What could be more refreshing during August than thinking about snowflakes?! Given the time of year, thinking about snowflake patterns led to wondering about similarities with the wildflower Queen Anne’s Lace. In the end, this mandala is inspired by both but is neither one nor the other – and just when you’ve decided that it is really mostly a snowflake, there’s a butterfly – spring azure – lurking around the perimeter to make it flower-like again. Here’s a photograph that started me thinking about the texture of the Queen Anne’s Lace. (Check out his blog – he’ll make you see wildflowers with new eyes!)
Tom wrote a delightful poem full of both summer and winter for this one!
Subtle turning of the seasons
Marching bands of heat and cold
Crystals ringing changes, reasons
Why all flowers fade and fold
As the season of the snows
Overtakes warm summer lands
Winds of winter skirl and blow
Pearls of ice turn on the strands
Of twisting currents through cold air
Lacing patterns, tracing flowers
Melting as the summer fair
Escapes from frozen empty towers
Life propelled by turning centre
Changes leave before they enter
A quick doodle to celebrate the season… so busy with everything related to said season that I haven’t been posting much here and the buffer for Albion is getting smaller. Hopefully I can catch back up over the holidays.
Wishing you the Best of the Season and a Wonderful New Year.
UPDATE: New sonnet from Tom to capture both the cold and the warmth of winter…
The winter night in glinting diamond silence
sparkles in cold light, the Solstice Moon
glows bright upon the hills with blue fluorescence
across the open spaces deeply strewn
with virgin snow: a wonderland of ice
where lovers might take pause to contemplate
the beauty of this frozen paradise
where nothing moves and everything awaits.
Their hands are joined within a single glove
the touch of skin a promise for the night
to come while silently the stars above
reflect the frozen diamonds of the night.
One single thing belies the winter the cold:
The warmth of hands that other hands enfold
A very random doodle today. Actually we’ve been having a very mild fall so far but the weather is supposed to change tomorrow so winter must have been on my mind!
She seems to be in the midst of saying something but I’m not sure what it is…
UPDATE: Just in – a lovely and bilingual approach to the illustration in the for of a Pushkin sonnet no less!
“I love this season’s consumation:
Je ne suis pas un hiver-phobe!
Mais oui, it’s still a small frustration
when the city dons her robe
of downy white; so soft, enchanting,
yet quite enough to set me ranting!
Le métro est en retard!
The slippery streets make driving hard!
But walking is for lower classes,
non pour une ingénue like me
caught adrift on snowy seas
until her handsome hero passes
who will my dreadful stress assuage
And be my knight, mon homme de neige!”
I find this one a bit funny – maybe it’s clear in the Japanese but does it mean the cat and the firewood are on the eaves with the melting snow? I didn’t think so as you can see from my accompanying doodle.
I decided to call it “winter’s end” but I suppose it could just as easily be a temporary thaw… I guess I’m just hoping!
A nice piece of trivia (well that ties in nicely with my blog name) is that this master haiku writer’s pen name, Issa means “a cup of tea”!
If you like the idea of reading more of his over 9500 haikus check this site. You can read random selections or pick something based on a season… or cats!
Also known as echinacea, purple coneflower is often taken as a way to prevent colds. I am not really sure that it works… but I have been taking it this winter and I haven’t had a cold yet! (we’ll see if I get one tomorrow now lol) Anyway, I’m not sure why I felt like drawing them yesterday – I think it’s simply because they’re pretty.
I was walking on the mountain yesterday and noticed a crow perched on an improbably high branch which inspired this doodle. It was a lovely day – soft (for February) with a pale winter sun occasionally breaking through the clouds.
This morning we participated in a tea tasting – just of Taiwan wulongs! ten different ones… It was quite eye-opening. Although I already had a good idea that there is a huge range of flavours within this family of teas, it really was remarkable. The aged Wulongs had an especially strong range of flavours. While I often enjoy strong flavours, I found myself gravitating towards the greener, fresher-flavoured varieties. I won’t get into the details of which one seemed to me like over-ripe olives, which like burnt chocolate and which like flowers on a sunny day… There are real experts out there discussing tea and if you are interested in the world of Chinese tea, check out the links to the right. If particularly in Wulongs, here’s an interesting article on Taiwan Dong Ding Wulong. (Note: due to transliteration differences, Dong Ding = Tung Ting and Oolong = Wulong)