Lesson in Perspective

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This is my last post for Becky’s Square Perspective challenge and I’m a little late but it is still July 31 in the Eastern Time Zone of the U.S., so I can still post my most intriguing exploration of perspective. And think about what I learned through my camera.

The above square is a photo of the flower of a hens & chicks plant. I have some growing along the sidewalk in a really dry area leading to the front door. I’m not happy when they bloom because I’ve never found the flowers attractive.

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I bought this single “hen” at the garden center in the spring but realized when I got home that I already had some of these with reddish leaves. I set it down in the garden thinking I would get to it later, and much later (like weeks later) I found it on the ground still not planted. My compassion for all things living compelled me to dig a hole and stuff it in. There. End of guilt.

To my surprise it bloomed just a few weeks later. No spreading, no chicks, and no attention from me. Just this one little plant with a big ugly bloom coming out of it. And I heard it begging me to take its picture as I was recording what was blooming in my late July garden. It had been a while since I worked at this type of macro photography so I decided to take a stab at using my camera to get a closer look. My aging body doesn’t do well getting down low to peer at little things close to the ground.

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What a surprise when I edited photos to find how beautiful the small flowers are. There has to be a lesson here, don’t you think. If I hadn’t gotten close and intimate with this flower I didn’t like, didn’t see any beauty in, didn’t even respect or appreciate it enough to give it a proper planting – if I hadn’t taken the time to care and really look at it I wouldn’t have ever known how beautifully unique it is.

Morning Perspective

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This is one of my favorite new flowers, especially when the first rays of sun peak through the trees to the east in a way that lights it’s golden petals. I love the loose blooming style and the red stems. They also have a long blooming season and are easy to dead-head. I wish I knew it’s name as I don’t think I got an information tag with it and don’t even remember where I purchased it. Can anyone out there help me?

This is in response to Becky’s Square Perspective challenge.

Perspective from my Swing

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My summertime ritual is to have my first or second cup of coffee on my front porch, sitting on my purple porch swing, surveying my front garden. This seems to ground me, helping to draw my perspective closer to things I have control over, or delude myself into believing I have control. Lately my gaze seems to becoming even narrower to the pot of begonias I have at my feet. They are bringing me a great deal of joy.

I am finding that my perspective needs to expand to keep abreast of the US political problems and pandemic, and even further to other hot spots in the world. But I can only take in so much of this big picture before I need to draw back to those things that settle and sooth me.

I think I will have some fun participating in Becky’s July theme of “The Art of Perspective.” Click to join in the fun.

Living in the Age of COVID- 19: Delicate Colors

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I haven’t left my home to photograph since I returned to Michigan from our winter home in Florida. Even in Florida the only outing with camera after the middle of March was into the western edge of the Everglades, to Everglade City and Chokoloskee . There is a disconnect in my psyche. I love taking photos during the northern spring, when nature is sprouting soft greens, the tulips and daffodils are blooming (deer ate my tulips again this year, but not until after they had bloomed for a day or two.) There are flowering fruit trees around the neighborhood so there is no reason for not taking the camera out. But I don’t.

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Instead I’m wandering through my photo files, looking for “delicate colors” for this week’s Lens-Artist challenge. What a perfect prompt because I need delicate as I watch news of the covid hot-spots across the country, see parts of the country open up and people flock to close places without masks, and ache with hurt and am enraged along with all the protesters over the latest deaths of Afro-Americans at the hands of police. What in the hell is going on when people don’t recognize that their racism is not okay? What in the hell is going on that people aren’t willing to sacrifice a drink in a bar for the well-being of others? What in the hell is going on when the president of the U.S. is too macho and too insensitive to wear a mask? What in the hell is going on when meat packing companies (and Amazon) put profits above human lives? What in the hell is going on when governments are hiding the number of nursing home and prison deaths instead of providing adequate help? What in the hell is going on when the president of the U.S. tweets damaging and inciting lies (with absolutely no factual basis) about a TV personality he is having an ongoing feud with and there are no consequences for him?

I should say “sorry” for my rant, but that felt so good – you can see why I need delicate colors in my life. Life is just f***ing crazy in 2020. Take another deep breath, Pat. And another.

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Jim and I are making our moments of joy even as I feel battered by the social chaos. Yesterday we picked up a take-out from one of our favorite place to eat, the Cascade Manor House. Normally they only host private dinner events and wonderful public buffets on special days but are now providing take-out dinners on Thursdays. Last night they served honey roasted ham, glazed carrots, and their special corn casserole. We parked in their upper lot, between the golf course and the skating pond in the Cascades park. No, we don’t eat out of styrofoam boxes with plastic forks. I take real plates and silverware. Next week they are serving up turkey and dressing. Maybe I’ll take a quilt and sit on the lawn for our picnic. Or take folding chairs and sit in the gazebo. Maybe I’ll even grab a couple of cloth napkins as I pack for our outing.

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Have you found ways to bring joy and gentle to your lives?

 

 

Lens-Artist Photo #93: Morning

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Meeting the morning sun in my Michigan garden.

I have always loved mornings and this prompt of photographs that illuminate the meaning of morning was a wonderful opportunity to go through files to find the photos taken in the morning that elicit the newness I feel with each rising of the sun.

The calm and beautiful gentle color of an early morning on water – as I enjoy a mug of coffee.

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…and watching the sun shift its focus on a lily pond in southern Florida.

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Watching a Monarch gather morning nectar from a fall Autumn Joy sedum,

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and the freshness of morning surf meeting the long shadows of the morning sun on a Gulf of Mexico beach.

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You can participate by checking out this week’s challenge here.