Monday, October 24, 2011

A beholder sees the beauty

I met a friend for a Sunday afternoon adventure on the Mall in Washington, DC.  It is a great time of year to visit museums; the tourist traffic is low, and parking is free on Sundays.
We found that the weather was so beautiful that it was more pleasant to be outdoors, and we spent much of our time walking or sitting in the gardens outside the Smithsonian castle.
One place we sat was a bit removed from the higher traffic area, adjacent to an overgrown perennial flower bed with many spent blossoms and plants going to seed.  It was actually quite pretty and refreshing to see things in their natural fall state - exhausted plants wilting and brown, a few blossoms thrust forth in defiance of the cold and end of the summer season.
Rather than dig them up and toss them out, the Smithsonian gardeners thoughtfully and lovingly left this flower bed in its natural state, preparing for winter and giving the perennials a chance to build up some reserves for next summer's show.
Several parties of tourists walked by.  One visitor commented "This looks ugly. Can you believe they left this," pointing to the perennial bed.  Others in the party nodded in agreement.  Clearly these folks are more accustomed to vacationing at theme parks where there are no natural cycles - things in decline are quickly removed from the public eye and replaced with full-bodied blooms.
From the "Ugly" garden
Thank you Smithsonian for not always making it picture perfect but letting nature create its own show.  In a city where there are more unnatural disasters than natural ones and where reality is distorted by constituents and the elected alike, it is refreshing to see that the real truth is allowed to be seen on occasion - and that natural cycles bring beautiful things too.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Little Fall Beauties

Dudley and I took long walk this morning and observed magnificent colors and the most interesting little tidbits of nature.  Otherwise, the day was mostly bland.   Clouds covered an anemic sun that never broke through for more than a few minutes.
But on the cloudiest of days, nature's colors shine the brightest.
My own mood, up and down with the falling temperature and fading light, was lifted and I rejoiced that I had the pleasure of a morning walk to revel in it, and a chance to thank God for his seasonal bestowing.
Following is a sample of what I saw in my garden and in the woods.  One of my favorite encounters was the tiny spider guarding the last of the pink petals - as if his life depended upon it, ready to defend of the remnants of a fading season.