Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In Spires, In Wreaths...

{Fox Talbot, Erica Mutabilis, 1839, photogenic drawing, a present for Sir John Herschel}

{Fox Talbot, Melancholy Gentleman, 1838, photogenic drawing}

Leaves take all kinds of strange shapes, as if to invite us to examine them. Star-shaped, heart-shaped, spear-shaped, arrow-shaped, fretted, fringed, cleft, furrowed, serrated, sinuated; in whorls, in tufts, in spires, in wreaths endlessly expressive, deceptive, fantastic, never the same from footstalk to blossom; they seem perpetually to tempt our watchfulness, and take delight in outstripping our wonder.

~ John Ruskin