Diagonals are leading lines. They draw your eyesight and attention toward a vanishing point.
“Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen
“If a foreigner were to spend a week or a month traveling your home country with you, where would you take them? What sights would you tell them to be sure to see? Where have you found some of your own favorite images? What is it you truly love about where you live, or places you’ve seen in your home country?”
― Tina of Travels and Trifles sets our Challenge this week.
If I were showing a foreign visitor what I like about my home country, I think I’d ask what my visitor was interested in exploring and hope that we could agree on some beautiful outdoor places (like National Parks) that would make good road trip destinations, as well as some nearby walking trails, restaurants, museums, and music concerts. I think that would be a relaxed approach, without any pressure to see the most iconic of places. I’m not a fan of crowds, you see. Hopefully, my visitor would forgive me for not including New York City…unless a really good Broadway musical enticed me.
“What do I make of all this texture? What does it mean about the kind of world in which I have been set down? The texture of the world, its filigree and scrollwork, means that there is the possibility for beauty here, a beauty inexhaustible in its complexity, which opens to my knock, which answers in me a call I do not remember calling, and which trains me to the wild and extravagant nature of the spirit I seek.” — Annie Dillard
I am happily inspired by this week’s Lens-Artist host, guest blogger Jude of Cornwall in Colours. The colors and textures of the land, sea, and sky are a borderless palette of life in all its fascinating diversity. Where those places come together and complement and contrast are especially beautiful.
“A day, a livelong day, is not one thing but many. It changes not only in growing light toward zenith and decline again, but in texture and mood, in tone and meaning, warped by a thousand factors of season, of heat or cold, of still or multi winds, torqued by odors, tastes, and the fabrics of ice or grass, of bud or leaf or black-drawn naked limbs. And as a day changes so do its subjects, bugs and birds, cates, dogs, butterflies and people.” — John Steinbeck
“Texture is closely related to our sense of touch. It suggests something about the make-up or structure of the object that we are looking at: whether it is fuzzy or soft, rough or smooth or sharp or flat. Since we cannot touch the object we are looking at, we are completely dependent on the visual clues captured by the photographer to glean insight into the qualities of the object photographed.” — Samantha Chrysanthou
Thank you, Jude, for your invitation to look closely at Texture and feel the beauty surrounding us!
I have been extremely fortunate to live in places where wildlife habitat was nearby and protected. For four years, I lived on land trust property, 56 acres of preserved land. Now I live on property that is on a forested mountain ridge; a creek runs down the valley. Black bears, mountain lions, wild turkeys, elk, deer, bobcats, skunks, raccoons, opossums, moles, rabbits, owls, bald eagles, and various other rodents and birds as well as a host of others make their homes here. I rarely catch them on camera, though, as the more exotic ones prefer to stay hidden and the common ones don’t compel me to run and get my camera. I admire wildlife photographers who have the patience to set up and wait for an encounter. I also imagine a zoom lens would make it more rewarding to try to photograph wildlife when I venture out.
That said, here’s a gallery of wildlife found living close to my homes in Wisconsin and Oregon:
Thanks to Anne Sandler for hosting this week’s challenge.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
– Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
– Helen Keller
“I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge.” – Igor Stravinsky
I find that photographic terms morph in my mind to concepts. Being exposed and captured in the Raw is a very vulnerable state. But in the kind hands of an Artist, that’s how beauty can be shared.
Thank you, Sofia, for opening up the possibilities, for inviting the dark as well as the bright, for acknowledging that neither is “right”.
How do you photograph a fantasy?
What do your daydreams look like?
“Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in reverie.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.” – Dr. Seuss
“Nothing happens unless first a dream.” – Carl Sandburg
The fabulous thing about this challenge is that you would have no photographs to submit unless your flight of fancy could become reality. We may be more fortunate than we dare to imagine. Thanks to Johnbo for the prompt!
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.” – John Muir
“We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.” – John Muir
Thank you, Amy, for the challenge to seek higher ground.
Unlike our host this week, Ann-Christine of Leya (sounds like a princess’ name, and indeed she is Lens-Artist royalty!), I do not grow flowers or keep a garden. However, I have loved and cherished them and have stories of how they have made happiness bloom in my life.
My first favorite flower is the Lilac. There was a row of lilac bushes that belonged to our next-door neighbor that sat on the dividing line of our properties. When they bloomed for two short weeks in early summer in Illinois, their fragrance intoxicated me. I wanted to cut the bunches and bring them to my room so that I could smell them as I went to sleep. I was soon instructed by my mother that first, they weren’t mine, and second, they would quickly drop their blossoms and become a mess to clean up inside. I vowed that when I grew up, I would have my own lilac bushes and surround myself with their lovely perfume. I missed lilacs while living in California, but my husband planted dwarf lilacs for Mother’s Day at our house when we moved back to Illinois. Then he took me to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan, where they have a Lilac Festival each year, and he bought me a small bottle of lilac essence, which I dabbed on my skin with sheer delight until it was all gone.
Fringed Gentian was a legend on the restored prairies of land protected by the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation of Wisconsin, where I worked for five years. I had never heard of this early Fall flower before or seen it until I was in my 50s. One September day, my friend Jerry (on the Board of the Foundation and their main trail steward) called me up and told me to grab my camera – the Gentians were up! I was absolutely enthralled by their tightly twisted blooms that opened to four fringed petals of blue perfection.
The Rose speaks of love silently
In a language known only to the heart
My late husband, Jim, loved roses. He gave me lots of them. He gave me the crystal plaque with the above inscription when I was in High School. It sits in the curio cabinet I inherited from his mother. Next to it is an acrylic-coated and gold-tipped rose, a souvenir from the weekend we spent together at a couples’ resort, a mini-vacation from our four kids. I love roses with the deep scent of raspberries; the soft, furry sweetness of their aroma is a heaven of blissful indulgence. They speak of romance and exclusive preference, to me. They will always remind me of Jim. I have moved into houses where rose bushes were left behind in the garden. The blooms were always a gift, not something I felt I had earned. I suppose that’s totally appropriate for a love flower, and why it is so very special.
Thank you, Tina, for inviting us to join you on a Treasure Hunt! Here’s the list for all you additional treasure-hunters out there:
- A pet or pets (yours or someone else’s)
- The moon or the sun (extra credit for both in one image)
- Clouds (extra credit if you also include rain or snow)
- A reflection
- A child (extra credit if with other family members)
- An umbrella (extra credit if you include a person using it)
- A truck (extra credit if you include the driver or what the truck is hauling)
- Autumn foliage (extra credit if it’s something that only blooms in the fall)
- Something fun you found on a walk