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Posts Tagged ‘vines’

autumn through living room window

Sometimes, even when sunny skies beckon, we still have to stay indoors.  Sometimes it’s because there’s house or office work to be done.  Other times, it’s because we’re sick.  Such is the case with me this week with a diagnosis of pneumonia.

From behind glass, there’s still much to see of nature outside.  Trees continue to change colour and some of the vines on the house have turned red and pink.  They adorn the edges of the living room window.  There’s no time like the present to appreciate them as the wind will soon blow them all away.  In the summer months, they make drapes in the window unnecessary and bring nature’s colours up close.

second storey vines

Vines can also be seen from one of the second storey windows.  Although their colours are still bright through the screen, they’re even prettier seen from the outdoors, as in the photo taken on the weekend. 

leaves through front door windowSilhouettes of leaves can be seen trembling in the wind through the glass of the front door’s window as well.  By the time witches and goblins show up at the door in a couple of weeks, they’ll be all gone.

I’ve been so accustomed to stepping outdoors several times a day.  There is something about fresh air and sunshine that makes us feel better just by being outdoors. 

So why do we tend to stay in when we’re sick?  I wonder if perhaps we would recover more quickly outdoors.  The challenge would be to not engage in too much tiring activity. 

From the kitchen window I can see a large snowshoe hare that’s decided to come close.  Its ears are perked and it’s sitting just below the window, posed perfectly still for a photograph.   Sometimes, when you can’t go out into nature, nature knows, and comes to you.

hare from window

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green window
The living room window is covered with a curtain of green vines at this time of year.  I feel like I am looking out into the world from the shelter of a forest cover of green.  The layers of Boston Ivy leaves insulate the house from the outdoor heat during these summer months. Later in the autumn, they’ll turn a brilliant red.

To humans, the green wood element refreshes the spirit in springtime and provides food in the summer and fall.   It represents growth and life, attracting and nurturing living creatures within its environment.

If I keep a green bough in my heart,
the singing bird will come.
~ Chinese proverb

wood montage

This montage of images from our scavenger hunt shows how beautiful wood is in all its stages of growth and decay: from young seedling or shoot, to leaf and fruit laden bush or tree, to aged tree stump and driftwood found along the seashore.  It can be pliable but also sturdy.  The wood element thrives with water, is harmed by metal, destroyed by fire and draws its strength from the earth.

Montage images were taken from the Midsummer’s Scavenger Hunt.

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dragon claws

Every spring, the leaf tips emerge on the Boston ivy vine that now covers much of the house.  The tips are bright red and as they are attached to a finger-like sequence of nodules (one for each year the tip has produced a leaf), they always remind me of dragon claws.  The vine branches may be grey and gnarly-looking during the winter and early spring, but soon sprout to life. 

The transformation is nothing less than magical…

Boston ivy vines in summer

Boston ivy vines in summer

The vines keep the house cool in the summer by providing an extra space where air can be trapped between the walls and the leaves.  Leaves also hang across the top and along the frame of the living room window, providing a natural valance that filters the glare of the sun in the late afternoons.  Small birds will often hang on the vines. One year, a bird’s nest was made on the window ledge behind the leaves.

In the fall, the leaves turn a brilliant red and then pink, providing a beautiful tapestry over the grey brick and white siding.  The color is spectacular.

This vine was planted about 12 years ago.  A similar vine was planted on the other side of the house about 8 years ago and is slowly beginning to bring to life a bare wall of vinyl siding.  I don’t think I’ve ever planted anything that’s enhanced the appearance of my home as much as these vines.

Boston ivy vines in autumn

Boston ivy vines in autumn

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