Multiplicity

Multiplicity – a very large number (the simple definition) – from Merriam-Webster

A snowstorm quietly moved through western Pennsylvania earlier this week, sifting fine wet snow onto the garden and woods, snow that clung to every branch, leaf, and twig. An early morning foray outside revealed a magical wonderland, a multiplicity of shapes and forms delicately outlined in white.Lutyens bench in snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first inch of snow melted on pavement, outlining stepping stones.stonepathWP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An oak leaf on the driveway became a pillow of white against the black asphalt.oak leaf snow

 

Bronze leaves still clinging to branches held small tufts and caps of snow.bronze oak leaves

 

A loose hedge of forsythia was transformed into an ethereal cloud.Forsythia in snow

 

Ornamental grasses stood tall, capturing snow crystals in their curved inflorescences.grass gate snow

 

The straight lines of a bench echoed the bold trunks of trees.Monet bench in snow

 

The lower garden became a study in curves made up of a million tiny lines of black and white. I became lost in the looking, entranced by an endless multiplicity of growth and life stripped down to its skeletal beauty. Winter suddenly became as beautiful as any fair day in May.
February snow in the lower garden

 

What an amazing world we live in! A complex harmony of shape and form and line that changes from day to day, season to season, beautiful without measure.Snowy wood

All photos ©2016 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved

 

Colors, Endless Colors

Autumn in leaves of gold,
springtime a thousand shades of green unfold to
summer with its joyous Joseph’s Coat of colors,
endless colors, endless colors.
~from the song “Winter” by Lynn Emberg Purse ©2009

gardenwoodsfogWPAutumn has decidedly arrived. Wild windy storms brought rain, hail, mist and fog this past week; the green trees have begun to don their fall coats while their leaves are drifting into the garden paths and beds. The cool damp weather has intensified the colors of the garden and triggered new blossoms from many of the plants. A fuchsia rose here, a peach salvia there – scent and color hang heavy in the air. Yesterday morning, a thick fog turned pearly with the morning light and the world was wrapped in a glowing cloud. Slightly disheveled at the end of the growing season, the garden was nevertheless graced for a moment with endless colors. (Click on any photo in the montage to see a bigger image; All photos ©2014 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved)

I saw old Autumn in the misty morn stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence. ~Thomas Hood, English poet

That Particular One

One does a whole painting for one peach and people think just the opposite – that particular peach is but a detail. ~ Pablo Picasso

Bench swallowed by hydrangeas

Bench swallowed by hydrangeas

Blame it on the weather – we seem to have re-entered Pennsylvania’s carboniferous period, the Paleozoic era of tropical rain forests that produced those rich fields of coal, oil, and natural gas that are so currently in contention. Daily rainstorms and high temperatures have spurred green growth so luxuriant that garden paths are now covered in green plants rather than brown mulch and every garden plant is double its normal size. It is a child’s garden for adults, as I look up into the blooms of daylilies and roses above my head and vainly try to temper nature’s enthusiasm for this state of affairs.

Daylily 'Asterisk'

As a result, I offer here portraits of flowers, bewitching, entrancing,  and totally designed to disguise the unruly and weedy carpet at their feet. Any pretense at horticultural control is gone – oh, this is not a polite or nice summer garden – this is unruliness and passion at its best. So, I have narrowed my view, for purposes of this post, to the particular – the particular flower, the particular point of view, the one instead of the many. If I cannot control the garden with snippers and shovel, I will control its perception with the camera lens and what it can reveal through each flower, each leaf, each drop of rain.

bubblyWPSo many elements conspire to create this cunundrum! This was to be the year of the “total garden” – the wide view of well-defined spaces and elegant combination of elements. “Hah!” said nature and life. “You may wish for control and balance but it is not to be so! Enjoy the wild effusive growth of garden plants and weeds in equal measure and enjoy life to the fullest.” In other words, grow or die.

This week, as I try to complete a large and ambitious piece of music, I am constantly challenged. This note or that, this idea or that. It is the quantuum challenge, of choosing the particular from the field of possibilities. As a composer, I can only trust inner instincts and own my musical choices as I wander through the sound landscape and choose “this, not that.”

Enjoy this little photo gallery of the particular – the blooms that shine above the chaos of riotous growth and change. I now return to my studio to continue pursuing the choice of particular notes.

All photos ©2013 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved

To see more daylilies in my garden, see last year’s post “Beauty for a Day”

Let the Rain Kiss You

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. ~ Langston Hughes, American poet

small hostaThe garden glistened this morning with a thousand silver liquid drops of rain, lingering from yesterday’s storms. I’ve been absent of late, preoccupied with finishing a large music piece due in July and with testing and refining my video techniques for the Penn’s Woods project.

This morning, I gave myself a ramble about the garden to capture the sudden wealth of beautiful scenes of raindrops on leaf and bloom.  I have been trying to develop a cinematic approach in capturing video, using selective focus (depth of field) and composing images using a spiral Fibonacci curve. Today, I challenged myself to shoot still photos the same way, using one lens (60 mm macro) and publishing only those photos that needed no cropping and minimal technical prep. Here are a few images of the garden in a magical moment and hopefully a reflection of my current goals in capturing images. Click on any photo to trigger the gallery view. Enjoy!  (All photos ©2013 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved)

Kiss me with rain in your eyelashes,
come on, let us sway together,
under the trees, and to hell with thunder.
~Edwin Morgan, Scottish poet

The Shape of Things

Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf.  ~Albert Schweitzer

Each day brings more plants into leaf and flower. As I wander through the woods and gardens each morning, I realize that it wasn’t just color that I missed in this long winter past. It was the amazing cornucopia of shape and form that emerges from the trees and shrubs, the miracle of plants springing up from the bare earth in fresh new clothes. The early morning light gets caught in the shape and trembling of leaf and flower and I get lost in the looking.  Enjoy.