Oh Savannah

Oh Sa Vannah! Oh don’t you cry for me!

Wait, I think that’s wrong.

Anyhow, photos of the loveliness that is Savanna, GA.  It was very good to go earlier in the spring because it was not so hot you melted into the ground and it wasn’t so humid either. Yet still full of all the pretty!

If you go to Savannah  you cannot avoid all the ghost stories and the fact that everyone insists that where they live or work is the most haunted place in America. So, of course a visit to one of the many historic cemeteries is in order. This bird was on a branch of a tree at the cemetery. The tree itself was nearly dead and covered in Spanish Moss that was a soft, powdery greywhite cloud around the tree. Like a ghost of what was once the green moss virtually dripping with life. What would have been a rather ordinary looking bird in some other context was just so beautiful sitting there. It is, perhaps, my favorite shot of the whole trip.

One of the things Savannah is well known for is all of the beautiful ironwork. You find it everywhere and I must have taken dozens and dozens of photos of ironwork doors, fences, railings and other details.

????????

Hidden gardens are pretty much everywhere all over the city. Peering over a wall, you can see all kinds of things, even a petrified lion!

And sometimes, gardens escape over the wall and into the alley!

No trip to the city is complete without a visit to the big fountain in Forsythe Park. I am amazed that I was able to get this shot without people in the background because this is a major congregating place for people, both locals and tourists.

I love trees and Savannah is full of them!

This was a particularly unusual tree. I have no idea what kind it is but it looked like one of those statues that has been carved with drapey fabric. It was very strange!

And the big bridge! With a storm right behind it. So it was time to go home. Farewell Savannah! Until we meet again.

Sleeping Hibiscus

Writing Assignment: Plant Life

In the evenings, the flowers fold in like little shops closing up for the night. There are the occasional night owl blossoms, but most tuck themselves in, neatly folding their petals in demure lady like pleats to keep out whatever Night brings. It is easy to pass by a flower and not see it or think it only something pretty and not the living, beautiful universe it actually is. Georgia O’Keefe said something like that once. That’s why she painted them so big; so they could not be missed.

As I left a musical performance Tuesday night, I saw a beautiful hibiscus bush. They are one of my favorites. But then again, I say that about a lot of flowers! The best are the dinner plate hibiscus with monstrous blooms splayed out round and flat just like its namesake. I have no idea what kind of hibiscus this was because it was already well dark.

The closed blossom looked very little like a plant in the evening dark, half-light shinning across it. Botanic veins were dark and thick in shadow as though they coursed with blood. I touched it. Felt the weight of it in my hand, petals draping close and moist like delicate skin. It hefted like flesh and for a moment I thought I felt a single pulse.

I let go of it gingerly, not wanting to just let it fall carelessly from me but somehow feeling like I’d disturbed something that was pleasantly dreaming away the time before I, in my thoughtless way, presumed some sort of ownership and right to touch it. It is easy to forget how alive the world around us truly is and then, in one moment, a sleeping hibiscus can remind you of all the enumerable, exquisite living things sharing space with you.

Green Gene

In my family there are great genes for making thing, great genes for teaching things and great genes for growing things. I definitely got the first, probably the second and none at all of the last.

In the past I’ve tried to have a garden or potted plants. I love flowers and, in fact, a significant piece of my photography work has centered around flowers, trees, plants and all manner of botanical life.  But growing things myself has never been a gift of mine. I’ve managed to keep a shamrock plant alive for a while and there was an ivy plant at my house in Charlotte that grew through the siding, over the slab foundation beside the dishwasher and into the kitchen, but any successfully living green things were purely accidental.

However, I am now making an attempt at growing something!

These are little clippings from a Spider Plant and so far, there’s been no plant blood spilt! Spider Plant is a weird name for a plant since, obviously, it’s not a spider. My guess is that they are named that because of the shape of these little leaf groupings but I’m not sure. I’ve put them in water–as instructed by the giver of the clippings–and I understand that they should sprout roots at some point and I am to put them in pots. I’m assuming that will mean buying little pots and dirt. Obviously this is elementary from a certain perspective, but I’m hoping to be successful with these little guys!

So, hopefully there are big healthy Spider Plants in my future!

The Living Tree

Once again, the tree in my office has returned to life.  I’m not sure why. I have suspicions that the cleaning lady who comes on Saturday nights is giving it additional water.

I received this tree/plan/whatever you wish to call it when I first arrived here in January of 2009 and it has sat in the same spot in my office since then. It has died twice. Died to the point that I was mourning the loss of a plant given to me by my mom and preparing to throw it out. This last time, I had seen it going and wondered if it was for the best.

I’m not even certain of what kind of plant it is.

Then, last week, I saw not only new growth on it but considerable new growth. Returning green leaves and spreading out a bit. Taller too. Two days ago I sat in the blue chair in my office and felt something sitting on my shoulder, like the gentle touch of a child not wanting to disturb you, and it was the top of the little tree resting on me.

Such a friendly gesture from one for whom I had been so little help and nurture. It felt, somehow, like an act of grace.