Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental

“Explore the classical elements of earth, air, water, and fire. How do you capture something invisible like air, or the movement of water? Or, more personally, is there a place you go to feel connected to the earth?”

Air, water and fire form a double rainbow touching Earth. 

Sitting on the ground beside a lake, the campfire behind him dancing in the air. 

Connected to the earth, from head to toe. 

Elemental

Weekly Photo Challenge: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Do you see something….unusual…in this photo?  

Blue ‘Shroom, I saw you standing alone….
It’s a lactarius indigo edible mushroom. The latex or milk that oozes from it turns from blue or blue/gray to green when it is cut open. I’ve only seen this one. 

And what’s wrong with this picture? 

Boys in shorts, green grass and blooming flowers, and…snow on the ground? 
Okay, I’m kidding. That’s not snow. It’s flower petals from the tree overhead. 

 

What about these? Anything ODD about this place? 

Yeah. It’s all weird. I don’t get humans. I’m sticking to Nature Photography. 😉  

Unusual

Weekly Photo Challenge: Order and Chaos

My photographic focus is on Nature. Here’s an interesting question: is Nature ordered or chaotic? I grew up hearing that God brought order out of chaos when He created the world. What might that mean? Do we see that evidenced in the world? There are certainly patterns in Nature, but aside from crystal structures, I have a hard time thinking of anything in Nature resembling a straight line. To me, Nature is one thing after another and never exactly the same. I see this in many examples, like my 4 children. 

And speaking of crystal structures, what about snowflakes? No two are alike, we’re told. Is symmetry the same as order?Pattern and repetition, if not exact, can be a kind of order, I guess…or it can be a kind of chaos. Are feathers orderly? Even when ruffled?

Nature is complex. I think that order is a human attempt to simplify Nature into something less overwhelming and easier to control. Sometimes this simplification has benefits. Evenly and consistently constructed stair steps are much easier to ascend than canyon rocks. 

Somehow, even though Order makes my life easier and tidier at times, I would not say that it’s better. I would not even say that it’s Divine. It’s just….orderly.  

Order

Weekly Photo Challenge: Security

My first thought on this subject is of Linus Van Pelt, the wise but neurotic younger brother of Lucy the fuss-budget in the Peanuts cartoons.  His blanket is rarely out of reach. He is aware of his dependence on it and unapologetic and creative in his relationship with it. He seems to be coping better than most adults. Aren’t we all neurotic in some way?

Now that I’m fifty-something, I’ve gotten to know my insecurities pretty well, mostly through the loss of things I relied on. I no longer depend on my husband for security, since he died 9 years ago. My kids all moved out of the nest and I sold the big, suburban house. Shortly after that, I stopped practicing belief in Christianity (and I had a serious practice). As all of these big pieces began to fall away, I began to realize that security was not about them, but about how I think about myself in the world.

You see, either I belong here, or I don’t.

If I don’t belong here, all of those things won’t help. If I do belong here, all of those things are unnecessary. I finally began to see that I am part of this natural world. I fit in it, just the way I am. And even when I die, all the bits of me will be reabsorbed into the earth and fit in just as well that way.

It’s pretty simple, really, but I have to say that I still get anxious and neurotic sometimes. The one who shows me what being secure in the world looks like is my partner Steve. We camped in the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. By the time we got to the place, he was pretty tired from driving. So he just lay down and fell asleep. No tent. No bug spray. No gear.

No problem. 


Security

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Good Match

A “satisfying pairing” you say? Oh, so many come to mind…

There are, obviously, the many combinations of happily mated people:

As well as deliciously married flavors, like cheese and truffles or herbs:

cheese

And then there are the natural cooperations of plants and animals, like the monarch butterfly that feeds on milkweed in the larval stage and then benefits from that toxin as an adult that is distasteful to predators and pollinates wildflowers:

monarch prince

Sometimes, though, it’s just as satisfying to put two things together that don’t seem to have much in common – just for the hell of it: 

prickly feathery cold

Even if you never liked all those essay questions you answered in High School that started with “Compare and contrast….”, you probably learned something by thinking about them. What I hope to learn in the Match Games I play is appreciation — because the world is full of fascinating examples of A Good Match. 

good-match
A Good Match

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Magic of Light

Light is magic. I’m enjoying watching the light, from sun up to sun down, at my new home in the country. Foggy dawn changes…magic-mist…to afternoon gold…

afternoon-gold

…to evening moonrise.

moonrise

Then there are the more nuanced fluctuations of light dancing off cold and warm surfaces and reflective crystals.

frosty-leaf

warm-rose

Isn’t that what photography is all about? The Magic of Light!

Magic