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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Honoring the Season of Feasts with Hakonechola Macra (Japanese Forest Grass)

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @

Today is the Fourth Sunday of Advent, a season that began on November 28th 2010.  Dennis Bratcher writes,"the fourth candle of the advent wreath is lit on this day and the light of these candles reminds Christian believers that Jesus is the light of the world — the light that comes into the darkness of people's lives to bring newness, life and hope. It also reminds people that they are called to bring light into the world, and to reflect this grace to others. The progression in the lighting of the Advent candles symbolizes the aspects of waiting, as the candles are lit during the four week period, it also symbolizes the darkness of fear and hopelessness receding as more and more light is shed into the world." Even though I have done volunteer work by bringing Holy Communion to the homebound every Sunday, as well as special feast days, for the past five years, I confess I still struggle with having the faith Bratcher describes.

However, I do design and sell holiday cards, but I like to wait until Advent has passed before sending mine, out of reverence to the message articulated in Bratcher's writings. 

This year I have designed a card to commemorate Christmas by employing an aspect of botanical textures (a garden feature I wrote about in November), of one of my urban garden plants; Hakonechola Macra (Japanese Forest Grass: All Gold Variety), using a photograph (taken before my plants were snuggled in for the winter as described in a recent post).

I have rendered this image in a gradient of black and white then brushed in a twinge of color so that only two sprigs coming from the leaves have a hint of color. I have done this as a representation of light breaking into darkness, and hopefully conveying the meaning of the promise of Christmas, as described by Bratcher. I have made two versions of this card and the result can be seen in the photographs posted above  and below today's blog entry.

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @


I no longer actively produce event program covers, invitations and the types of greeting cards described here or on my website but arrangements might be able to be made under certain circumstances. My focus is on the Words In Our Beak book series, pictured below...


...whose stories are told from the point of view of Cam, a female cardinal, whose photo is on the cover of each book. Words In Our Beak’s goal is to open readers to a simple understanding of the winged world and their environment. Set in my rooftop garden in NYC Words In Our Beak is directed to children and adults who are curious about birds, and want to learn about them from a unique perspective. The books include hundreds of images of flora and fauna, links to movies, as well as to informative narratives that have been created by the author.

Please click here to go to my blog post that provides details as to where you can get these books.

Additionally, I have rendered some images from these books into other formats and they are available via Fine Art America (FAA). Some of my other photographs (Black & White CollectionKaleidoscopic Images and the famous Mandarin duck who visited NYC) can also be found on my FAA pages.

"Never say never," the saying goes, and I suppose that applies to saying, "I no longer....," which I did in my 2018 addendum and now I'm here to announce at the advice of Chris Deatherage, my book series formatter, who is also my web-master (for I now have some versions of the greeting cards that are referenced in this blog post available via FAA, please click here to view them.

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