Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered

The forests of Wisconsin are layered. Up in the canopy, the broad leaves of maples, oaks, hickories, lindens and elms filter out the sun. Down on the forest floor, amid the fallen trunks and branches of those hardwood sentinels,  nestled in the needles of firs and pines and alongside the fronds of ferns, you can find a world of fungi hard at work converting biomass to soil. This is the understory, a very earthy layer – it’s at ground zero and grass roots, and it’s beautiful, colorful and diverse. 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Structure

I’m gonna show my age and admit that when I hear the word “structure”, I can’t help remembering Madeline Kahn in Paper Moon telling Tatum O’Neill that she’s got good ‘bone struck-cha’. 

How my sisters and I giggled over that line!

I do love the resilience of ancient structures, man-made…

…and natural. 

I wonder what structures will crumble in my lifetime, and which will remain for my children’s children. What kind of masonry am I working on now? I work for a Land Trust. I like to think I’m working on building a network of green space that will resist development…forever. 


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. 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Textures

Nature loves to combine textures with remarkable contrast.  

Spine-prickly and petal-soft:

Cold, smooth, and rough: 

Fuzzy and rigid: 


Smooth, rough and bumpy:

Wet slippery, dry and grainy: 


Everywhere you look, Nature feels wonderful.  


Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction

We collect estate sale items for our home business, Scholar and Poet Books. Most of these are books, but we  also specialize in recorded music, sheet music, and puzzles. We picked up a collection of about 300 jigsaw puzzles from a church rummage sale a few years ago. In order to resell them, we had to determine whether or not we had all the pieces. The only way to do that was to put them together. And so we began to assemble and photograph puzzles. That was about 2 1/2 years ago. We’ve become pretty adept at doing puzzles. We get great satisfaction in finding that all the pieces are included in these second-hand puzzle boxes .

However, sometimes a greater satisfaction is coming across a cool, vintage puzzle made from real wood, with ornate and elaborate “gazintas” – as in this “goes into” that. Steve gave me one that immediately reminded me of the Pastime Puzzles that my grandmother kept at her beach cottage. I lifted the lid and breathed in the aroma of old wood. I put it together while I was sick in bed with a cold. It was only a small puzzle, not like the ones my family would put together on the table in the living room. I realized there was one piece missing, but I wasn’t disappointed. It meant that it would be worth less in resale value, so I might as well keep it.

So “satisfaction” is not necessarily a complete puzzle. Satisfaction is enjoying the moment of discovery, the journey of working on a project, and the pleasure of keeping a memory alive.



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. 😉  


Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridge

“Only connect.” – my mother

“Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.” – E. M. Forster Howard’s End

“True self is non-self, the awareness that the self is made only of non-self elements. There’s no separation between self and other, and everything is interconnected. Once you are aware of that, you are no long caught in the idea that you are a separate entity.” – Thich Nhat Hanh