Flowers are lovely things. The colour, the shape, the texture, the scent: flowers have them all.
But at this time of year, when flowers are only a future prospect, I am searching for beauty in other places. (Yes, there is beauty in the winter landscape, but I’ve had enough of it.)
So instead of looking out my window, I’m looking to memory. And I’m finding some unusual attractions, in some unusual locales.
The incredible ‘flowers’ below were ‘blooming’ underwater off the northwest coast of Australia. When the tides recede, a section of the seabed that normally is deep underwater suddenly becomes shallow, and things hidden are briefly visible.
The colours of these underwater creatures are subtle,
the patterns intricate.
the shapes intriguing.
Rocks in the same part of the world offer colours and textures that make a barren landscape almost as interesting as a garden. (Perhaps more so to a geologist.) An overview of one piece of twisted landscape gives a tiny sense of what there is to see.
Close up, colours are almost unbelievably vivid.
The rocks in the Kimberley are among the oldest in the world, and their striations hint at the turmoil that once occurred here.
Not all beauty has intense colour, though. Desert scenes are more subtle.
Shadows define the shape of sand.
At a different hour, under a brilliant sky, the sand seems to change colour.
This part of the Egyptian desert was once underwater. Petrified clam shells that emerge from shifting sands prove the claim.
Nearby, petrified logs are scattered on the sand. Once a forest grew here, on the shores of a lake or river.
Natural beauty comes in many shapes and forms, in many places. Some are distant, some closer to home. Right now, the closer ones are a lot colder.
I’ll be happy when these frozen beauties melt.
So many pretty things to contemplate…the brilliant
turquoise on the coral is particularly fetching. I had hoped freezing
weather was behind us, but now it looks like more frost on Saturday night. Drat.
Drat is right. Eventually spring is going to come… but first we have to live through mud season. At least today is warmer and the sun is shining!
Have you ever been to the Badlands in South Dakota?
Never, Robert. I know I’d love it so maybe one day.
I love the colors of the sea and its inhabitants. Coral has a special place in that wonderfully colored world. I can never get enough of Australia’s natural wonders, thanks for sharing. Were you in country Australia, as well? Is that where you took the dune photos? I remember climbing over dunes just like that a couple of decades ago when I did Outward Bound in SW Australia.
I was intrigued by your question of did coral inspire millefiori paperweights, so I asked Google. According to Wikipedia, millefiori glasswork dates back to ancient Roman times, so perhaps they were inspired by the corals of the Mediterrean and Agean seas. It’s a nice thought.
We’ve been to Australia about 7-8 times now since our son and his family are there. Each time we go we try to visit a different place as well as spending time with him and his family in Perth. Last time we went to Tasmania — a wonderful spot.
The dunes were in Egypt. Namibean dunes are perhaps even more spectacular.
I meant to check about the paperweights and never did, so thank you for the information.
So much beauty. I cant wait to see more beauty in my area when the snow and cold are gone. Did you photo those?
Yes, Matt, the photos are mine. Sounds like we both are waiting for warmer weather. Soon, I hope.