A few lady's slipper orchids from the collection at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. Most of these make me chuckle -- I see goofy faces and a flock of odd-looking birds.
As the snow from this week's winter storm falls outside, I'm finally getting a chance to post photos from my stay in Pittsburgh on another frigid February weekend. Here's the view from Beth and Jesse's backporch -- notice the hawk in the tree below.
With temperatures close to zero, it seemed a good day for a visit to Phipps Conservatory, where we enjoyed cacti, bonsai, orchids, and lots of green (more posts coming), and for a stop at a coffee shop, where we enjoyed the artistry of the foam.
While reading another book, I came across this quote from Innocent Blood, by P.D. James, and remembered a winter day a few years ago when I took delight in the geraniums on my windowsill, with the help of my camera.
She fixed her eyes on the geranium on the windowsill. Why had she never before realized how beautiful it was? She had seen geraniums as the gaudy expedient of municipal gardeners to be planted in park beds, massed on political platforms, a useful pot plant for the house, since it throve with so little attention. But this plant was a miracle of beauty. Each flowerlet was curled like a miniature rosebud on the end of its furred, tender stem. Imperceptibly but inevitably as her own breathing they were opening to the light. The petals were a clear, transparent pink, faintly stripped with yellow, and the fanlike leaves, how intricately veined they were, how varied in their greenness, each with its darker penumbra. Some words of William Blake fell into her mind, familiar but new. "Everything that lives is holy. Life delights in life." . . . Everything living was part of one great wholeness. To breathe was to take in delight.
Last weekend Open Table Mennonite Fellowship had a retreat at Camp Friedenswald. I went out at dawn, having caught sight of sunrise color, and then trekked over to the fen, where "the peaceful woods" reverberated with the calls of geese, sandhill cranes, and ducks. At the end of this post I've been trying to include a very short video that captured some of the sounds. I'm not sure if I was successful -- you may have to use your imagination to hear the cacophony of the dawn chorus.
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"