actually two of our neighbors are featured in this photo, but only one is visible. there is the gecko, clinging to the wall, focused and stalking. and just outside the bottom of the frame, there is a fly. the flies here have been an endless torment, buzzing around the room. landing on food. landing on exposed skin just out of reach, perching on noses and foreheads and ears and the tips of bare toes. we are rooting for the gecko. we hope she lives a long, full life, and makes lots of babies with a taste for flies.
look at a magnolia leaf in bright sunshine and it appears as glossy and hard as ceramic. but check out how the diffuse light in this photo reveals a matte, almost velvety surface on both sides of the leaf. it’s not an illusion. just a perspective. the right light can accomplish almost anything. and bad light can ruin almost anything. just look at your best friend’s instagram from last night, in that dark bar, under the fluorescent tube. by the way, tell her not to do that again.
there is actually a fruit here called a “grenade.” but it is just the french translation of “pomegranate.” the photo above is not of a pomegranate, but of a magnolia seed pod, which resembles a hand grenade even more than a pomegranate, including the bloody mess.
magnolia fruit and seeds
there are parts of nature that shout, and we tend to pay attention to them. charging lions. roaring rivers. monumental redwoods. summer storms. but there are also the delicate corners of nature that look as if they might not be quite robust enough to stand up to the conditions they are placed in. they are sometimes among the most beautiful, when we tune out the rest of the shouting, and listen to them whisper.
delicate bits and baubles
our neighbor brought this from her garden this evening. she was weeding her carrots and saw this, and thought of me, she said. it was a neighborly gesture, and it made me want to give her a hug. but more than that. it was the kind of thing you do when you have time. not because you have made time to do something like that. but because you have time, and it gives you the mental space to think of doing something like that. our family has been running hard for several years now. i’m looking forward to resuming a life in which i have time to stop by my neighbor’s house to deliver a strange plant that i know she’ll love.
amour-en-cage / love in a cage / physalis peruviana calyx and fruit