Cerise Moment - Flowering cherry trees are magnificent! Because my scanner captures images from below, I did not notice the small caterpillar that made a home on one of the leaves when I arranged this composition. Surprises that add to the story are always welcome.
Dahliola - A late summer dahlia from a friend's garden, amidst dried gladiola blossoms from a local farm in this composition. I had a bouquet of these mini-glads and liked what they did as they dried on the stems. I collected them and put them aside. Not surprisingly, they ended up on my scanner.
Amanita Muscaria - This species is better known as it appears in Europe and the western US, where it is red with white patches; the familiar mushroom often seen in kitsch. It is a hallucinogenic species, but it's effects are unpredictable and is not generally recommended for that purpose. Much has been written about it, including a book that was published in 2007. Also known as "Fly Agaric", it was used in the past as a poison for killing flies. For this scan, I used marbled paper for the background.
Marbled Glads - Fresh and dried gladiola blossoms. I purchased some fresh glads from a local farm and noticed as they dried, that they retained some of their original color, though somewhat muted. I set them aside, thinking I might use them in a future composition. This is the result. The background is marbled paper created by Chena River Marblers of Amherst, MA.
Oak leaves on Bolete Cap - I came on this 8” diameter bicolor bolete mushroom in mid-August while walking at Mt. Tom State Park in Easthampton, MA in 2007. I was struck not only by its size, but by the adhering leaves on the yellow and red cap. Beyond that, I see untold stories. I imagine this mushroom’s origins, beneath the forest floor, waiting for the right moment...pushing up through the leaf litter, its sticky cap gathering leaves as it emerges. A slug and a small rodent have eaten from it. Cracks speak to a lack of recent rain and its age. I am struck by the interplay of the leaf remnants and the cap. For me, this image is about beauty in the overlooked, change, and the web of life.
Some Fun Guys - Four tasty summer species, two chanterelles and two boletes comprise this playful image. I am a wild mushroom forager...collect and consume over 60 local edible and medicinal species. The diversity of forms and colors among the fungi is astonishing, when one pauses to look. They were delicious, by the way!
Sumner and Nancy's Garden - From the lovely, late summer, Boston-area backyard garden of two dear friends. This composition includes Dahlias in transition and the stalks of Juncus effusus 'Spiralis', a member of the rush family. I love the vertical movement and the sense of change in this image.
That Fall - This composition includes a dogwood leaf, castor bean leaves and wild multiflora rose fruits. Castor is a tall, toxic plant, grown as an ornamental annual in northern gardens, that looks more suited to its origins in the tropics. Besides the familiar oil, a poison called ricin is produced from its seeds. Multiflora rose is an aggressive species, forming large clumps, with fragrant sprays of small white blossoms and red berries that are attractive to birds
June Roadside Foliage - In this composition, I was inspired by the colors and textures of these Staghorn Sumac and Joe Pye Weed leaves. Both are common wild plants locally. The former is a small tree, a colonizer of disturbed places; the latter, a perennial growing to 12 feet tall, prefers wet areas and sports a large, deep pink flower head in August, attractive to butterflies and other insects.
Tulips and Callas - A late winter bouquet from the florist shop inspired this image. The soft colors, the way the stems relate to one another and the spaces between them are the elements that appeal to me in this composition.