Friday, November 30, 2012

Golden Days

"I like Spring, but it is too young.
I like Summer, but it is too proud.

So I like best of all Autumn, because its tone is mellower,
its colours are richer, and it is tinged with a little sorrow.

Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of Spring,
nor the power of Summer,
but the mellowness and kindly wisdom
of approaching age.

It knows the limitations of life and is content."
~ Lin Yutang ~

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Have Faith

A lone robin turns toward the sun,
catching the last rays of light on its ruby-red breast.

When darkness grows around you it is important
to hang on to the smallest glimmer of light.

Those around you may give up,
turn their backs,
lose hope. 

But if you remain,
the light will grow.

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe
and enough shadows to blind those who don't."
~ Blaise Pascal ~

Funny days of fall,
when nests appear to grow wings,
ready to take flight :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Autumn Flame

The Larch
A prose poem by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

All we see when we look at her are needles and more needles.
Obviously another conifer then?
But not so fast.

As autumn sets in,
the deciduous trees around her start to shed their leaves,
almost as if death were upon them.
And then, is she commiserating?

I won't desert you!
The rest of my kind can winter safely here without me -
she too begins to shed.

And how suddenly her leaves shower down -
in festive, glinting sparks of sunlight.

Do we conclude that there is a softness at her very heart?
Wrong again!

The texture of her wood is among the toughest in the world -
not every axe can get the better of it,
it is too dense to drag and float downstream,
and, far from rotting when abandoned in the water,
it draws ever close to the eternal strength of stone.

But when the gentle warmth of spring creeps back in...
why not spread our foliage anew,
why not rejoin our kin,
arrayed in needles as soft as silk?

One could point to people who share those same qualities.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Existential Angst

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it,
does it make a sound?

If a leaf hooks onto the bark of a tree,
remaining suspended for eternity,
did it ever fall?

Looking at the forest below,
I can't imagine the trees wouldn't notice a fallen comrade,

or that the leaf wouldn't rather join its family
on the ground for their end of the season celebration.

If a snake rests on the path,
as pale and still as the sticks it lies camouflaged among,
is it still a snake?

These questions imply that our reality is subjective
to the person doing the perceiving.

If no one is around to perceive it, did it really happen?

The answer, of course, is "yes!"

And just in case you aren't sure if what you've just seen
really happened...

Bring your camera and a witness :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Bare branches remind me of an abandoned house;
a skeleton of what once was.

Gone are the birds that flit from branch to branch,
warming the air with their lively chatter.

No longer protected,
winds blow through the naked forest,
whistling a melancholy tune.

The sun sets and shadows grow long with gloom.

Hang on to yourself,
Winter's on its way.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I don't usually go outside with a specific idea of what I'm going to photograph.  I prefer to wander around,
waiting for inspiration to strike!

Dazzled by the multitude of tiny coloured leaves on this tree, I was reminded of dabs of paint applied to a canvas with a metal spatula.

The painting below, called Number 8,
is by the American painter Jackson Pollock (1912-1956).

Pollock eschewed traditional styles to explore abstract expressionism and was famous for his "drip painting" technique.

Although I'm not normally a fan of this style of painting, I find it perfectly captures the energy of the leaves and branches in my photo.

Perhaps, like me,  Mr. Pollock drew his inspiration
from nature, the ultimate artist.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Magic of Tolkien

We're experiencing Tolkien Fever at my house
as we await the release of The Hobbit this December.

The decomposing tree trunk above should have reminded me of those poor uprooted trees used to fuel the fires that made Saruman's weapons in Lord of the Rings.

Instead, its dark, craggy shape brought to mind Mount Doom.

Here in the woods I found the Ents Tolkien imagined.
Tall ancient-looking trees, alive and ready
to protect Middle-earth.

"A large Man-like, almost Troll-like figure,
at least fourteen foot high, very sturdy,
with a tall head and hardly any neck.

Whether it was clad in stuff like green and grey bark,
or whether that was its hide, was difficult to say.

At any rate the arms, at a short distance from the trunk, were not wrinkled, but covered with a brown smooth skin.
The large feet had seven toes each.

The lower part of the long face was covered with a sweeping grey beard, bushy, almost twiggy at the roots, thin and mossy at the ends.

But at the moment the hobbits noticed little but the eyes.
These deep eyes were now surveying them,
slow and solemn, but very penetrating."

From: Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Love Struck

How do you know you're in love?

When the very sight of your beloved
makes your heart thump-a-thud.

When your eyes fill with stars,
and everything glows.

Thoughts of love hijack your mind.

There's a faraway look in your eyes
and a permanent, lopsided, grin on your face.

You walk around in a haze,
useless until the next time you meet.

But why am I talking about love?  

It's because I went for a walk in a nearby park,
where I met...

These stunningly gorgeous wild grasses.

I believe they are Phragmites australis (Common Reed.)
Their seed heads lit by the sun made my heart dance.
I walked round and round taking picture after picture.

Click, "Gasp," click, "Oooooo," click, "Ahhhh."

I was in love.

For the blog post I knew many of the pictures would have to be eliminated.

I sat at the computer chewing my lips,
going back and forth over all my shots.

In each one I found some irristable slant of light, a unique colour or an elegance of pose that made it impossible to choose.

So there you have it.

You are stuck with these endless photos of grass because I am in love with each one of them.

They say love is blind
but I think love is grand.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Planting the Future

Nature herself does not differentiate between what seed it receives.
It grows whatever seed is planted; this is the way life works.

Be mindful of the seeds you plant today,
as they will become the crop you harvest.
~ Mary Morrissey ~

I'm planning on planting these hibiscus seeds.
And you?


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