Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Field Trip: Moody Gardens in Galveston

Visited Moody Gardens in Galveston on Saturday with the family.  As you may know, the pyramids suffered extensive damage two years ago as a result of flooding caused by Hurricane Ike.  Fourteen feet of water inundated the parking lot and forced its way into the basement.  Many of the animals that weren't evacuated prior to the storm perished in the aftermath and rebuilding the facility will be a multi-year project.

My favorite part of Moody Gardens is (of course) the Rainforest Pyramid, featuring plants of the African, Asian and American tropics.  A great many bromeliads were blooming and the calathea were particularly beautiful.  Orchids and parrots lit up the foliage and unusual palm trees towered above the paths in the 10-story pyramid.

Outside, I was interested to see which palm trees survived the floodwaters of Ike and the freezes of last winter.  It appeared like a great many plants have been replaced but some older specimens are still flourishing.  I didn't get a good picture, but the Natal plum, planted as a low hedge, was especially nice -- dark, rich green with a few white flowers.

I put the pictures, and what notes I managed to capture, in a Flickr set, which you can view here.  Warning:  the botanical names are my best guess only!  I'll have to check back next spring, when the final phase of the renovations is complete.

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