A recent picture-taking jag dating back to my visit to the warm climes of San Diego as it rained in tropical Monsoon-style back in Louisville – where it was also warmer, lol – lets me catch up with events of a very modest and most natural nature.
We’ll begin with something serious.
(Know also that left clicking on pictures can enlarge them. Clicking twice on some of these makes it even cooler) 😉
Moving right along, what follows is more or less random. For everyone’s Peace of Mind, having said that, I think it might be best to begin with at least one other picture of San Diego flora before we launch into the natural homeliness of a Kentucky Winter……a season I have found fascinating this year for some reason or another……..
The brilliance of succulents in general but of the understandably common Ice Plants in particular, have always completely grabbed my attention. Mixed into this picture is a rather ungainly Yucca/Aloe specimen which somehow manages to make the grade owing to its brilliant blooms. A nasty creature with amazingly sharp little pricks on the succulent-like leaves, I could be an ideal addition to a garden which someone spent too much time in. Just backing into could be the lesson of a lifetime. 😉
Moving along now and recalling the downpour I described “back in Kentucky” during my coastal doings, in my return, I took a trip up the road a very small piece to visit one of my favorite Louisville parks – Beckley Creek Park. A part of a greater park system of recently constructed vintage, this park shines as an outstanding example of the new movement of city parks everywhere going “natural”.
Here is the Beckley Creek Portion, complete with its own website:
This fascinating, $120 Million park system has become a deep and quantitatively huge geographical investment as an urban feature. Complete with walking and biking trails which will eventually comprise a 100 mile circle around Louisville, the islands of concentrated activity mix a delightfully-landscaped and architecturally pleasing bunch of elements together with a cleaned-up and only-somewhat-groomed natural environment.
Where the absurd richness of the Spring, Summer and Autumn’s deciduous glories abound in Kentucky, I was also pleased to see the contrast of Minimalist Landscaping Designs around the buildings of the park. Used for many purposes – from weddings and parties to your standard average dog park to conventions and educational experiences drawing Nature Lovers, the park answers the bell with resounding merits.
From the other side of this building, we see the “Real” reason for its location, while this side of it expresses some genuine art for design freaks such as myself. Considering the dull gray skies and apparent skeletons of trees so common in a Kentucky Winter landscape, the dried old grasses, the solitary limestone boulder and the now-barren and ruined bed of perennial flowers and scrawny shrubs in the foreground still manage to gather the eye in a most-rewarding way.
Here, then, is the other side of the same building:
And here is a better look at the creek it sits beside, now still somewhat swollen from the aforementioned rains. Yes, that is a working farm and barn in the distance.
The creek I found totally fascinating. There are roughly a billion and one ways to view the creek itself, all within walking distance from parking spots along the road coursing through the park. As an historical presence, Beckley Creek has lots of historical stories, from Revolutionary times onward.
Closer to the Shelbyville Road entrance is my favorite perspective. A short walk from the car leads you though a path into an entire world of creekness. Huge Sycamore, Hickory and Walnut trees abound, as well, in summer, as a near-impenetrable set of bushes and shrubs, many of whom flower at different times of the warmer year, some of which are an allergy sufferer’s nightmare, such as Goldenrod in profuse quantities.
But it is this past Winter we are dealing with now. Here is a deceptively passive-looking creek view back upriver under so many now-barren deciduous trees……..
What seems rather placid from this particular angle is really not so much. The higher water is typically brown like this from the collection of silts alongside the water frm rain runoff. What it can provide is a somewhat amazing sensuality as this liquid mass gets yet another angle:
The storm’s after effects are vivid:
Those collected leafs, caught in the spines of naked shrubbery testify to the incredible force brought to bear in the rushing floodwaters of that week.The height is completely telling – it was high!
Alongside the trail down to this area, I noticed other damage.
A completed cycle of growth and death stand right in front of us as we see the demise of a once-strapping young buck of a tree toppled over by the erosion at its base. It’s neighbor, already ancient beside it, stands drunkenly alongside a new aspirant, completing what was for me at the time a very moving tableau – a story of raw nature, cycles, time and the surprises in store for us all, tree or no tree. While there seems to be ugliness galore in the plain and uninteresting colors shown at this time of the year – and at such odds with the more outrageously vivid beauty and fullness for the other 3 seasons – the mind gets stricken by thoughts of passages in this gloom. This is merely one of the lessons available at this gorgeously abundant park.
Well, as luck would have it, then I came home to this rewarding scene:
And there was another treat in store as well. Tom;s daughter Meagan and her man Jeff had sent an Amaryllis plant to us for Christmas. Not only that, but a Chocolate cake that was so rich, only I could handle it!! 😉 Which I did, for the record, like that would fool anyone who knows me.
I had a tough time getting pictures of the Amaryllis exactly right, but I managed a few as it began blooming, the first one recognizable as shot with a flash at night……..:
Later, now ensconced safely and semi-permanently on Mother’s desk, daylight helped show off its color and textural softness:
Obviously, I really like the plant, as do the rest of us.
OK. Here’s a random Stork at the Portland, Oregon Chinese Garden. I’m a Stork fan. 😉
And this here is a look upward inside Gaudi’s massive 120 year old construction project of a catherdral in Barcelona. I thought they did that well, personally.
This picture is especially interesting when enlarged. I am sure Antonio intended this. 😉