Sunday, January 17, 2010

Picture Contest- Week 8- January 17, 2010

Welcome to week 8 of the picture contest.
We are about at the half way point in the contest and we now have much cold weather behind us.
You have picked some good pictures and there are more to come.

But before we go direct to the contest let me add a serious note. (Most of you know that I do this every once in a while.) As everyone knows there was the devastating earthquake in Haiti this week. They had so little to begin with, and now so many people are struggling to just survive.
Since the earthquake struck and the pictures started coming through, just about every time I turn around, I have been struck how much we stuff we have. We have so much more than we need. Nowhere was this more apparent than at the grocery store. We have hundreds of kinds of fruit juice or beer or toilet paper or,…., I could go on.
If you look at television even for a few minutes, you realize how completely removed we are from the devastation in Haiti. (or anything else for that matter.) Our existence seems designed to escape, whether it is through sports, dramas, or reality shows, most with commercials for all those items we really don’t need.

So what do you do with all that? How do you react? You can ignore it. You could be consumed with it. You can’t give away all your money or possessions because there is the rent to pay or the mortgage or payroll to meet. If it is not one thing, it is another.
Can you enjoy anything without thinking of people without water, or medical care?

So what do I do with a picture contest or a garden that produces no food?
I think I must strive for a balance. (Is that deep or what?) I have to look at Haiti, along with all the other subjects that I might want to avoid (or that someone wants you to avoid.) I have to do what I can to help, including making what contributions I can afford. And I have to do my work, which I can hope contributes to some greater good.
I should make the world better in some small way. If that means letting people have some pleasure from looking at garden pictures, do it. If it means planting a pretty flower that people will enjoy, do it.
Maybe that pleasure will make it easier for either myself or the other people, to do all that harder stuff. I don’t know.
I do know that there are many people directly trying to help. Our daughter Katie, who works for the Episcopal Relief and Development Office in New York, left for the Dominican Republic yesterday to help coordinate their relief effort in Haiti. Her organization does the immediate relief work. But they also will continue with the work of rebuilding. Katie learned about that part of the job in New Orleans.
If you are able to contribute to Katie’s work, the link is

Back to the garden.

In last week’s contest, it was about the best four way contest ever.
Shirley, the tulip, was the winner, but only just barely.
The full voting was
Shirley the tulip 24
Columbine 19
Yellow orchid cactus 17
Red Poppy 16
Total votes 76
The red poppy finished fourth but got 21%.
But there are winners and then there are non-winners. Only Shirley will advance to the next round in a month.
This week the pictures are a good group.

The first picture is a close-up of a daylily, probably San Ignacio, one of the more photogenic daylilies. This picture lets you follow the color change as you dive into the center of the flower. Sometime I will have the all close-up contest. Think about a match between this picture and the yellow orchid cactus from last week.

The second picture is a morning glory. I discovered these fractured colored morning glories this past year. I have already ordered more seed.

This next daylily is Ram. It represents the color yellow this week. And my but it is yellow. Click on the picture and make it big. Isn’t it interesting how the color yellow is different from the color gold. This is yellow.

The final picture is a purple orchid called a vanda. I thought this variety was difficult to grow. It is proving me wrong. This one rebloomed in the summer, just hanging in the trees.

There you have this weeks contestants. Enjoy them and I hope they help in achieving the balance we all need, particularly in the winter.

For your bonus enjoyment this week there is an entire Special post, right below this one, featuring the white flowers in the garden, throughout the year.



Miriam said...

In addition to bringing pleasure to people, gardening creates habitat for diverse wildlife, and is helpful in getting rainwater purified and back into the ground instead of dumped all at once into streams.

I'm praying for Katie.

Judith said...

Some pleasure, some reminder that creation is beautiful and good, must be a good thing.
by the way--is it my imagination, or does vanda have the visual equivalent of an outie belly button?