Monday, August 17, 2009

sunflower, crack, contrast

Posted by PicasaOne of the bronze sunflowers which I sowed in the spring for cutting and have been cutting for the last few days, on the point of opening.
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While in the vegetable garden I hear a cracking sound behind me, louder than an air gun quieter than a rifle shot. It is a hazel nut falling onto the paving. The ground under the hazel trees is littered with nutshells, which squirrels, every year, open and discard. What the silly animals have failed to realize, from generation to generation, is that invariably the shells are empty, because they open them before there has been time for them to mature. Had this nut survived their predations? No such luck: it too was barren. It will be another month before the "cob nuts" a name local to Kent and Sussex will be ready and on sale in the Farmers' Market. I don't blame the squirrels for their optimistic attacks. The nuts, when they are ready, have a white and creamy texture which is remarkable and addictive, once you have tasted them.
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My preference on the whole is for white and green in a garden, with a minimum of hot colours. But today when cutting flowers in the vegetable garden, I am struck by the bold clash of colours which occur when I place some nasturtiums next to a purple dahlia. I think of the abstract, majestic oblongs of contrasting colours, which the great American painter, Rothko places side by side on his simple, mystical canvases.

5 comments:

marja-leena said...

We have a hazelnut tree and have never managed to get a nut from it for ourselves. Just yesterday we were noticing the pile of litter around the tree. We picked two off the tree, one was hollow one and the other had an immature nut, so we learned there must be some nuts being formed. We thought the squirrels might be smart enough to know which are which but you suggest otherwise, hmmm... Do you put a net over your tree? We're thinking we need to net our plum tree for they keep picking and tossing those as well!

Plutarch said...

These trees are too big to net and anyway they do not belong to me. Every year the squirrels begin to open them in July when no kernals could possibly have formed. If it were not for the squirrels there would be a vast crop. I have often wondered what the local farmers who have cob nut orchards do to deter squirrels. I fear that it is something pretty violent.

This year is a good year for plums by all accounts.

herhimnbryn said...

Am home-sick for cob nuts now.

Barrett Bonden said...

Thanks for your pointer as to the worth of Rothko. I've always wondered whether the texture of the paint on the canvas was as important as anything else with him.

Plutarch said...

It seems to me that with Rothko, it is the overall impact of the colours, their textures (certainly) but more important the borders between the blocks of colour and their contrasting tonal effect. They colours often seem to shimmer, and looking at them you find that the size of the pictures as well builds up into something grippingly harmonious that seems to vibrate in the two dimensional space. As difficult to talk about as music but I will refrain from extending the comparision, as some do, any further.