Last Hurrah

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Sometimes photographs don’t need much, if any, commentary. I am fortunate that I follow many talented photographers who provide excellent images and equally titillating commentary. I don’t know if this image even comes close, but I like it (if that counts).

These blossoms may be this year’s last salute to a pleasant summer for us in the Midwestern United States. These Geraniums have bloomed several times, but I think this will be their last until Spring. Hence, the hurrah!

I think sometimes we, as people, reflect the natural environment around us…or could it be the other way around? Either way, I pray Texans will see such beauty again and soon after the flood waters recede.

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To Everything There is a Season

To everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn

And a time to every purpose under heaven.

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, and a time to reap

A time to kill, and a time to heal

A time to laugh, and a time to weep

To everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn

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Autumn is my favorite season for many reasons; amongst the greatest is the change in tree and shrub foliage. I love greens all summer long, and hate to see them turn to browns and greys in the winter, but before this occurs we are treated with a spectacle of color painted by nature herself. Consider the variety of vegetation coupled with an inexhaustible array of colors that man can mimic, but never duplicate in such exquisite beauty.

The words above are from a song made famous by a rock group called The Byrds in 1965. The lyrics are from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Pete Seeger, a singer-songwriter took these words and crafted this song which became an anti-Vietnam War song. The last verse says that peace is never too late.

It becomes obvious to me that these words are timeless in their meaning and interpretations according to the era they are read and pondered. We know not what is in store for any of us…only One has such knowledge. We can plan and prepare, discuss and implement, but we never really control most of the outcomes of our lives. Some will disagree, of course, and that’s okay. Each of us views life from different lenses. My perspective comes from several sources: my own experiences and seeing those of others, plus my reference point concerning all things-God.

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Change starts one leaf at a time, and before you know it, the whole tree is ablaze in color! May this season of your life be full of growth, peace and an abundance of blessings.

Puddles

11-5-14 019 Early morning, several weeks ago, I took a walk through one of my favorite parks. There is an asphalt trail which winds its way over a thirty mile stretch of NE Kansas terrain. It traverses a pond in this park which has a loop around it. The Autumn leaves were a brilliant orange in the awakening east horizon. It rained a bit the night before and there were puddles of water helter-skelter. When I came upon this particular stretch of asphalt and beheld the radiance of the reflected maple trees, I stopped instantly. I gazed at what I saw in the water. A reflection to be sure, but much more. I saw a season coming to an end. I witnessed a transformation. I felt as if I were walking on holy ground.

As usual, I had my Canon with me and I took the shot. This is what I saw…what I stared at for several minutes. The reflection was transforming. Water reflecting light. Light illuminating color. Black framing the subject without any particular order. And, a slight breeze which the camera did not capture, but which was a part of this scene. Only when the sun rose higher and the angle of light lifted from the water puddle did I move on. I felt different somehow for witnessing this brief dynamic of nature unfold before me. Winter was clawing at the door of Fall like our Westie claws at a mole hole-hoping to find his prize instantly only to be disappointed that it takes time for success to occur. I then drove to work hoping this colorful season would last a bit longer than expected. Winter can be so cold and drab. Strive to resist the exterior veneer of gloom…it has a way of creeping into one’s soul. Don’t let it in. Be positive, and reach out to another in need.

This Old Barn

Misc. 10-25-14 008 I chose to shoot this barn a few weekends ago when the sun was rising in the east and burning off a rather thick drapery of fog. By the time I arrived, the fog was little more than a thin illusion. But no matter, as the brilliance of the sun’s rays began to illuminate the old barn minute-by-minute, it was like watching a video image brought into focus. The closer I walked towards the structure the more I understood that I was treading on hallowed ground (quite literally).Misc. 10-25-14 012This old barn has served her purpose. She sheltered her livestock and hay alike, provided storage for the master’s tools, encouraged folk to sit on her porch after a hard day’s work, and with her proud silo she stored the treasure which was harvested. But now she is in a state of disrepair, but not forgotten or she would have been torn down years ago. No, she has accepted retirement gracefully and awaits her final fate…the same fate that awaits us all. Whether one is seven, twenty-seven, fifty-seven or eighty-seven, all will end up retired. Not in the sense of investment advertisements, for they paint a picture that is foreign to how we were originally wired. Rather, retirement is a matter of accepting what is inevitable and responding in a positive manner-regardless of what difficulties may exist or await us.Misc. 10-25-14 035

Autumn’s First Sunrise

9-23-14 014As I left home this morning I rode into one of the most stunning sunrises I have ever witnessed. I couldn’t help myself so I stopped at a couple of locations as I headed east and took multiple photos. Each photo is untouched and the colors were as rich and vibrant then as now. 9-23-14 015I hesitate to share too many images, but am compelled to give you a half-dozen just so the intensity of this sunrise captures you as it did me.9-23-14 017Having a stationary object included in a sky photograph usually accents both the sky and the object, as did this utility pole. However, only one stayed still, and it sure wasn’t the clouds!9-23-14 022I couldn’t resist taking a photograph of the photographer. I like reflections from glass, water or from any reflective material.9-23-14 028Within minutes the shapes and colors of God’s palette changed. I never knew ambers so rich as these. And the shadows so vivid while the reflections were so brilliant. Ablaze was the eastern sky this morning. And just think, this is eastern Kansas and not some exotic locale. What a privilege to have witnessed this unfolding of morning on September 23rd, the Autumnal Equinox. Perhaps this Fall will be special. It certainly started out that way for me…and now for you!9-23-14 032

R E F L E C T I O N S

Various 11-8-13 022I found it very difficult to not make one more post about Autumn’s colors…this time with a reflective flair. The photos are from the same parks where I have previously posted examples of nature’s beauty. Thanks for visiting (and viewing “more of the same” ).Various 11-8-13 038???????????????????????????????I marvel at how beautifully and effortlessly water fowl glide across a pond or lake. It is like watching poetry in motion, Since people can’t glide, I’ll wish you smooth sailing!Dec. 2, 2010 Early Morning 002

Maple Leaves

60D 072Most viewers will look at this maple tree and say to themselves, “How beautiful” or “I have one that can top that”. The point of this post is not to show off our beautiful red maple tree that we planted about twelve years ago, and, I might add, a bit too close to the deck we enlarged ! No, the point is in the leaves.60D 11-1-13 028When the leaves begin to turn colors, this tree is glorious to behold. I simply can’t take my eyes off of this vibrant plant as it is transformed from deep greens to brilliant reds and magnificent oranges. Even the shape of maple leaves are spectacular! The symmetrical edges, the striking veins, the subtle differences in each leave’s color are amazing. The symbol of Canada and of maple syrup, this leaf is well-known.60D 11-1-13 035But then something happens that ushers in different thoughts. The beauty that once hung upon branches begins to fall to the ground (and on any horizontal surface within its breadth). A carpet of foliage is laid below us, and for a short period of time the color remains. As winter approaches the leaves will fade and dry, creating not a soft carpet to walk on, but a chore to clean up. This single tree can create a pile of leaves a foot deep in a sixty foot diameter arc when it is done dropping its precious cargo. That is a lot of leaves to deal with. My question for you is simply this: How many leaves are there? Your quess is as good as mine so give it a shot and share your highly qualified estimate with me. Just for grins, I may award a prize for the most accurate number…if I knew what that was. Ha!                       P.S. Have a Breathtaking Autumn.