It was a busy week and weekend so I’m just getting around to the image of the week for last week. Didn’t do much in the way of new captures but I was inspired to start a new series from existing flower images using grunge textures and clipping masks. I started with cocuses as I have been starting to see them in bloom.

Milkweed Black and White


Can’t say that I have been very productive this past week. I think I was fighting off the flu that is going around so I will use that as an excuse. I did spend some time working on my Black and White photography course and this was one of the images I converted for my homework assignment. So with little else to work from it gets the nod for image of the week.

Image of the Year – Monarch Butterfly


I’ve just completed a scrapbook documenting my year in photography and photo artistry so over the past month I have looked at almost all of the nearly 12,000 images in my files for 2017. This one stood out for me to be the image of the year. I love the subject, I love the colors, and I love remembering how excited I was when this beautiful creature came along to pose for me. Next project is to go through the files again and weed out the clunkers.

And for my poetry fans, I just cleared all the poetry books out of my office and in honor of my upcoming trip to Japan I have made a new year’s resolution to do a haiku every day in 2018. So this one is a warm up:

Monarch Butterfly

Threatened by our careless ways

I am steeped in awe.

-Jeanne Hoadley

Day 99 – Maple seeds


Samara (Maple Tree Seeds)

Paper whirly-birds.
They look so much 
like pairs of insects’ wings, 
to the ground, 
helicopters landing
on springy tarmacs
to deposit
next year’s forest, 
like precious cargo.

Sweet to think
that trees
once had wings
and flew. 

-Sonny Rainshine

The weather turned out to be not as bad as forecast this morning so I was able to get out for one last trip to Lithia Park. I started out looking for wood ducks but they appear to have not arrived yet. I proceeded on to the Japanese garden photographing rain droplets on branches along the way. But I really like this close up of a maple seed still hanging from the tree. We used to call them helicopters and play with them as children. So I could really relate to the poem I found to go with it.

Day 98 – Rosebud


To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

-Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Well my good intentions of photographing every day this week have been preempted by the need to help my Mom get ready for Christmas and a rather nasty turn in the weather. We’ll see how tomorrow goes but for today you get another one from the rose garden. When I looked at this picture the first line of this poem just popped into my head so I thought, well, why not. We might say the same of autumn. It is going, going…and soon will be gone.

Day 96 – Faded Rose


Roses, Late Summer

What happens
to the leaves after
they turn red and golden and fall
away? What happens

to the singing birds
when they can’t sing
any longer? What happens
to their quick wings?

Do you think there is any
personal heaven
for any of us?
Do you think anyone,

the other side of that darkness,
will call to us, meaning us?
Beyond the trees
the foxes keep teaching their children

to live in the valley.
so they never seem to vanish, they are always there
in the blossom of the light
that stands up every morning

in the dark sky.
And over one more set of hills,
along the sea,
the last roses have opened their factories of sweetness

and are giving it back to the world.
If I had another life
I would want to spend it all on some
unstinting happiness.

I would be a fox, or a tree
full of waving branches.
I wouldn’t mind being a rose
in a field full of roses.

Fear has not yet occurred to them, nor ambition.
Reason they have not yet thought of.
Neither do they ask how long they must be roses, and then what.
Or any other foolish question.

-Mary Oliver

Today I went back to the rose garden to see what I might  be able to do with faded roses. I didn’t want to go, I had to drag myself out the door. (I think my thermometer is broken, it keeps telling me it is 30 degrees even in mid afternoon).  But once I got there I was just blown away by the subtle beauty and muted colors I was finding. I could easily finish out the 100 days with rose pictures. But I have a few other things in mind. I may just inundate you with Mary Oliver though. I’ve run through all the good autumn poems and I’m getting really tired of wading through all the crap that gets posted on hello poetry;  but Mary always has something to say that’s worth listening to. And she is my all time favorite poet. But we’ll see where the next four days take us.

Day 95 – Acorns


Do Stones Feel?

Do stones feel?
Do they love their life?
Or does their patience drown out everything else?

When I walk on the beach I gather a few
white ones, dark ones, the multiple colors.
Don’t worry, I say, I’ll bring you back, and I do.

Is the tree as it rises delighted with its many
each one like a poem?

Are the clouds glad to unburden their bundles of rain?

Most of the world says no, no, it’s not possible.

I refuse to think to such a conclusion.
Too terrible it would be, to be wrong.

-Mary Oliver

To say I’m not feeling it today would be a gross understatement. It feels like there is nothing left to photograph. I know that’s not true. I even have a few ideas on how to finish out the week. But today, I’m not feeling it. So I went to October and looked for something to process. I thought these acorns might look good in black and white. I looked for acorn poems. I was not inspired. Then I remembered I promised you something from Mary Oliver. Just started flipping through Devotions and came up with this one. I hope you enjoy.

Day 92 – Birch Leaf


Birch Tree

The birch tree in winter
Leaning over the secret pool
Is Narcissus in love
With the slight white branches,
The slim trunk,
In the dark glass;
Spring coming on,
Is afraid,
And scarfs the white limbs
In green.

-Arthur Seymour and John Tessimond

This is an other one from my walk in the Railroad district yesterday. I’m not being lazy, really, but I have some night photography planned for this evening and I don’t think I’m going to feel like editing and posting images when I’m done. So, you will just have to wait another day for those and enjoy the birch leaf in the meantime. Of course, the obvious choice of poems would have been Robert Frost’s Birches but I just used him yesterday and that poem is a little too long.

Day 91 – Leaf in Ice


Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire, 
Some say in ice. 
From what I’ve tasted of desire 
I hold with those who favor fire. 
But if it had to perish twice, 
I think I know enough of hate 
To say that for destruction ice 
Is also great 
And would suffice.

-Robert Frost

Today I took a walk in the Railroad district of Ashland and as usual I found many interesting things to photograph. But I was most fascinated by the ice in the gutters at some of the intersections. I’m sure some of the motorists driving by thought I was crazy as I kept milling around the gutter searching for leaves trapped in the ice. I finally found one. I had to add a couple of textures to bring in some color and make the image more interesting but I think it works. The poem is not exactly related but I searched for poems about ice and this one by Robert Frost that I had never heard before popped up so I decided to use it.