About Michael Doran

I have been encouraged and inspired by many throughout my life, and seek to do the same for others. My blogs and photographs reflect who I am and what I am thinking or seeing at the moment I post something. I hope what I share brings pleasure and meaning to others. Thank you for viewing my posts.

Another World

Just returned from a trip to another world, down-loaded my photos, and decided to post a few of them. The Cyprus trees (with their knees) are standing tall.

This Oak tree is 400-plus years of pretzel-like branches running up, down and all-around.

Drapes of Spanish Moss encompassed us wherever we traveled.

Can you guess where we visited ?

L U S H

Stock Photo

Lush…the one word which sounds as rich as its meaning. “Lussshhh”…growing luxuriantly. Also, very rich and providing great sensory pleasure.

With relentless pressing, Spring births the effulgent offering of natural drama. A drama which never gets old, but actually becomes more precious with time. As I witness the scintillating wonder of new growth, from seed-to-leaf or sprig-to-flower, I am easily transported to the simple discoveries I made as a child.

Never without a question, I always wanted to (and still do) know “Why is this…?” or “What’s that for?”. No longer a child, I wonder if my curiosity is morphing into apathy. I quickly respond that I am still amazed at “all things bright and beautiful”, as James Harriot noted in the title of one of his books. Therefore, I am happy to announce that my spirit is not being quenched with age nor will it ever be. I concede that the body will break down and the mind may suffer attrition, but the spirit, the soul, will not be rendered obsolete. And, it should never be treated as such (applies to all people).

Kauffman Memorial Garden, Kansas City, MO

Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” transforms a composition of orchestral music into a sensual masterpiece. Each season is represented by a unique and sublime expression from every instrument the great composer has under his direction. The result is mesmerizing as the listener is taken on a journey through time. I liken nature’s annual rhythms with man’s breadth of life, just as Vivaldi correlated music with the four seasons. The final season being just as marvelous as the first.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, MO

The New Green

Labels can be very helpful like: ‘Poison-Harmful or Fatal if Shallowed’ or ‘Do Not Touch-Extremely Hot’. Besides warnings, labels assist us in identifying food ingredients, movie content, product capabilities, etc. Along with word and number labels, colors help us associate various products and/or classes of things; John Deere Green for instance is easily recognized throughout most of the world.

In this photo, grass and leaves are definitely green. So are the ball and Kermit the Frog. The flux welder and extension cord are green. This T-shirt is green (so are Shamrocks, usually!). The cucumber, Starbucks’ emblem, and stained glass butterfly are also green. What isn’t green is the box. However, if one were color-blind and simply took the message printed on the box as gospel, then the box is green.

Ahh…here, we come upon one example of a label with double meaning (not to be confused with “double entendre”). Although the box is a gray-beige color with near black lettering, the label states otherwise. Yet, we know the Green on the box is referring to recycled materials which, in turn, leave less of a carbon footprint on the environment. But how do we know this to be so?

Repetition, repetition, repetition…

Does repeating something over and over, especially in the public arena, make it true? This question is easily applied to any bias. Unfortunately, in our current culture, bias is causing a great deal of confusion and stress. We need less of both.

Unfurled

Spring in Middle America is a delight for the senses. The rhythm of nature’s ritual creates longer days of sunlight, much needed rains, and the awakening of life around us People generally respond to such change with a renewed sense of optimism. Exiting our caves for new adventures (and tasks) somehow lifts our spirits, especially after a year of lock-downs.

The amazing and methodical unfurling of the iris’ glorious petals reminds me that beauty still exists in our world, and can be found as close as my backyard. This flower is simply one of thousands upon thousands of plant species which explode forth from their winter dormancy. The change of seasons not only rouses my senses, but does something wonderful inside of me. Hard to explain, but I like it’s effects.

I contemplated including (in this post) myriad flower photos which I have taken over decades, but declined for several reasons: too painstaking to select just the ‘right’ ones; my images cannot equal those of so many talented photographers (not that I am into comparing, but I enjoy looking at best rather than good); don’t want this post to end up like a run-on-sentence!

So, I have chosen to limit my photos to one flower with the express purpose of narrowing my written expression to only a few words. Optimism. Hope. Renewal. Beauty. Unity.

ADAPTABILITY

When it comes to adapting, we humans rank high on the list, maybe even the top tier. Often, we are assisted by technology of some sort. This is especially true of adapting to various physical environments. However, we don’t always fare well when it comes to psychological changes (there is plenty here to evaluate, but not in this post).

There is a common flying bird in our region which is extremely adaptable to the environment. This fowl is the Canadian Goose. She has little to no fear of people or vehicles or even dogs.

Recently, while on an errand, we stopped at a local department store called KOHL’S. To our astonishment, there was a mother goose resting in a mulch bed less than twenty feet from the main doors where hundreds of people pass by every day. What was she doing there?

Nesting, of course !

She didn’t flinch when we stopped to gawk at her and her four eggs. Glad the male wasn’t around or he would have tried to run us off…they can be a bit cantankerous.

Ten days later we stopped by the same store and she was still there nesting. The only difference was found beneath her. No longer eggs, but four developing goslings !

Go figure, we didn’t know this store even had birds !

“Live and learn”, never gets old.

Variety

Among the varied scenery I am fortunate to witness on a typical driving day, I witness horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs, alpacas, chickens, etc. in their farm environments.

Color patterns and variations in sizes of the same species intrigue me.

Most critters are curious and these two are no exception.

This short post wouldn’t be complete without a photo of Double Trouble !

Whether alive or cast in bronze, horses are astounding creatures. I suspect most will agree !

L’AMOUR

” It was almighty still. I could hear the chuckle of the water in the creek some distance off, and once in a while a horse shifted his feet in the corral. I guessed that the fire had gone out or died down because smoke no longer came from the cabin that did duty as a bunkhouse. The door gaped open, a black rectangle that suggested a place a body could hide and stand off a crowd, but I liked the open where a body could move.”

“You know something? It was beautiful. So still you could hear one aspen leaf caressing another, the moon wide and white shining through the leaves, and just above the dark, somber spruce, bunched closely together, tall and still like a crowd of black-robed monks standing in prayer”

Ride the Dark Trail by Louis L’Amour, 1972…one of his 100 novels. He also wrote 250 short stories and has sold 350 million copies of his work with 12 books made into movies).