Monday, 2 January 2012

from an Austin garden

Happy new year and greetings from Austin, Texas! I wanted to share these photographs, taken on the first day of 2012, of my dad's garden (they call it a "yard" out here). It is such a peaceful, beautiful place. While the little one was napping I went out beneath the warm winter sun to take photos in the hope of capturing something of the atmosphere...
The live oak leaves cover the ground; I love their colours. I sat on the swing bench and listened to the grackles squawking and the wind hushing through the palm leaves.
 My dad and his wife have made a garden with a lot of local trees, grasses and plants, so it's green and lush but adapted to the dry climate.
 I love their big old limestone slabs. The little one loves to jump across them.
 Everything looks beautiful in the sunshine, right? It is doing me good to be here in the middle of winter and look up at a deep blue sky. This is the 3rd time I've been out here for new year (last time was 4 years ago) and I find it a very serene place to begin a year.
I love to look upwards from the swing. The leaves are very late on the Sycamore this year.
In the bright sun everything goes into shadow and light, and all the surfaces - stones, fences, benches - are warm.
Back at home in the UK, the Autumn leaves have long since been rained into mush. I love the way the dryness preserves them here.
And I love the way they get tangled up in the fronds of ferns and palms, shapes and colours contrasting.
And there are cacti, of course, like a little family or group of mini sculptures by the steps up to the main house.
I hope I can keep these colours, shapes and sounds with me when I get back home. I may need to call upon them on particularly dark, damp, cold days.

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