The winter garden: red cactus

Red Cactus, Preus Museum on flickrRød kaktus,” between late 19th c. and 1933, by Inga Breder, via Preus Museum Commons on flickr.

The small Schlumbergera genus of plants is native to the coastal mountains  of southeast Brazil.  By 1860, a number of its cultivars were being sold in England for indoor winter color.

Today, they are commonly called Christmas cactus — or Cacto de Navidad (Spanish), Cactus de Noël (French), and Weihnachtskaktus (German).

The photographer, Inga Breder, was born in Bodø, Norway, in 1855. As an adult she lived in Oslo and became an amateur photographer, competing in and judging competitions.

Merry Christmas!

Vintage landscape: green roof

Fellesgamme i Nesseby. Høytørk.1900. Preus museumMan and woman work in front of a joint sod hut covered in grass and flowers, near the village of Vestre Jakobeselv, Norway.  Taken 1900 by Ellisif Rannveig Wessell, via Preus Museum Commons on flickr.

Living in Finnmark, in the far northeastern part of Norway, Wessel photographed the hard lives of its rural poor.  The Preus Museum — Norway’s national museum of photography — compares her to Jacob A. Riis and Lewis Hine.

She developed her own glass plates and used sunlight to make her prints.

Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here.
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night.

— Mark Twain, “Warm Summer Sun