The ones that got away

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Turkey trot

Some photos just have to be saved for the right moment.  I captured this flock some time ago, perhaps the winter before last, struttin’ their stuff to the girls (who look duly unimpressed, I might add) after finishing a run at the local state park.  It’s funny what you can capture besides a sunrise when you get up early enough.

Today is Thanksgiving, a day of gratitude which I hope I remember to carry the other 364 days of the year.  My gratitude list is long and personal, so I won’t delve into it here.  I will tell you, though, with a bit of levity, one item I am particularly grateful for at this moment:  its rainy, right above freezing, and windy as can be.  I am registered to run a 10k Turkey Trot in about an hour.  I’m grateful for having enough sense to stay home, where its warm and dry, and let the turkeys run their annual race 🙂  I think I will stick to the treadmill and the Macy’s parade.

Gobble Gobble!

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Hunkered down

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Hunkered down

On the shores of Lake Erie’s bay sit a small grouping of cottages, two rows deep, inhabited in warmer months by those with a fondness for all things Lake Erie.  Like many of us who live abreast the shores of a great lake, we wind down the late fall, preparing our homes and hearts for the slower, colder pace of our winter.  Winter is not optional here.  There’s no getting around it, no “mild winters” ahead for this area.  Lake effect snow and wind chills are a fact of life, part of every native’s vocabulary in these parts.

No complaints here.  I do tire of winter come April–but now, in this latter part of autumn, I embrace stacking wood (my chore of the day), lighting a fire, watching the trees glow with the brightened feathers of our cardinals feeding on sunflower seed treats.  I love the smell of the pine-scented candle and welcome the stringing of holiday lights upon my white picket fence (chore #2 of the day).  Curtains pulled early, stew steaming on the stove, cats and dogs curled up for the evening, I am ready.   I am hunkered down.

Morning commute

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Morning Commute

Through my windshield on my way to work last week.  I thought about editing out the raindrops, but I decided that sometimes raindrops are just a part of life to be contended with, and there was no point to editing them out.  They simply exist, no matter what.  The raindrops may be on the windshield, but the view down the road is very promising.

Have a great week, everyone.

 

 

Solemn

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Solemn

This photo was taken at a wedding well over a year ago.  I was shooting guests at the reception.  As I was combing through some of my older photos, I kept returning to this.  True, the work I typically like to do is landscape-oriented.  I love fog and barns and trees, sunrises and sunsets.  I love animals and flowers.  All eye candy to me.  Rarely do I give much photo-shutter attention to people.  I’m not sure why.  Every once in a while, though, I am drawn to certain faces.  I don’t know this woman, I did not meet her.  I do not remember taking her photo.  I find myself wondering what she is thinking.  She looks very, very serious.  Very solemn.  Contradictory for the celebratory atmosphere of a wedding reception.

That is the funny thing about photography.  You can capture a moment that completely depicts the context of the occasion and requires little imagination.  You can also isolate a tender moment that leaves your own imagination to itself.  There could very well have been a meal blessing going on at this moment…or, perhaps, this woman is caught thinking about her own marriage, recently gone awry.  Hard to say.  She appears to be deep in thought, but could simply have been tipping her head down for a moment, glancing at her wine glass and considering a refill.  Her next moment might have been smiles and laughter.  I’ll never know, I can’t turn back the clock, nor would I want to.

Sometimes, I just like to look at something like this and ponder.  The camera captures a very brief moment in time and you are left to fill in the story and punchline.  I think, if I look at this photo tonight and not again for another two years, the stories I create will be completely different.  When we look at a photo like this, a nameless face, we may very likely see some reflection of our own life and soul, given no other context.

When I run a story about this woman through my own head (cob-webbed, scary place it often is), I find my theory to be true–I see solemnity, perhaps sadness.  And as I tell the story to myself, I understand why I see this in the woman’s face.  I believe she is grieving or preparing to grieve, the loss of a friend who seems much to young to be suffering.  Something she tries not to think about, something that is inevitable.  Someone who will not give her the opportunity to say goodbye, isolation being their own way to deal with their grief.

I understand why she is solemn.

Golf course sunrise

Early morning

  

 I caught this rising over the ridge on my way to work yesterday, just a quarter mile up the road from our house.  The golf course, normally filled with golfers at this time in the summer, has only the trees and their shadows as companions for the day.  Deer and geese often traverse the course as well.  This was one of those crisp and foggy mornings that signal the days confusion–will it be cold today, or will the sun warm the land and melt the heavy frost coating the greens.  Moisture hangs in the air until the earth and heavens decide, meanwhile bathing the landscape in haze.  Have a great day! 

Gentleman hiker

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The gentleman hiker

A lighthearted photo to share on Saturday evening.

I am reading a memoir of two sisters who hiked the Appalachian Trail from North to South, and then turned around and walked it right back to Maine.  Even more interesting is that they walked quite a bit of it barefoot.  Much hardier stock than I and most of my hiking compadres.  Pictured here is one of our friends (“Ackie”), just having finished off a lovely breakfast of muffins and hot coffee at the lodge on top of Mt. Greylock, Mass.  Not exactly roughing it and, I guarantee you, none of us hike in our bare feet.  We do jokingly refer to this hiking style as, “gentleman hiking”, whereby one takes every opportunity to stop for good grub, a soft mattress and a shower when it presents itself.

To each his own, it still gets the job done 🙂

A good weekend to all.

 

Somebody’s treehouse

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Treehouse...of sorts

One of my pleasures in fall is discovering, or re-discovering, what’s remained hidden behind leafy, green foliage for most of the year.  As the season winds down and leaves remove themselves one-by-one, the landscape reveals itself.  It reminds me of assembling a jigsaw puzzle, seeing only parts which make no sense until almost the last piece is in place, the total picture finally revealed.

Such are the woods behind our home, which pitch steeply downhill to a small creek and a leaf-carpeted ground.  In warmer seasons, a sea of green is abundant and blocks most everything.  As temperatures cool, leaves begin to turn until the forest appears to be a fireworks display in full motion, reds, yellows and bright, bright oranges littering the view.  And then the winds blow, rain and storms ensue.  Leaves fall and the nakedness of the forest is revealed.  Suddenly, the scampering squirrels are visible everywhere, often making the forest floor appear to be in perpetual motion.  And looking out, there still stands the treehouse.

This treehouse, it is not made for people.  No, indeed, a man or woman with an eye for aesthetics likely would have chopped it down long ago in favor of a better view.  But that is not me.  Beauty in the eye of this beholder is watching the lives of small creatures popping in and out of this long-dead remains of tree.  Its certainly seen better days insofar as being a sprawling beauty.  However, nature is not yet done with my friend the tree, and she stands tall and branchless, welcoming the birds and furry creatures of the forest for winter’s respite.

This is the soap opera I prefer to watch.  Will the tree be standing again this year?  Who will inhabit her?  The squirrel with the black undercoat…the family of chipmunks feeding daily off my sunflower seeds…perhaps a woodpecker family.  Will their be neighbors?  Fights?  Nest robbery?

Stay tuned.  Excitement ensues.  Nature will not disappoint.

Watching over me

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Angel watching over me

As I gaze from my office window, there hangs an angelic form.  A sun-catcher, given to us by friends when we moved in to our last home as part of our housewarming gift.  It’s travelled with me to our current home, ever-present in the window that I look out upon when pondering whatever I might be pondering at the moment.  She reminds me that I am not alone, never alone, not even for a moment.

There’s a saying amongst recovering folks:  “God watches over fools and drunks.”  In this regard, I am blessed in both ways and God either spends a lot of time watching over me or delegates it out to one of his many angels each day.  They’ve kept me out of trouble for years, even when I did everything I could, drank everything I could, smoked anything I could, to get myself in to trouble.  Fools and drunks.  Ah, good to have an identity.

Its many years since I’ve had a drink, now just a sober drunk.  I’m still a fool.  Thankfully, I keep the angels in business, full-time.  I am blessed, not lucky.  My little friend, however, will remain in my window to remind me that whatever happens to me  each day that is good…I had absolutely nothing to do with.

Good day to all.