Reflection Pond

Like tourists,

we park the car at the side of the road

and hop out for a quick photo.

Before us,

A palisade of pines frame the pond,

and like an impressionist painting,

blurry images shimmer across the water’s surface.

Behind the blades

scattered amid wide green lilly-pads,

pink buds wait for the morning sun to wake them,

commencing the grand opening

when they share their glory

with a wandering soul.

Above the drone of hidden arthropods.

a bob-white announces, “I’m here.”

During the next several minutes,

each flower changes from pink to white

and I rejoice

to be here, too.

Author Notes

We visited Reflection Pond on a camping trip at Ochlockonee River State Park located near Sopchoppy, Florida. A quick photo stop turned into a half-hour visit as Herb and I a watched a water lily open. Reflection pond is aptly named. Time seemed to stand still as we pondered the beauty of the scene. I felt like we had witnessed something special.

More about water lilies:

  • The blooms open in the morning and close in the afternoon. Each plant blooms for three to four days.
  • The flowers grow from underground stems. These stems can stretch which helps the lily adjust to rising water levels.
  • Water lilies are beneficial to ponds because they help control algae and stabilize the water temperature.
  • If your birthday is in July, the water lily is your flower!

Thank you for reading my post. An earlier post entitled Being expresses a similar theme of living in the moment in the Florida Keys. Nature has much to offer if we slow down and take notice of our surroundings. May your summer be blessed with special moments outdoors.

Tribute to Claude Monet

Every day you create, you touch something beyond yourself.

How much effort are you willing to put forth to pursue your artistic vision? Would you move to a new location? Divert a stream? Build a pond? Plant a garden? The founder of impressionism, Claude Monet did all of these things to create an environment for painting.

Most creatives find places to go for inspiration, few construct that place. This summer I visited Monet’s garden in Giverny, France, located west of Paris. Monet came to Giverny in 1883 where he lived and painted until his death in 1926. Alongside his property, he had a pond built taking water from a branch of the Epte River, a tributary of the Seine. His famous “Water Lilies” paintings were inspired by this pond. Click the link to view.

A view of the Lily Pond with the Japanese bridge in the distance.

Worth the Effort

Under Monet’s direction, a small army of gardeners, planted an exotic collection of weeping willows, bamboo trees, and flowers. He often referred to his garden as his “finest masterpiece.” But Monet wasn’t only interested in the plants around the pond, he obsessed with the pond itself. He studied the effects of light on the water at all times of the day and during every season. He painted 250 oil paintings of water landscapes. Any representation of sky or land is shown as a reflection in these works.

Up close and personal with a water lily.

Not Without Critics

Every cutting edge creative has a few critics, of course. The question is, “Do you allow yourself and your art to be hampered by the opinion of others?” When the local authorities learned that Monet had imported his water lilies from Egypt and South America, they demanded he uproot the plants before they poisoned the water system. Monet simply ignored them. As time went on, his paintings became more abstract, challenging the conventions of Parisian art in the modern age. This disturbed many patrons who normally commissioned artists to paint realistically. Their comments did not deter Monet from expressing himself.

No Stranger to Hardship

Do you give up when the going gets tough? At the age of 82 Monet discovered he had cataracts. The deterioration of his eyesight terrorized him. Still he continued to paint, determined to create what he saw. He painted the Japanese Bridge in fiery shades of yellow and red. Click here and scroll down to view a painting that expresses the emotions of Monet at this time.

A Bigger Reach

Monet pioneered the idea that artists could express themselves as individuals. Looking back we can appreciate the contribution he made to the art world, changing it forever. No artist can know how their work might be viewed historically. Every day you create you touch something beyond yourself.

In the garden.