Song for Autumn
by Mary Oliver
In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
*Cellphone image (taken through car window) and later altered in Pixlr-o-matic (Android app).
…grab an image (even something you think might not work very well); like those shot through the passenger window of a moving car, for example …and run them through the ‘distort’/’twirl’ filter in Photoshop.
Almost 300 years ago, on a cool crisp day, a pine cone fell from a tree, and gently hit the ground. Several days past and the pine cone opened and a small seed slowly slipped out and onto the ground. The seed sprouted and took root and began growing. It had to brave the weather and all other disasters that can befall a small seedling. It continued to grow silently as people moved into the area. Little did this tree know that one day, it would be a famous tree and people from far and wide would come to see just how much it had grown over the years.
Almost 160 years later, a man and his wife would move to Ashley County, Arkansas, where the pine tree grew. They would settle close to the tree and make their home and raise a family. On April 20, 1876, Louie L. Morris, was born to James William Morris and Susan E. Sherrer. It would be almost 60 years before Louie L. Morris and this tree would become aware of each other. “Mr. Louie” traveled over several southern states for the Crossett Company surveying and buying timber, for over 40 years. As an honor to him for his service to the company, they named the tree “The Morris Pine” in his honor.
Today the tree still stands, majestic and tall, having withstood the barrages of man and nature for over 275 years. This little seed has grown to be a Giant Loblolly Pine, located in the Levi-Wilcoxin Forest and now stands over 116 feet tall. At one time it was over 130 feet tall, but due to the ice storms in Southeast Arkansas, it has lost some of its’ height. For many years, graduate forestry students from Yale University would come to Ashley County to study the tree and surrounding forest.
I have a cloud fetish.
I’ve known about it for a really long time. I simply can’t help myself.
I’ve even stopped trying.
But surely you can understand my affliction…LOOK AT THESE CLOUDS!!!!!
Are they not incredible? Is the color not amazing? Are these not the most beautiful clouds you’ve ever seen i-n y-o-u-r l-i-f-e ???
Well then… are they at least, the most beautiful clouds you’ve ever seen today??
And to make it even more incredibly, amazingly, unbelievable…these clouds were shot through a really dirty car window while traveling roughly 80 mph.
I didn’t tweak the color at all – these are straight out of the camera.
Seriously…these clouds really are beautiful – don’t you think?
I see or I hear
that more or less
that leaves me
like a needle
in the haystack
It is what I was born for – –
to look, to listen,
to lose myself
inside this soft world – –
to instruct myself
over and over
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant – –
but the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,
the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help
but grow wise
with such teachings
as these – –
the untrimmable light
of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?
(“Mindful” Poem by Mary Oliver)
(“Through the Windshield” Image made while driving through Rocky Mountain National Park)
(One of the infrared images I took a few weeks ago at a park in Austin, Texas.)
The branches in this particular image left a negative space in the shape of a heart…and I decided coloring it in would be a good way to express my love for trees.
Just for fun.
I was fortunate enough to get to spend a few minutes at a lovely park this weekend…and luckily I had my favorite camera on hand.
This is just the kind of scene I love to photograph with my infrared camera!