Botanical mandala contains strawflowers, nigella seed pods, cymbidium centers, madrone twigs, clay beads, century plant seed pods from Stunt Ranch Road Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains, hydrangea florets

There’s a paler quality to the sun as we approach the winter solstice. The strawflowers and seed casing from last year’s nigella flowers reflect that. This is the last mandala to use cymbidiums this year. They came as a gift from Hawaii, and I’ve used them repeatedly, until the blooms fell from stems. The petals were a frequent component in the last month, but even they turned. All that was left to do was to remove them, and expose the ornate centers. I’m sure there’s a name for them, and yes just looked them up. What I’ve been thinking of as “centers” are actually made up of a column, anther cap, and labellum.

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