461. When the eye sees a color it is immediately excited… ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air — explode softly — and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth — boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either — not just little boxes of eight, but the boxes of 64… And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.” ~Robert Fulghum

DSC_0053During the growing seasons in my yard, yellow sets up camp on sunflower’s faces, orange spills from the daylily’s cup, red rests on many a rosy petal, blue climbs salvia spikes and perches on morning glory vines while purple dangles from the wisteria vine and crawls along the top of the lavender’s wands. Then there’s the medley of light to dark pink that runs along coneflower petals while gold fills the Rudbeckia petals, the magenta that bubbles on the panicles of the Crape Myrtles, the hot pink that mounts the spires of loosestrife and trumpets forth from the upright tubes of Monarda, and the softer and varied shades of light pinks that adorn other roses as well as the coral vine. What I don’t have nor never will have here in my yard are what you see in the photo, the beautiful wine-red fruits of the prickly pear cactus. I am just not a cactus fan, but I think the ripened fruits of Opuntia are stunning, and in the Texas landscape the prickly pear cactus can be found almost anywhere.

Claude Monet once said that color was his “day-long obsession, joy and torment” and that he perhaps owed “having become a painter to flowers.” Similarly it is my love affair with color and flowers that led have me to become a photographer and blogger. And to think it all began with boxes of crayolas. Why? When I was a child, we lived in southern, coastal California where I fell in love with the flowers I encountered at every turn, and since we traveled every summer either by car or train, Mother wanted to make sure my sisters and I had things to keep us from getting bored and antsy. So each of us got, among other engaging things, a brand new box of crayolas and coloring books for our journeys. I looked forward all year long to those new boxes of crayolas and the pleasurable hours of coloring, but I was not then nor am I now able to draw images very well from scratch. So later in life I replaced my box of crayons for a camera and bought a house with a large yard so I could have lots of growing spaces for flowers. And now it is the pretty flowers and their luscious colors that move me daily to make “offerings” of praise and gratitude to the Lord.

Praise Him (God) for his mighty deeds; praise Him according to his excellent greatness. ~Psalm 150:2   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! May I dwell in Your holy presence and praise Your name for all that you have given and done.

441. Bees do have smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers. ~Ray Bradbury

The first week of August
hangs at the top of summer,
the top of the live-long year,
like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel
when it pauses turning.
The weeks that come before
are only a climb from balmy spring,
and those that follow 
a drop to the chill of autumn,
but August is motionless and hot.
~Natalie Babbit

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Months have passed since the jasmine climbed, the wisteria dangled, the snapdragons snapped, the poppies popped, and the birds obeyed spring’s pressing summons to build nests and procreate. Then after the summer solstice came and summer’s fires were stoked, the feverfew grew feverish, the pink loose-strife broke loose, the inland sea oats set sail on an ocean of green along the fence, and Columbine’s dove-like clusters turned brown, split open and spilled their bits of black seed bounty upon the ground. And whilst all this blooming was going on, the divine music of life that reached glorious crescendos in April grew more mellow in May, perkily sassy in June, and feverishly sultry in July. Two days hence from now, it would normally fall into a low, oppressed hum as August opens the doors to the boiler room, but strangely enough we are and will be for the next week experiencing some cooler than usual days. Though curious about the reason for such a blessing, I’ve learned never “to look a gift horse in the mouth.” The bees busily gathering nectar may grumble somewhat at this interloping gardener who sometimes stays too long in their domain or who moves to close in proximity to their pollen-rich environments such as the Texas Star Hibiscus in the photo, but grumble I shall not because normally this time of year we’re looking at the possibility of a record setting number of triple-digit-high days, days way, way too hot to enjoy even briefly being outside.

I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of burning heat. ~Hosea 13:5   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.