Early fall -- September sunrise on the Three Sisters in Canmore, Alberta, flowers from the St. Louis Botanical Garden, and an Indiana leaf, catching the light.
The tree branches are mostly bare now. The leaves have fallen -- on the ground, or held in a tree branch, or a faint echo in a sidewalk. Their shapes are twisted and torn, yet a few still manage to glow in the sunlight.
Changeable November -- falling leaves, falling temps, snow, sun, rain . . . . this weekend it is warm and rainy. A few weeks ago we woke to a frosty morning, full of sugar-coated leaves.
The stores all think it is the season to be jolly and practice retail therapy. Outdoors the picture is more unexpected. These photos are all from Goshen in the past two weeks -- with frost on the leaves and crabapple blooms seen on the same day, a bright red Japanese maple leaf a few days later, snow on the crabapple tree this past Sunday, a yellow iris just a couple days before that. And in the last photo, these wild turkeys seem to have a good grasp on exactly what week this is, as they run for cover!
A few more photos from last weekend at Friedenswald, this time from the woods. So what is that wooly bear predicting about the length of the coming winter? (Presumably very little, since apparently the amount of brown is an indication of the caterpillar's age, so it says more about when the past winter ended then about the one coming up.)
And then there were the patterns of seeds and the glory of leaves in the sunlight, and the curlycues of leaf and vine, and the reflections of light cast by rippling water on a streambed near the fen.
Here's a medley of images, mostly from September, but that didn't find a place in posts last month -- patterns of light and shadow, and a couple insects that caught my fancy. I'm not sure what either of them are, though I'm guessing "katydid" for the green one. In any case, that one had the most amazing antennae. They look to be twice the length of the body. The one looks shorter, but that's only because it was moving -- "feelers" would clearly be another good name for them, as the insect very gently and rapidly checked out the area all around with them.
More patterns from the prairie plantings, mostly featuring a plant I don't remember seeing before --
I'm not sure whether this last one is a mind-reading act or a friendly head massage.
I went for a walk on the millrace path one bright morning earlier this week and found dewy jewels everywhere I looked. The beginning lines from the refrain of one of the songs we sing at church kept running through my head, "Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise..."
One of my friends dislikes the way the refrain continues -- God always faithful, you do not change, He feels that it plays in to some people's perceptions that God is impervious, impassive, and incapable of being affected, avoiding change.
The refrain keeps singing in my head though. For me, "you do not change" connects with "always faithful" and with the sunrise -- returning every morning, yet different every time, As I look around the created world, it looks to me like God takes great delight in diversity and change. So I will go ahead and take delight in this moment and in this dew that will be gone before midday, knowing that tomorrow morning will have its own sparks of light.
The prairie plantings on campus are full of color. Earlier this summer, the campus staff mowed the plantings by the music center and the dorms, hoping to delay the blooming so that students -- most of whom aren't around in July -- would be able to enjoy the show when they return to campus. The plantings by the railroad are tall and exuberantly in full bloom; the mowed areas are shorter but still splashed with color, and catching the light in their own quiet way.
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"