Even the roots are wonderful. The bright green — is it tender new growth? There seems to be a whole world in this scene: the dirt and little pebbles, the reaching roots, the craggy bark, the contours of the edges as the trunk touches the soil. There is a delicacy and intricacy in the miniature. And if you saw the image with no information, you wouldn’t have any idea what the scale is. It could be eight or ten inches, or eight or ten feet. Hmmmm?
Borrowing a bit from Frost…but this makes for really burnished warmth, great with the black pockets and contrasted to the expanses of variously green cacti.
Again, I don’t know what these were. There were very few signs in the gardens for the many hundreds of varieties. Signs or not, they were deliciously lovely.
Center stage: large red flower. With fuzzies. It seems cacti are all about pricklies and fuzzies. It would be fun to visit this garden weekly and see all the changes. I wonder if the white fuzzies are there all the time or if they indicate the youth or maturity of the flower. And what’s their purpose? Are they a visual thing or do they trap something; if the latter, what would they trap? Or do they emit something? A few hours, a few photos, and more than a few questions.
It seems there are prickles and needles and thorns and spikes, and these are most definitely spikes. I wonder why some of them are red. Must be a warning: red spikes! stay away! approach at your own risk! (Who else’s risk would it be, anyway?) I didn’t even want to touch these gently. Very ouchy-looking, eh?
To catch your eye. It caught mine!
Seeing dozens and dozens of these was very moving. They embody care and attention to detail and a mysterious partnership with nature. I think they were beautifully displayed on their rustic tables with the weathered gray fencing enclosing several areas, like jewel boxes filled with gems.
The unlikely twist adds to the wistfulness of this one, I think. The cragginess near the base and the deep texture of the trunk set off the delicacy of the greenery.
They feel like living shrines.
It feels ancient and important and defiant and full of stories.
Bamboo has such grace and awkwardness and unlikeliness. This golden surface with its blue-gray scars and memories seems valiant to me. Maybe bamboo is appealing like giraffes. Extreme thinness and ungainliness without being clumsy. Awkward isn’t the same as clumsy. ‘Awkward’ has some shyness and hesitancy and sensitivity that ‘clumsy’ doesn’t?
Then there were these wonderful stones in the bonsai gardens. Sculptural chunks — but that’s too awkward a word — carved pieces, that’s better — meant for looking and touching. Very cool and solid and grounded feeling, even though they were on pedestals, and quite a nice contrast to the bonsai delicacy.
I see figures in this one, but it’s up to your eyes to see what you see.
Tangled web? Pincushion? Ouch for sure! A cluster of forbidding forms. Wait. That sounds like a book title. The orange-y golden center keeps it from being chaotic. I had no idea that the background would be so dark, but am happy with it.
The sheer variety of succulents/cacti in the Huntington gardens was astonishing. This was a shrub with sweet little petal-like things, and the delicious rhubarb-red stems. Doesn’t it look like it should be edible? Maybe it is…
Not sure what they would be called, but their form and color and texture seem leathery and woody and nutty and bark-like all at once.
There was so much to see in the desert garden; I could have been given an assignment to take a hundred distinct (and even distinctive?) photos from a small section and it would have been no problem.
I almost typed ‘Bamboo Groove.” It was rather groovy, at that. There were several groves. And when the wind came through, the stalks (?) would rattle quite musically. Enchanting. Brought to you by the Huntington…
All the angles of the shapes…and the color variation, from yellow through green and even into a pinkish salmon. The textures are great too; it’s almost like they have goosebumps.
What you don’t get from these somewhat closeup photos is how numerous and how large these are. Cactus of all shapes and sizes, many of them tree-height, everywhere you look. The cactus garden at the Huntington is over 100 years old.
There is a spectacular bonsai garden at Huntington. The tree was a bit more miniature than the fruit, which was lovely in itself.
We spent four hours yesterday and two hours today at the Huntington gardens, library, and galleries, and we could easily have spent that six hours just in the cactus/succulent gardens alone. They are vast and varied; there were so many gorgeous and strange forms to marvel at. Here is a view of just one…more to follow.
But not bright. It’s hard to be bright on a day like this. Kenya. Paris. Desolation? How can I make a difference? Make a difference. Now.
Orange is not my favorite color, but who can argue with this? I’m not sure what it is about orange — too much pumpkin? Too much orange lifesaver? Too much yucky orange liquid medicines as a kid?
But orange flowers are definitely ok.
How many zillion times we have walked these paths, and then I see two of these lovely caterpillars only a few days apart, the brown one and this gray one. “Caterpillar” — what a strange name. From French. “Hairy cat” according to one source; “Little dog” according to another. Sounds good to me. But ‘caterpillar’ sounds better. Once you hear that word, you don’t forget it. Four syllables, two ‘r’s. In transition, eh? Are we all caterpillars?
These are new to me. They look like an exotic spinach but were on the cliff. See how curly they are? I can just feel what they’d be like to chew — if I dared.
Best buddies. I think she’s telling him about the egg she laid. I mean, doesn’t that look like a very fat chicken, with her beak open, on the left? She’s on the left, I mean. And her beak is facing her friend Stone, who is listening intently.
P.S. I liked the shadows too. Things we see on our beach. “Our” beach. Yes.
This is pretty distinctive veining. Pretty and distinctive both, wouldn’t you say? (Meditation garden again, no surprise…)
Suddenly there are caterpillars everywhere. This little guy (gal?) was crossing the dirt path to the beach. Wonder what was on the other side?
Spine. Sorta. What ARE these things? And the scar-like marks? Vertebrae. (Which is a great word, no?)
And there it lies, sprawled on top of the greenery, nonchalant, just coyly daring me to photograph it. So I did.
And a bit other-worldly. Wonder what it is, this white-stalked, spotted stem, jewel-edged shovel-leafed sci-fi plant… Should the meditation garden have someone put identifying signs all over its hundreds of plants, or would that be a distraction?
For some reason, this feels to me like the inversion of an artichoke. Heh. I am strange.
Well, the background ivy is clearly alive, but this seems so much…livelier?! Perky and defiant and ‘there, I told you so!’
It’s the contrasts that are so pleasing to me: color, texture, form, brightness. Meditation garden, I *heart* you!
After the rain, after the Series, love these crystal-clear mornings. You can almost bite on the crispness of the air and the sharpness of the horizon. Pretty cloud-puffs, foamy front surf, deep cliff shadows…so, what color is the sky? What color is the sea?
Sometimes it’s just a few days after I’ve taken the photo and I can’t recall exactly where/what it was. This, too, was somewhere in the meditation garden. The white stuff must be some form of sap. The textures are compelling. There’s amazing shredded stuff as part of so many structures; I have a piece of bamboo root on my mantel that has zillions of sub-roots, like parallel hair tubes, within. And what was this? I don’t know. I’d have to go back there and look again!
Sharp. Prickly. Forbidding. Dangerous. Stay away. Be careful. Ack! (How many hundred kinds of plants are represented at the meditation garden, anyway?) The purplish-gray against the pale brownish green is pretty striking. Wonder what this is?