Palm Tree: Symbol Of Peace And Flexibility

Washington Fan Palm There are over 2,500 species of palm in the Arecaceae family of evergreen plants. They’re found throughout the world, in climates as diverse as desert and rainforest where they can grow in the form of shrubs, trees or lianas. The needle palm is so hardy it’s found in Alaska.  Palm trees have […]

The Purple Iris: Symbol Of Wisdom

There are roughly 300 species and more than 50,000 varieties of the iris flower, beardless and bearded, the latter with a fuzzy petal that hangs down. They range from plants up to five feet tall and dwarfs of only eight inches. The bearded variety reproduces through swollen roots, while the beardless iris has a rhizome, […]

Dogwood: Symbol Of Equanimity

The dogwood tree belongs to the genus family Cornus, a French and Latin word for “horn,” which includes 30-60 hardwood trees and shrubs of both deciduous and evergreen varieties. The trees are native throughout the world and gained the name “dogwood” because dogs were unable to consume their fruits. Native Americans began planting crops, corn […]

The Ceiba Tree: Symbol Of Transformation

The Ceiba (“SAY-ba”) grows in the wet tropics of Mexico, Central and South America and West Africa, reaching heights of up to 230 ft. Growing thirteen feet a year, it’s the tallest tree in the Amazon rainforest. The buttresses that give it stability can be ten feet tall and extend ten feet from the trunk.  […]

The Tulip: Symbol Of Love

The tulip story begins in Central and Western Asia when the bulbs were brought to Turkey by nomadic tribes about 500 years ago. The Turks considered them to be jewels, but it was the Persians who named them “tulipant,” their word for turban which described the shape of the flower they often wore in their […]

The Aspen: A Model Of Interconnectedness

When I began using a camera creatively, I approached trees and forests mainly as objects to facilitate the development of my aesthetic eye. Recently, Peter Wohllenben’s book The Hidden Life Of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate expanded my appreciation by describing their acute sensory and communication processes. After reading that book I discovered […]

Success

  Personally, spiritually, professionally, economically, socially, and politically we’re all climbing ladders toward “success.” What prompted the selection of this image for contemplation was hearing someone in a television commercial ask, “What do all artists seek?” His answer: “Recognition.” Ugh! I couldn’t let that go. Did Michelangelo sculpt and paint to be recognized—or for money? […]

V. Earth House Rules

This is the 5th posting in a series on ecology In Ken Burns’ documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, a paradox was cited where Congress debated over whether or not the Grand Canyon should become a “national park” or remain a “national monument.” The former restricts a park against any human use other than […]

Soul Train: The Novel

PUBLICATION ANNOUNCEMENT Coming on the heels of my posting on “Fiction And Empathy,” the novel I’ve been working on for three years went live on Amazon.com last week. In Soul Train an African American railroad worker reflects on conversations he had with passengers, significant happenings including tragedies and his exceptional family life. His wife refers to […]

VII. Part-Whole Relationship

This is the 7th in a series of postings on whole systems thinking. Systems thinking involves a shift of perspective from parts to whole. The properties of a whole cannot be reduced to its parts because none of them have the capacity of the whole. A wristwatch keeps time and a smartphone has many functions […]