A year ago we were enjoying a different outdoor sculpture exhibition by the sea in Connecticut: Open Air 2022. This September we visited the 35th annual Sculpture in the Garden at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. It also features the work of local artists but it has many more installations! We didn’t even see all 86 of them but I am sharing a few of my favorites here. It was a lovely walk.
Because I’m so drawn to them I bought a little guide to dry plants in winter called Winter Weed Finder by Dorcas S. Miller, illustrated by Ellen Amendolara. It will be fun to learn about pods, capsules, siliques, calyxes, bracts and burrs.
I noticed how similar the shape of a cicada wing was to the shape of a maple seed. In this sculpture I decided to merge the two. The result is a subtly whimsical form that appears more delicate and fluid than the industrial rebar would seem to allow. I love the unexpected and even paradoxical result. ~ Sam Spiczka
My favorite sculpture is “Cicada Maple Seed.” Something about it captivated me; finding the figure hanging from a tree was an unanticipated pleasure. I’m also fond of maple seeds. You may remember how many pictures I post of them every spring!
Once more, my now bewildered Dove Bestirs her puzzled wings. Once more, her mistress, on the deep Her troubled question flings — ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #65)
Six days after the last mourning dove photo shoot I came downstairs to find that my dove had brought her fledgling here for a visit. The walk we were about to take was postponed for a few minutes so I could take some baby pictures.
And there my little doves did sit, With feathers softly brown, And glittering eyes that showed their right To general Nature’s deep delight. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Selected Poems)
I couldn’t get the camera to focus well on mama and her little one in the same frame, but I wanted this picture below for size comparison. All the other pictures are of the fledgling.
The blur is mama taking off, ending the delightful visit. Baby soon followed her and we were off for our walk which will be the subject of the next post.
As we wandered around a corn maze on a perfect autumn day, we came upon an enchanting gourd tunnel.
Gourds are natural born climbers. They seek out anything they can reach to climb closer to the sun. They grow so quickly it can become a daily task to move the vines away from some places you don’t want them to climb on. And once a tendril gets itself wound around a hold nothing short of breaking the tendril off the vine will get the little curlicue to let go. Not even the death of the vine will loosen their grip much. ~ Karen Hundt-Brown (American Gourd Society)
While I looked, my inner self moved; my spirit shook its always-fettered wings half loose; I had a sudden feeling as if I, who never yet truly lived, were at last about to taste life: in that morning my soul grew as fast as Jonah’s gourd. ~ Charlotte Brontë (Villette)
Yet poetry, though the last and finest result, is a natural fruit. As naturally as the oak bears an acorn, and the vine a gourd, man bears a poem, either spoken or done. ~ Henry David Thoreau (A Week on the Concord & Merrimack Rivers)
Is that a cormorant perched on the next stump-island? He snaps open his wings and leaves them outstretched, as if they were hung on the line, clipped by the elbows to dry in the dusk. When we get closer, he will pull in the laundry and lift his feet restlessly – one, then the other. ~ Kathleen Dean Moore (Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature)
Wednesday afternoon Janet and I found a new woodland garden to explore, Kentford Farm in Stonington, Connecticut. We seemed to have the place to ourselves, but for a very charming tortoiseshell cat who acted as our hostess. When we left we spotted a sign saying the garden was open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – unknowingly we had been trespassing! But the gate had been open so perhaps our confusion was understandable.
We introduce ourselves To Planets and to Flowers But with ourselves Have etiquettes Embarrassments And awes ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #1184)
We will have to return as the seasons progress – it’s a perennial garden and there will be different things blooming every time we go. Please enjoy some of my favorite photographs. The plan was to travel light, with just the camera and not its bag, but it backfired on me when the camera battery died only about a third of the way through. Next time I will carry the whole kit and caboodle with me!
The wall is silence, the grass is sleep, Tall trees of peace their vigil keep, And the Fairy of Dreams, with moth-wings furled, Sings soft her secrets to the drowsy world. ~ Ida Rentoul Outhwaite (Tibetan Buddhism Deck: Buddhas, Deities, and Bodhisattvas 30 Meditation Cards)
Way over yonder is a place I have seen In a garden of wisdom from some long ago dream ~ Carole King ♫ (Way Over Yonder) ♫
Frequently the woods are pink – Frequently, are brown. Frequently the hills undress Behind my native town – Oft a head is crested I was wont to see – And as oft a cranny Where it used to be – And the Earth – they tell me On it’s axis turned! Wonderful rotation – By but twelve performed! ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #24)
In the woods too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life, is always a child. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature)
The good Will of a Flower The Man who would possess Must first present Certificate Of minted Holiness. ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #954)
Who can know these and, other myriad children of Chaos and old night, who can know the awe the horror and the majesty of earth, yet be content with the blue sky alone. Not I for one. I love the love lit dome above, I cannot live without mine own particular star; but my foot is on the earth and I wish to walk over it until my wings be grown. I will use my microscope as well as my telescope. And oh ye flowers, ye fruits, and, nearer kindred yet, stones with your veins so worn by fire and water, and here and there disclosing streaks of golden ore, let us know one another before we part. Tell me your secret, tell me mine. To be human is also something? ~ Margaret Fuller (Meditations of Margaret Fuller: The Inner Stream)
A lifting gale of sea-gulls followed them; slim yachts of the element, Natural growths of the sky, no wonder Light wings to leave sea; but those grave weights toil, and are powerful. ~ Robinson Jeffers (Pelicans)
In this world you’ve a soul for a compass And a heart for a pair of wings There’s a star on the far horizon Rising bright in an azure sky For the rest of the time that you’re given Why walk when you can fly? ~ Mary Chapin Carpenter ♫ (Why Walk When You Can Fly) ♫