Saturday, July 12, 2008


Today I went into the city. A “little vacation” from farm life and gardening.
But what did I do?
I went to look at art, do some research at the library, sit in a cafe with an iced mocha and something to read.
But what did I really do?
I looked for plants.
How they were used, or abused. I had little moments of thankfulness for sycamores and sweet gums, and their ability to endure this less than friendly environment. But what I really noticed was shadows. What would this place be without shadows? Especially on a day like today up in the 80’s. Everyone headed to the beach or park. There are a few of us downtown, it is desert-like and deserted so I walk on the side of the street shaded by sycamores up against a building.
I came into town to see Art and artifice and ended up looking at trees.
I looked at art, too. I particular a show of the ceramacist Kensuke Yamada at Catherine Person Gallery [link to the right]. I bought a piece of his work from his first show, so I was anxious to see what he was up to. His work is becoming more and more masterful as he handles the clay with a loose control I wish I could master in my gardens. His use of color has become an assured sloppy-ness. Carefree and careful. Somber and playful. Balanced.
When I got around to cafe-sitting and reading, the day was already hot. And there was a great show of vintage fire trucks on the street and everything had the hot air of holiday around it.
Even the trees seemed like canopies raised for the celebration: summer.

I wonder how many people walk by this tree each day not noticing it's dead.

Norway maples doing quite fine surrounded by concrete.

Celebrations in the shade.

The shady Waterfall Park.