Thursday, March 23, 2017

Paperwhites



The inevitable finally happened...my paperwhites fell over.  A couple weeks ago my neighbors gave me some paperwhite bulbs  (thank you Pat & Terri!).  I dutifully put them in a low, wide vase with some rocks so their base would touch the water.  And sure enough, the next day they had sprouted some serious roots.  And about three days later the green shoots were already about 6 inches long with buds!  If you think about it, it really is quite magical.  And after about 6 or 7 days we had full-on blooms!

But as is always the case with paperwhites the beautiful green shoots outweigh the strength of their impressive root system and they eventually fall over.  I came downstairs and George had take them to the kitchen where they lay on their sides.  I propped them up against the kitchen wall, tied a string around them, and made sure their roots could reach the water.  All day I kept walking by them knowing if I didn't photograph them that day I might as well let go of that idea.


Finally around 3:30 I decided it was now or never.  I brought up my light from the basement and brought the flowers over to the wood bench.  As you can see below I had lots of help from a boy or two.  They LOVE to help me when I have a project like this.  Lots of licking of plants and general getting in the way.


But we had lots of fun playing around with angles and lighting.  And check out these roots!  I think I liked them even more than the flowers!




Today, the flowers are still slumped against the wall in the kitchen looking a little worse for wear after their photo shoot (and cat licking).  But they have given me so much pleasure and reminded me how important it is to take a break from the computer and play for a while.  Thanks again Pat and Terri for such a lovely gift.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Mercantile Library Sketch



Last week I visited the Mercantile Library in downtown Cincinnati with my friends Roy and Tiffany.  As you  may know, Cincinnati has an incredible public library system and quite a history of breathtaking libraries.  If you have never before seen the photos of the old public library check it out here (jaw-dropping...straight out of Harry Potter!).

I had never been to this library before and it did not disappoint.  It is located on the 11th and 12th floors of the Mercantile Library Building at 414 Walnut.  When you step out of the elevator and walk into the main room you are greeted by beautiful, old, wood magazine and book racks and gorgeous domed windows that span the entire space.  Below you can see the main room and the book stacks at the far end. 



If you visit the library it is worth climbing the old stairs to walk among the stacks.  It is hard to tell from the photo but the floor is made of thick glass panes that are semi-transparent.  If you are scared of heights it might make you feel a little weird.  Plus the whole structure of stacks appears to float, seemingly held up from pipes from the ceiling.


And if that isn't magical enough for you there is a spiral staircase that leads to the 12th floor!


And on the twelfth floor is a GORGEOUS reading room decked out in the arts and crafts style.



I didn't even mention the main draw for many people.  They serve coffee and although I don't drink coffee my friends said it was delicious.

So if you are looking for a nice outing for the day I highly recommend visiting this amazing place.  As I stood looking out from the stacks over the main room I couldn't help but feel like a student at Hogwarts looking for a book on advanced potion making.  I didn't find that book but I did find a nice one for muggles on how to tame dragons.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ― Stephen King