Monthly Archives: May 2015

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

There’s a storm heading our way (or promised, at least), and clouds have gathered.  I’ve caught myself staring up into the sky, noticing the ways the clouds race across the sky, gather in delicate puffs, and capture light.  At UCSD today, I was mesmerized by the clouds behind the Geisel Library…a very space ship looking building.  I played around with the app Paintereque…I love the way it draws attention to the sky.

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I’ve been paying a bit more attention to the ways my surroundings impact the way I feel…and have been picking up flowers now and then and putting them in my dining room.  These red tulips were closed buds on Saturday, began to open up on Sunday, and yesterday I noticed them drooping gracefully and casting delicate tulip shadows when I got home from work.

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With a late meeting earlier this week I couldn’t resist stealing away for a few minutes at the Torrey Pines Glider Port.  This interesting place just a few minutes from the university offers breathtaking views of the ocean and, as an added bonus, opportunities to watch the hang gliders float on the breeze.  From a distance they are like delicate birds, surfing the currents.  Up close, they are much more ungainly.

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Up in the mountains over the weekend, I explored the forest and meadows and noticed forces of nature as they whispered.  The quiet was soothing and as I breathed deeply, I noticed this delicate butterfly (or is it a moth?) that settled long enough for me to take its portrait!

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I loved all the wildflowers carpeting the forest.  I noticed that many of the flowers were small and delicate…and often close to the ground like these tiny beauties.

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And there is also a delicacy to these large, old oaks.  Looking up I could appreciate the delicate branches reaching into the sky.  Some were lush, with brilliant green leaves and others, like this one, seem to be declining.  Maybe because of our persistent drought?

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So what evokes delicate for you?  Is it in the flight of a man-made object or the curve of a tree branch?  Maybe you notice delicate in the smile of a child or the whiskers of your pet.

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!)

I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #delicate for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So take a look around, what strikes you as delicate?  I’m looking forward to expanding my understanding of delicate by seeing it through your lens!

Quiet Forces of Nature

When we think of a force of nature, our thoughts often turn to those terrifying and often devastating earthquakes, tornados, avalanches, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, and wildfires.  But sometimes in nature, forces whisper and almost go unnoticed.

In the solitude of the hiking trail, the rhythm of our boots joined the whoosh of the wind as it races through the tree tops.  When I look closely I can see how the wind shapes those tall sentinels, bending and curving them with its quiet force.

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Could have been wind or water (or the lack of water) or something else that worked this tree trunk loose from the ground.  Now it continues to contribute to life in the forest as it decays, providing a home to insects and fungi, enriching the soil…and providing a natural frame for this photo!

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Tiny flowers spring up, planted by the wind and passing wildlife, watered by the increasingly rare raindrops, and nibbled by the local inhabitants.  In the meadows they create a carpet of color, a delight for the eyes.

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Look closer and you can see the individual blossoms as they sway in the breezes, their beauty fleeting…it won’t be long before the blooms dry up and fall off and this colorful carpet will turn to dry brush.

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The barbed wire hints at the cattle that graze these spaces.  As I see the fences I remember a photo recently posted by a friend…and it becomes a mentor for one of my own.

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I hear birds and look up.  On this hike I have seen birds of prey floating on the wind currents and what I think are local woodpeckers, with bright red heads, chatting with one another in the tall oaks high above me.  I see other evidence of their presence, the creation of granary trees where they store their acorns.

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There are so many forces of nature at work in this magnificent place in our local mountains.  Nature’s forces weren’t roaring, but they whispered their power, begging me to take notice and appreciate the intricacies of her systems at work.  I’m part of this system too, and when I care I can make a positive difference, remembering that my needs and desires need to stay in balance with those of the trees and the birds and the wildflowers.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Two

Looking through photos I’ve taken lately, I’ve noticed twos.  Not really pairs, like shoes or gloves, but instead two of something finding their way to a prominent position in the photo like these two bike riders pedaling along the beach.

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And as I stood along the edge of the lily pond at our local botanical garden a few days ago, I noticed a turtle swimming toward me.  And as I continued to watch, there were two.  They swam along snapping up small fish, slipping around and under the lily pads.

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The water lily blossoms also appeared in twos for me, a riot of color atop the brilliant green of the lily pads.

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Out in the school garden students were invited to reflect on their experiences in the garden during the school year (it’s our garden teacher’s last week).  It was such fun to watch them settle in, perched on stumps, leaning on the fence under the sunflowers, garden boxes serving as writing desks…and I caught these two surrounded by the colorful, fragrant sweet peas as they took time to reflect and write.

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Somehow my photo of the flax also focused on two blossoms.  I love the color of these red blooms!

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And even as the petals fall off the sunflowers, they remain interesting and somehow beautiful as they go to seed.  I noticed that this one has two petals still hanging on.

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So where are twos popping up for you? Are you noticing traditional pairs and couples or unusual combinations?  Are they people, animals, plants, man-made items?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!)

I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #two for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So, start looking for two and share what you find through your lens with the rest of us!