I’ve taken a lot of pictures over the past six months or so. We live in a beautiful place and it’s hard not to find a spectacular natural scene. I’ll wake to the drama of a red-streaked sky or sparkling frost and off I’ll go. Some mornings I just get into the car and drive, keeping my eyes open to whatever may be there. And something always is.
This December we’ve had a lot of rain and chilly, dreary weather. It’s not particularly inspiring, and like many others, I’ve been lamenting the lack of snow. There’s something magical about the hush of a fresh snowfall and those sparkling blankets of white cover the brown, muddy detritus of fall and seem to promise a fresh start. And after the snowfall, when the sun comes out and the skies clear… Is there anything more beautiful than a brilliant blue sky over hills and valleys of fresh fallen snow?
One day last week it was yet another misty moist morning with a haze of fog. The colors were muted. No dazzling snow, or crimson leaves, or brilliant azure skies. I set off with my camera, anyway. I drove the back country roads aimlessly, and eventually parked by a bridge over the river. Out of my car, I looked intently around me, walking, pausing, noticing. And the more I looked, the more I noticed: an intriguing alignment of rocks, the impressionistic reflections of tree trunks in the river behind blowsy cattails, the unexpected splash of green moss mounded around a white-lichened trunk, a trio of contorted trees mirrored in shallow water, and the golden tones of a marsh of cattails. Slowly, surely, the quiet wonders of nature unfolded around me.
This seemingly unpromising morning yielded great beauty that was perhaps even more rewarding for its gradual revelation. Once I tuned in and adjusted to its nuance, it was everywhere. It makes me wonder how many times I’ve missed the subtleties when dazzled by the spectacular.