Balanced Living for Creatives

Balanced Living for Creatives
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August 28, 2010

Songs of Nezahualcoyotl

Not forever on Earth,
only a little while here.
Though it be jade it falls apart,
Though it be gold it fades away,
Though it be quetzal plumage it is torn asunder.
Not forever on Earth,
only a little while here.
--poetry of Nezahualcoyotl, the "half-starved coyote,"
Lord of Texcoco, Aztec aristocracy, sixteenth century, before the magnificent culture was wiped out by the crude Spanish barbarians.

August 18, 2010

The Flatirons


This is another palette knife painting. It is based on a view of the Flatirons, a geological formation located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, near Boulder, Colorado. After the Maroon Bells, it is probably the next most painted/photographed scene in Colorado.
The Flatirons, Rockies Oil on Panel 9 x 12

August 17, 2010

Reverting to Wild


I discovered an interesting phenomenon when I identified this plant growing in my vegetable garden. It is a Raphanus raphanistum, or wild radish. This plant is a domesticated plant that has reverted to wild or combined with a wild plant so that it has the strongest qualities of both domestic and wild. It grows and is resilient like a weed. It is pest resistant and large like a domesticated. I found this one starting to grow in my garden. It looked something like a radish plant so I let it grow on. It was interesting to watch, definitely not the radish but I didn't know what until it flowered. The leaves are edible, like a radish (Raphanus sativus) but the root is not edible. Unlike the domestic radish, the root is long, whitish, and woody.

There is another plant growing near my garden that started as a domestic plant. I planted it one year as a sugar snap pea. It was not very prolific so I decided not to plant again. But then I saw it was growing up on its own from the previous years planting, so I let it grow. But because the sugar snap is a hybrid of regular pea and something (chinese snow peas?), as it grew in it reverted to wild, to something else. It has grown back with a vengeance. It would gladly take over the entire space. It's a viny weed, and grows quickly and thickly like the bindweed vine, only worse. There is no fruit, just tiny white flowers. I have to stay on top of it to keep it out of the vegetable garden, but it amuses me to let it grow up around the raised bed.

August 16, 2010

Not a Mystery


It's not a mystery any longer. It's simply a yellow squash. For some reason, I thought it might be one of the wild species that grow native here in Colorado. At least, it could have been something exotic, not just a garden variety summer squash. Even so, how did it get there? It is not the same cultivar as what I have planted for the past two years. My best guess is that it was a seed that was dropped by a squirrel.

August 13, 2010

Mystery Growing


Here's the mystery squash beginning to fruit out. It's still small and has a lot more growing to do. So far only one fruit, but many blossoms.

August 9, 2010

White Heron Rises Over Blackwater

the white heron
rising over the swamp and the darkness
his yellow eyes and broad wings wearing
the light of the world in the light of the world--
ah, yes, I see him.
He is exactly the poem I wanted to write.

--Mary Oliver