Thursday, February 23, 2012

Snow drops (Galanthas nivalis)

Galanthas nivalis, also known as Snow drops and Maids of Febrauary, come up in bunches during the month of February. Galanthus means 'milk flower' and nivalis means 'loving snow'. These little beauties are symbolic of regeneration and carry the message of hope. There is a legend that says that it is bad luck to cut these flowers to bring in to the house.
These beauties attracted little pollinating visitors. While I was taking pictures of the flowers in the sunshine there were so many bees!
Snow drops are the first true flowers of the year to bloom in my garden.

I am currently reading  Chrysalis, Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis by Kim Todd. This is an amazing book that explores the topic of metamorphosis and the gorgeous art work and scientific discoveries  of Maria Sibylla Merian while she traveled and painted in Surinam.
I have been thinking a lot about the process of metamorphosis and what is our potential as humans for deep and meaningful change in our lives just as the lives of caterpillars that transform into a pupa and then into a completely new and different being capable of flying. Maria Merian was an extraordinary artist who went through her own transformation and I am inspired to read how it is indeed possible.
As Spring approaches quickly, the bees are pollinating Snow drops and the Blue birds are now part of the woods here, I am reminded that everything is in a state of flux, and we too are capable of evolving into new beings along side of nature.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Return of the Blue Birds

The Blue Birds have come back over and over again since the second week of December. 
This beauty arrived before I left for California.

Since their arrival, I have felt a surge of joy bubbling up inside of me. I feel that their presence is a great blessing and that they are a sign of beautiful things to come in the near future. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Botanicals in California

This past week-end I was in California studying botanical essences. It was a very beautiful experience. I walked away with so much new knowledge and a strong desire to learn to distill my own oils.
I have many new favorites...Fir, Petitgrain and Blood Cedarwood.

The Magnolias were in bloom and their scent was intoxicating. Cherry blossoms, Daffodils, Anemones, Daisies, Iris and Poppies are also exploding with color.

The photographs in the nine patch were taken with my i Phone.

Wishing everyone a happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Promises of Spring

As the light shifts and the weather is warmer,  I am seeing more and more buds peeking out through the branches on the trees and shrubs.  I have been thinking about the potential energy of each and every bud. The Witch Hazel is open, the pears are being forced open indoors, and even my passion flowers  continue to open. 
The word for bud in Greek is gemma. All of the genetic and potential medicinal information for plants is stored in the buds. Gemmotherapy is a form of plant medicine that employes the buds of plants.
One of my favorite books of plant illustrations is the Guide to Flowering Plant Families by Wendy B. Zomlefer. In this book of excellent pen and ink illustrations, there are many exact and delicate images of plant buds. For botany lovers this book is a labor of love and a true delight.

The yellow and red flowers above are witch hazel.

 Pyrus calleryana the common name is a Callery pear. These buds opened inside in the soft light of the South.

This bud is a passion flower about to open.

Magnolia bud.

Lilac bud.