Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Hard and Soft . . .

. . . at the end of my block. It was the wild roses that caught my eye and sent me for my camera. They cascade down the embankment where the privacy fence separates the last townhouse from a marshy area and the parking lot of an office building. As so often happens, the camera failed to capture what my eye was so perfectly relaying to my brain - the lovely pink flowers are barely visible.

Change of angle and moving in closer helps.

Still not as impressive as they were to the naked eye. So here's a close-up. Wild roses have been blooming in the area for several weeks now, sending out their sweet scent surprisingly far from where it originates. My mother loved wild roses.

If the roses were illusive, the cattails were not. So soft and fuzzy at the moment.

Groups showed different stages in growth.

Some had delicate tendrils picked up by the breeze.

Some started looking like Tolkienesque creatures, old wizened faces giving challenge through the viewfinder. It spooked me just a little.

But I kept on zooming in on groups, trying to shake the feeling these cattails were starting to disapprove.


Endless source of fascination. No idea if any of these images will spawn an idea for a textile.

The parking lot adjacent has a fairly wide landscaped strip acting as buffer between parking spaces and the drop-off to the marsh. Gravel, trees, and inexplicably, two large stones plopped at the end near the street. I've always meant to photograph them and finally I had camera in hand. They are a lovely rust with hints of teal.

Layers in rocks have always fascinated me.

Cracks too. These had the added interest of a pile of small rocks from the gravel below - how did they get on top of this rock? And a very tiny one actually wedged in the crack.

Look closely, the crack near the bottom veers off for some reason while the upper one stays firm to the vertical drop. But they don't quite meet up.

I'm also fascinated with the way the narrow layers run in several directions. There's inspiration here, but I don't know how to incorporate it yet.

And that's the hard and soft at the end of my block. 


Fran├žoise said...

Great pictures for inspiration! Did you sketch those too?

The Idaho Beauty said...

Goodness, it didn't occur to me to try sketching them. But that is a good idea, Francoise. Thanks for mentioning it.

Charlton Stitcher said...

I love the fuzzy cattails. Do they grow by water or in damp ditches .. so are they what we call bulrushes in the UK?

The Inside Stori said...

I’m expecting a new series from you after reading about your observance of the nature that surrounds you!! NO pressure!!

Lucia Sasaki said...

Beautiful pictures!
I loved the wild roses (you are right, no machine can catch what our eyes see) and the cattails.
Are all these pictures taken near your house?
Thanks for sharing!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Aren't they wonderful, Margaret? To be honest, I wasn't sure whether to call them cattails or bulrushes, and a quick google tells me they are similar but not identical on a level that matters little to us, I would think. Yes, they definitely grow in shallow wetlands, edges of ponds or ditches. In this case, this low area does fill with water this time of the year from a small creek nearby. There's also a stand of them between the sidewalk and street in front of the thrift shop nearby. It too is a ditch that fills with water, and the cattails are a nice addition.

Yes, Lucia, these are at the end of my street and I walk past them every day! How lucky am I to have this little bit of nature stuck in between buildings and parking lots?

New series huh, Mary? Do you think either one of us will live long enough to see it? ;-) Oh the series I have contemplated and never pursued, or at least not past the first one or two. I've been collecting rock photos like these for a long time and I DO think there's something there I want to explore in fabric. As for the cattails - well, they just fascinate without any need to incorporate. Or so I think.

Living to work - working to live said...

You are an lady after my own heart. Great rocks!! Great patch of nature!! Great inspiration. We are so lucky we artists - we look and see. I think so many just look. H xxx

Kaija said...

Tolkienesque! What a wonderful and fitting description! Thanks for sharing the hard and soft :)

The Idaho Beauty said...

You are so right, Hilary! My dad would be pleased I've come to this point. He used to get so frustrated with me because I could walk right by something that he found interesting, miss the bugs going about their business at our feet, fail to exhibit curiosity about little things he could spend hours over. He was so observant and I learned so much about nature from him as he grabbed my arm and pointed, then discussed. I definitely see much more than I used to.

The Idaho Beauty said...

You are welcome, Kaijia. Felt I might be going out on a limb there with my Tolkien reference. :-) Those things might be the stuff of fantasy, but I've had moments out in the deep woods when I suddenly felt I wasn't alone, looked at ancient trees and knew what the old civilizations experienced that prompted them to come up with the stories and lore that they did about spirits dwelling in everything. Yes, I have an active imagination!

Michele Matucheski said...

Ah, Rock Textures! juxtaposed with the roses and the cattails. Just a little creepy seeing those characters and faces in the cattails. We are trained to see patterns and to anthropomorphize -- That's who we are as humans!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Michele you are so right. It's amazing what the mind does with the input from the eyes. Sometimes it works just a little bit too hard trying to figure it out. :-)