Posted in Americana, Close-Up & Macro, Colors, Flowers, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

STUDGATE

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Sorry, no scandal here—not yet, anyway—merely the well-worn tailgate of a Studebaker pickup, found at a garden nursery where it enjoys a second life as Found Art.

For flat objects like this, orienting the camera to guarantee sharp details across-the-board is fairly straightforward… when you focus carefully. Most subjects aren’t flat, of course, and present different choices. This time of year, flowers are my favorites; their abstract, whimsical qualities invite selective focus, as these roses did yesterday evening.

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You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. —Mark Twain

 

Posted in Close-Up & Macro, Colors, Flowers, Photography, spring, Weekly Photo Challenge

Glimpses

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Surrounded as we are by forest, wildlife, birds, and flowers, it’s our good fortune to witness many fleeting moments throughout the year, every year, each offering the spice of difference that makes it new again.

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Catching the right fleeting moment, with the right focus, is a very difficult thing to do. —Ren Ng
Posted in Close-Up & Macro, Forces of Nature, Photography, Plant Life, Weather, winter

Beautifully Brutal

or-1218-2016-131-on1Winter’s bullied the Willamette Valley this season, slapping us with snow, ice, and inconvenience.

or-1218-2016-044In December, freezing rain brought widespread power outages; the damage to trees, especially the oaks, epitomized a brutal side of nature. A lesser storm iced the roads again this week, while another brief round may arrive tomorrow.

or-1218-2016-053-on1Meanwhile, the temperature in Wisdom, Montana, fell to -46°F the other day.

There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people. —Bill Bowerman

Posted in Close-Up & Macro, Flowers, Four Seasons, Nature, Photography

With Kindest Regards…

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The humming and buzzing of pollinators has fled from our garden, leaving the dry rustling notes of August behind. Bee balm was the last flower for the butterflies and bumble bees and hummingbirds, and now it’s letting its hair down, another cycle complete, the chaos of its form still inviting. From everyone who visited it, including this photographer, our kindest regards.

Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone. —Gertrude Stein

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Posted in Close-Up & Macro, Nature, Patterns, Photography, Trees, Weekly Photo Challenge

Ponderosa Trees

I camped one evening in June in central Oregon, in the Ochoco Mountains east of Prineville, where I was surrounded by my favorite tree, the Ponderosa pine.

Darkness beat me to the campsite; the next morning, a crisp breeze was chasing clouds in an overcast sky when I rolled out of my sleeping bag. How long would the soft, even light last? I hurried to set up my tripod and camera, made sure I had shoes on, then wandered through the forest to visit with the trees.

It was a good morning for listening. As I moved the tripod from one tree to the next, each Ponderosa told a unique, individual story. I took notes with the camera for two hours, until the sun broke free of clouds and it was time to go.

I didn’t have time to hear their stories to the end, but I was entertained by the details they shared, and I’ll continue our conversations when I drive through those mountains again.

How dear the woods are! You beautiful trees! I love every one of you as a friend. —Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

 

Posted in Close-Up & Macro, Insects, Nature, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

A Real Hornet’s Nest

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Hornets build a nest every year in one of our oak trees. Before October, you’ll see the insects, but not the papery-gray globe they return to in the evenings. I sometimes stand in the yard, certain that this time, looking up into the green bursts of leaves, I’ll pick it out. And never do.

My wife found the remains of an unfinished one in the yard today; it reminds me of bark, or a weather pattern viewed from space. Sand patterns on a beach. The whorls of a fingerprint, no two alike.