Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

This week’s photo challenge is hosted by a nature photographer.  His shot of an icy falls reminds me of some that I took at Wehr Nature Center…and for that reason, I want to go in a different direction. (Yes, I fear comparison!) 

“Lost in the Details” is an interesting posture.  Are you forgetting the big picture?  Are you so overwhelmed that you are purposely choosing to downscale?  Or are you simply appreciating the most minute things in wonder?   Details… are they petty?  or pretty?

This would be a great theme for macrophotography.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the lens.  Here’s one detail shot that I’ve posted before that I like:


And here’s one that I took this Wednesday after our latest snow storm:

storm window

I enjoy details…and I always want to be reminded to look up! (or as my mother would quote from her Girl Scout leader days, “Look wider still.”)


Weekly Photo Challenge: Home


Home.  A weighty concept in some ways, but also tending toward the sentimental.  It can connote fortification, shelter….and yet, homey can be quaint and trivial.  We invent and reinvent our relationship to home throughout our lives.  A place to go to, a place to run from, a place without, a place within.  Maybe the truth about ‘home’ is that it is changing and fluid.  That’s what I want to illustrate. 

This photo was taken out of my bedroom window, from within the warm nest where I find safety, comfort, and respite.  And yet, the window is transparent.  It doesn’t completely shield me from the cold visually, nor does it keep me from feeling it (it’s an old drafty house, not well insulated at all!).  It lets me come face to face with the physical realities of frost and even pulls me beyond the immediate perimeter of my house, across the street, up into the trees, and all the way out of the Earth’s atmosphere to the Moon.  And still, this is all my home, too.  The Universe is where I live.   Home is near as well as far.  And why should I not feel safety and belonging in all of the world’s manifestations?  Cold and death and distance and infinity do not annihilate me, nor do they exalt me.  They are familiar and comforting, too.  I do not control my home as I do not control the weather…I live in it.  And life is bigger than most of us imagine.  

For another picture of home, mundane and temporal but nevertheless real and interesting, my last post was about our home business, Scholar and Poet Books.   Please click here and take a look!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

I really like the photo posted on The Daily Post at Word Press today for the photo challenge.  The single, blooming red tulip in a field of budded yellow ones is an immediate visual image of what it means to be unique.  Outstanding in your field, the only one of your kind, different from all the rest.  Snowflakes.  People.  We’re all unique like that…so does that make being unique – not so unique?  Tricky concept, really. 

I’ve been spending a lot of time this week photographing vintage games, toys, and books from an estate and putting them up for resale on e-Bay.  Part of that time has also been spent researching the object to find out if other people are selling it and for what price.  Manufactured goods are not so unique.  They’re usually mass produced.  But after 50, 60, or 70 years, they begin to be more rare.  Others of their kind have been destroyed or lost for good.  They begin to show wear in unique ways: non-duplicated tears, rubs, bumps, scratches.  But usually, there is another one of that item’s “siblings” out there, somewhere.  I guess what I’m learning is that differences and similarities are rather fluid.  We are the same AND we are different at the same time.  We are connected in mass and atom and substance in numerous ways that we only dimly understand.  Categorizing and separating is something that we like to do because it narrows the overwhelming complexity of the world into an order that our little brains can comprehend.  But it’s all a game, really.  The truth is closer to wonder, the moment when you see something and exclaim “Look at that!” not because it’s necessarily different or special or anything else but just because it IS!  Wow!  There it is being the way it is and isn’t it marvelous!! 

Okay, with that in mind, here’s something I picked up at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, and I didn’t know what made it the way it was, but it seemed familiar and strange at the same time. 


My best guess is that these leaves are from the tulip poplar tree.  The lobes are not formed in the typical way on these individuals.  Mutants?  Perhaps.   I only found one that was like a perfect heart.  The yellower one was a relative, sort of the link to the “normal” tulip poplar shape.   I examined the edges very carefully to determine whether someone had shaped them on purpose.  They appeared to be completely natural. (oh, and the acorn is just for composition and because it had a really sexy luster!)

Variety, diversity, uniqueness.  “And I think to myself…….what a wonderful world!”

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

This week’s challenge is to create a gallery of pictures representing 2012.  These are my favorite shots from each month’s posts, taken with my Lumix for the first nine months and then with the Canon Rebel.  Captions will appear as you hold your cursor over each image, or click on the first one to view a slideshow.  I think they make a nice calendar!  (And I’m really proud that I figured out how to put the gallery together again after WordPress changed the process a bit from their first version.)