At Sunset

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As the sun set last evening I stood on the front deck with camera in hand.  It was one of those “perfect” moments.  The sun was going down in a glorious way.  The air was pleasantly refreshing with just the slightest hint of a breeze.  Then I heard a cardinal calling.  I looked back over my right shoulder and saw him sitting high on my tower.

I looked back toward the west and then I heard a second cardinal calling–this time from my left.  This one was farther away.  I was enjoying the enchantment of the unfolding scene.

Then I spotted a fawn running on the hay field just beyond our lawn.  Soon I saw the doe, but only one fawn.  Where was the sibling?  As I watched mom grazing and the young one playing, it became obvious this was not the doe with the twin fawns.

A few minutes later, mom and the twins came out as they frequently do around sunset.  That was the first time I’ve seen the two does and three fawns together.  It gives me pleasure to watch those fawns play just for the pure joy and exultation of running, turning and leaping.  (Wouldn’t it be nice to do that again?)

I found myself wishing that our granddaughter was there to share in the moment.  I came back in the house, took my camera to the office and sat down at the computer.  There was an e-mail from Briana.  That made my day complete.

Never the Same

Have you noticed that no two years, seasons or days are ever the same?  Each brings its unique joys and sorrows, opportunities and missed chances.

Still the sun comes up in the morning and goes down in the evening, but those are never the same.

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I like that.  If you keep your eyes and ears open, you will see and hear something special with each day.

Posted in sky

Missed It by That Much

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Monday evening, I looked out a window to see the setting sun centered between the neighbor’s two silos.  The red ball was only half visible above the trees.  I knew that I couldn’t get the camera in time.  I tried anyway.

Tuesday evenings, we have a small group that meets in our living room.  As folks were leaving I remembered to quickly take my camera outside to capture the setting sun.  As Maxwell would say, “missed it by that much.”

That walk was not a total loss.  There is a calm stillness that fills the sunset scene.  Diurnal critters cease their activities and nocturnal critters have yet to begin theirs.  For me, it says, “Peace.”

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Evening Scenes

Last evening, we sat down to our evening meal and prayed.  As I lifted my eyes, I caught a glimpse of a glorious sunset.  Excusing myself, I dashed for my camera as fast as I could gimp.  Once again, the glory moment had passed.  I captured an image anyway.

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I keep hoping to see that definitive sunset image.  File that under “unfinished business.”

We finished our meal and cleared the table.  The western sky had taken on a complete different character.  I called Sylvia’s attention to it.  She took one look and said, “Ominous.”  For my part, I agreed.

150923cThat tree on the left is just right of center in the previous image.

I turned to go back in the house when I heard a deer chuff loudly at me.  I paused and scanned the low ground from whence the sound came.  After a bit, a second chuff sounded clearly.  A couple of seconds later, a dark shape leaped, turned and flagged her friends as she bounded away toward the willow thicket.  A second and similar shape followed in her wake.  These would have been last year’s fawns.  Shortly after, their mother followed with her longer stronger leaps.

Then they were gone.  The late evening was once more dominated by the sounds of night-time insects while the moon watched over all.

These Eyes

I’ve often wished that I could take pictures with my eyes.  I’d love to show you an image of a vulture that attempts a landing on a tree branch.  As the vulture settles, the dead branch breaks and falls to earth.  The vulture dropped a couple of feet, built up enough air speed, and then soared away.  I saw it, but can only talk about it now.

There have been countless other times I’ve seen a meteor, a landscape or critters just living out the drama that we call life.  I’ve so wanted to capture those moments and share them with you.  Meditating on this, I realized that I do capture those images on the imperfect canvas of my memory.

Last night, it happened again.  The sun was setting as I looked out the window.  Wow!  The sky was glowing with the red-shifted light of the setting sun.  I wanted to capture that so I ran to the office as fast as I could gimp.  With camera in hand, I went out onto the front deck to capture this image:

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Too late!  The magic was gone.  The camera never sees what the eyes do anyway.

Those grapes were probably sour.  So why should I care?

Posted in sky

What is That?

I ask this question at close of day
What is that, which comes this way?

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Is it an alien invader?

Perhaps a vulture to feed on carrion.

May hap an eagle to inspire and renew.

Or it could be just a strange cloud formation, but I doubt it is only that and nothing more.

Raven: “Nevermore.”

Cottage Update

Sylvia’s sister reports some [relatively] minor damage at the cottage from Sunday’s storm.  Houses on either side had damage from falling trees.

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Fire in the Forge

Yesterday, I harvested peas, green beans, cherry tomatoes, purslane, red romaine and Swiss chard.  (I’m thinking salad.  Wouldn’t you?)  I was cleaning my harvest at the kitchen sink when I noticed the light had changed.

I looked up, paused and then made a dash for the camera.  Out on the front deck I capture this image.

Looks like the smithy is hard at work

Looks like the smithy is hard at work

I’ve shared other sunset photos recently, but this seems to me the best.  However, like the others, the spectacular vision fades.  (Sic transit gloria mundi.)

This fiery vision also makes me think of beauty that doesn’t fade.  A glory that endures.

 

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Capturing the Scene

The enhanced picture

The enhanced picture

Yesterday, I posted the picture of Sunday’s sunset as my camera saw it.  I wanted to show you what I saw on the canvas of my mind.  While better, this still doesn’t do justice to the fiery glory of that sky.

I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it were it not for what happened last evening.  Sylvia had called from Glen Lake and as we were talking I heard the distinctive sound of air brakes.  Sylvia said a big truck had just stopped in front of the cabin.  Soon, I heard a male voice with a Carolina accent.  The driver asked for permission to shoot a picture of the lake, which Sylvia granted.  I heard him say, “My wife won’t believe this when I get home to South Carolina!”

The time was about 9:30 PM and the sun was below the horizon.  The cabin is a couple hundred feet or so above the lake.  The view is spectacular.  Sylvia said, “I don’t know what he could have captured in this light.”

He was pleased.  I heard him thank her as he returned to his truck and continued on his way down the road.  (It’s down in every direction from the cabin, except across the road which continues to rise.)

With today’s digital photography he may have done okay.  I’m surprised at what my new camera does.

That’s what inspired me take “digital liberties” with today’s image.

More to follow on this topic.

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Timing

The bard wrote these lines for Brutus in his play, Julius Caesar.  “There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”

My mom used to put it this way, “It’s to late to close the barn door after the horse is out.”  You probably know more expressions of the importance of timing.

I’ve seen the critical nature of timing many times while trying to catch action in a photo.  Thanks to digital photography and burst mode, I’ve been able to capture action in a still shot.

Last night, I saw that illustrated in nature.  I was on the phone with my son, Scott.  I was walking toward the office to check on something when I looked out the window.  I continued to the office, picked up my camera and went out onto the front deck.

Sunday sunset

Sunday sunset

Unfortunately, the camera does not capture the vivid contrast that my eye saw.  I didn’t want to mess with the image so this has only been resized.

As our conversation continued, I told Scott what I was seeing.  And as I watched, the glory began to fade.  Rather slowly, but it was also obviously fading.

Have you experienced the importance of timing?

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