Frost on Tree

Friday, January 23, 2015

On a freezing January morning, a thick frost covered the trees—tiny, sharp crystals; delicate white branches; fractals. This kind of frost is called "hoar frost," from an Old English adjective meaning "to show signs of age." Knobby, hunchbacked trees with white hair and beards. But frost also gives the impression of stopping time. Maybe that's what makes it seem magical, bringing to mind ice castles, white witches, and snow queens—places and people outside the rules of time, always beautiful but never changing.

Getty Museum

Friday, January 9, 2015

I exited the rear of the Getty, expecting to find a modest patio. Instead, I looked out over an impossibly tall, boot-shaped cactus garden and, beyond that, Los Angeles. I skirted the patio to find the museum's massive central gardens, where I followed a narrow, tree-lined path and crossed a stream that traversed, at turns, aquatic plants, massive chunks of stone, and manicured pebbles. Near the bottom of the path, bougainvillea arbors jutted out of the plaza, as delightfully over-dressed as ladies in waiting.