Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Symmetry


I’ve been going through old files looking for symmetry for this week’s photo challenge hosted by Patti. This is somewhat of a challenge because I tend to prefer asymmetry. Everything is a little off center and although balanced, there isn’t really symmetry. But I do have a healthy imagination so I began to see a “sense of symmetry” in most every photo I looked at – like the symmetry formed by centering this weight seen at low tide at a boat landing on Nova Scotia’s Digby Neck in Canada’s Maritime Provinces.

Or this sculpture of a fall leaf at the Hidden Lake Gardens (owned by Michigan State University) south of us here in Michigan, in the area known as the Irish Hills.

We took a ride through this wooded garden last Saturday but I forgot my camera – I know, how silly of me. The trees were just beginning to show color so this image from a couple of years ago is a great alternative to the symmetry of a real leaf.

My last example of symmetry is a photo from several years ago of morning glories blooming on my front porch railing. They are my favorite flower with their clear blue blossoms that look and feel like silk.

Yes, it is a bit of push to use this for symmetry but if you look hard you will see how the growth pattern is sort of a mirror image if you draw a line down the center of the middle growth.

The real reason I used this photo is that I have continued to plant morning glories in this space but haven’t had any blooms for the past two years. This year the plants grew so thick that they created a wall of green and every other day I had to cut off new vines that were threatening to take over my purple porch swing and grow across the entrance blocking delivery people from leaving my packages. But not a single blossom. I did some reading and realized that we had taken out three big shrubs that starved previous plants, and this year I wanted blooms so badly that I fertilized them. They thrive on neglect in poor soil. The perfect plant for me except in Covid years when I don’t have much to do but nurture the plants in my garden.

This has been so much fun that I just might keep looking through my photo files for other examples of almost symmetry. Thanks, Patti, for hosting this weeks challenge.

In Search of…

N. Gould City Road

I smile when I remember our search for the quilt store on N. Gould City Road in the eastern half of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We decided to do one more camping trip before Jim got our away-from-home home ready for its long winter nap. Our destination was St. Ignace on the other side of the Big Mac bridge, where we could get Bessie’s Pasties (click on link to learn more about them) and explore back roads, small towns, and shorelines of that part of the Upper Peninsula.

Just before we left home I checked out the 10-day weather forecast for the second week of September (cloudy, really cold at night, and some rain) and if there are any quilting stores in the region (two). I made notes of important information on each store and collected squares of fabric I’m using for quilts I’m working on so I could get a new new fabrics. I put these very important items on the table with other items to pack in our electronic and reading bags. I felt so organized and so excited about spending some time in a different location – one with quilt stores I haven’t visited. I packed up my lap top and Jim’s tablet along with cords and chargers for my I-pod and Kindle. I packed assorted items for our reading enjoyment on cold, wet evenings as we have a cup of chamomile tea and molasses cookies. And I left my notes and swatches on the table; they didn’t seem to belong in either of those bags and I didn’t put them in my pocket or the truck.

No sweat – I knew what I needed to know to find the stores and get what I needed. Tuesday was suppose to be cloudy so I thought it a good day to look for the first quilting shop and because state highway 2 follows the northern edge of Lake Michigan, we could maybe stop for a stroll on the beach. I didn’t have the address but I remembered the road it was on, and remembered the map that was on their Facebook page. Jim was doubtful when we turned onto N. Gould City Road because it was a dirt road and looked very wilderness-like. But I knew it was right so he drove, and drove, we saw a couple of houses, and he drove, and drove, and drove some more. He suggested it couldn’t be on this road, and I said it was. He suggested we turn around, and I suggested we go a little further. And he drove some more.

We carry a very old book of Michigan county maps that has every road and fire lane ever created. Many years ago we used it to search for ghost towns in the Upper Peninsula and now we use it to track where we are when we are almost lost. We found the paved road that goes to the small town of Curtis and Jim wondered if the quilt store was there. I said it was on the dirt road and asked to go a little further. We eventually went back to Curtis.

It was very good decision because we found an ice cream store and we were the only customers. Wearing our masks, I ordered Mackinaw City Fudge that I ate while sitting on a bench watching the water gently moving around rushes on the shore of South Manistique Lake. The ice cream was the best I have had in a very long time and I had a loaf of cinnamon bread that the owner said made really good french toast.

I also popped in the Chamber of Commerce to ask about the quilt shop. There was a local man sitting in a chair across the desk from the woman who worked there. I could tell they were having a relaxed conversation and they invited me in. Keeping a good distance from them, I asked and they looked puzzled. I said it was on N. Gould City Rd. and that sparked a memory – must have been the Thompsons. He died a couple of years ago and she closed her business.

It’s strange how a dish of amazing ice cream and a loaf of cinnamon bread can ease the disappointment of not visiting a quilting store. We took some back roads to St. Ignace and enjoyed some delicious split pea soup for supper. What a good day!