Love is like wildflowers;
It’s often found in the most unlikely places.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am almost stumped by Patti’s Lens-Artist Challenge this week. My photographs are largely of natural subjects, and I am not likely to be in an urban setting with a camera. However, I did have one photo come to mind…
So, definitely paint is involved…and a street…and something natural because…me. And yes, I moved the painted leaf because it was stuck fast. Then I took a picture of it. Does that make me a street artist?
Amy’s challenge this week is a very meaningful one. Imagine how the Earth would benefit if the human species truly embraced the idea that “Less is the new More!”
We’ve all seen news articles showing evidence of huge flotillas of garbage in our oceans, of urban sprawl eating up wilderness, and of first world over-consumption. I remember being visually struck by a National Geographic article by photographer Peter Menzel showing the possessions of an average family from a variety of countries across the world. (Material World: A Global Family Portrait) The American family had enough possessions to fill the end of their cul de sac.
One of the benefits of my preferred way of travel, camping, is that it gives me the opportunity to live very simply. The clothes I’m wearing, a tent, a box of matches, some bedding, and a few cooking utensils are completely sufficient. The food I eat is recycled: gathered in and returned to the land. The vast landscapes of the outdoors are anything but simple. The world is a complex array of ecosystems. But focusing on one feature reveals the astounding beauty of simple design.
Removing extraneous clutter from my photos and my way of life allows me to focus on the wonder of the essence of Life. That I am alive and that I am surrounded by life that exists on levels more intricate and vast than I can see or imagine is…simply…amazing.
For this week’s challenge, Amy sends a colorful April “Hello” from Texas and quotes Rachel Carson:
“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature–
the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.”
Here in Wisconsin, the temperatures are just starting to creep up into true Springtime levels. This morning, there was no frost on the ground, so the maple syrup season will start to taper off, and soon April will show off her new spring colors. Last year, we had a late snow storm that caused a major interruption in spring growth. The first brood of sandhill crane chicks on this property died, the deer ate all the tulip shoots, and my garden planting energy never really recovered. Here’s a contrasting shot of the last two years in the turkey mating season.
I’m looking forward to seeing the forsythia bloom.
I am looking forward to seeing the first woodland wildflowers take their brief turn on the forest stage.
How this Spring will actually unfold, however, is uncertain. Instability in our global climate has resulted in unprecedented changes that manifest locally in more alarming ways each year. I am not sure who April will be when I meet her this year. However, I will surely observe and photograph her, and find her beautiful.
There is something infinitely healing, I believe, in accepting Nature in all her autonomy and taking responsibility for the ways we abuse her.