nature

Experimental

Finding something you love, even if it is later in life, is a complete joy. I recently started a graphic design program, and although I’ve been out of school for way too many years, I’ve found that the discipline of learning never entirely leaves you. That said, everything is new now with all the electronic tools at one’s disposal. So, for me, every day is experimental. Today was no different; we are playing with Photoshop and had a requirement to turn a photo into a painting. Although not perfect (what art ever is?), this didn’t turn out too bad.

Hope of the Sycamore (or Sweet Gum)

[Update: January 4, 2015. Marsha informed me today that what I mistakenly thought was a sycamore seed pod is actually a sweet gum tree pod although the bark of the tree it was sitting under looked suspiciously like the sycamore tree and not the sweet gum tree. Marsha was kind enough to bring one of her sycamore pods in for comparison and it is a much fuzzier entity than the prickly one I photographed. Could a squirrel have carried it off and dropped his or her prize? Who knows! Many thanks, though, Marsha for setting me straight. By the way, the paw paw is an etirely different tree altogether so my great-grandmother was way off the mark.]

Today on our walk, we discovered a wealth of small joys, not the least of which was this lovely seed pod from the Sycamore tree. I can remember my great-grandmother calling these paw paws and I always thought that was funny but they are rather strange; almost as if the sycamore tree was trying to create a snowflake or snowball.

Sycamore seed pod

New Year, New Life, New Beginnings

It’s that time of the year. A fresh start, a new beginning, a hopeful presence in the air. Yes, it is still the dead of winter. Yes, it is cold (damn cold, actually in some parts of the country). Yes, it is dark, dreary, and seemingly soulless. And yet, today I took a walk in the woods near my house and discovered a wealth of life and a wealth of hope in that glimpse into living in the presence. We were fortunate to have a gorgeous blue sky day; a rarity in January when it is often cold and wet. Today, however, was a magical day and a great day for new hope and new starts. On that walk I was blessed to see all manner of creatures not the least of which was this lovely buck. His father, for it had to be either his father or grandfather, was far swifter and I couldn’t get a photo of him. The older of the two had a very handsome and large rack with a magnificent ruff and was far larger but much swifter and far more clever at hiding than his younger counterpart. What a wonderful way to start the new year with a glimpse of nature’s beauty.

Stag