March 9, 2009

This is what I was trying to photograph at midnight, in the moonlight.


I put a coat over my nightgown and boots on my bare feet and ventured out into the night only to discover my battery was dead.
It's not quite so pretty in the sunlight, but I wanted to show you anyway. You'll have to imagine the moonlight. Imagine the Moonlight. That's an aphorism for you. Take it to heart.

In the sunlight, this, unseen at night, became visible:


Hydrangea. Not the way you usually picture it, is it? Closer to some unappetizing pasta than what you have in your head to be summoned up by the word "hydrangea." Or have I replaced that image now. I would love to do that.


Ken Pidcock said...

Good to see hydrangea looking beat up. I despise hydrangea. I'm certain that it's somebody else's obnoxious weed.

I was at the Philadelphia flower show Saturday. To the best of my knowledge, there was no hydrangea. People paid to recognize beauty ignore it.

Ken Pidcock said...

Sorry. That was noxious. Or maybe not.

Joe said...

Meet you at Alamo Mission.

In the moonlight
in the midnight
in the moonlight midnight moonlight

Now I'm stuck with that song in my head. But it could be worse.

Anonymous said...

I always think of Donna Reed, playing Mary Hatch in It's a Wonderful Life, hiding in the shrubbery when I hear "hydrangea."

Buffalo girls won't ya' come out tonight and dance by the light of the moon.

Host with the Most said...

1)Love hydrnageas.

Love them, love them.

2) Is it true that no woman ever really appreciates being given carnations?

3) Zachary was correct about this earlier - as good a photographer you are, Ann - and you are very, very good - you were born to write.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I despise hydrangea. I'm certain that it's somebody else's obnoxious weed.

Pooh, hydrangea are lovely, especially the species ones. They're so elegant and crisp and the leaves have a vivid green color so there's something to look at even when they're not in bloom.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Is it true that no woman ever really appreciates being given carnations?

My mom liked carnations and I have to say I fancy them myself. But if you really want to impress give some of the nice clove scented ones. And never add baby's breath or fern fronds, that's just cheap.

VermontGuy said...

It looks like something that came out of a pod in "The Body Snatchers".

rhhardin said...

Coltsfoot, two weeks early. The first Ohio spring flower.

Bike parked against sign to go back and snap the pic.

Anonymous said...


that picture makes me homesick for the Ohio River Valley. I am a midwest girl but with the extra two weeks of winter tacked on to November and March on places north of Lafayette, IN and it is jut too damn long, the winter that is.

Ann Althouse said...

I think carnations are regarded as funeral flowers.

Anonymous said...

that's also kinda funny that coltsfoot was used by the natives for lung and breathing disorders ... that considerin breathing the heated air in the home i just moved out of made me sick. not sure that's what i originally meant as homesick, but it works, too

Anonymous said...

couse you didn't photograph the leaves.

you take those smoke them in a pipe and you get religious visions.

a little bit of magic and then you can protect horses, but that is only considered in the superstitious idea that what a herb looks like carries over to it's healing properties.

but for more alchemic or scientific pleasure

from the Penny Cyclopedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

TUSSILA'GO FA'RFARA (Coltsfoot), a perennial plant belonging to the order of compound plants, common in damp, clayey fields, road-sides, and the banks of rivers, the yellow flowers of which are seen in spring preceding the nearly heart-shaped, smooth-toothed leaves, which, from their resemblance to a young horse's hoof, have received the popular name of coltsfoot. The whole plant is nearly devoid of odour. The root has a styptic bitter taste ; the leaves and flowers are bitter and mucilaginous. The chief constituents are mucilage, bitter extractive, tannic acid, colouring-matter, salts, and woody fibre. The watery infusion becomes of a dark green and turbid appearance on the addition of a solution of sesquichloride of iron. Its properties may easily be inferred from the above statement ; they are demulcent, slightly astringent, tonic, and expectorant. Its name both in Greek and Latin proves the estimation in which it was held as a means of relieving cough—a reputation which it does not maintain in modern times among professional observers, except a very few; but with the vulgar it is still in great esteem.