nothingness, and a friend.
~Carolyn Riker

I shared a moon painting last week ("Moonlit Evening" by Kawai Gyokudo), and before that I shared a poem written after O'Keeffe's "Spring." I'm not done with the moon or O'Keeffe!

The Witchery of the Moonbeams
by Edward Henry Potthast, 1857-1927

New York Street with Moon
by Georgia O'Keeffe

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Darling Dear

Do be sincere, and true love will appear
~The Jackson 5

I have things to do but I have been listening to Professional Musicians React instead. Must stop! Here's a song they talked about...The YouTube channel doesn't identify the bassist, but it should be James Jamerson:

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Made whole by opening

What could be more interesting, or in the end, more ecstatic, than in those rare moments when you see another person look at something you’ve made, and realize that they got it exactly, that your heart jumped to their heart with nothing in between.
~Robert Motherwell

For Poetry Friday, a poem that will stay with me.

by Maggie Smith

A child of, say, six knows you’re not the shape
she’s learned to make by drawing half along a fold,
cutting, then opening. Where do you open?
Where do you carry your dead? There’s no locket
for that—hinged, hanging on a chain that greens
your throat. And the dead inside you, don’t you
hear them breathing? You must have a hole
they can press their gray lips to. If you open—

read the rest here


Buffy Silverman has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Buffy!

Adachi Museum of Art

The Adachi Museum’s gardens have been ranked as number one in the “2021 Japanese Garden Ranking,” and this marks the 19th consecutive year in the number one spot.
~Sukiya Living Magazine: The Journal of Japanese Gardening

Looking at the Adachi Museum's gardens and art made me happy. Hope you enjoy it too. For Art Thursday:

Adachi Museum of Art Garden, Yasugi City, Shimane Prefecture, Japan
photo by Bernard Gagnon

Adachi Museum of Art Garden
From their website

Moonlit Evening
by Kawai Gyokudo

by Nishimura Goun

Summer Evening
by Hashimoto Kansetsu

Autumn Farm
by Hashimoto Kansetsu

Monday, June 6, 2022

The Cure

This is a guy who’s got nearly a million followers on Instagram, 335,000 YouTube subscribers and a signature guitar from US boutique legend Suhr… and yet he’s never even released an album? Well, that’s what happens when the power of social media meets one of the most impressive virtuosos of his generation. about Mateus Asato

For Music Monday, two videos: Mateus Asato and The Cure. I decided to feature the Mateus Asato song first, but then I didn't want to disappoint anybody who clicked for "The Cure," haha.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Reverence for things that move slowly

A lost bird appeared in the court and was half an hour jumping around between the spikenard. It sang a progressive note, rising an octave at a time, until it became so acute that it was necessary to imagine it.
~Gabriel García Márquez

How was your week? Time seems like it is going by quickly for me, but slowly for my dog Lucy, who is stressing out because it's been thundering this afternoon.

An ekphrastic poem today by Adele Kenny:

So Here You Are
by Adele Kenny

After Spring by Georgia O’Keeffe

So here you are—by yourself because that’s what you choose.
Whether it’s evening or late afternoon (more dark, more light)
doesn’t matter, the need to measure things becomes less
and less important. Lately, you think how life rushes
through everything—unsettled dreams and things that will
never happen again. In a week or two, the lilacs will bloom;
dogwoods will float like watered silk. It’s ironic that all

read the rest here


Karen Edmisten has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Karen!


Potential is like a summer crop. If it don't rain, it don't grow.
~Charles Oakley

I know I'm a smidge early, but it's been so HOT around here. For Art Thursday, summer:

Landscape in Summer
by Pierre Emmanuel Damoye

Red Parasol. In the Summer, 1855
by Josef Mánes

Sommernacht, ca 1920
by Aksel Johannessen

Sommerkveld Fra Kristiania-Fjorden
by Hans Gude (1825-1903)

Off the Greenland Coast under the Midnight Sun, 1873
by William J Bradford