As promised to calendar holders. I am writing the story behind each month's calendar photo this year.
In this instance, the difference between "same old same old" and atmospheric was a string of Chinese lanterns that caught my eye in the Garden Shop section of Home Depot. I have my new(ish) neighbors Wes and Lourey (who had strung some pale blue ones across their porch opposite me) to thank for the inspiration to buy, to hang them--and myself to thank for the flair of execution. Trying to find a fitting place for a single string of 10 paper lanterns on a 10 x 6 foot porch made me wish I'd bought two. There's a fine line between cute and tacky, and I was crossing it with any location or arrangement I tried. Then I had a vision. I remembered the large, forked limb that had fallen in the yard. I hadn't gotten around to snapping it into burnable lengths yet, thankfully. It made the perfect "tree" to wind the lights around. That and a woven planter basket for its base made the whole thing belong--made it charming, even. So now, in what was once a dark corner, there is an array of colored lights: inviting, festive, fun.
When I followed the urge to photograph my "sculpture," I had similar trouble finding, in this case, an angle that worked. Until, that is, I got the idea to get under the "tree" and look up! Spirals. All of life is spirals. No wonder this treatment worked. And do these lanterns ever speak "sweet summer nights" to me, even without any breeze to sway them.