Category Archives: Abstracts

Attempts made to break outside of my engineering mentality

Winter Mushrooms

“Snow Covered Yarrow and Rudbeckia”
Heatherwood Meadow

When I first saw this clump of snow-covered yarrow and rudbeckia, I thought that they looked like a field of mushrooms. Mary thought that they looked like a field of cotton. What is the purpose of a garden but to enjoy, dream, and imagine!

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360 Degrees of Art

“Ceiling in Vatican Museum”
The Vatican

It was extremely hard for me to walk through the Vatican Museum. Glorious art surrounded me from all angles; ceilings, wall, floors. I kept stumbling around and running into other touring visitors. “Mi scusi” was my most common phrase. I was glad that I was tall, so I could look over the other tourists. At times when I stopped to create a photo, I felt like I was a lone tower in the middle of a stream of wandering people.

Big Head

“Tindaro Screpolato by sculptor Igor Mitoraj”
Boboli Gardens, Florence, Italy

Commonly known as the ‘Giant Head’ the Tinder Screpolato was a huge contrast to the other Renaissance sculptures in the Medici’s Boboli Gardens in Florence. After a long morning walk through residential Florence we ended up at the Medeci Palace and the attached Boboli Gardens. It was hot, 90 degrees plus, and our water bottles were empty. We walked up the garden hill to a large grass lawn and saw this giant head. We stopped looked at the sculpture and decided it was a good time to walk back to our hotel and take a nap.

Wheels Forever

“Wheels, Wheels, and More Wheels”
Damien Barn, Unionville, WA

The line of wheels seem to go on forever. What is the history behind each one? How many years ago were they in use? What type of vehicle were they used on, and what were they used for? Were they part of an implement or a mechanism of transport? So many questions I have? It would a wonderful experience to walk along the fence with an “old timer” and hear him talk about where the wheels came from.

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“Steptoe View”
The Palouse, Washington

One of my favorite places to be in Washington State is on Steptoe Butte in the Palouse. It is a place where I can gaze over the rolling hills of the farm land below and dream of the past, present, and future. Time goes by, clouds skim across the sky. Little ‘ant-like’ vehicles move about. Memories flash through my mind. When I was a little tyke, Uncle Ben and I would walk out to the sagebrush ridge past our orchard. We had our special rock where we would sit and look over the Naches valley below. Farmers would be working their fields, driving their tractors back and forth. He would tell me stories both fictional and of his past experiences. I would dream.

I close my eyes, then open them up again. The farm land fades away. In its place emerges a pattern of textures, tones, and curves. The scene below becomes a flowing blanket as the shadows from the clouds traverse across.

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“Acer Palmatum Dissectum Structure
Portland Japanese Garden

I love the delicate structure and leaves of Japanese Maples. They are planted in artistic displays throughout the Portland Japanese Garden. A staff of creative artists meticulously groom the trees. Each one is an art piece. I wish I could say the same for the Japanese maples in our Heatherwood garden. I focus on doing the minimum pruning just to keep them healthy and somewhat balanced. I dream of someday having the opportunity to work with a “Japanese maple artist” to gain a simple insight on his/her creative talent.

Under the Branches

“Signature Japanese Maple”
Portland Japanese Garden

Every time I visit the Portland Japanese Garden, I stop by and look under the branches of the signature Japanese maple that overlooks the main pond area. I get a completely different abstract view of the garden looking through the branches and leaves.

This star attraction is meticulously pruned to create the maple’s beautiful structure. The environment in the Portland garden is perfect for Japanese maples and their delicate pruned structure. In our Central Washington Heatherwood garden, we don’t the same luxury. Because of the harsh direct sunlight, we need to keep a heavy layer of leaves on the maples to protect them. We can still have a similar overall shape, but not the delicate loose layering of maples in a less harsh environment.

Looking Up

“Tree Abstract”
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

I have a habit of standing near the trunk of large trees and following the limbs up to the sky. I almost always find an interesting abstract if I twist around a bit to get just the right composition. One time back in Peace Valley Park near Doylestown, PA, I slipped standing on a log and fell into the crotch of the tree and got stuck. Luckily after several minutes, I was able to wriggle myself free. I am not quite as persistent to get the right angle these days!

Heart and Soul

“Forest Pansy Redbud Leaf”
Heatherwood Woodland

Many times as I walk through our garden, I just let my imagination wander. I am not looking for anything in particular. But when something catches my eye, I stop and explore with my mind and soul. Many times, after pausing for a few moments, I just move on. Sometimes I become captured and just let my mind wander.

I saw this pretty bright new leaf on the tip of a branch. My eyes followed it up along the branch as it led up to the trunk of the tree. The heart seemed to be beating as it softly fluttered in the breeze. I imagined it feeding its blood along the branches to the other leaves and softly back up to the soul of the tree. It is wonderful what imagination can do! Look around, look up to the clouds, and dream. It is a wonderful way to enjoy a moment!

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Water Spray

“Meadow Abstract”
Heatherwood Summer

This looks like we are giving the meadow flowers a bath shower. We are just watering them. Temperatures are getting hot. The forecast is to break 100 degrees next week. We need to make sure everything is well watered by the time the extreme temperatures hit. We hope we have been watering enough to have built up a enough moisture to get the plants through the upcoming scorcher.

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