A Somewhat Rare Sighting

This is not in the same league as Nessie or Bigfoot, but as I was attempting to photograph a lady bug on Queen’s Anne lace yesterday, a honey bee arrived to steal the show. A bit of online research reveals that bees seldom visit a plant that is—according to the US Department of Agriculture—a noxious weed.

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True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.  — Francois de la Rochefoucauld

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Don’t Forget Purple

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Lilies in summer,
Yellow and orange and pink—
Beautiful flowers!

Good Morning

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Sit with me awhile in our garden oasis, where sunshine is just now arriving on this side of the hill.

Filtered through the honeysuckle climbing the fence at my back, its rays are scattering shadows across the plot. Aside from bird talk, the hour is silent; in my chair, warming coffee in hand, I am satisfied to listen. And watch.

A house wren appears on the ground and quickly vanishes into the daisies that decorate both sides of the space, but not before its tousled appearance gives it away as a juvenile. No doubt an adult is collecting breakfast insects nearby.

A warbler also enters the daisies’ cover, next to a metal bucket that’s filled with Red Velvet lilies. The flowers began fading several days ago, but for the moment the sun is rejuvenating their spicy salsa hue. 

There’s a stir at the stone pedestal bird bath—a male dark-eyed junco makes a quick splash, then, seconds later, a male American goldfinch takes his place. 

At the back of the garden, a chipmunk has found something interesting inside a retired wheelbarrow that rests against the fence. Uh-oh . . . did it not know it was intruding into Wren Territory? And doesn’t it always seem there’s a wren handy to remind the various offenders? Lesson learned—for now.

I should mention that Anna’s hummingbirds are crisscrossing the garden, sampling the salvia ‘Amistad’ and ‘Hot Lips’, assorted fuchsias, and the sprawling honeysuckle. (Bee balm is yet to bloom.) Of special note were two males that paused together at a feeder, flashing their brilliant rose-pink throats and crowns in concert.

There’s a slight breeze . . . a bumblebee making the rounds . . . a squirrel silhouetted inside the shade of a fir beyond the garden boundary . . . the always pleasant and overriding sense of time suspended that’s common to quiet places.

And the chipmunk is back, climbing the fence to a large birdhouse; last year it was home to a family of six. He’s sitting on one of the perches. Remembering?

I hear the distant growl of a chain saw, the rush of traffic on the road, a child shouting, a small plane passing overhead. The spell is broken, for now, and when a wren chases the chipmunk down from its reveries I know it’s time to go inside.

The Breath of the Earth

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In February, amongst Yellowstone’s geysers, the earth’s breath ascends into a frigid winter day.

I’ll lift you and you lift me, and we’ll both ascend together. — John Greenleaf Whittier

Long After The Moment Has Passed

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A still, overcast morning… the English village of Coniston not yet awake… resuming our walk on the Cumbria Way before breakfast… Kathy and I came upon a ewe and her lamb resting beside the trail. The serenity I experienced in that moment returns each time I view this picture, which is perhaps my favorite from that memorable trip.

Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is. —Thomas Szasz

 

“It Looks Like A Painting!”

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As a photographer who began with film and will end with digital, the advances in the medium’s technologies (especially computer software) have transformed it in ways I didn’t imagine even ten years ago—is it photography? Illustration? Painting? The lines have blurred; whether you believe this has been an improvement or not will determine your approach to art.

With photography, you’ve captured a moment in time – it’s that moment only – and in painting, you play with it; you manipulate how time is presented. It’s about fantasy and illusion and the creation of desire.  — Mickalene Thomas

Temporary, Once Again

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Every season is a rehearsal for next year.

When in doubt wear red. — Bill Blass