The Natural Beauty Around Me

First an update on my blog: I have been sharing older blogs and so I have not been posting new ones as often. I appreciate my readers so much and want to explain that there is a treasure trove of older blogs for all to enjoy if you can use the search or month by month feature. They are all written in my signature style and with my quirky point of view, so if you don’t see me post as often, visit anyway and read some older ones.

I am excited to begin a series on Mental Health – a serious concern for me and for our society. I will have guest bloggers contribute – always such an honor as they lend their personal voices and expertise.

First though, I am explaining why I love Houston so much, as some of my readers and friends elsewhere wonder why I put up with all the climate change and weather related events. One word – PEOPLE – nowhere have I found more wonderful, caring, hospitable, shirt-off-their-backs type of people that you find in Houston. My community of people is extraordinary, and I never take it for granted.

There is a second reason though. We are not exactly a swamp like most people think when they hear of our flooding. There is so much color and natural beauty and greenery in Houston, and anyone who reads me regularly and who knows me knows I love color. In my world, the more color the better as evidenced in my own decor. Houston is richly colorful, both diverse in it’s people and lush in it’s foliage.

I will never forget a concert by Bette Midler in Houston several years ago, where she chatted with the audience and expressed her surprise at the amount of green space our huge city has, and also the beauty of the city.

Two of my all time favorite places from a visual standpoint- actually 3 – because two are tied, are my favorite places due to the natural beauty and color in those places. First, Hawaii, which goes without saying, and second – tied are two places in California that are stunning visually with natural beauty and color – Santa Barbara and Laguna Beach. I am not posting photos of those because I will be posting lots of photos of Houston color to make my case that Houston belongs in my top five – Margate and it’s ocean and bay views and stunning hydrangeas (see this old blog) would round out the five – with the Almalfi coast tied with Margate. (Actually anywhere with a beach is bound to be a favorite, because I am such a beach lover.)

Since I tend to look at the cup half full, and live my life with full appreciation daily, I take in the visual beauty of Houston and marvel at it regularly. There are two reasons that spring and summer in Houston are so breathtakingly awash in color:

Oleanders are planted as shrubs along our freeways and esplanades and bayous and along residential areas, and they are in full bloom in the summer. Many rushing down the freeways may not notice how lush they are, but I do all the time.

Here’s what they look like- only better because they go on and on as far as the eye can see:

Oleander hedge

Oleanders are abundant in Houston as a shrub and everywhere you look, there they are. (They are deadly too – as you would know if you ever read the sensational book, White Oleanders, which I did a long time back.)

There are plenty of hot pink, light pink, and white ones gathered together to make ordinary places look quite picturesque. Hey, Houstonians, if you never noticed like I do, take a gander!

The other thing I love about summer in Houston are the crepe myrtle trees. They are absolutely everywhere, in great large number, and grace so many esplanades, homes, and back yards. My own subdivision sports them on our esplanades, quite a stunning vision when they are all in full bloom.

Crepe myrtles come in bushes, and also in very tall majestic trees. My favorite colors are the hot pink and lilac variety and my own backyard is home to lots of them of both those colors. Even the white ones are pretty though, especially when there are large clusters of them, such as behind Meyerland Mall, where I pull into my yoga class several times a week and appreciate that view.

Crepe1

Crepe Myrtles

crepe4

It’s just amazing to see colorful trees everywhere you look. Most of us are used to looking at green trees, but Houston has a bit more color than most with their numerous crepe myrtle trees. People talk all the time about Cherry Blossom trees, but I am here extolling the value of crepe myrtles.

When I am out back swimming I notice my crepe myrtles, my hibiscus, (our semi tropcs has them growing in abundance here just like in Hawaii) and my neighbor’s yards past my own with their own colorful gatherings of crepe myrtles. We may lack hydrangeas but we more than make up with it with our oleanders and crepe myrtles.

Life is not black and white and so I highly recommend that you connect with the vibrant color in your world. It will make you feel good, I guarantee it.

2 comments

  • Such a fabulous blog. One your best! Thanks for causing me to think and be thankful.

  • Everyone should love where they live. I love Pennsylvania. Even its name stands for Penn’s Woods. I love that the land is not flat and you see rolling hills wherever you go: with beautiful trees of many varieties, as well as bushes and flowers of all colors during the spring, summer, and fall months. So, I am also a fellow nature lover, Arlene… and would not want to live anywhere else because of how beautiful I find my own state.

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