Look, I'm not complaining. No one is. Ask any Joe or Jolene right now, and you'll get the same sweet answer--this fall has been to die for. We could be thirty degrees colder, but the temps stay unseasonably gracious, which is a perfect joy.
Still, most the color is gone from the landscape; and for someone like me, looking for beauty outside right now is a challenge. We'd walked the path around this pond the night before, and I couldn't help notice how the low-riding winter sun did nice things to the lifeless prairie goldenrod. This stuff--
It's string-bean weedy-ness lacks charm or grace really, but when that hunched-down sun hit it right, it wasn't bad. So I wondered what it might look like in a blazing dawn, which is what the next morning turned out to be.
Frost was a surprise--I hadn't figured on frost. There wasn't a ton of it. We can get that sometimes. But Saturday morning, just a sugary delight.
Frost can be stunning, one of creation's cleanest miracles some mornings; and in that blistering sun it was smilingly glorious.
Maybe Superman could see this close--I had to use a macro. Call me daft if you will, but that sugar-coat is a wonder, don't you think?
But around me was a largely colorless world where beauty, one might think, was hard to come by. You just had to look a little harder, which is what Professor Photography teaches you to do when you look closely through the lens.
I could take you out to that little pond this morning, and you'd probably wonder what's to shoot at? But beauty resides, at least in part, in the eye of the beholder, which is really another way of saying you have to look for it. That's why I go.
Then, too, once in a while you get plain lucky. I've got more than my share of milkweed pictures, so I don't hunt 'em down anymore, even though their delicate seediness often lends real character to our barren landscapes. This one was shot-from-the-hip, sort of. I leaned over as far as my crotchety frame would allow and hoped something would come of it. Plain and simple, I got lucky, which, to a Calvinist, means I got blessed..
All this warmth we've been bathing in for so long means there's still emerald summer remnants here and there, like these brave blades.
A shot like this will never make it into a frame, but you can't help admire the pluck, right?
For a decade or more, I've thought of this whole form of recreation the way some lucky guys might think about going fishing. Some Saturday mornings I get skunked; but then some days, even when you're most sure there'll be no action, you come home with stringer full.
Can't eat this stuff, of course, but that doesn't mean what you caught isn't good for what ails you.
The psalms begin with the word blessed, a word that requires some interpretation. What does it mean, really, to be blessed?
Some translations substitute "happy."
When I come home, open up the files, and find this goldenrod against the bank of a farm pond, it just plain makes me happy, which is to say, blessed.
Even this ridiculous weedy-ness is a blessing.