Sunday Slideshow-Butterflies in the Garden

Last year I didn’t plant a butterfly garden because I had just moved in to a new home.  This year, thanks to a wonderful friend who gave me the seeds, I did plant one.  The rewards are worth the time and effort.  The realtor who sold me the house gave me a patio swing as welcoming gift.  Now I can sit out in the evenings on the swing and watch the butterfly show.  Hummingbirds and goldfinches are all over too but I’m not quick enough with my camera to catch them yet.  Working on catching them with paintbrush instead.  I hope you will be as refreshed as I have been watching the beautiful butterflies.

Some of the photos in the slideshow are from previous butterfly gardens.  The old are mixed in with the new as seasons come and go.

Sunday Slideshow–Winter’s Blooms

Winter’s Blooms

These beautiful pansies bloom all winter here in Tennessee.  They usually survive through what little snow we get and show their heads again after the melt.  This year may test their hardy-ness as a record breaking cold spell is on the way today.  We’ll soon see if they make it.  Gardeners, all over the area, are out covering them up.  I hope they make it.  They are the only bit of color in an otherwise brown winter landscape.

All the Lovely Pond Scum

Beauty is everywhere, but one may see the beautiful view and the other sees a dirty window.  You have the power within you to choose what you see, what you think and what you paint.”  Leanne Caddon (from The Painter’s Keys)Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 8.38.41 AM

To think of pond scum is to think of something slimy and dirty, naturally ugly, choking out beauty.  But is it?  Who decided that?  Is there some committee somewhere that decides what is lovely and what isn’t?  Or is it like a video going viral.  Somebody says, “That’s as ugly as pond scum.”  People hear it and think its funny so they repeat it.  Soon everybody thinks pond scum must be ugly and yucky even if they have never actually seen pond scum or even a pond.  It must be ugly because somebody said it was.

Artists frequently go against the grain or swim upriver.  When someone says something is ugly, somewhere an artist says, “No its not and I’ll show you!”  Stephen Bayley has written a book on the subject.  In an interview with Charlotte Cripps of The Independent, Bayley says he is “just provoking ideas about our assumptions of ugliness.”  The point of Bayley’s book, he tells Cripps, “is to challenge all our preconceptions about ugliness.”  The role of the artist is, not only to challenge but to prove those preconceptions wrong.

Walking along beside a pond, I noticed this beautiful velvety green film covering the surface with colorful fall leaves floating on top.  To me, it was beautiful.  To someone else, it is pond scum.  Check out the photo and see what you think.  If you agree with me that it is beautiful, the next time someone calls you, “Pond Scum,” you can respond with a heartfelt, “Thank you!”