Friday, November 25, 2016


and as she spoke
A soaring drowsiness possessed her; growing
In earth she stood, white thighs embraced by climbing
Bark, her white arms branches, her fair head swaying
In a cloud of leaves; all that was Daphne bowed
In the stirring of the wind, the glittering green
Leaf twined within her hair and she was laurel.
Ovid's Metamorphoses - Book I

This drawing belongs with the Herbarium section of the Cabinet and refers to the Greek myth about Apollo and Daphne.

Apollo offended Eros who sought revenge by shooting an arrow with a gold tip at Apollo causing him to fall deeply in love with Daphne.  A second arrow with a lead tip he shot at Daphne which had the opposite effect, making her hate Apollo.

Daphne had already chosen a path of virginity and a life in the forest.  She was an able athlete who out ran Apollo till Eros interfered and caused him to catch up.  Daphne called for help to her father, Pensus, a river god.  Pensus turned her into a tree.
Apollo, still in love, granted the tree immortality so its leaves always remain green.

To tell this story I have used the image of my friend Julie Caroff's hand.  Julie recently retired from practicing law to follow her great loves of botany and geology.  I can think of no one more enthusiastic about "woody plants".