Wanderings & observations – urban & rural.

A VALENTINE

An abstract evocation of warmth, from my hand/heart to yours:

This curled leaf from a Magnolia tree was a meal for a happy beetle or caterpillar, leaving its structure – the veins – for us to admire and ponder. Curled up inside a red lacquered cabinet, it caught stray glimmers of morning sunlight in January.

I found the leaf on the ground at the University of Washington Arboretum in Seattle. Their website says, “Magnolias have a long history. Fossil remains indicate that magnolias are among the most ancient angiosperms (flowering plants) and have changed very little in 100 million years.”

“Magnolias are named in honor of botanist Pierre Magnol, director of the Montpellier Botanic Gardens, the oldest university garden in France. Magnol’s major contribution to horticulture was developing the concept of plant families.”

Strangely enough, I found this leaf (and hundreds more like it) under a Magnolia tree in full bloom in mid April. Lush, graceful flowers adorned the tree above my head but the ground below was blanketed with last year’s leaves, slowly returning to the earth while mingling with freshly fallen petals.

Here are photographs of several magnolias in the UW collection, and fallen petals underneath last year’s skeletonized leaf.

I’ve strayed from the original idea of a simple abstract image for Valentine’s Day, but isn’t Valentine’s Day a bit of a conundrum? A day to celebrate warm feelings of love occurs in a season of cold. So here I’ve set out a few images to reinforce the warmth without forgetting the rest of the story.

From The Daily Post today comes a wonderful potpourri of hearts and the like:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/love/#more-14479

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21 responses

  1. That’s an elegant gilded leaf image which in my imagination fits perfectly into an ornate and equally lovely antique frame.
    I’ve never heard of Pierre Magnol and his connection to the Magnolia.

    Wonderful holiday post. Happy Valentine’s Day to you Lynn!

    February 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    • Thank you! I hadn’t heard of him either, but apparently he developed the idea of parsing plants into families based on morphology. Aren’t magnolias wonderful? And oh, another great idea for the print/frame combo – so true, it would be perfect!

      February 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm

  2. Absolutely gorgeous shots. Okay, so now I need to go to the thesaurus because I seriously need a whole new collection of accolades to describe your images and words! :-)

    February 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    • You’re really nice to say that – OK, I’ll take it! I’m glad you enjoyed.

      February 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm

  3. p.s. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    February 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

  4. Very stunning photos ! thank you for brighten my morning and inspiring photos.

    February 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    • Thank you – it pleases me that someone who lives in West Java, surrounded by tropical beauty, would have their day brightened by my photos from this very temperate place. But there’s beauty everywhere, of course, and it’s good to be invited to see what others see.

      February 14, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      • Hm.. I love your words :-) Happy Valentine to you and yours.

        February 15, 2013 at 4:41 am

  5. Both of your lacy leaves are magnificent! That top one appears to be gold!

    February 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    • Even here, at 47 ‘ 67′ N (there’s no degree symbol!) the light can gild. I don’t know, maybe more so, since it’s at such an oblique angle.

      February 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm

  6. Lovely evocative images; the last photo looks perfect against the background texture of your blog design, art on art.

    February 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    • I hadn’t though of that, but I see it. Thank you very much for taking the time to comment!

      February 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm

  7. To be honest I find the Valentine connection illusive! But the selection includes two fine abstracts – the first and the last. The first is a strong, bold composition with a restricted but very effective palette. The last, in contrast, has a much gentler feel with subtle shades and delicate textures. I like them, with or without Valentine!!

    February 15, 2013 at 8:57 am

    • No problem with the elusive connection – it’s surely loose! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments – I find myself most often in the gentler camp but I like to go bold, too.

      February 15, 2013 at 11:06 am

  8. I love your abstract Valentine’s images! You are so creative!

    February 15, 2013 at 9:18 am

    • Thank you very much – it’s fun, and that’s important!

      February 15, 2013 at 11:06 am

  9. Love that warmth you have given us <3
    The skeleton leaf is ….. so delicate… I would have loved a gown made to look like that in my younger years ;-)

    February 16, 2013 at 9:04 am

    • Thanks – yes, just make it flexible and soft, and I guess we could wear something silky underneath.

      February 16, 2013 at 10:43 am

  10. Inspiring post that spells and breathes passion.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:27 am

    • Thank for looking around and commenting – what a nice thing to say. I appreciate it very much!

      February 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm

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