Tag Archives: flowers

Bees on our White Lavender

11 Jul

Every year, dozens of bees and bumblebees are collecting nectar and pollen on our white lavender. Now is that time again. The above photo was a lucky shot. My lens is not really suited for macro photography. But in this image all the details of the insect are clearly visible, whereas the surrounding has a nice bokeh effect, created by motion blur and depth of field. So here we go, another bee joins the “flower devils” photo series.

Foetid Devil

8 Mar

Foetid Devil

Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum), on Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus) flower

-> Flower Devils

Harvest Circles and other Compositions

30 Dec
Fungi collection, 2013

Fungi collection, 2013

Find updated the site’s Art section, to which has been added amongst others a new page for “assemblage” works, which includes old and new pieces.

Assemblage is an artistic process. In the visual arts, it consists of making three-dimensional or two-dimensional artistic compositions by putting together found objects.

Usually this refers to fixed creations constructed from various elements, which may or may not be movable. I am expanding the term as I also group temporarily assembled objects into that category. You find there for example my “Harvest Circle” series and various other loose compositions, which are put together only for the moment of the photo and later re-used for other purposes. E.g. the dried herbs, fungi and flowers may be utilized by Occvlta jewellery in the creation of unique pendants and artefacts. Yet these temporary works have a point and meaning of their own and may talk to the viewer in different ways. Technically these could be considered still lifes, however I feel the elements are literally assembled, and the process and style of the compositions are closer to assemblage than classical still life.

Central to the work are the dried (and dead) parts of plants, from seed to root, from flower to fruit and everything in between. Usually the material is derived from plants I have grown and harvested by myself. Hence another working title for these compositions is “Dead & Arranged”. Below are some more examples.

In the future I consider doing fixed assemblages in the manner pictured, however I am still researching techniques and materials.

Christmas Rose

14 Nov

“Then he who is about to dig out the plant turns to the East and prays that it may be accounted lawful for him to do this and that the gods may grant him permission.” – Pliny the Elder

Folklore: East is where the sun rises and considered to be the place in heaven where the good spirits dwell. According to Christian tradition the dead are buried facing East, which is the direction from which Jesus is believed to arrive on the day of the resurrection in order to take them with him into the kingdom of heaven. But already before the Christian custom pagans would bury their dead so they would face the rising sun.

“One part hellebore with as much artemisia placed beneath a diamond gives animosity and audacity, guards the members [of the wearer] and makes victorious over what you wish.” – Hermes Trismegistus, 15 Fixed Stars 15 Herbs 15 Stones and 15 Figures

According to Hermes Trismegistus black hellebore is attributed to the fixed star Algol, together with the diamond. Agrippa connects the plant further to Mars and places it also under the rule of Saturn:

“Hellebore is dedicated to Mars and the Head of Algol.” – Agrippa

In ritual, hellebore may be burnt for consecrating Saturnian talismans and conjuring spirits of Mars. Christwurzel is also a key herb in Faustian rites of exorcism and coercion, along with garlic and sulfur:

“Carry with you Aaronis and also Hellebore, so that he [the demon] cannot delve into you or possess you.” – Dr. Faust, Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis

The name Christmas Rose comes from its auspicious time of flower or from the Christian legend that it sprouted from a young girl’s tears fallen on the snow, when she was sad that she had no present for the Christ child in Bethlehem. Another legend tells of the goddess Freya, who rescued an abandoned child during a deadly cold winter night by transforming it into a hellebore flower. Hellebore is also a symbol of innocence. It was considered holy and believed to ward off evil spirits, help heal the black death and safe pigs from swine flu if a helleborus flower was placed on the animal’s ears.

The name hellebore is composed of the Greek word ellein = to injure and bora = food, whilst the Latin adjective niger = black, may refer to the color of the plant’s root, which is almost black when dried. The German name Nieswurz refers to its use in sneezing powders. In medieval medicine it was a cure against demonic possession. The plant has a long tradition in healing madness and epilepsy (also called the ‘divine disease’ if a person was possessed by a demon): Ovid writes in his Metamorphoses of the three daughters of king of Argos, who had been driven mad by Dionysos and were screaming and running naked all across town, being cured by the healer Melampus of Pylos with a drink of hellebore solved in milk. Hence the herb was also known by the name Melampodium. Alexander the Great on the other hand is said to have died of an overdose of medication containing hellebore. During the Siege of Kirrha 585 BC, the Greek were said to have poisoned the city’s water supply with hellebore and waited until the enemy was too weak to be able to defend it any longer due to the diarrhea caused by the plant’s poison.

Pliny the Elder mentions the existence of an opposite to the Black Hellebore (Helleborus niger), with the ‘White Hellebore’ or ‘False Helleborin’ (the plant referred to is probably Veratrum album).

Beloved Green

3 Sep

Some impressions from our garden as summer is coming to an end… it was raining a lot as of late and temperatures have been dropping below 10°C at night. I am busy almost every day, collecting herbs, seeds and flowers for different purposes. My room is thus looking like an extension of our garden… full of herbs hung up or laid out for drying.

Back in Green

23 Apr

Spent all day in the garden, weeding, cleaning and preparing containers, pricking and repotting and doing this year’s first herb harvest! Due to the mild winter and early spring the green are exploding and everything seems to be one month ahead. Our cherry tree has already flowered, the apple tree is in full bloom as well as the lilac. The meadow is white with daisies and cuckoo flowers and the sweet woodruff is already flowering. The new additions to the garden planted last year are blossoming. But there are also some ‘wild’ additions, such as the common lungwort, which I spotted growing wild now on our meadow and which has been known as a medicinal herb for centuries. Below are some recent impressions of the Green and our garden. You see what has become of the seedlings I had posted a few weeks ago…


Above: the bed in half-shade, which we dug out and manured with fresh compost soil last year – before weed had taken over the whole place, so we removed about half a meter soil, strained it and laid foil around everything. Now it’s filled with plants for study and pleasure. I start to worry though it may soon be too packed!

Below: a bed left wild and overgrowing; forget-me-not and hyacinths have found a new place there admidst ground elder unconquered. All attempts to weed it out were futile. Therefore I learned it has also some benific qualities and now would actually be a good time for harvesting and using it fresh in cooking… Besides the sweet woodruff has been expanding not only there but this year it also started taking over the raised bed! As you can see it is overflowing and it was high time to clear it and do a first herb harvest. Lets see what to do with all the woodruff and wormwood! Well, the latter I already know what to use it for… There is also our lilac tree blooming by the compost, spreading its sweet scent.

And there is also the lungwort, which I look forward to study more…

Hellebores

14 Mar

sometimes these flowers are in my dreams

and the world is inside of a hellebore

my vision is that of a bug and these plants occur like giants

I observe the juices pulse inside of stems and leaves

I see every vein

I see flowers opening and unfolding

I love all their colors and shapes

just like the bees feed on them at a time

when other resources are yet scarce

sometimes in dream I hear them

move and unfurl

not so little froglings

so-called roses in the snow

stigmata the tips of serpent tongues

roots the dread head of Medusa

in my hand

eyes are

beneath are

diamonds

Golden October

23 Oct

Golden October is finally here! I’ll enjoy the last warm autumn days working outdoors on my boxes and pentacles. What are you up to?

Recent Flickr

1 Sep

flickr-aug2013
flickr-aug20132

My Flickr this month – lots of colorful flower photos!

‘Lavender Bee’ featured in July’s Caprice Magazine

22 Aug

‘Lavender Bee’ featured in Caprice Magazine #16 http://www.capricemag.com

My snapshot of a bee collecting nectar from lavender bushes featured in July’s Caprice Magazine together with other amazing photography http://www.capricemag.com

Besides, the e-version of the magazine is available for free download this month!