We share many things, this Dutch Iris and I
Both tall and slender, bask in warming weather
Country of heritage by name together
Blue edged with gold in the iris of my eye
Although my focus on the day this picture was taken was to capture the lovely spring ephemeral flowers, the spare heads of umbelliferae family plants, most likely Queen Anne’s Lace, caught and held my attention for long moments. They looked like the afterimage of fireworks, frozen in time. I especially like how the dry remnants stand in stark contrast to the greening going on all around. It seemed an appropriate selection for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Spare by the Daily Post.
The shapes and tones in this photo of lichen and fallen Beech leaves seemed to fit perfectly with the Weekly Photo Challenge: Abstract by The Daily Post. Sunlight’s play of light and shadow made a natural vignette effect, enhancing the abstract feel. This photo was taken while on a spiritual retreat last summer in Le Roy, Michigan.
As most people that have encountered a Border Collie know, these are working dogs, and they are very focused on the task at hand when they’re in “working mode”. While Cliareach Filleadh held the ever-important Frisbee to focus her attention, I attempted to to get a decent shot of her working pose, straight body line with ears perked and one paw poised. There are, of course, always some small movements that live subjects make like blinking and fidgeting, and active breeds like the Border Collie are especially guilty, even in a working pose. And so resulted the top photo of her sneaky little licker, perfectly capturing “oops” for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops! by the Daily Post.
Close-up photography is probably my favorite style; I have always been fascinated by seeing things that appear small to the naked eye shown up close and in great detail. The floral works by American artist Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) left a deep impression on my sense of aesthetics in this way I think. Of course I could not resist this Weekly Photo Challenge by The Daily Post.
The butterfly in this photo, which I believe to be an Enodia creola, allowed me to get rather close, an unusual occurrence compared to my previous endeavors to photograph butterflies. Totally unafraid, perhaps even determinedly, this butterfly repeatedly landed on shoulders and arms until I finally went to snag my camera. Although I cannot get as close as I would like with my current lens, the level of detail in the photographs such as this that I can get is still satisfying.
We just got back from a forest retreat in a rustic cabin… no electricity, no running water, no gadgets…. Only us and the forest. Though it was only for a few days, the experience was significant in many ways. I hope to share more in the coming days as I integrate and process the experience, but here is the first poem to emerge.
Morning is beautiful because
the dark has fled and you turn inward
to the poet speaking outward
and baptizing your eyes with sight
reaching deep into the forest’s green shadows…
A stag breaks from the brush.
Startling you in its immediacy.
Nature leaves a layer on you –
cuts and sweat and smoke and Earth.
A domestic embrace we call dirt and grime
in the wild city, running to the shower to scrape
and scrub, pushing it away to the invisible,
only to replace it each morning
with plastic and greed and exhaust and deceit.
A truck rumbles down the street.
Startling you in its hubris.
Yes, the honest smoke from the campfire still clings,
searing the soothing ritual of sweat and dust into your skin.
The breeze grants you a part in birdsong poetry,
the movement of the city reminds you of being
green-washed and cradled in layers of stillness.
The experience settles in.
Startling you in its recognition.
Near a small, untended apple orchard, there are a few thriving Autumn Olive trees. This was approximately a month ago, just before the pale yellow flowers had started to open. These trees are named for their very small, edible, olive-shaped fruits that begin to appear in Autumn, and both the leaves and the fruits of the Autumn Olive trees are silvery-scaled, having a distinctive texture, shown below. I chose this springtime photo of the Autumn Olive for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Off-Season.
I had just finished reading the Weekly Photo Challenge: Ephemeral when I looked up and noticed a candle on the anima/animus altar that had been lit earlier this afternoon was still burning. As I stood up and moved closer, I thought about how the shape of the unmelted outsides and the molten insides surrounding the wick were very ephemeral. If I let the candle burn longer, the overall shape of the candle would continue to change, and blowing the candle out would allow the molten wax to cool thus losing the reflection of the tiny flame. Each of the key elements of the photo had to remain as they were in that moment to have this image, fitting very closely to the idea of ephemeral as The Daily Post described it.
Will probably be posting more photos under this Weekly Photo Challenge theme over the course of the next week.