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Beauty in Spring

The continuing discoveries of a 21st century artist and naturalist …

I’ve just finished reading ‘History Of Beauty’ edited by Umberto Eco.  But this piece is not going to be a review of that book.  I will say that anyone interested in cultural concepts of beauty would likely enjoy its broad overview of those concepts – from Ancient Greece up to the twentieth century. Personally my reading of it succeeded in providing insight while adding many more ‘must read before I die’ works to my ever-lengthening list.

As I wandered a familiar haunt on this past Sunday I was reminded of this quote from the book.

The color green surpasses all other colors for Beauty and ravishes the souls of those who look upon it; when in the fresh springtime the buds open to new life and, reaching upward with their pointed leaves, almost thrusting death downward in an image of the future resurrection, all rise up together toward the light. – Hugh of Saint Victor Eruditionis didascalia, XII

While my husband enjoyed his long-awaited, first fly-fishing outing of the year I wandered stream side sketching in my nature journal and taking photographs; most of what I saw was this “fresh springtime”.  Here in the mountains of North Carolina we are only beginning to see the trees push out their fresh adornments for the year. So my focus in this piece will be less about categorizing and identifying plants and more about enjoying the light and shadow, texture and structure, and primarily the color that Hugh Saint Victor claims “ravishes the souls of those who look upon it”.

Fresh springtime greens.

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