20 March 2015



This month the ROY G BIV photo challenge brings us to the "Y": yellow. If orange symbolizes joy for me, I would say yellow is the color of celebration and sunshine-filled hope. And what perfect timing... We began the day with a new moon and, just before midnight, spring will arrive in Italy. The solar eclipse, which I followed online in the company of scientists whose enthusiasm was as entertaining as it was contagious, brought yet another celebratory note to the day. In Florence the morning merely dimmed for an odd spell, but Svalbard & the Faroe Islands both experienced a total eclipse (though the latter had to contend with clouds for mcuh of it).

When trying to put together a random collection of photos highlighting a single color, I always find it surprising just how many different shades there are. Everything from subtle to strong and, in the case of yellow, from warm and golden to chilly or verging-on-chartreuse-y.

The squash blossoms above (which we like to quickly dip into a simple batter of flour & water before frying in olive oil) are a shade of the yellow that I gravitate toward. I'm also drawn to the pale (and sometimes bold) yellows that characterize the majority of Florence's buildings. The image below shows a glimpse through our living room window yesterday morning. While I seem to be having problems getting Blogger to portray the intensity of contrast & color of my photos yet again this month, that shadow of the streetlamp against the yellow wall always gives me a moment of delight.

These next two images are from a recent excursion to the rose garden. The rose bushes had all been sharply pruned, and the garden was at its most stark & bare before growth will resume——with the exception of these small yellow blossoms that couldn't seem to hold themselves back (first image), and the mimosas that always bloom in time for La Festa della Donna/International Women's Day on 8 March (second set of images).


And here are——surprise!——some obsequious yellow: lemons... I had been hanging on to the yellow string bag that held the lemons in case it inspired me for this month's ROY, and found I quite liked the threads caught between the light and the darkness, and the shadows cast by the net.


And next, the Wallace Stegner book whose orange spine featured in my last ROY post, remains relevant again this month when the cover is revealed. The daisies on the bookmark my daughter made for me years ago are a bit difficult to make out, but each time I would sit down with the book I noticed how their yellow centers echoed the wildflowers "growing" on the cover. (Despite the sadness/cynicism of the story/narrator, I very much enjoyed reading All the Little Live Things, and have just moved onto The Spectator Bird, a sort of sequel in that it continues protagonist Joe Allston's journey——this time literally as well as figuratively.)

After examining & photographing the lemon slices, I realized I much prefer lemon-rind yellow to that of its cool/paler/shinier/juicy insides...which led to these photos of a short stack of lemon slices (which, alas, do not display as warmly golden in Blogger as they do in Photoshop)...




And now, to conclude this post, is the inspiration for its title, Yellow Moon, a song from Pearl Jam's latest album (Lightening Bolt).



Wishing you all a sunshiny weekend, wherever in the world you may find yourself. And I'd love to hear what yellow symbolizes for you if you'd like to share it in the comments section below...



A few details for those of you not already familiar with the ROY G BIV
photo challenge... Artists Jennifer Coyne Qudeen & Julie Booth started
it a few years ago. Each month is devoted  to a different color of the
rainbow, and once we explore each of these we will move on to other colors
later in the year. Everyone is welcome to join in the search. Please visit
Jennifer & Julie's blogs for links to each month's participants.
 Guidelines are here.

10 March 2015

Elements of peace, Part III - More words


I've been wanting to share a few photos of my last visit to the Giardino delle Rose, Florence's lovely hillside rose garden, where I added some more copper "peace" leaves to my favorite olive tree. (You may remember that I'd requested new words for my "Elements of peace" project last fall...photos of the "installation" can be seen here & the making of the leaves can be seen here.)

As I approached the tree, I couldn't make out the wire-words title and thought it might no longer be encircling the trunk, but as I drew closer I realized the copper had merely lost its shine. Now it blends in nicely with the bark. I was surprised to see how many of the twenty-six leaves remained——I counted at least seventeen, but it was hard to keep track of them, scattered among the branches/foliage as they are. I do know that "love" was missing, because it had been placed on a new shoot close to the trunk. I like to think that either a happy couple or someone looking for love has claimed it...


Here are photos of some of the latest additions, which include sustain, alegria (Portuguese for "joy") & gratitudine (Italian for "gratitude"). I'm afraid these few that I photographed are a bit difficult to make out; the noon-time sun was glaring, so I turned the leaves away from it and ended up with considerable, difficult-to-make-out-the-details, contrast.

I am always happy to make/add more leaves. As I'd mentioned in the initial post(s), just as the quest for peace is ongoing I hope this project can be as well. So please feel free to offer an "element" that you feel might help to bring more peace into the world (either in the comments section below or in an email). Now that spring is in arrivo I will be up at the rose garden more regularly, and on future visits I would love to place more peace leaves among the branches of my favorite olive tree.

Wishing you a happy & peaceful week...


The original "Elements of peace" leaves, mixed in with their inspiration

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