MISTY EVANESCENCE

PHOTO CHALLENGE: Evanescent

Early mist in the woods in January

If you want to get philosophical about this, everything is evanescent. Life, the world, and the universe and all things in it. Nothing is forever.

Maine mist

The flowers will fade and bubbles will pop. The rainbow will be gone even while you look at it. The galaxy and universe will decline, vanish, and be no more.

Mist on the ocean

Misty mountains

I refuse to get gloomy about the ultimate passing of everything. Not today. I’m happy to live in this evanescent piece of life. I won’t be here forever, nor will you, or anyone. We may not last until tomorrow, for all I know. But I’m here, now, and it’s spring.


I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2017

WHAT FOREST?

CAN YOU SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES?


As early as the 1500s, “you can’t see the forest for the trees” was in wide enough use that it was published in collections of proverbs and slang. As anyone who has been in a forest knows, it can be easy to fall into the trap of just looking at the individual trees, rather than considering the forest as a whole.


According to the “saying,” it’s really easy to lose the forest while you are looking at a tree.

Is that true? When you look at a tree, do you forget you’re in a forest? Is it that easy to forget the larger picture because you can only see part of it? Do we forget we are in a city because we’re looking at a building? Do we forget we are reading a book because we are looking at one page? At the risk of arguing with a “known fact,” I don’t need to see the whole city to know I’m in one.

Meanwhile, I really do live in a forest. Not an allegorical or metaphorical forest. We have a whole lot of trees covering a substantial amount of terrain. Our house is right on the edge of it. The forest is primarily red oak trees, with some other hardwood and a bare hint of pine. We used to have a walnut tree, but it went down in a hurricane years back.

If you live in a woods, it’s true that you can’t see the whole forest, but it doesn’t mean you don’t know it’s there.

Unless you looking down from a helicopter, you will never see the whole forest, yet I’m sure all of us can deduce, infer, and assume the larger picture. Whether or not you can see it in its entirety changes nothing. You see trees, but your brain believes “forest.” Not seeing the whole picture does not mean you don’t know there is one

Photo: Garry Armstrong

How many trees I can see from my house depends on where I am. From the back deck, I see forest. Fewer trees from the front or side of the house. But what’s the difference between the forest and the trees? Isn’t a forest just a bunch of trees? How many trees do you need before it’s a forest (rather than a bunch of trees)? Is there a definition?

Despite this, I bet you can tell the different between a group of trees and a forest every time, without assistance.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Parts of things embody the spirit of the whole. This is how we understand our world and ourselves. No matter what piece you look at, you retain awareness of its connection to something larger. We are individuals, but part of a family, a company, clan, tribe. Humanity as a whole. Without this fundamental grasp of reality, we could not live in the world.

So how do you know whether you’re looking at a single tree, or standing at the edge of a forest? Look around. If you see a lot more trees, put your money on “forest.” If you see a parking lot and a Walmart sign? Think “mall.” Of course, the Walmart could be at the edge of the forest. but I think you’ll work it out.

WANDERLUST IN THE SONORAN DESERT

PHOTO CHALLENGE: WANDERLUST


Ironwood in the desert

For a woman raised in New York and living in Massachusetts, the desert is another world. The colors of the sky. The mountains jutting into the sky and giant cacti growing across the landscape. We have spent two vacations in Arizona and each has been glorious.

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2017

WHEN YOU NEED TO FIND A SECTION – CROPPING

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: SECTION – CROPPING


A pair of red finchess

Today I saw a bird I didn’t recognize. At first I thought it was an immature Cardinal, but when I got a closer look, I saw that the beak was not rose or red, but white. There were two birds: a pale grey-beige female and a matching male with a red-head and a gray-beige body. Both have pale beaks and they can’t be Cardinals.

Heavily cropped but sadly, not sharp — so — I went for artistic. You can, at least, see the colors properly

I went on line and couldn’t find any local birds resembling them. I dug out my books … and the only bird these two can be are a pair of red finches, birds that were introduced here as caged birds in the 1940s and 1950s. They appear to be building a nest in the tree in front of my picture window.

The male of the species

In any case, I can’t find anything else they could be. They are known to be occasional, accidental travelers to this region, but are rare. The good news? These are big time insect eaters. Maybe they heard about our massive attack of Gypsy caterpillars and moved here for the chow. Maybe we can get a whole flock of them? I’d like that!

They have been on the branch in front of my window on and off for the past four or five days. Today, they were in my view much of the day and I badly wanted pictures. The only way I could shoot them would be through my picture window. And the branch on which they have decided to perch is far off to the left side of the window. A difficult angle at best.

I shot more than 100 pictures of the birds and maybe a half-dozen were remotely acceptable. All of these have been cropped, some heavily. All the pictures were blurry. Streaked windows, too many branches, buds, and leaves. I can’t shoot them from the ground — they would be invisible in the tree. These are as good as I’ll get. More than a little frustrating.

If anyone has a better idea what these birds might be, I’d be happy to hear from you! They do look like red finches. If they are moving in here, that will be great for the birds and as far as I am concerned, every bug-eating bird and bat is welcome to settle down on my place.

Beautiful birds, your dinner is waiting. Come and get it!

THE CHANGING SEASONS: APRIL 2017

The Changing Seasons: April 2017


And also, today’s Daily Post | HARMONY

We haven’t been far from home this month. Last month, we were all over the place, but this has been a stay at home time. Not in a bad way. Lots of little fixes in the house. A quiet time. We have needed quiet.

The earliest flowers are in. Crocus and forsythia. A few daffodils. Everything else is budding, waiting for next month.

In town, no leaves on the trees, but the soft fuzz of spring on the edge. This gallery is from Garry Armstrong:

And then, the rest of life as it unrolls:

And that’s April. This year, so far. The real spring surprise comes next month because May is the month of flowers. April is the hope, but May is the blooming!


What’s this «Changing Seasons» blogging challenge?

«The Changing Seasons 2017» is a blogging challenge with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the new version (V2) where you can allow yourself to be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month.
Anyone with a blog can join this challenge and it’ll run throughout 2017.
It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t join the first month(s), late-comers are welcomed.
These are the rules (want the full introduction? Click Here), but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking:

These are the rules for Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

These are the rules for Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

    • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
    • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
    • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

 


TheChangingSeasons_6367

DOOMED TO DIE

With the EPA down for the count and hunting of wolves and bears back on the table, it’s hard not to despair about the survival of those two species. The horror of what we do to our beasts makes me ill. All evidence to the contrary, I hope we will come to our senses and save our wild creatures but I have serious doubts that anything larger than a squirrel will survive in the wild. Not here or anywhere.

I believe that pretty much all Earth’s large animals are doomed in their natural habitats. Some  will be gone soon. The remaining species will succumb eventually. Tigers, wolves, lions, jaguars — all the big cats — as well as other large land animals, like elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, apes and most monkeys and many more will no longer have a home on this planet.

There will be no wild places.

Humans will, for a while, maintain controlled populations of various species in zoos and special habitats, as if that could make up for their disappearance. As if warehousing is the same as having a wild kingdom. Want to know why? Really? It isn’t the long complicated explanation you will get from environmentalists or public talking heads. Let’s skip past statistical analyses.

It’s simpler than that.

The animals will disappear because they are in our way. Animals don’t fit with human civilization. They are untidy. They eat cattle, goats, chickens, sheep. They trample fields, demolish gardens. Take up space that could be more profitably used for shopping malls and suburban subdivisions. They are more valuable dead than alive.


Predators and large animals are inconvenient.


When humans finds something — anything — inconvenient, we eliminate it. Kill it. Demolish it. Whether it’s a species, a river, or a mountain. If it’s in our way, we make it disappear.

There’s a moral to the story. We should all take care because someday soon, we might eliminate ourselves.

Bye bye.

SPRING CLEANUP – CEE’S ODDBALL PHOTOGRAPHY

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: April 9, 2017


 

Today was garden cleaning. It’s a mess out there, partly because it’s spring — it’s always a mess in the spring — but also because we had a particularly klutzy plow driver who did considerable damage. And before you ask, yes, he got paid anyway.

But, at least we got out the mass of dead leaves and old plants from last year. More to come, but we might — if we work fast — get there!

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