I spent some time looking for signs of autumn in our own backyard yesterday. One of my favorites was this view of our neighbors’ tree FROM our backyard.
Dry. Parched. Windy. Smoky. Burning.
Those are the words that come to mind when I think of the west these days. October is always fire season, but in recent years ever more so. My home state of California has been on fire this last month, causing tens of thousands to evacuate and thousands of others to be without power. We have a massive drought going on here in Arizona as well- no monsoon season the last two years. Add in a pandemic, an election, and political upheavals- the world of 2020 is not the world we thought we were promised.
I’ve learned in recent years that the process of taking and editing photos soothes my worried soul. Below is a little piece of photo art I created this week. As always, a camera (or in this case an iPhone) and Photoshop ease my worries.
Pray for rain.
Our walk at Willow Lake showed us that Fall is on its way (some yellow leaves), but drought has caused the lake to recede and plants to dry up and wither. What used to be under water is now mud. Many trees still have green leaves however, which created the green bokeh areas in the background of my photo. We are looking forward to some colder weather and hopefully rain in the coming weeks.
A variation on theme
Isn’t this a happy scene? This photo pretty much just took itself.
We drove over to Granite Basin Lake a tiny lake at the base of Granite Mountain here in Prescott and walked around for awhile, enjoying the scenery and taking a few photos. We spotted some dragonflies and dozens of butterflies, but only one single bird, a hummingbird. We are talking about going over again and bringing our lunch.
Thinking back to our beach walks in February- I spotted this little still life at my feet one day.
Another trip to my photo archives- a fun edit of a barrel cactus.
Another photo for my AAUW photo group- this time a barrel cactus!
Time spent gazing at the night sky can be as calming as watching the rhythm of ocean waves. Last night I went outside for a half hour or so before the International Space Station was due to fly over and spent time looking at the moon as it appeared and disappeared behind fast moving clouds.
And then we watched the space station as it made its arc over our driveway- looking like a bright star zooming across the night sky. A few moments of excitement on that dark night.
I missed blackout Tuesday- I hadn’t realized it was happening until late yesterday. But I add my voice to those crying for justice for all Black Americans. These are dark times- but I have hope for better days ahead.
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
Kim Klassen, my very first photography mentor and whose video tutorials taught me Photoshop nine years ago, has brought back her Texture Tuesday linkup! When I saw the announcement last night, I leapt at the opportunity to download her free textures and participate! I have gotten away from still life and have ventured into other areas of photography, but am so, so grateful to come back to Kim’s special world, especially NOW! Thank, you Kim!
Tuesday was Lonnie’s birthday, a great excuse to spend the night in Sedona- and our hotel was right across from this gorgeous view! Although we head to Sedona four or five times a year, the red rocks take my breath away every time!
It looked like the Canada geese felt right at home as they paddled through the chilly water on this cold winter day. It was just Tuesday that Watson Lake was surrounded by white- but now the beautiful Arizona sunshine has melted most of it, leaving white in just the shadiest areas. I have learned to get out and take photos right away here in Prescott, as more often than not, the snow only lasts for a few days. This image was taken with my iPhone.
I thought I could see swans from the road last week, so we went over to Willow Lake late Saturday afternoon to see what we could see. No swans were in the area where we had seen them before, but a heron was slowly wading through the shallows stalking his prey. We watched for a half hour or so- but never saw him catch anything. As the light was fading, we walked back to the car, leaving him still searching for dinner.
the swans! It was such a treat to see them in the wild- hope to go back before they fly off somewhere.
Friday night, we learned from Facebook that there were swans out at Willow Lake! We are accustomed to seeing ducks, geese, eagles, hawks, herons, egrets etc.- but this is the first we’ve heard of swans. So on Saturday morning we headed over to see what we could see. This would be my first walk in nature since my knee surgery, so I was pretty excited- so excited, in fact, that when we spotted the swans, I realized I had left my zoom lens on the kitchen counter! And what was on my camera, you ask? My macro lens! So I watched the swans as a hawk perched above them in a tree and a heron stood intently searching the water for his breakfast and tried to content myself with occasional macro shots.
After my genealogy meeting in the afternoon, we drove over again. The swans were starting to tuck their heads under their wings, but eventually all four swam around where we could see them in the late afternoon light. I haven’t gone through all the photos yet, but here is a shot of three of them.