This Moment- The Ivy Look

A Friday ritual. 

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. 

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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Looking Through The Lens

(It wasn’t an outright question so much as a raised eyebrow of disbelief. But you see…) 

There is a shift that my brain makes when taking pictures, where it goes from what catches the attention of the naked eye to what can be captured through the camera lens.

Some times the shift is hard to make.

It takes more concentration than I have if I’m talking or multitasking so I don’t often take many pictures in a group of people. Instead I make the shift most often when I’m on my own.

When there is no one to tell me to hurry up (except the dogs and they never mind if I fall behind) and nothing to distract me. Then when my focus shifts I can find hundreds of tiny details and shapes that I want to try and capture.

I fiddle with my camera as I experiment with the best ways for it to help me catch the possibility I see in my mind.

I bless the digital camera gods as I snap and review, fiddle and adjust, and snap some more.

Once I’ve started looking through the lens everything seems photogenic if I can just catch the right light, angle, focus, background…

When it comes time to review pictures on the computer there are more misses in my captures than keepers.

And many pictures like these geometric shapes that caught my eye…

…still look just like the rabbit poop and dried corn leaves that they really are.

(And that, Honey, is why I took a picture of rabbit poop.)

 

Color Harmony

John is color blind. Not terribly so, just enough that sometimes he tries to argue that a green sweater is grey or can’t immediately appreciate the beauty of a group of cardinals at the feeder in the snow.

John is also my editor. He proof reads, tells me when I’m not making any sense, adds lots of commas and pretty much every apostrophe you’ve ever seen on this blog (Ooo! except that last one, that one was all me!). Occasionally he helps me pick pictures. Because when you like taking pictures (I do like taking pictures) and you have a new camera (I do have a new camera) it’s easy to take 500 million pictures of a leaf and then get lost in the choosing just one process because you are so excited to show off the focal range of your new camera (true story).

Tonight I was looking through my pile of pictures to choose the picture for this week’s dogwood photography challenge.  It’s about color harmony, pairing opposites on the color wheel, mixing warm and cool colors and I had too many pictures, I needed my editor… my color blind editor…

But there is more to a picture than color, and so between all the pictures of the dead leaf stuck in the evergreen tree, and the grapefruit tree with the red watering can and a pillowcase with blue beads (and yes of course there were multiple of each) he choose this as one of his favorites. 

And it does have warm and cool colors.

So I’m going with it.

And I haven’t over thought it even a little…

Nope.

Not me.

I’ve got a color blind editor, what’s to overthink?

 

Burning Firewood

I put another stick of firewood on the fire.

It’s a large awkward chunk with holes riddling it, part of an old carpenter ants’ nest. It came from the big cherry tree on the old fence line. It must be one of the oldest trees on the property with three big trunks and when one of them broke and fell it landed on the neighbors side. Cherry is about as good of wood as we have for burning at our place, so I quickly sent John over to negotiate. Our tree, his land, we will clean it up quick, thank you very much!firewood carved by ants

My brother happened to visit just about then so I put a chainsaw in his hand and he cut the limb into rounds while I heaved them over the old wire fence. Straight into all the kinds of prickles that grow in Wisconsin. It took another day with John running the chainsaw to finish clearing everything. And then, over the course of several months I smashed my wheelbarrow through the brush to a little clearing I had made. There I split the big rounds into firewood sized chunks. There I also learned it’s important not to catch brush on the top of your arc while splitting wood. Then I loaded them all up and brought them to the wood pile. That was the time that I learned that even if those ants are frozen solid, they thaw – alive…

My firewood piles near the house are dwindling. I need to move more from the big stacks a bit further away but I need a better system. The tractor would be ideal. Hopefully it’ll be fixed soon. Maybe a sled would work. I think there might be a half dozen hard to split pieces back by the fence. I must have given up on them when I hurt my shoulder last year. I should check. And I should learn to use a chainsaw so I don’t have to rely on the boys. Of course that gives me an excuse to spend a day working outside with John or my brother or my dad. Maybe I’ll stick with the splitting maul. Our chainsaw has issues anyway, I wonder what else we can try to fix it…

I put another stick of firewood on the fire and I wonder what people think about when they turn up the thermostat.