This past week I accepted another photo challenge from Kim Douillard of Thinking Through My Lens. She invited participants to notice and photograph ups and downs through their week. With more free time than usual due to frequent snow days and the imminent arrival of winter break, I was in!
First, I looked up because I’m always drawn to the sky. Expanses of trees, clouds, light and color unfailingly grab my attention. The photo below is a relatively frequent scene as I head down my driveway early in the morning. I love how the dark clouds highlight the colors of sunrise and how the light silhouettes the trees. The contrast between clouds and light reminds me of the value of counterpoints in our lives.
On one of many recent snow days, I spent time watching the snow fall from the gray sky and softly pile on the branches of our birch tree. Later, looking up through my doorway, I was struck by how the icicles cut through the wintry scene. Again, contrast appeals to me –this time between the straight, hard lines of the icicles and the soft curves of the branches.
Before the recent heavy snowfalls, we had a lot of mixed precipitation and ice build up. As usual, my steep, icy driveway has been the bane of my existence. It’s a constant fight to keep enough traction on it for the fuel truck to deliver our heating oil (a necessity during Maine winters!). This winter it’s been especially bad, but there’s always a silver lining if you only take the time to notice. This photo reveals the up of the icy downer–a reflected sunrise.
This past week during our winter break, warmer temperatures and sunny days lured me outside for some walks. The deep tell-tale sounds of a pileated woodpecker whacking diligently at a tree caught my attention. Looking up to follow the sound, I spied a flash of red and spotted him hard at work. Clearly this wasn’t his first visit to this tree! I couldn’t resist stopping to watch his efforts. Later, as I looped back on my walk, I found the woodpecker had moved further up into the tree. (Perhaps he wasn’t too pleased by my lengthy visit earlier.) With the sun behind him, colors are muted in this picture but I was intrigued by his profile with that hint of red, caught in the web of branches.
With warmer temperatures comes lots of melting. Wary walkers need to look down… a lot! Once I looked down, I found it hard to look up again, as the roadside puddles with their varied reflections fascinated me. Shortly after admiring the woodpecker, this view stopped me in my tracks–a mixture of straight lines, circles and the texture of clouds all captured in a transient pool of water. Oh, and there’s even some blue sky! Reflections always strike me as an invitation to enter an alternative world: a portal of sorts. I wonder where this one leads.
Finally, on a late afternoon walk, my daughter and I wandered across a local suspension foot bridge. Swaying slightly above the river, we looked down at the duck and gull activity on the ice below. I’m really not sure why I like this picture so much, but I keep coming back to it. There’s something about the random patterns of ice and water, the bird’s eye view and that brilliant orange splash of the mallard’s webbed feet. Even as I write about it, I still can’t figure out why it appeals to me so.
So, thanks, Kim, for the invitation! Filtering my daily experiences through the lens of one of your challenges is always an interesting and rewarding experience. I really enjoyed focusing my camera on ups and downs and hope to participate in another challenge soon!