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.

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 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.

Day 90 – Frosty Rose


A Frosty Morning

When the sun hangs low in the eastern sky,
Caught in the trees that shiver and shy,
Red as the robin that flits nearby,
Sing hey, for a frosty morning!

When the lane is a-glitter beneath our feet,
Powered with crystal, delicate, sweet,
And the quiet pond is a silver sheet,
Sing hey, for a frosty morning!

Come out, come out, while the sky is red,
Over the crunching fields to tread,
Ere the frost in the kindling sun lies dead,
Sing, hey for a frosty morning!

-Enid Blyton

We’ve been experiencing a lot of frosty mornings lately. I finally made a point of getting up early enough that my hair would be dry before the frost melted so I could go out and photograph. The same roses that I was so impressed were still blooming a few weeks ago have not fared well with the frost but do still look stunning covered with the little white crystals.  I added a texture to enhance the sense of decay.

Day 89 – Oak Leaf with Puffball


The Old Oak

Brisk winds
rattle the season guardian 
of the western woods,
signaling a turned chime
of brilliant pigment. 

The old oak
gifts the green grass
with blankets of crisp
leafy yellow,
covering the worn 
forest trail. 

-Joseph Kushnir

One more from Touvelle. I still have a few ideas of what to photograph in the next 11 days but I admit I am getting a little burned out on the project and look forward to being done, or at least moving on to the next phases. At last count I have nearly 5000 images in my 100 days folder though some are duplicates from processing and such. Still I have also deleted a lot of second raters so I’m looking at a pretty nice body of work. The next task will be to winnow it down to the best of the best and create a web gallery. I’m also working on a scrapbook of the 100 daily selections plus a few other worthy entries. And then there will be plenty of art to create during the winter.

Day 82 – Hydrangea


Seeking Beauty

Cold winds can never freeze, nor thunder sour 
The cup of cheer that Beauty draws for me 
Out of those Azure heavens and this green earth — 
I drink and drink, and thirst the more I see.

To see the dewdrops thrill the blades of grass, 
Makes my whole body shake; for here’s my choice 
Of either sun or shade, and both are green — 
A Chaffinch laughs in his melodious voice.

The banks are stormed by Speedwell, that blue flower 
So like a little heaven with one star out; 
I see an amber lake of buttercups, 
And Hawthorn foams the hedges round about.

The old Oak tree looks now so green and young, 
That even swallows perch awhile and sing: 
This is that time of year, so sweet and warm, 
When bats wait not for stars ere they take wing.

As long as I love Beauty I am young, 
Am young or old as I love more or less; 
When Beauty is not heeded or seems stale, 
My life’s a cheat, let Death end my distress.

-William Henry Davies

I was thinking this morning about how easy it is to find beauty in early autumn and how much harder it is now. But perhaps the challenge makes it all the more worthwhile to keep looking. I had been out in my yard photographing raindrops on things when I noticed my hydrangea, while fading, was still blooming away. I added a couple of textures and some French script to give it a little more interest and came up with an image I just love. Who says you can’t do flower photography in December.