Conservatory after rain Greek Gods and Goddesses
Page 34
A word from our sponsor, Ads by Google
Greek Gods and Goddesses
July 20th, 2008
Rich and his crew finished the house and then worked on the conservatory until July 15th before moving on to other houses. When I came home from my journey back east to visit my Mom and family, mule deer were back to their twice daily schedule of grazing in my yard. Every dawn and dusk six to ten mule deer, mainly does and fawns, emerged from the forest and gracefully rambled through the great salad bowl of my yard sampling various green plants for breakfast and dinner. Occasionally a buck would join the herd but the does always kept their distance from him. In the afternoon many of the deer would retire to the tall grasses amongst the trees and take a nap. Only the tips of their ever vigilant large ears would show above the golden brown stalks gently swaying in the warm mountain breeze.
Fawn and Doe
A fawn and doe mule deer graze along the driveway.
Resting Doe
A doe mule deer rests in the shade of the conservatory
during the warm July afternoon.
A buck mule deer with velvet on his antlers, snacks
at my neighbor's, Rich and Kay, bird feeder.
A word from our sponsor, Ads by Google
Apelles Aphrodite Apelles Aphrodite Anadyomene, circa 375 BC, emerging from the sea was thought by many to be influenced by the beautiful courtesan known as Phrynę. Botticelli's Birth of Venus Botticelli's Birth of Venus, circa 1483, was inspired by Apelles Aphrodite Anadyomene.
Birth of Venus statue
"Birth of Venus" marble statue inspired in part by the lovely courtesan, Phrynę.
A marble statue of a lovely woman emerging from a shell adorns the library balcony. The statue is directly modeled after Botticelli's Birth of Venus painting in 1483. Venus rises from the sea in a shell, is guided towards shore by soft, warm puffs of breath from Zephyr and Aura who are symbolic of spiritual passion. Horae, one of the three Graces, a goddess of the seasons, gently covers Venus with a flowered cloak. Botticelli in turn drew his inspiration from Apelles Aphrodite Anadyomene, a raised relief sculpture depicting the Greek myth about the birth of Aphrodite from the foamy sea near Cyprus. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, beauty and sexual rapture; Venus was her Roman name.
Praxiteles, one of the finest classical Greek sculptors, created the first female nude statue and modelled it after his beautiful lover, Phrynę. In a letter to Praxiteles, Phrynę says
"...have no fear; for you have wrought a very beautiful work of art, such as nobody, in fact, has ever seen before among all things fashioned by men's hands: you have set up a statue of your own mistress in the sacred precinct....And do not begrudge me this honor. For it is Praxiteles that people praise when they have gazed at me..."
Alciphron, Letters of the Courtesans: Phrynę to Praxiteles

Although Phrynę always wore her tunic closely wrapped around her body in public and did not frequent the public baths, she was said to have removed her clothes at the festival of Poseidon, loosened her hair, and stepped naked into the sea (Athenaeus, XIII.590).
Praxiteles and the artist Apelles (fl. 352-308 BC), are thought to have witnessed Phrynę stepping from the turquoise sea. Apelles was inspired to portray her as Aphrodite Anadyomene, (Rising from the Sea). "Made famous by the Greek verses which sing its praises," says Pliny, it later was shipped to Rome by Augustus, who, because of the Julian claim to be descended from the goddess, dedicated it in a temple to Caesar, his adoptive father.
Dea Tacita and the Disc Thrower
Dea Tacita, the silent goddess and the 5th century BC statue, Discobolus,
(The Discus Thrower) grace the front yard.
Aphrodite with narcissus
Aphrodite with a basket of fresh daffodils (narcissus)
greets visitors on the north portico.
North Portico
The north portico is the main entrance to the house.
August 10th, 2008
The exterior of the house is completed except for minor painting and touch-up work. With the weeds threatening to take over the yard I turned my attention to landscaping around the house. The driveway and tiered gardens formed a perfect boundary on the east and north sides of the formal yard. I designed a gravel walkway to follow the tiered gardens from above and offer another view of the flowers and shrubs within. On the south and west side I staked a path where a concrete sidewalk would join the gravel walkways and also act as foundations for marble balustrades like we used on the balconies. Now that the boundaries of the formal yard were firmly established I searched for and found a low maintenance grass and small flower mixture for the lawn.
West Portico
The west side of the house sports a covered portico and in ground basement entrance.
South Portico
The south portico is topped with a balustraded balcony that opens from the library.
The conservatory blends the benefits of a greenhouse, an indoor pool and a sun room. The pool, not large enough for swimming, is designed to capture heat from the sun as it passes through the glass roof and then slowly release it during the night. A large potting bench runs the length of the conservatory and will provide ample room to start flowers and vegetables from seed in early spring. Next to the pool will be a small seating area with a cafe table for reading or sharing tea and cookies with company. A nearby counter will have a microwave and hot plate. Cabinets above will provide necessary storage.
The winters in the high mountains of Montana are often cold, snowy and long. The conservatory should allow me to grow plants from early March to late November and thus extend both spring and fall by two months each. I plan on draining the pool and closing the conservatory during December, January and February. I could keep it open though by simply installing a propane heater. Time will tell.
South Portico and conservatory
The south portico and in the background, the conservatory with a statue of the Greek goddess, Chloris.
Thermal Pool
Concrete forms frame the walls of a thermal pool in the conservatory.
The conservatory will eventually provide a pleasant, warm and
humid environment for plants and people.
Flora from Primavera
A close-up of Flora from Botticelli's Primavera
(Unrestored version)
Primavera by Sandro Botticelli
Primavera by Sandro Botticelli, circa 1482 (Restored version)
"As she talks, her lips breathe spring roses: I was Chloris, who am now called Flora."Ovid
The Greek nymph Chloris, known to the Romans as Flora, spreads her gifts of beautiful flowers from her home in front of the conservatory. Chloris was married to Zephyrus, the west wind, who gave her dominion over spring. Together they had a son named Carpus which is Greek for fruit.

Botticelli's Primavera shown above, is thought to be a companion painting to his Birth of Venus that I wrote about at the beginning of this page. In the Birth of Venus we see the Zephyrs, Venus in the shell and one of the three graces covering her with a cloak. In Primavera we see Mercury raising his caduceus to still the wind and allow the Three Graces to dance. A fully clothed and more mature Venus is in the center of the painting with her son Cupid flying overhead. Flora is next and personifies the bounty of summer by spreading flowers in her path. The Greek nymph Chloe, not to be confused with Chloris aka Flora, is being pursued by a blue Zephyr who personifies winter. Thus all four seasons are depicted in Primavera by Botticelli.

A garland of roses spreads from the left hand of Chloris, over her shoulders and into her right hand. She raises her eyes to the sun which provides warmth and energy for plants to grow. Over time her bounty will fill my gardens and yard providing food for for the body and beauty for the soul.
Flora as depicted by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun around 1800.
Flora as painted by Louise Abbéma in 1913.
July 30th marked the second anniversary of the Big Creek forest fire; the inferno that incinerated my home, business and almost myself. God granted me a second chance at life that fateful day and I gratefully accepted His kindness.
I had no idea of what was needed to build a new home but I got started quickly with the assistance of Rich Spallone of R & B Builders. I wanted something beautiful to rise from the ashes so I looked to the ancient Greeks for architectural guidance. Their history and culture proved to be a rich mine and one I am still learning from. There remains much work and it may take one or even two years to complete this project. We have traveled far, but have much further to go before we can rest.
Aurora and Apollo
Aurora and Apollo patiently await placement on their pedestals.
A mermaid weather vane with Venus like hair and shapely curvature quickly reacts to the slightest puff of breath from a Zephyr.
Birth of Venus
The grandeur of Mother Nature provides a backdrop to the splendorous work of man.
Email, bookmark or share this page with others...
Click on the "ADD THIS" button to:
  • Automatically e-mail a link to this page to anyone.
  • Bookmark this page via Favorites, Google, AOL, Yahoo and other web services.
  • Share this page with your friends on FaceBook, MySpace and other social networking sites.
Bookmark and Share
Please share your thoughts with Tim and other readers...
What do you think of this page? How can it be improved? Do you have questions about its content? Share your thoughts with Tim and other readers by clicking on "Leave a message". I read every message and will respond if you have a question.
comments powered by Disqus
A word from our sponsor, Ads by Google
Click on the underlined text to go to the...

Page 33
The Question of Beauty

Tim's Life
Main Table of Contents

Branford Bike
Fire Story
Table of Contents

Page 35
The Living Room Moves Outside