A Box of Tulips

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I picked up a box of tulip bulbs during the Christmas holidays.

I brought the box home and set it on a counter in the kitchen.

I didn’t much like the color of the buds or the anemic foliage.

At first.

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While I wasn’t paying attention, they began to open rapidly.

I could hardly believe it.

I never had tulips so I didn’t realize that they open and close depending on the amount of light.

Within a very short time, they opened so far

I thought they would wilt within the hour.

I was astounded.

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In order to keep them from melting,

I moved them to the cold porch

where they closed for the night.

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They continued to open each morning and close each evening

for several weeks.

I began to enjoy the ritual opening and closing.

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Mr. Anole found his way onto the porch and

hung out near the box of blossoms

until I captured him in a towel and put him outside on the lilies.

Mr. Anole gets into lots of trouble around here.

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After several weeks of vigorous display, the blossoms slowly began to fade.

They were unable to close completely in the waning afternoon light,

but they tried very hard to keep up the “ballet”

as I came to view their movements.

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The dance of death began.

At that point, I knew that a normal person would have discarded them.

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But, there was just something lovely about their final stage.

As the pedals shriveled and lost their strength,

They took on a deeper, more jewel-like tone.

It was as if the color concentrated as the petals shriveled.

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Their dying took on a metaphorical significance.

I began to watch them closely each day and to photograph their demise.

This one only had strength sufficient to raise one petal.

It reminded me of the high-back “fireplace” chairs of the 1800’s.

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One graceful arm curved

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as she relaxed her body, folded her petals, and sank into the final bow.

Ah, but I will remember her lovely dance.

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A Swan Song to rival the the grace and power of Anna Pavlova, herself.

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A box of tulips at Walgreens?

$12.99

The magic?

Priceless.

πŸ™‚

146 Comments on “A Box of Tulips

  1. Unbelievably lovely post, George! I’ve passed your way before but neglected to linger. My loss! Ad in Paradise pointed me in the right direction today, so good for her πŸ™‚
    Those tulips are incredible- more like lilies really! Mine never last more than a few days.

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    • Hi, Jo. Thanks for stopping by to visit. I used to follow you, I know because I recall the Gravatar. I have no idea what happened to my peeps! I re-followed just now so hopefully I will see you in my Reader. Thanks for letting me know you are here. πŸ™‚

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      • WordPress does like to play with us sometimes. I think I follow about 250 people but I regularly see only a proportion of these in my Reader. The others I have to hunt down (sounds evil πŸ™‚ ) Impossible to keep up but fun trying? Many thanks for your company.

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  2. Love tyhe fact that you didn’t throw them away when they started fading. Society is doing that with basically everything (and everyone!) else. You tokk some nice photos and gave these tulips a life online. I put some white flowers (I think it was tulips) out in the snow once. Fantastic result!

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    • Thank you. I always have a camera on my screen porch where the tulips were so it was handy for me to snap them periodically. I’m glad you liked them. Thanks for visiting so many of my posts. I appreciate that. πŸ™‚

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  3. These shots are unbelievably good :). I love your background photo as well. It feels like entering some mysterious jungle.

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    • Thank you, Paula. If you like any of them, please feel free to download to use any way that you like. If you want a higher resolution, I’ll be glad to email it to you. I appreciate your visit and your kind comment. I haven’t seen your blog, but if you’d like a B/W version of the palm background, I’ll be happy to send it to you. πŸ™‚

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      • You are such a generous soul, George πŸ™‚ I really appreciate the offer. I will have to have another look and make a pick. I would love your palm background, but I would not feel comfortable using it on my blog, maybe just on my computer desktop. You are sweet. Thank you, George.

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        • Hey, my purpose here is to make you smile just as I smiled when I looked through the lens. Take anything you like. We can share the happy all around! πŸ™‚ I’m chuckling here because I understand that most folks are protective of their images. I have collected artists’ work for a lifetime. I never considered it mine. These photos are simply images of what I see. It makes me really happy to share what I see with you. πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you so much, Colline. You are too kind. I appreciate your taking the time to visit and to leave such a nice comment. I’ve finally got my email notices of posts stopped and am relying on my Reader. I am hopeful that I won’t miss posts now. πŸ™‚ Tell your daughter that I appreciate her appraisal of my photos too.

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  4. excellent set of photos, I love tulips. I always think of them as debutantes on a night out, they start out beautifully perfect and as time goes on and a few drinks later they slowly open out, get more relaxed and in the end flop over, a little elegantly disheveled but still beautiful to the end. Just as your photos show so well.

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    • Hi, Mike. Thanks for stopping by for a visit. I’m glad you liked the photographs of my tulips. I never had tulips before so I was surprised and delighted to watch them open and close for so long before they began to fade. Then, I think I enjoyed them even more as I realized how beautiful they were in their last days. Thank you again. I appreciate your visit. πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks, Totsy. I was amazed by what I saw as they dried. I never had tulips that weren’t in cut-flower arrangements. I will fetch them home again when I see them. πŸ™‚ I like your new Gravatar and the new look on your blog. Nice. Yes.

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  5. these images are spactacular…you are an amazing photographer George…what camera and leses you use if you don’t me asking πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you, Kavita. I use a Nikon D5100 with an Nikkor 18-200mm lens for most of my photos.
      I have a Panasonic Lumix LX5 with a fixed Leica lens that I use some of the time. I recommend the little Lumix because it is cheap, has a fixed lens, has great auto features that are easy to use, and it has built-in image stabilization. The white balance is great and you can set it for all light conditions so you don’t get that yellow tint in photos. It has a great macro setting too.
      I like the Nikon because it is bigger and heavier and I have several lens that I like to use. The photos are the same quality with either camera.
      Thank you for visiting so many of my posts. I appreciate that. And thank you for your kind comment! πŸ™‚

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      • Hi George…I am looking at cameras at the moment so its always good to have some idea before going to buy one…thanks a lot again…although its not the camera that gives u good picture but the photographer..but still its good to have good one in the first place at times πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you, Lynn. Their life cycle was interesting to watch, and I almost liked them better as they faded. The colors kind of “condensed” so that I came to think of them in a metaphorical sense. I appreciate your stopping by to visit! πŸ™‚

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    • Yes, Mr. Anole has been around for a long time. He gets into the porch often so I have to rescue him. (Of course, I refer to all the lizards in the garden as “Mr. Anole”.) I love those little Anole lizards. I never saw them until we moved to Texas where I fell in love with them. They are mostly green, but change color depending on where they sit. Thank you for stopping by to visit, Jennifer! πŸ™‚

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  6. This is the post I was looking for! I saw it on my reader while we were in Florida on vacation, and it was amazing how the small screen of my phone didn’t detract from the beauty of your story. Heck, this wasn’t a story, it was an absolute masterpiece! I have trouble commenting sometimes using my phone, so I decided to wait so I could enjoy the tulip ballet on my computer, then of course I couldn’t find it, then voila! I enjoyed this so much, George. Beautifully written, and I enjoyed your lighthearted humor woven between the lines. I’d like an encore, please!!

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    • Elisa! I read this a month ago. I smiled. You always cheer and encourage me. I’m afraid I’m getting myself pegged as the “flower lady” since I seem to be always posting posies! I did enjoy these tulips … more when they began to fade, actually. I never had tulips or grew them. The cut flowers sometimes had a few in them, but the pedals just dropped off so I was never very interested in them. My mother, the master gardener, never grew them for some reason. I would like to ask her why now, of course. These were bulbs in a plastic egg-carton-like tray with water so they blossomed and had the same lifespan as they would have had in the garden. You would enjoy having a box of them since they open and close of weeks. Not too many common things surprise me at my age, but damn if these didn’t. πŸ˜‰ You’ve been away again! Soon, I’m going to think of you as a world traveler. I was delighted to read that you and your husband had such a good vacation together. Make the moments that you can steal count, Elisa. They are too few. However, some of the best times that Dean and I shared were during the 18 months before his death. We knew that he was dying, but surprisingly that was not the sad time that you’d think. I suppose because we were both old enough and had been long in the game, we just sat back and enjoyed the time. Finally, we had “time” and we knew the limits of it. In some ways, this post was for him. πŸ™‚

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  7. ahhhh….. The dance of life. You captured it beautifully — words, photos, soul….

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    • I don’t know how I missed this, Celia. I am enjoying the freshness of your view of Chicago. Sometimes, I happen onto a blog whose title and content stick in my head clearly. Yours did from the first. Thank you for stopping in to visit. I’m glad you liked the story of my box of tulips! πŸ™‚ Only an old woman with the leisure to focus on such details would enjoy “wilted” flowers! πŸ™‚

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  8. Thank you for an interesting view of tulips. Like many others, I will look at them differently now. And I especially enjoyed seeing your little lizard. I had a little gecko once as a pet, he had been rescued from the jaws of a dog, and I was very fond of him. As it was against the law to keep him I eventually, reluctantly, called the authorities and he went off, happily I hope, to a breeding facility.

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    • Thank you for the visit! I just read about Bahrain, the kiwi harvest and your new grandson. Congratulations! Yours is a highly interesting blog, I must say. I call every Anole lizard who appears “Mr. Anole” and regard each one as THE original Mr. Anole. I love those little green lizards. They are pretty with their changing colors and totally harmless. They eat mosquitoes too. I had no idea that geckos were illegal to keep in any country. I wonder why that is. He had fun and was well-fed during his visit with you, I am certain. πŸ™‚ Come back to visit any time. I enjoyed the visit to your blog too.

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  9. I wish i could give you ten starts for this wonderful post, George. Wonderful captures and thoughts. You really had your ‘money’s worth’ out of these beautiful flowers. In future, whenever I see tulips, I shall remember this post. πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you, Sylvia! I’m happy that you enjoyed the tulips too. Yes, I certainly got my money’s worth of enjoyment from those tulips. The hardest part was convincing Irma, the housekeeper, that I actually wanted to keep dried tulips! I don’t think she saw the same thing I saw. πŸ™‚ I appreciate your stopping in for a visit. I really do.

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  10. A stunning series of the ‘ballet of life’ as you call it! You words were a fitting accompaniment George. So, so beautiful πŸ™‚

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    • Hi, Madhu! Thank you for coming for a visit! I love seeing you. I’m glad you liked my tale of the tulips. I enjoyed them. I really did.
      It seems that his summer has not been my best. It has been very hot here. I can’t seem to get my act together even to post much less to get my visits in order. There are some of you who have been my supporters since the beginning, and I always seem to neglect you! Now, that makes no sense. I think about you and tell myself that I am going to spend time on your blog, but I rarely seem to get there. I hate just dropping by to see one post and hurrying on my way. Soon. Yes, soon. I am coming for tea and a whole afternoon’s visit.

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  11. Great post – beautiful photos – I too have watched that dance, and photographed it a few times, but you really put it all together here! And little Mr. Anole putting in an appearance just topped it off.

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    • Thank you, Lynn. I was delighted to visit you and find such wonderful blooming plants with descriptions and some interesting history. I really appreciated the information. I see lots of flowers on blogs and often wonder what they are. Sometimes, I don’t know what my own are… Funny how we love to see lizards and frogs an little creatures in our gardens. It’s hard to see those tree frogs when they are so tiny. You got a very good shot of him. Thanks for stopping by for the visit. I enjoyed your comment here and your blog post too! πŸ™‚ I will be paying more attention to my reader so I don’t miss your posts!

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  12. 1) I admire your dedication in keeping the tulips alive and photographing their dance. 2) I love the vibrancy of colors in your images. 3) I really like your narrative.

    Excellent work. Thank you for sharing.

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    • Thank you, Mona! I appreciate your stopping by and leaving such a really nice comment. I enjoyed the tulips and was fascinated by the depth of the color as they dried. I’m happy that you liked my little narrative about them too! πŸ™‚

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  13. The photo fifth from the bottom actually looks like the dying bloom is made of fabric… amazingly stunning photo!
    The last photograph looks amazing too, like you just removed the stream it was flowing in… Congratulations for letting the flowers stay on long enough to show your their parting glory.

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    • Thank you. I’m glad you saw what I saw. We approach aging and dying the same in blossoms and people, I think. We fail to LOOK at either. Ah, the prejudiced visions we carry in our heads blinds us to much beauty and joy in life. Thank you for stopping by to visit and taking the time to tell me how you feel about my pictures. I appreciate that.

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    • Ah, a poem for the tulip dance. Thank you very much, Celestine. I know how pressed for time you are so your taking the time to visit and to write such a lovely tribute humbles me. Blessings.

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  14. Cheeky is very lucky.

    Oh the tulips
    poetry with photography
    i am in love with Mr. Anole ~~
    reminds of a skink which once scampered up my pants and into my pocket
    not for long, of course.

    Hello, George Weaver, thank you for the comment on my blog-post regarding Katyn.

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    • You ARE a poet in your soul, aren’t you! You made me smile. I’m always fearful that Mr. Anole will sneak onto the porch and starve before I see him. Once at the old house, I was driving down the street when I saw a young Anole kid on the hood of my car. I immediately stopped in front of a house where a man was working in his flowers. I scooped the little fellow up and took him into the yard. The man didn’t say a word as he glared at me. I waved and smiled and drove on. I knew the little lizard was too fast for the man so he’d be fine. I stopped worrying about the reactions of people like that man years ago. I am lucky to have found Mr. Cheeky. We have become fast friends. Now, if I would agree to stand at his cage door and let him scamper up onto my chest and snuggle under my chin all day, he’d be blissfully happy. πŸ™‚

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  15. I just figured out what I admire so much about your photography: you are such a patient and astute observer of life and the fullness of all of it. Thank you for keeping me awake and aware. πŸ™‚

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    • You are too kind, Lorna. I am nearsighted. In many ways other than my optic health, I’m afraid. I stumble into door frames while I’m looking at the texture of the floor! It’s a lifelong disability! πŸ™‚ Now that I no longer have pressing business responsibilities, I’m even worse. It is a true joy to have time to watch a box of tulips open and close for a month or more. The simple stuff, you know, is what makes us happy. I am fortunate to be able to enjoy life without having to wear a watch now. (Although, I do wear one out of habit). Thank you for the visit and for your generosity, Lorna.

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  16. So lovely, George! It is amazing to think that all that energy was saved and stored up inside those bulbs. I’m glad you memorialized their effort!

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    • Thanks, Lynda. I thought the same thing as I watched them. I always marvel at how bulbs support foliage and flowers since the bulbs are always so much smaller than the plants. I’m happy that you liked them and my story about them. Thanks for dropping by to visit.

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  17. Marvelous post, and I loved seeing mr Anole again. You have some really fine photography here, aside from a good story and beautiful flowers.

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    • Hello, Shimon. I have replied to all of the comments. Except yours. I’ve thought about your comment since I read it several days ago. I appreciate your honesty in evaluating my photographs. I have many photograph of the tulips. Probably better ones than I posted here, but I am disorganized and could no longer easily find them. I tried to capture what I saw in the flowers. I am happy that you think they are good. That is very encouraging to me. As you know, my tremor is difficult to work around. Your support is important to me because I know that you are a not only a fine technical photographer, but you have that “third eye” for creating honest and beautiful images. Thank you very much, Shimon.

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      • Hi there George. It takes a lot of work to keep track of pictures. It’s a bit like running a business. But your tremor should be less of a problem. If you photograph at 1/125 of a second, there should be no evidence of your tremor in the picture. The way to do that, is to shoot with a high ISO setting (if you’re shooting inside), and to use the β€˜S’ setting so that the speed of the shot is your first consideration. If you’re worried about the tremor affecting your composition, you could use a tripod. Keep up the good work.

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    • Thank you, Dear Nia! You are too kind to come to visit and leave your nice comment. I just saw some of your latest photographs in my Reader. Fine work, as usual. I hope you are well and the construction is over!

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  18. Lovely series, George – almost operatic! (and the petals look like gowns (as they go over)) And I really like the tone of your commentary. Great drama.

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    • Thank you very much, Richard. I appreciate that. The pedals reminded me of gowns too. This is the first time I observed tulips closely. I really did enjoy them for weeks. πŸ™‚

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  19. Those tulips sure had a beautiful life and in the end a beautiful death, as always your storytelling of the dance in between was both inspiring and emotional. I love it when Mr Anole makes a brief appearance, even if he does get relocated to the lillies. Your photographs have become more vivid somehow, perhaps the subject matter was trying to get its story out there, if I was a box of tulips at Walmart, I’d be wanting you to pick me too.

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    • Hello, JS. I chuckled at your empathy for the tulips stuck in the store. I felt pretty much that way when I picked up the box. They didn’t look very happy and nobody was taking them home. I am happy that you enjoy Mr. Anole too. He is a favorite around here. The tulips did develop a very deep color as if they were conserving their strength. I liked the color at the end much better than the color of the peak bloom. The depth of the color in the mature blossom made the earlier seem superficial by comparison. I really enjoyed the tulips. Thank you for your kind observations. I appreciate your stopping in and taking the time to read the story.

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  20. Pingback: Garden: Colour Variations | Dark Pines Photo

    • Thank you, Joseph. Coming from you, that’s music to me ears. Thanks, too, for including me in your last post. That’s generous of you. But, then, you’re a generous guy. And too full of information/creativegenius for me to understand half the time! πŸ˜‰

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  21. Beautifully captured senescence (love that word πŸ™‚ ). All the pictures are wonderful but I particularly like number 9, something about the way the petals are curling around. It’s a shame that our culture puts a higher value on youth. It’s amazingly satisfying to slow down and really start to look. Mindfulness is one way of describing it and you have got it in spades.

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    • Hello, Cowgirl! I love the word “senescence” too! πŸ™‚ I appreciate the kind words. When I was a young person, I often wondered why we value youth so much since it represents a short span of years. I always loved old people. (I was a geriatrics social worker years ago too) Now that I am an old person, I feel right at home! Chuckle… Thanks for stopping in to visit.

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  22. You have given us a lovely story and a botanical observation, George. As an aging crone I see my body change like your tulips but I accept and embrace it – most days! You always see the beauty around you with an interested eye. One of your best posts! The dance of beautiful. I don’t grow tulips either as it is too hot here and they seem too much trouble.

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed my photos, Jo Nell. I was surprised when I discovered that the skin on my arms had begun to lose its elasticity because the fat layer was gone. When my dad was old and very thin, he looked at his arm one day and said, “Well, Hell, I’m shrinking!” We laughed about that. I suppose we all shrivel like the tulips if we live long enough. My only response to that is to wonder what the heck the inside must be doing! πŸ™‚ Chuckle, chuckle… It is what it is. That’s how I feel about most things. And, I figure it takes far fewer neurons to look for beauty than it does to search for misery! It is some kind of hot here. The temperature gauge in my car has registered over 100 for the last few days. Thanks for stopping by for a visit. I am always delighted to see you and equally delighted to see your posts!

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    • Hi Steve! Yes, they do have a fascination all their own. I saw a flower bud just awhile ago on your blog. At first, I thought it was shriveling. Then, I realized that it was either opening or closing. It is interesting to watch the blossoms of the wildflowers and plants that grow here. I am always surprised that you find such a tremendous variety of them and present them in such dramatic and positive ways. You must spend half your life crawling around in fire ants! πŸ™‚ Seriously, your work is important, I think. And beautiful too. If you had lived in the 1700’s or 1800’s, you’d have produced the same work in botanical drawings. It truly is amazing photography.

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      • Thanks for your encouragement, George. One purpose of my blog is to make people aware of how many native species we have and how varied they are; from that flows an implicit (and sometimes explicit) appeal for greater preservation of our natural world. To that end, or just by predilection, I try to present my subjects in an aesthetic way: that’s my contribution, the value that I add, given that I have no known talent for drawing or painting.

        Yes, I do spend a lot of time on the ground (though not usually crawling once I’m there), and I end up with some fire ant bites each year, but chiggers are a worse problem.

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        • Have you published any of your work with the plants? You should think about that if you haven’t. I don’t think there is anybody who has done the kind of research and cataloging of Texas plants that you’ve done. And most certainly not as beautifully. And what a “value added” your work is, Steve.

          My grandmother swore that wrapping kerosene-soaked rags around your wrists and ankles kept chiggers off. Of course, it probably burns the skin off too… I never saw her actually do that. πŸ™‚

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          • I’ve had articles in the magazines Texas Highways and Wildflower. A few years ago I tried in vain to interest any publishers, including the university ones in Texas that are the natural constituency for what I’m doing. Maybe if I wrap kerosene-soaked rags around their heads they’ll come to their senses.

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    • Charlene! I was just thinking about you yesterday and wondering what you were doing. I don’t see you much anymore. At least, I don’t think I do. My inbox and Reader had me pretty much stymied and confused, but now I think I have things simplified so I can find you. πŸ˜‰ I hope all is well there. Knowing your penchant for getting into trouble, I’m afraid to ask… Thanks for visiting the errant granny!

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      • Dear George, I was delighted to hear from you :-)! I went overseas again in April/May for 42 days. I had a ball! My friends dubbed it Mishaps, Mayhem and Misadventures of a Middle-aged Minx though :-)! All sorts of things happened to me. I must get down to writing more about it all!
        I have been crafting like crazy since my return. Thoroughly enjoying it all. Some are posted on the blog, but I will get more up soon I hope.
        We have adopted another fawn, a grey Duiker, female, that has been names Bigwig by my 5 year-old Grandie. She is settling down, but we’re having tummy trouble. So beautiful!
        We also have another kitten. Gorgeous, fluffy cream colour with amber eyes, named Mavis by the same young man. πŸ™‚
        Bkess you love, looking forward to seeing more of you x

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  23. This is the best thing you have ever done George. The pictures are stunning….beyond beautiful and your observation so poignant and touching. I am afraid there are too many in our world who throw out the tulips of life at the first hint of a struggle to open and close. How sad for them to miss the beauty of those final dances. I have been asked many times why I would volunteer so many times to care for the dying patients in our ICU….my answer was always….”…death is as beautiful as birth, and the joy of life is always an honor to share.”

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    • Ah, Sue, the beautiful soul you have. What you say is true. What you do is important. In the end, that’s what matters. Your loyalty is your defining characteristic. The Sue-no-matter-what girl. Thank you, my friend.

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  24. Lovely dance, George. I am so glad you captured it and shared it with us. That we all should end in such grace and beauty when our time comes.

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    • Hi, Judy. Thanks for dropping by to visit. We’re all in the process of leaving. We just turn our faces away and avert our eyes from a stage of life that is as beautiful as all the others. Perhaps, one day we will come to appreciate death and dying as just another stage of life from which we can draw wisdom and strength and joy. I’m glad you enjoyed the dance. Thank you.

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    • As tulip stories, go, huh? The competition probably ain’t that stiff in Tulip Story Land. You’re my favorite funnygirl, you know. Get yourself a box of tulips next time you see them at Walgreens. You’ll like watching them open and close. Heck, when they finally die, they’ll probably visit in your dreams too! Thanks, RoSy, my loyal supporter.

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    • Hello, Farmer. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you.
      I was just at the farm last evening reading about your camera and all kinds of fascinating stuff. Good grief. Your head is stuffed with such interesting info. Didn’t know you still taught. Are you near to Lemony? What college? I’m going to catch up now that I straightened out my Reader and inbox. Hopeful, yes. Successful, we’ll see. πŸ˜‰ Your photography is superb, you know.

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    • The tulips reminded me so very clearly of that, WJ. Judy? Why did that name enter the foggy brain this morning? Dunno’. Yes, each stage of life is beautiful, but the final stages are a quieting-of-the-soul time, I think. Lovely in a way that a dark pond is lovely in the evening hours. The white noise is gone. The distractions are brushed away. The essence is palpable. I was a geriatrics social worker many years ago. I found a quiet certainty in the voices and a kind of distillation of all that is significant in the lives of the old people who were my clients. When I left the profession, I found myself feeling out-of-balance as if I’d lost my moorings. I never quite regained that sense of balance until I found myself old. Now, I understand what I only sensed when I was a young social worker. It is what it is, WJ, and we come to be easy with that.
      Thank you for the visit and for your kind words.

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  25. I have a row of tulips planted along my fence line and I always enjoy them! (Great photographs and commentary!) I love your blog, George.

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    • I am so glad you like it here, WH! I like it at your place too. πŸ™‚ I never planted tulips. It’s too hot for them here. I really did enjoy these though. I had to warn Irma not to throw out the box when they began to look like something normal folks would throw out. ;-/ Thanks for always stopping in for a visit, WH. Means a lot.

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      • That’s why you are so good, George! You find the beauty in unexpected places.

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        • Hey, it is what it is, but we keep a sense of humor about us. You are my inspiration in the finding the positives peeking out of most corners. And you let the rest just roll on off. Most young people can’t manage that, you know.

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    • Thank you, Carissa. I’m glad you liked the tulip story. I really did enjoy the tulips. I appreciate your encouraging words too. Thanks for stopping in to visit and leaving such a nice comment.

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  26. George, I like your photos and I like your words – I can just imagine you speaking them – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this post! You have a wonderful way of looking at and talking about things. Adrian

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    • Thank you, Adrian. I think we see what we expect to see colored by what we are conditioned to see. As Vonnegut said, “It is what it is”., and that’s kind of the way I see things. I’ve always found that there is beauty in everything. At least, there is generally some redeeming characteristic in most things. We idolize youth and avert our eyes from old age and death. That is sad to me. I often wonder where that will lead us. Now that I am old, I suppose I’m happily on my way to Tulip Land. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for stopping in to visit and for leaving such an encouraging comment. You are a decent sort, Adrian. I enjoy you and your work very much.

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    • Hello, Ogee. You know, I thought about drying them and storing them in the refrigerator for next Christmas. I should have done that. I forget how to do it, but it would have easy to discover. Next time, I will. Thank you for always stopping by to visit my little stories. Not many folks would return time after time with little reciprocation. You gotta’ be a fine fellow. πŸ˜‰ Thank you.

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    • Thank you, Kenn. I think I finally have the luxury of time to pay attention to the detail of things that only struck me in passing when I was younger. I am a tunnel-vision person. I stumble into door frames looking at the interesting cracks in the floor! πŸ™‚ I’m glad you liked my little saga.

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      • I did something tragic to my blog configuration so that the gallery no longer works correctly. Sigh. I have to find out what I staggered around and broke. Thanks for the comments. I did find them. πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you, Lemony. Your enjoyment of the photographs makes me happy. I loved the effort to tell the tulip story. There were so many photographs. And, I enjoyed every one. It’s not surprising to me that I would spend so much time studying the life of the tulips and trying to interpret it with my camera. As I grow older, I feel a sort of connection to their story, a shared kind of distillation within myself that I only observed when I was much younger. A silencing of the noise, I suppose. Perhaps a kind of fractured cognition? I only know that it is comfortable like an old sweater.

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      • Fractured cognition. Hmmm. I don’t know… it seems more like a more disciplined and intentional thinking to me: you’re focusing on meaningful and beautiful things. I like the thought of a silencing of the noise very much; that is precisely what photography does for me.

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  27. It’s really difficult to do meaning botanical photography but somehow you manage. I especially like the shots with critters in the composition.

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    • I like my critters too. Mr. Anole is a fixture here. I’m glad you liked the photos. Appreciate the visit and the kind comment too. πŸ™‚

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  28. I think this is really incredible! The photography is beautiful, as always but I felt the “unsaid” part too. I hope we can continue with the lovely “dance” and die as gracefully too!

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    • It is said that we die the way we lived. That being the case, mine might be a loud affair without a helluva’ lot of conventional dignity! πŸ™‚ As Kaye Campbell said, I just hope I don’t whine. As far as I know, she didn’t. I’m glad you liked the photographs. There was something really beautiful about the blossoms as they dried. Thanks.

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    • Thank you, Meredith. I’m glad you liked it. I appreciate the visit too. You are always into such great adventures. That fascinates me. I loved your last black and white images. Especially the pigeon. Of course. I would love the birds, wouldn’t I? I hope you find the perfect place in Brisbane and have a good trip. πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you, Stephen. I’m happy that you like them. Your endorsement is high praise. Thanks for stopping by for the visit and leaving such a nice comment. I appreciate that.

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  29. What a brilliant sequence of the event s of a flower.. at the same time being an education to me never having studied or for that matter watched the growth flowering or fading of the tulip… brilliant post absolutely brilliant photography as well… loved the colours depicted…

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    • Well, Rob! You are mighty generous. Thank you very much. I was absolutely fascinated by this box of silly tulips. During the course of many weeks, I came to know them intimately. πŸ˜‰ I did enjoy them. I appreciate your comments. And you visit too. Thank you. And, you know how I marvel at your wildlife photography!

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    • Buy a box of tulip bulbs. Add water to keep the bulbs wet and the blossoms will open and close for many weeks. I bought these at Christmas and they were still opening and closing until at least the middle of January. I had no idea that they opened and closed either. My mother never planted them so I didn’t plant them either. I never really thought they were interesting until I had this experience with them. I was fascinated. Of course, I am easily entertained, you know. I liked them a much at the end as I did when they were at their peak. Thanks for stopping by, Victor. I always look for you when I host my little parties here. πŸ˜‰

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  30. I don’t think I ever much liked tulips until I read a poem that spoke of the same ballet you’ve captured here; it made me look again at what I’d always seen as regimented soldierly flowers. Sometimes other people’s words and pictures shed new light and challenge our preconceptions. Thank you for these glorious photos.

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    • You know, I agree with your description of tulips, absolutely. I always wondered about the apparent fascination with tulips. I associated them with Holland and Delft pottery from my childhood.. I know… πŸ˜‰ I was an avid gardener for many years both in NC and here in Texas where bulbs of most kinds have to be taken up, refrigerated and replanted annually. Well, that doesn’t work for me. My mother was a wonderful gardener, but she never planted tulips in NC either so I didn’t pay attention to them. I’ve had cut stems in bouquets over the years, but the petals seemed to drop before any of the other blossoms in the bouquet. I have no idea why I bought this box. I did not like the red/orange color of the buds, and I wondered when I got home with them… Must have been some odd Christmas spirit thing that led me to rescue the box from that shelf of withering tulips. I had to wait in line. That’s the explanation! Ah, yes. Thank you for stopping in to visit. I am delighted that you see what I see.

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      • This is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve marveled at the art form created by the shriveling tulips. Amazing! This is also the 1st time I’ve found where to post my comments. Firefox has been giving me fits and I’ve just switched to Comodo Dragon and here I am posting! πŸ˜€ I don’t know if you used the Nikon or the Pany to capture these tulips, but they’re wonderful. The anole on the screen is a great shot too!

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