Fall gallery

Gadzooks! We’ve been off WordPress for a month? Here’s a gallery for a little catching up on some of October’s sights.

Weekly photo challenge: Monument

This week’s photo challenge is titled “Monument.” Here is our monument to spring in the Arkansas Ouachita mountains: All of 5 inches tall including stem, this crested iris is getting ready to unfurl its flag.

4-12-Iris-to-Unfurl-web

 

Other monuments we liked:

 

Autumn colors 2013

Here it is late October and the Ouachitas are just beginning to turn.  Even though the woods are mostly green, there’s still plenty of autumn color around. Photos taken today and yesterday.

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Ouachita bouquet

The eastern Arkansas Ouachita Mountains have been generous this spring.

Gaudete Sunday

Today is Gaudete Sunday, the next-to-last Sunday in Advent. Advent, like Lent, is a time of introspection; a time to prepare the soul and mind. Advent encompasses four Sundays in anticipation of Christmas and Lent does the same before Easter.

During three of the Sundays in Advent and Lent, the priest wears violet vestments — a symbol of penance. Gaudete Sunday is one of two holidays in the Catholic calendar where rose vestments — which symbolize joy — are worn, the other being Laetare Sunday, the third Sunday of Lent. (A nice summary on liturgical colors can be found here: http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/LITCOLOR.HTM)

In the West, pink is a culturally difficult color. It’s OK for women, but often taboo for men. It takes a big man to wear rose, and they don’t come any bigger than B16. Biltrix has a great photo of Il Papa in his rose vestments. (In Thailand, pink has become associated with the king.)

A trend we’ve been seeing in the pews is parishioners embracing the colors of the season. At the Saturday vigil Mass, the pews were filled with men,  women and children who had worked rose or violet into their Sunday (or Saturday) best. It’s a powerful external symbol of the inner states that  Advent and Lent are meant to touch.

Weekly photo challenge: Renewal 1

This week’s photo challenge theme is “renewal.” It’s a hard theme in autumn when Nature is preparing for her winter’s sleep. She did leave some reminders of spring — that great time of renewal.  Today, vibrant violets dotted the shaley, leaf-strewn slopes.

ULTRAVIOLET — Normally a signature of spring, violet blooms popped into fullness near the middle of November.
OUT OF TIME — Wild violet blooms out of time.

Far more interesting takes on the theme can be found here:

And of course, the BIG photo challenge page:
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/weekly-photo-challenge-renewal/

Flowers in two time zones

My father’s Pacific Time backyard is overflowing with color. Blue irises, pale coral moon flowers, brilliant bougainvillea and all sorts of other treats for the eye. The neighbors’ yards are equally filled with color — trees dripping with exotic tropical flowers, ripening lemons and oranges, and brilliant scarlet pomegranate flowers.

Yellows dominate the Central Time Suburban Ferndale mini-gardens.

IRIS -- Purple iris with its yellow beard flanked by coloring that looks like it was borrowed from a nautilus.
DOCKING MANEUVER -- Bee with pollen-covered legs moves into a moonflower.
BLUE AND ORANGE -- These two shrubs were growing together in the neighbor's yard.
A GOOD KIND OF BLUE -- This shrub was dense with these blue-violet blooms.
CLASSIC -- Fragrant rose opens as clouds clear away.
BIRD OF PARADISE -- Like a heron with an 80s 'do.
BLACKEYED SUSAN -- Hooray! Something new in the Suburban Ferndale garden. This lone wolf is outnumbered 1 to 200 by coreopsis though.
BLACK SWALLOWTAIL -- Pays a visit to the wildflower garden. Wildflowers are like cats. You're glad they like you enough to stay, but don't think you actually exert any control over them.