Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dog Days

I just like the shapes and colors in this tree pit

It is hardly news to anyone that the weather has been relentlessly hot. I have been taking shelter and working on the hanging sculpture.  It is not quite presentable yet, not even as a work in progress. 
On Sunday there was a cooling storm (with tornadoes in the Bronx!).  I went out in the aftermath to see how things were doing.

The honey locusts are blooming.  Their flowers are sweet smelling, contrary to most city trees.

Their perfume drifts down through the heat.

Their fallen petals cushion the sidewalk.  I had never really noticed them before this year, maybe the weather is making them particularly fragrant.

As one would expect, the weeds are thriving, sprouting up from any available crack in the sidewalk.

At first I thought these pink flowers were pretty weeds, but now I think they are a respectable plant that has been overrun.  There were also little blue flowers but the heat wilted them.

The weeds have taken over the back yard of an empty brownstone - one of my favorite things.

It's the urban jungle.

Last January, I came across this bush with very long thorns.  It is even wilder in its summer attire.

 It has lots of frothy leaves and fruit.

I am fascinated by the fruit, balancing on the edge of the thorns.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Hanging Sculpture

I have been working on another hanging sculpture for months.  I hadn't mentioned it because it was so annoying.  I could never get it to balance out and it always looked like some kind of arts and crafts project from the seventies. I left it alone, hanging incomplete and the apartment breezes caused it to get all tangled and ratty.

I just ignored the hanging mess. Over the past weekend, I found myself alone in the apartment for a good part of the weekend. It was cloudy and dark and I was feeling gloomy. Then I started working on printing new pieces for the hanging sculpture. It was a small breakthrough. I realized that I was trying to balance the elements of the sculpture before I even knew where they should go. So I started over by pinning the elements into the ceiling as I did the first time.

It still looks pretty disorderly, but I feel happier about it than I have for a while. For the moment, everything is spinning around in the apartment breezes and nothing is tangled.  I need to sit with it for a while and see what to do.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Surviving the Heat

Over the weekend, I took the planters down and put them into trays.  I watered them profusely and added soil, wrapping the tendrils around in the dirt and hoping they would take root.  The weather has been brutally hot, we hit a record 100 degrees.

The plants are holding up.  The soil was damp even after today's blistering heat.  There are still some yellowed leaves, but I am leaving them because they don't detach easily and I don't want to stress the plants.  Most of the leaves have plumped up.  Some of the tendrils prefer to wander rather than to root, but they are looking less stressed.

I am waiting to see if the plants adapt to the outdoor life.  Maybe if it gets less dry and hot.  I might have to wait until the fall to put them out in the city.  It looks as though I have to limit the drainage as well.  They need to hang onto the water before it evaporates.