What cool pads

"Amidst Lotus VII'' (oil on panel), by Linda Perlman Karlsberg, in the "Closer Look'' group show at Dedee Shattuck Gallery, Wesport, Mass., from May 7.

My parents' last house, before everything fell apart, was on a pond where in coves at each end grew beautiful flowering lily pads in water that was tan from nearby cranberry-bog sand heavy in iron and from decayed oak leaves and pine needles. The water, swimmable and loaded with bass, put out a smell  somewhere between rank and pleasantly aromatic, depending on the weather.

 But below the pads often lurked a huge snapping turtle ready to grab a frog or small bird. Adjacent beauty and terror.

-- Robert Whitcomb